10.17.08 -- Quadrupuzzle IV

The Four Corners
Friday, October 17, 2008
Puzzle by Patrick Berry, edited by Will Shortz
Today's crossword is essentially four small puzzles joined in the center by PAS (25A. Things that talk in school), and most generously, PASTMASTERS (16D. People of much experience); SPEEDOMETERS (23A. They offer rates for automobiles); SPARESTHEROD (26A. Isn‘t strict enough say); TATTIEST (14D. Showing the most wear and tear); and apropos, OPENNESS (24D Candor). Divided by four big black "hammers", each quadrant needs to be solved separately, however, the long entries allow reasonable access to other sections of the puzzle, along with the welcome few spill-over blocks of letters. This is the fourth and most friendly crossword of this type over the past year -- See 12.01.07 -- Quadrupuzzle with almost the same diagram; 12.22.07 -- Quadrupuzzle II, a close variation; and most recently, 09.20.08 -- Quadrupuzzle III.
Puzzle 1 (Upper left): Across -- 1. What boosters boost; 13. Oil-rich peninsula; 15. Ancient Romans; 17. About whom Churchill purportedly said “A modest man who has much to be modest about; 19. Of the north wind; 21. CuraƧao flavoring. Down -- 1. Equatorial Guinea‘s capital; 2. Delivery professionals?; 3. It deserves to be condemned; 4. Town that Wild Bill Hickok was marshal of; 5. Pedigree; 6. Like paintings in progress.
Puzzle 2 (Upper right): Across -- 7. Coffin nail; 14. Ready to go, you might say; 16. Sherlock Holmes story not by Conan Doyle, e.g.; 18. Took the offensive; 20. In the buff; 22. Joust participants. Down -- 7. Integration that exceeds the sum of its parts; 8. Semitic fertility goddess; 9. Price holder; 10. Winner over the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI; 11. Organic compounds used as solvents; 12. Swamp flora.
Puzzle 3 (Lower left): Across -- 35. Bitingly sarcastic; 38. Skin soother; 40. Veteran; 42. Special announcer; 44. Topmost optic in a microscope; 46 Most valuable, possibly. Down -- 26. Servant in a cause; 27. Meaningless talk; 28. Thinks the world of; 29. Closet hangings; 35. Singapore lies, just off its tip; 38. Behave cravenly.
Puzzle 4 (Lower right): Across -- 36. Splits with one‘s beloved; 39. Attend to, as a loose shoe; 41. Plant family that includes the hibiscus; 43. Not behind the defenders; 45. Nickname for a cheater in the Oklahoma land rush of 1889; 47. James in many westerns. Down -- 30. Los Angeles County‘s HERMOSA Beach; 31. ELEANOR of Aquitaine, Henry II‘s wife; 32. Passes, as time; 33. Milky and iridescent; 34. Uses a key, perhaps; 37. Offbeat Parisian tourist sites.
Go four it!
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THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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