12.20.08 -- Holoalphabetic

Saturday, December 20, 2008
Puzzle by Brad Wilber, edited by Will Shortz
Yes, this Saturday puzzle has all the letters of the alphabet -- so what? A holoalphabetic crossword without an ulterior purpose is like a can of Campbell’s alphabet soup (“oh, let me see if they are all there…”). What it is not is a “pangram” -- an overused misnomer of crossword bloggers. A pangram is a sentence that uses every letter of the alphabet. A holoalphabetic crossword allows the construction of a pangram, e.g., “In PALAZZO PANTS, FELIX, the SLOB with MOJO, thawed an OVENPROOF ANTIQUE from OMSK so FRIGID his SCHWA was lost in Canada.” Pangrams? --
HERE. That said, onward!
I’d never heard of PALAZZO PANTS (7D. Woman’s loose-fitting garment with flared legs) which translates to palace trousers -- what? NETFLIX QUEUE (21D. It has things you want to see) is another unfamiliar entry -- let’s look that up,
The countdown…
Nine-letter entries --
AGNES GREY (20A. Brontë classic); ASIA MINOR (42A. Neighbor of the Caucasus); MOGADISHU (52A. World capital long beset by civil unrest); and OVENPROOF (31A. Able to stand the heat?) are more familiar.
Eight-letter -- DRUM SOLO (17A. When the beat goes on … and on … and on?); GOMORRAH (15. One of a notorious pair in Genesis);
OENOLOGY (58A. Science concerned with aging); OMAR EPPS (1A. “The Mod Squad” co-star); PURPOSES (62A. Missions); SEATBELT (64A. It’s put on before pulling away).
Seven --
AMADEUS (41D. Broadway play with the role of Emperor Joseph II) and/or the film; ANTIQUE (47A. Object of many an appraisal); FROSTED (10D. Like some cakes and hair); HAZIEST (23A. Least definite); KINSMEN (44A. Blood); THE FRUG (26A. 1960s dance showcased on “Laugh-in”).
Six -- AFRAME (9A. Architecture that gets to the point?); AFRESH (9D. From square one); ENISLE (45D. Maroon); FRIGID (16A. Arctic); JARFUL (61A. Quantity of peanut butter); ONBASE (63A. Trying to get home);
ORALES (57A. Papal capes); RONALD (18A. Presidential first name).
Five -- AMUSE (3D. Keep from being bored); DEANE (35A. Connecticut delegate to the Continental Congress); FELIX (27D. Aspirin pioneer Hoffmann); GNAWS (25D. Vexes, with “at”); IHOPS (48D. Units of a chain with links?); MOOSE (49D. Jock in “Archie” comics);
MORAY (2D. Reef predator); OGDEN (1D. City near the Wasatch Mountains); OPALS (37A. Australian export); RIGEL (50D. Orion’s left foot); SCHWA (40A. One of two in Canada?); SHOGI (8D. Game played on an 81-square board); TRYST (51D. Subject of many a billet-doux).
Four -- AERO (24A. Prefix with car); AGAR (12D. It helps a culture advance);
ALFA (55D. Soviet sub class); EASE (19A. Maneuver gently); EDDY (14. Certain air current); ETHN (33D. People: Prefix); GARB (54D. Threads); GEEZ (25A. “Man!”); 39A. LIDA Rose” (song from “The Music Man”); MILE (13D. League part); MITA (36A. Classic name in copiers); MOJO (52D. Lucky mystique); OMSK (31D. Trans-Siberian Railroad stop); ORAN (53D. Birthplace of Yves Saint Laurent); RAIN (28D. Mac user’s motivation); RING (11D. Token that you’re taken); ROME (4D. Capitoline Museums locale); SABU (38D. One-named film star of the 1930s-’60s); SLOB (56D. One likely to leave things out?); SOIR (56A. Time after le soleil sets); VICI (32D. Part of a Latin trio); 46A. XBOX 360; and finally the Shortzesque clues for GEAR (30D. Reverse, e.g.) and UNDO (29D. Reverse).
Loose ends -- ERS (5D. Beginnings of hedges?); HEP (23D. Zoot-suited, say);
MOE (43D. Bart Simpson’s prank call victim); MRT (49A. Onetime bodyguard of Muhammad Ali and Michael Jackson); NRA (59D. Org. with the Eddie Eagle safety program); NYE (22A. Frequent ad-libber on “The Steve Allen Show”); OAS (34D. Grp. formed in Bogota in 1948); OPT (60D. Elect); PRO (6D. Backing).
Unless you love the alphabet, don’t go
For today’s cartoon, go to
The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
Click on image to enlarge.
Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
If you subscribe to home delivery of The New York Times you are eligible to access the daily crossword via The New York Times - Times Reader, without additional charge, as part of your home delivery subscription.

No comments: