12.11.09 -- Hot Stuff!

Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette, 1885, Vincent Van Gogh -- an early painting featured on the cover of “When You Are Engulfed in Flames” by David Sedaris -- the original is housed in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Puzzle by Mike Nothnagel, edited by Will Shortz

Typical Friday crossword with clues teetering on a thin window ledge of definition -- NEXT DAY DELIVERY (32A. Overnight accommodation?), I BEG TO DIFFER (9D. “That’s what you think!”) and DAVID SEDARIS (19D. “When You Are Engulfed in Flames” essayist) are the long entries in this end-of-the-work-week crossword, but not by much with half a dozen of ten and nine letters close behind -- COLLISIONS (55A. Very abrupt meetings?), IAN FLEMING (17A. “The Diamond Smugglers” author, 1957), KNEE SOCKS (57A. Athlete’s foot applications?), RECORD BOOK (50A. Logging tool), SNUFF BOXES (15A. Pinch sources) and STONINESS (5A. Lack of pity).

Mid-size -- EDOMITES (34D. Petra’s population), HEADERS (18A. Results of bad trips?), HENRY II (48A. “The Lion in Winter” role), LE MONDE (28A. Daily reading for many Parisians), MIRED IN (39A. Entangled by), MOTEL SIX (3D. Chain whose name derives from its original room rate), NO CHEESE (2D. Burger request), a hamburger with cheese is called a cheese burger; a cheese burger without cheese is a hamburger, ROTH IRAS (35D. Suze Orman recommendations).

Five- and six-letter -- A SIDES (37A. Single halves), CEDES (23D Lets go), EXITED (11D. Ended in a scene, say), FED ON (38A. Used as a sustenance), GET AT (20A. Determine), ICICLE (40D. Danger during a thaw), IS IT I (30A. Question asked 12 times in Matthew), LADEN (28D. Packed), LADY DI (31A. Celeb once called Her Royal Highness), LYDIA (31D. Ancient Anatolian kingdom where coins are said to have been invented), MERCK (42D. Pfizer rival), MOVE ON (39D. Continue a trip), NIVEN (29D. “Around the World in 80 Days” star, 1956), OF NOTE (41D. Worth mentioning), OINKS (41D. See ’n Say sounds), PEONS (44D. Low class), RESAVE (26A. Back up a backup), SENATE (12D. Place for a page); SIEGE (15D. Long period, as of illness), SNARE (5D. Catcher), SSGTS (13D. Army squad cmdrs.).

Short stuff -- ACTS, AGE, AID, AMYL, ANT, ATRA, BIC, CAT (23A. One often planted on a window ledge?), DEA, DSO, ELSA, ETS, FOOL, GEL, GRIN, HOOK, MOC, MHZ, NFL, NOME, OFA and OFF, ONME, PIE (44A. Kind of filling), PSST, TOLE, TUNS, WEAN, YAWP, YNEZ.


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Puzzle available on the internet at

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Remaining clues -- Across: 1. Words of generosity; 14. Toy (with); 16. Where the word “Christian” is first used in the Bible; 21. Come together; 22. It may be advanced; 25. Doctor Who and others, briefly; 42. Comfy slip-on; 43. Traffic reporter?: Abbr.; 45. Radio unit: Abbr.; 53. Brand in a medicine cabinet; 56. With 7-Down, slowly remove from; 58. “Over here …”. Down: 1. ___ mind; 4. Wagner’s ___ of Brabant; 6. 945-liter units; 7. See 56-Across; 8 Org. whose members rush; 10. U.S. city near Russia; 21. Sign of satisfaction; 24. ___ acetate (banana oil); 33. 12-Down worker), 36. California’s Santa ___ Valley; 47. Old lampshade material; 48. What many a pop song has; 49. Complain; 51. Award instituted by Queen Victoria: Abbr.; 52. Glue stick brand; 54. Leaf cutter, e.g.

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