02.28.10 -- Freeze! -- the Acrostic

Sunday, February 28, 2010

ACROSTIC, Puzzle by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon, edited by Will Shortz

With this winter’s blizzard weather casting itself throughout the United States, the quote of today’s acrostic applies at least in part to the whole nation --- from Dateline America by Charles Kuralt (1979) the quotation appears most notably in The Traveling Curmudgeon, Irreverent Notes, Quotes, and Anecdotes on Dismal Destinations, Excess Baggage, The Full Upright Position, and Other Reasons Not to Go There, compiled and edited by John Winokur.


The author’s name and the title of the work: KURALT DATELINE AMERICA

The defined words:

A. Advise without consent, KIBITZ;
B. Fair minded, evenhanded, UNBIASED;
C. Current-regulating gizmo, RHEOSTAT;
D. Sudden, overwhelming rush, AVALANCHE;
E. Truth, or wide acceptance, LEGITIMACY;
F. Sully, stain, muddy, TARNISH;
G. Prepare for an uphill effort?, DOWNSHIFT;
H. Ben Franklin’s “daughter of ignorance”, ADMIRATION;
I. Subjected to an X factor?, TENFOLD;
J. Gloaming, twilight, EVENTIDE;
K. Bound to advance over others?, LEAPFROG;
L. At fault, guilty, culpable (3 wds.), IN THE WRONG;
M. Roald Amundsen or Fridtjof Nansen, e.g., NORWEGIAN;
N. Heyday of Pac-Man and Cabbage Patch Kids, EIGHTIES;
O. Good at picking things up, ABSORBENT;
P. Cold wind in the south of France, MISTRAL;
Q. Practice of making designer babies, EUGENICS;
R. Replace an old coat with a new one, REFINISH;
S. Figure with 20 faces, ICOSAHEDRON;
T. Viewpoint of Ishmael in “Moby-Dick” (2 wds.), CROW’S NEST;
U. Chrysotile or crocidolite, ASBESTOS

The full quotation: The state seal shows a farmer, a waterfall, a forest, and an Indian riding into the sunset. It should be changed to ice cubes rampant on a field of white, a grinning barefoot Swede in a Grain Belt Beer T-shirt riding a snowmobile, and a shivering visitor whose stricken breath is freezing into ice crystals.

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02.28.10 -- Easy Does It!

The Letter E, Erté


Sunday, February 28, 2010

EASE-E DOES IT, Puzzle by Yaakov Bendavid, edited by Will Shortz

The title of this crossword seems to mean that E is eased into eight identically pronounced words in the stead of an A, e.g., substituted for A in WEAK, TEA, PEAK, FLEA, HEAL, REAL, DEAR and MEAT, resulting in changed meanings for eight familiar phrases with clues justifying the new phrases.

NOT FOR THE WEEK OF HEART (22. Inappropriate on a honeymoon?);
AROMATIC TEE (36A. Item at a golf boutique?);
PEEK SEASON (55A. Summer next door to the nudist camp?);
FLEE COLLAR (71A. What a pursued perp might do?);
A TIME TO HEEL (90A. The point when Fido’s master starts walking?);
REEL MEN DON’T EAT QUICHE (103A. Bit of advice when packing anglers’ lunches?);
FRANKLY MY DEER (15D. Buck’s candid conversation opener?);
HAMBERGER MEET (54D. Dating service in a northern German city?).

Other -- ART FORM (99A. Film or sculpture); BASE PAY (66A. Datum on an employment contract); CAMELEERS (87A. Desert drivers), FILED IN (25D. Entered, as a classroom); FORESEE (71D. Divine); FRED ALLEN (40A. “Imitation is the sincerest form of television” quipster); GARRETS (82A. Struggling artists’ places); IVORIES (92A. They may be tickled); LOCKERS (33A. Health club lineup); REELECT (48D. Sent back to the Hill, say); REFRAME (4D. Change the focus of, as an argument); SCALERS (56D. Dental hygienists, at times); SEEDILY (44A. With a run-down look); SO-AND-SO (44D. Scoundrel); STYMIED (62A. Hampered); THE FIRM (86D. John Grisham best seller) USER FEE (26A. Parkgoer’s charge).




Easy does it!

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Remaining clues -- ACROSS: 1. ___ miss; 5. Oil holder; 9. It’s often vaulted; 13. Pact of ‘94; 18. Mrs. Shakespeare; 19. Shakespearean schemer; 20. Bummer; 21. Stop overseas; 27. Italian home of the Basilica of San Francesco; 28. Mark Harmon action drama; 30. One side in the Pro Bowl: Abbr.; 31. Some bank deposits; 43. Shade of green; 45. Sperm targets; 46. Camera-ready page; 48. Microphone tester, perhaps; 49. Stub-tailed cat; 53. Phnom ___; 57. Solar sails material; 58. Set right; 60. Things often put in twos; 65. Develops an open spot?; 67. Some space missions; 68. Über ___ (above everything: Ger.); 69. “Falstaff” soprano; 70. Late-late-night offering; 73. Eastern noble; 77. River deliberately flooded in W.W. I; 79. Annual awards announced in New York’s East Village; 82. Struggling artists’ places; 84. ___-chef; 85. Explosive event of ’54; 93. Filthy quarters; 94. Mountain treasure; 95. Idea’s start; 96. City near Bethlehem; 108. Possible flight delayer; 109. Proceeds; 110. Grand; 111. Itinerary segments: Abbr.; 112. These, in Madrid; 113. Convention handout, for short; 114. Showed; 115. Lows. DOWN: 1. TV alien’s word; 2. Son of Seth; 3. Kick in, say; 5. Face-to-face; 6. Bank quote; 7. Zero-star restaurant review?; 8. Baseballer and O.S.S. spy Berg; 9. Carol opener; 10. Basketball tactic; 11. Pseudonym of H. H. Munro; 12. Teamwork thwarters; 13. “Uh-uh”; 14. The Who’s “Who ___ You”; 16. Onetime Toyota model; 17. Outfit; 23. Like some TV interviewers’ questions; 24. Land with a red dragon on its flag; 29. W-2 datum: Abbr.; 31. Made it home safely; 32. “There there”; 34. Dog in a cat comic; 35 Nev. Neighbor; 36. On; 37. Go all over; 38. Yemen neighbor; 39. Loom; 40. Dinners likely to have leftovers; 41. Some major changes; 47. Alternatives to foils; 50. Crooked; 51. Former Japanese capital; 52. Airport security measure; 57. Pronoun designation: Abbr.; 59. Bearing; 61. 1990s war locale; 62. Agile, for a senior; 63. Los ___ Reyes Magos; 64. Days of old; 65. Flock sounds; 66. Mathematician Pascal; 68. Rags-to-riches author Horatio; 69. iPod heading; 72. Sarge’s superior; 74. Direction at sea; 75. Narrow margin; 76. Like many conglomerates: Abbr.; 78. One of the housewives on “Desperate Housewives”; 83. 2001 biopic; 84. Be sparing; ; 87. Smoke; 88. Disinclined; 89. Gourmet mushrooms; 90. Made up (for); 91. It’s measured in pound-feet; 93. Feed; 97. Line at a picnic?; 98. Neb. Neighbor; 99. Accelerated bit; 100. Prefix with mom; 101. Current: Prefix; 102. Quagmire; 104. “The West Wing” chief of staff ___ McGarry; 105. McKinley and Washington: Abbr.; 106. And other things: Abbr.; 107. “So that’s it!”.

02.27.10 -- PEEPHOLE


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Puzzle by Patrick John Duggan, edited by Will Shortz

A quick look...

Across: 1. Big-time kudos, MAD PROPS; 9. Film about the Statue of Liberty?, PATINA; 15. Exasperated cry, I’VE HAD IT; 16. Response to a good dig, OH SNAP; 17. Hidden danger, LAND MINE; 18. Preparatory stage, LEAD-UP; 19. Subject of the biography “King of the World”, ALI; 20. Bright spot in architecture?, SUNROOM; 22. Saison de septembre, mostly, ETE; 23. Deal killers, NOES; 25. Sets right, MENDS; 26. Honoree on the third Friday of Sept., MIA; 27. Like many old series, now, ON DVD; 29. Grammy-winning Gnarls Barkley, e.g., DUO; 30. Bats are smaller than normal in it, T-BALL; 32. Disco or swing follower, ERA; 34. Mascot that’s a shell of a man?, MR PEANUT; 36. Slinky and stealthy, CATLIKE; 40. What’s-his-face, SO-AND-SO; 41. Demi Moore was in it, BRAT PACK; 43 ICK factor; 44. Springtime arrival, ARIES; 45. College football coach LES Miles; 47. Wiesbaden’s state, HESSE; 51. Application datum: Abbr., TEL; 52. It’s under the Host, PATEN; 54. Torpedo, RUIN; 55. Eponymous general, TSO; 56. Be cut down to size, EAT CROW; 58. Mute neighbor, maybe: Abbr., REC; 59. Dot-com with an asterisk in its name, E-TRADE; 61. Words at the outset, HERE WE GO; 63. Picture receiver, RETINA; 64. Moved out?, UNSEATED; 65. Official’s helper, YEOMAN; 66. Opening used before opening a door, PEEPHOLE.

Down: 1. Lombardia’s capital, MILANO; 2. “Operation Bikini” co-star, 1963, AVALON; 3. Robbed of, DENIED; 4. Goal of some candidates, PHD; 5. Means of forced entry, RAMS; 6. Bad blood, ODIUM; 7. Immobilized, in a way, PINNED; 8. What sticks to your ribs?, STERNUM; 9. Tops of golf courses?, POLOS; 10. Subtle warning sound, AHEM; 11. It goes through lots of luggage: Abbr., TSA; 12. Hot, IN DEMAND; 13. Captain Nemo’s final resting place, NAUTILUS; 14. Beseech, APPEAL TO; 21. Things that disappear in the shower?, ODORS; 24. Modelesque, SVELTE; 28. Namby-pambies, DRIPS; 30. Do school work, TEACH; 31. One concerned with checks and balances, BANKER; 33. Street name lead-in, AKA; 35. One side of Hawaii, POI; 36. Common toy go-with, C BATTERY; 37. One being printed at a station, ARRESTEE; 38. Customize for, TAILOR TO; 39. Kudos, ECLAT; 42. Dog’s coat?, KETCHUP; 46. Still, SERENE; 48. Definitely gonna, SURE TO; 49. Film critic Joel, SIEGEL; 50. Protect, in a way, ENCODE; 52. Triumphant song, PAEAN; 53. Like some mythology, NORSE; 56. “Laverne & Shirley” landlady, EDNA; 57. Emulate Niobe, WEEP; 60. “Ready” follower, AIM; 62. Crib note?, WAH.

See anything you like?

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02.26.10 -- Standoff


Friday, February 26, 2010

Puzzle by Josh Knapp, edited by Will Shortz

MEXICAN STANDOFF (31A. Stalemate) will eventually appear, whether in the form of an answer or the form of a blank crossword puzzle after a CLUELESS (51A. Completely in the dark) read-through -- or IS IT ME (38D. A question of introspection)?

BOY MEETS GIRL (35A. Start of a traditional love story) and STAGE MANAGER (26A. One concerned with entrances and exits) raise the curtain on entertainment in the puzzle which includes THE WHO (1A. Releaser of “1921” in 1969), BEE GEE (12D Member of the 27-Down group) and GIBBS (27D. Brothers who sang “Stayin’ Alive”), HAN SOLO (53A. Sci-fi smuggler) and SIL (47A. Tony‘s consigliore on “The Sopranos“), TENOR SAX (1D. Band member with a bent neck), FAN MAIL (24D. Means of reaching the stars). Getting there is half the fun -- HOOF IT (43A. Not splurge on a 48-Across, say) or make it a CAB RIDE (48A. It’s often taken down Broadway).

Other -- CHEATED (18D. How a gull might feel); CHESHIRE (21A. Lewis Carroll’s birthplace); CHRISTENS (8D. Breaks a bottle on, maybe); CLOSERS (17A. They get many saves); CONSENT (21D. O.K.); ECOSYSTEM (28D. Biodiversity setting); FRAID SO (33D. “Yep, unfortunately”); HISSY FIT (41A. A diva may throw one); OIL FIELD (32D. Setting for big rigs); PALETTE (13D. Item used for studio mixing); PEEL OUT (13A. Participate in drag?); SANSKRIT (15A. Source of the word “avatar”).

Mid-size -- ASSERT, CHURNS, CRIBS, ELKES (3D. Tennis’s Clijsters and others), not Kim, FIERY (42D. Very hot), FLUTES, HARD G (22D. What Greece has that Germany doesn’t), HAUNT (43D. Go to a lot), HERESY and HESSE, INTEND, NUMBER, OBESE (44D. Very upscale?), ORELSE, ORLON (45D. DuPont discontinued it in 1990), PHRASE (14A. Things turned while speaking), RIPOUT, ROTATE, SCHISM and SCHWAB, SPORE, STEAMY (54A. R-rated, say), TANTE (25A. Soeur de la mère), WALK-IN (10D. Capacious closet), WORRY (4D. Cause of fitful sleep).

Short stuff -- ABA, AND, CLAN, CHI and CRI, FOE, GAT, HRE, Sartre’s “HUIS clos”, ITS, KEG, LAU, MAY, OTT, UPI.

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Remaining clues -- ACROSS: 7. Author of the best-selling investment book “You’re Fifty -- Now What?”; 14. Thing turned while speaking; 16. Words of intimidation; 18. Shout about Paris?; 19. Something below the bar; 20. Diet of Worms concern; 23. “___ Growing” (Temptations hit); 24. One against another; 36. They rock, sometimes; 39. Far-away connection?; 40. “The Art of Hitting .300” writer Charley; 46. Inits. By a dateline; 49. Make the rounds?; 52. Cell assignment; 55. Mean. DOWN: 2. 1946 Literature Nobelist; 6. Target of Durocher’s “Nice guys finish last” sentiment; 7. Body in a case; 9. It ended in 1806: Abbr.; 10. Capacious closet; 11. Hold; 15. Big break; 29. Period named for an earth goddess; 30. Option for a hit; 43. Go to a lot; 44. Very upscale?; 45. DuPont discontinued it in 1990; 48. Group sharing a coat of arms; 50. Utah Stars’ org.; 51. City with both A.L. and N.L. teams, informally.

02.25.10 -- The Tinsmith

Baruch Benedykt Semmel the Tinsmith, Bershad Ghetto, 1943, Arnold Daghani
Collection of the Yad Vashem Art Museum, Copyright © 2005 Yad Vashem,
The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Puzzle by Holden Baker, edited by Will Shortz

Ten squares containing TIN is the main feature of this Thursday crossword.

Together, TINSMITH (44A. Artisan whose work is featured in this puzzle?), RIN TIN TIN (39A. Title role in a 1950s TV western), ASTIN (30D. Actor John) and UNSTINTINGLY (24D. In a very generous manner) account for three of the ten squares. 

Containing one each are the across/down pairs of STINGER (1A. Antiaircraft missile) and TINGLE (2D. “Sleeping” sensation); 6A. Au GRATIN and TINES (9D. Parts opposite some handles); OUTINGS (22A. Picnics, e.g.) and MARTINI (11D. Happy hour order); CRETIN (38A. Clod) and I TINA (32D. 1986 showbiz autobiography); DISTINCT (49A.Well-defined) and TINKLES (52D. Bell sounds); TINY TIM (66A. Literary invalid) and SELECTING (45D. “Eeny-meeny-miney-mo” activity); TIN EAR (68A. It‘s not good for conducting) and SIT-IN (62D. 1960s event).

Other -- ASSORTED (33A. Mixed), DODDER (47D. Walk unsteadily) and FT DODGE (46A. County seat on the Des Moines River), GUINEA (6D. Neighbor of Liberia), OLD YELLER (56A. 1957 Disney tearjerker), PEASANT (28A. Simple sort), RED TAPE (5D. Delay cause), SKERRITT (21D. Emmy-winning Tom of “Picket Fences”), TENACITY (42A. Stick-to-it-iveness), UGLIER (31A. Not so attractive) and UNPINS (24A. Frees, in a way).

Five-letter -- 14. NPR’s “Only A GAME”, 54D. “Abandon hope ALL YE …“, 12D. Petula Clark’s ‘A SIGN of the Times”, CHESS (13D. Knight’s activity?), 63A. Santa CLARA, Calif., DRAKE (49D. Captain of the Golden Hind), E-MAIL (4D. P.D.A. communique), GEEKS (69A. Oddballs), ICE UP (10D. Freeze over), ILIAD (17A. Inspiration for “Troilus and Cressida”), IOWAN (50D. Any resident of 46-Across), ROCKS (55A. Is too cool), SANYO (29D. RCA competitor), SCOLD (51D. Termagant).

Short stuff -- ALAW and AWOL, CASH, CFCS, DAHL, DOG, DUCT, ENDS, ERIE and ERIK, ESTA, GAIT, GAL, GLEN, IDLE, IMAC and IMAS, ITD, KALE and LAKE and LATE, LILA, OGRE, OLDE, OLLA, ONTO, RAMS, REMO, SAIL, SLID, TRIG, UELE (15A. Ubangi tributary) and URSA (41A. Bear in the sky).

Last but not least, apropos to this North American February of 2010 when 49 of the 50 states got the fluffy stuff, there’s LET IT SNOW (20A. When said three times, a yuletide song).

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Remaining clues -- ACROSS: 1. Apple offering; 16. Choice at checkout; 18. “Look at me, ___ helpless …” (opening to “Misty”); 25. Follow relentlessly; 48. ___ pal; 53A. Bean pot; 61. One in civvies who maybe shouldn’t be; 62. Lost traction; 64. Scratch; 65. What a getaway car may be waiting in; 67. Remnants. DOWN: 1. Fly (through); 3. Amble, e.g.; 7. San ___, Italy; 8. “There oughta be ___!”; 22. Not conned by; 25. Main, e.g.; 26. Figure in Magic: The Gathering; 27. Valley ___, redundantly named California community; 35. H.S. math; 36. “Cómo __?”; 37. Gary who invented the Pet Rock; 40. “___ be a pleasure”; 43. Regulated pollutants, for short; 57. Oscar winner Kedrova; 58. Missing the boat, say; 59. Senta’s suitor in “The Flying Dutchman”; 60. Some butters; 62. 1960s event.

02.24.10 -- TRIPLES


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Puzzle by Kenneth J. Berniker, edited by Will Shortz

This last Wednesday crossword of this cold February features an interrelated group of four TRIPLES (36A. 20-, 26-, 46- and 56-Across, homophonically speaking) -- KNICKS NIX NICKS (20A. Hoopsters turn down singer Stevie?), LOSE LOU’S LOOS (26A. Misplace comic Costello’s privies?), METE MEET MEAT (46A. Apportion hamburgers to track runners?) and WRITE RIGHT RITE (56A. Compose the appropriate ceremony?).

Other -- BURN-OUTS (9D. Rat race casualties), ELEMENTS (38D. Things on a table), ESKIMOS (40A. Yup'ik), OH MY and IT’S OK seem a pair (28D. “Heavens!”, 22D. “No harm, no foul”), STRIATE (44D. Make furrows in), the Shortzesque twin-clued RAVIOLI (7D. Filled fare) and TACO (24A. Filled fare).

Mid-size -- ACELA (65A. Speedy Washington-to-Boston link), AVILA and IVANA, ASTRAL (50D. Like some planetarium projections), AT ONCE (6D. On the double), CANCEL (10D. Alternative to “Continue” in an online order), EVINCE (47D. Show clearly), ITALO, LIMIT (37D. The sky, it‘s said), LYSOL, MAGPIE (48D. Heckle or Jeckle of cartoons), METAL, NAVEL, RAN AT, RANKS, RIVET, TINES and TALK TO (5D. Have a word with).

Short stuff -- AMEN, AMOK, ARIB, ARNE, CALI, ELEC, ENL, ETH, IBEX, ILES, HRE, INK and INT and INTO, KILT, LIP, LEOS, NEAP and REAP, NOOK, NYSE, ONE and OTE, OPEC, OROS, OVER, PEKE, RACY, RATS, REEK, SAKI (31A. “The Square Egg“ author), SAD and SAS and SESE and SEE and SPEE (67A. German admiral who went down with the Scharnhorst), STEM, TABU, TACO, TATI, TIM, WIEN, WIPE and Doo WOP.

... and now for this puzzle's VIM and VIVID (51A. Get-up-and-go, 3D. Like some imaginations), a little more Heckle & Jeckle!

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Remaining clues -- ACROSS: 1. Fix firmly; 6. Bust ___ (laugh hard); 10. Colombia’s second-largest city; 14. Walled city of Spain; 15. “Forbidden” perfume brand; 16. Service closer; 17. Focus of some contemplation; 18. Control tower word; 19. Cozy corner; 23. Singing the blues; 25. Taxonomic suffix; 34. Keen on; 35. Maximilian I’s realm: Abbr.; 42. Like a petty officer: Abbr.; 43. Martinique et Corsica; 45. Org. with a closing bell; 52. Candidates for witness protection programs; 53. Secretary Geithner; 60. Austria’s capital, to Austrians; 61. Kind of tide; 63. Grp. Including Nigeria and Venezuela; 64. “Mon Oncle” star; 66. Chinese toy, for short; 68. Custodian’s supply. DOWN: 1. Admiral and others; 2. The first Mrs. Trump; 4. T.V.A. output; 8. Alpine goat; 11. In a frenzy; 122. 13 popes, so far; 13. Tattooist’s supply; 21. Airline in the Star Alliance; 27. Pee Wee Reese, for the Dodgers; 29. Top prizes at the Juegos Olimpicos; 30. Zaire’s Mobutu ___ Seko; 31. Part of many musical notes; 32. Former Minnesota governor Carlson; 33. Piper’s wear; 39. “Get it?”; 41. Cause of a turnover: Abbr.; 49. Haile Selassie’s land: Abbr.; 53. Sticking points; 54. Author Calvino; 55. Like most golf woods, nowadays; 56. Towelette, e.g.; 57. Need a bath badly; 58. Take in; 59. Blue; 60. Doo-___.

02.23.10 -- Alouette

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Puzzle by Joanne Sullivan, edited by Will Shortz

LAND FORMS (68A. Geographical features … or what the circled squares in this puzzle represent), along with the circled squares (in print they’re gray squares) spelling geomorphologic units self-descriptive of their imitative form, e.g., PLATEAU, CLIFF, VALLEY, PLAIN, MESA and MOUNTAIN, are the interrelated group of this great-outdoors Tuesday crossword.

UPDRAFTS (20A. They lift kites), CLIME (16A. Weather of a region), RIA (7D. Narrow inlet), the ROSS / SEA (59D. With 46-Across, Antarctic waters), a single SABOT (10A. Wooden shoe) and a TEPEE (27D. Conical dwelling) add to the hike, while an ESTATE (30D. Brideshead, for one) is in wait for the weary traveler.

ALAS and OOPS (52D. “Lackaday!” and 54D. “Well, that was stupid of me!”) make a rare joint appearance among a group of words that are ILL AT EASE (17A. Fidgety), TENSE (33D. Uptight) including GUILE (50D. Slyness), SPAM (19A. Too much of e-mail) and a YENTA (42A. Busybody) -- SCARING (10D. Halloween activity) stands beside 11D. Edgar ALLAN Poe, but there’s a VALENTINE (15A. Patron of the hearts?) for those who missed the day.

Other entries of length include ALLUDES TO (61A. References), ANNEXES (43D. Extensions, APERATURES (1A. Camera openings), CHAPLAINS (44A. Service leaders in the service), ET ALIAE (26A. And other women: Lat.), LIONESSES (66A. Den mothers), MESS CALLS (34A. “Come and get it” signals in the Army), SELECT (24D. Grade of beef) and TEENAGE (49A. Like most promgoers).

Five-letter -- ACING (32D. Getting an A+ on), 18A. “What’s it all about, ALFIE?”, AMPLE (65A. Having plenty to spare), ASANA (28D. Yoga position), CELIA (51D. Salsa singer Cruz), EMMYS (26D. Outstanding Miniseries and Outstanding Drama Series), ENSUE (8D. Come after), GLACE (36A. Candied, as fruits), LEO IX (60A. Sainted 11th-century pope), MARIA (31D. Mrs. Arnold Schwarzenegger), SASES (67A. Wedding invitation encls.), SEATS (39A. Is a maître d’ for, say).

Short stuff -- AAAS, AVIS, BIFF, CEDE, DEF, DYE, EEN, ELLA, ERIN, GNU, ITEM, “ Well, LAH-di-dah!”, LEAN, LEE, LEMA, LON, LSAT, MAT, MESO, MPAA, MUIR (56A. John who wrote “My First Summer in the Sierra“), “Ready or NOT …”, OMIT, OUT, PALP, REAM, SEEP, SPED, TALL, TEES, TNT, UND, USSR, VASE, VIC, UND, USSR, UTE, VIC, YIN.

Finally, there’s a tune provided with which to travel about those land forms.  It's a grisly little children's song about plucking the feathers off a small bird, a skylark, e.g., 52A. Song whose title is repeated before and after “gentile” in its first line, ALOUETTE -- "Alouette, gentille Alouette, Alouette, je te plumerai, Je te plumerai la tête, Je te plumerai la tête, Et la tête, Et la tête, Alouette, Alouette..." -- for the rest of the ghastly lyrics in English, see HERE. For the lovely melody, HERE.

Skylark, photograph by David Tipling

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Remaining clues -- ACROSS: 1. 22. Bouquet holder; 25. Half of the tai chi symbol; 30. Day’s end, to a poet; 31 Grapping site; 38 Org. that approves trailers; 41. Hibernia; 50. Wildebeest; 51. Grant. DOWN: 1. Dollar competitor; 2. Sensory appendage; 3. First name of the First Lady of Song; 4. 500 sheets; 5. Blast producer; 6. Colorado tribe; 7. Narrow inlet; 9. Trickle (through); 12. Back to the Future” bully; 13. Not mention; 14. Caddie’s bagful; 21. Tint; 22. Trader ___ (restaurant eponym); 23. Some batteries; 29. Exam with sections known as arguments,” for short; 37. Meager; 40. Hightailed it; 45. Founding father Richard Henry ___; 48 No longer fashionable; 53. Champagne Tony of golf; 55. Like most N.B.A. players; 56. Prefix with -zoic; 57. CCCP, in English; 58. Line-___ veto; 62. Cambodia’s ___ Nol; 63. Tristan __ Isolde”; 64. 3, on a telephone.

02.22.20 -- The Bride

The Bride, 1893, Johan Thorn Prikker


Monday, February 22, 2010

Puzzle by Steve Dobis, edited by Will Shortz

SOMETHING (36A. Word that can precede the starts of 18-, 20-, 53- and 58-Across), along with OLD, NEW, BORROWED and BLUE in OLD HICKORY (18A. Nickname for Andrew Jackson), NEW CALEDONIA (20A. Island east of Australia), BORROWED TIME (53A. Dangerous thing to be living on) and BLUE RIBBON (58A. First prize at a fair) are the interrelated group of this Monday crossword -- with the asymmetrically positioned THEME (28D. Parts of a bride’s attire, for this puzzle) as an afterthought.

I do have CONCERNS (4D. People’s worries) for the bride, for she’s AMONGST (1D. Surrounded by) FOOLS (5D. Jesters), a Smart ALEC (wise guy), a Smart ASS (wise guy) and an APE (39D. Gorilla) though hopefully she’s not doomed to the SMELL (50A. What the nose picks up) of a DISMAL (52A. Dreary) GHETTO (33A. Depressed urban area) or an ILLEGAL (46D. Law-breaking) SNARE (27A. Trap) -- but don’t be SHY (13D. Wallflower-ish), be UPBEAT (48D. Optimistic) and TIE (34D. 1-1 or 2-2, e.g.) the knot, there’s a GEMSTONE (38D. Opal or topaz) and a TROVE (23A Treasure chest) for the occasion as the minister GREETS (22A. Says hello to) ALLE (6D. It means everyone to Hans) at the altar -- for richer or poorer, etc., etc.

Guests -- Former vice president DAN Quayle, ENO (49A. Brian of Roxy Music), ESAI (43A. Morales of “La Bamba”), LA VERNE (2D. Shirley’s friend in 1970s-’80s TV), NOAH (16A. Ark builder), not Webster, but the ORATOR (37D. Daniel Webster, for one), a PILOT (63A. Cockpit occupant), RAMONE (42A. Any member of a classic punk rock band), REDD (7D. Comedian Foxx), RIPA (54D. Kelly of morning TV), ROSA (62A. Civil rights pioneer Parks), the SETON Hall Pirates (1953 N.I.T. champs), SID (5D.Caesar whose forum was TV), a SPY (41D. 007, for one) and Mao TSE-tung.

Honeymoon -- will they fly VIA (25D. By way of) ELAL (67A. Carrier to Tel Aviv), a short hop to EGYPT (51A. Pharaoh’s realm) or ANKARA (10D. Turkey’s capital) -- perhaps PAPUA New Guinea or ALAMEDA (45D. Oakland’s county) in stylish EYE WEAR (3D. Goggles and glasses) or somewhere  SEMINAL (44D. Original)?

Rice, tears and tin cans tied to the bumper -- ABET, AMPS, ASALE, ATE, BRA, DENTE, EON, CITRON, DENTE, ETHNO, FARSI, GMA, “Beauty IS IN the eye …“, LOB, MAYO (14A. Sandwich spread) and OLEOS (15A. Sandwich spreads), MOO, NADA (64A. Zippo), OBLA, ODD, ONEG, OVEN, PAR, RADIO, RBIS, SAG, SOHO, TERN, USE, and all wore WOOL (57A. Winter coat material), after all it is February!

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Remaining clues -- ACROSS: 5. Persian tongue; 10. Roadies carry them; 17. Bakery fixture; 31. The “R” in RCA; 32. Shorebird; 61. Force felt on the earth, informally; 65. Aid and ___; 66. Make ___ (do some business). DOWN: 8. TriBeCa neighbor; 11. Neigh : horse :: ___ : cow; 12. Number on a golf course; 19. Lemonlike fruit; 21 Dined; 24. Like 1, 3, 5, 7, etc.; 40. What mattresses do over time; 52. Al ___ (cooked, yet firm); 55. Sluggers’ figs.; 56. Syllables before “di” or “da” in a Beatles song; 58. Push-up provider; 59. High tennis shot; 60. Have no ___ for.

My Funny Valentine

Stańczyk by Jan Matejko


“My Funny Valentine” Puzzle by Fred Piscop, edited by Will Shortz

If you subscribe to The New York Times on-line Premium Crosswords, you are probably familiar with the monthly bonus puzzle. For February, the title of this likeable crossword is “My Funny Valentine” and features "funny" in thirty clues, many of lyrical nature from lovelorn fools and some clues variations of  just... funny!.

Across: 1. Funny fellow, CARD; 15. Jennifer Lopez’s “AIN’T It Funny”; 16. “Second Hand ROSE” (“Funny Girl” tune); 18. “Everybody Ought to Have a MAID” (song from “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”); 23. Funny-tasting, in a way, SOUR; 26. Funny papers units, PANELS; 32. Tickle the funny bone, AMUSE; 33. Funny fellow, RIOT; 34. “The Comic Toolbox: How to Be Funny EVEN If You’re Not”; 38. “Funny you should ASK …”; 39. Knee-SLAPPER (funny joke); 42. “People ARE Funny”; 48. “How to Be Funny” author Steve ALLEN; 54. SANDRA Dee of “That Funny Feeling”; 57. “Babes in ARMS” (“My Funny Valentine” musical); 64. “Funny Way of Laughin” singer Burl IVES; 65. Funny CIDE (2003 Kentucky Derby winner); 66. “Funny Face” director Stanley DONEN.

Down: 1. Mrs. Dithers of the funnies, CORA; 4. “Your mother DRESSES you funny!”; 5. One-LINER (funny bit); 6. Funny bit, SKIT; 9. “Isn’t it funny / How a bear likes honey?” writer, A A MILNE; 14. Like funny money, BOGUS; 6. Jack who said “A funny thing happened to my mother one day: Me”, PAAR; 27. “I AM SO funny!”; 40. “That’s funny,” in chat rooms, LOL; 44. Adam of “Funny People”, SANDLER; 47. Fred or Adele of “Funny Face”, ASTAIRE; 53. “Funny HONEY” (tune from “Chicago”); 63. “That’s NOT funny!”.

… and all by itself -- 2D. Love personified, AMOR

Mars, Venus and Amor, c. 1540, Titian

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