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.

Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at

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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.

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