08.05.10 — The Midwest and the Mississippi

"Mississippi River Meander Belt: Cape Giradeau, MO–Donaldsonville, LA," from Geological Investigation of the Alluvial Valley of the Lower Mississippi River, by Harold N. Fisk, 1944


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Puzzle by Gary J. Whitehead, edited by Will Shortz

The MIDWEST (66A. What the circled parts of this puzzle comprise) is one of the four geographic regions used by the U. S. Census Bureau in its reporting. It consists of twelve north-central states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin.  In the circles of the puzzle are the postal abbreviations of those states in a geographically correct layout with MISSISSIPPI (18D. It runs through the middle of the 66-Across) flowing down the center of this Thursday clever stunt crossword.

The circled abbreviations of the states more or less commands the eclectic nature of the crossword’s entries, none of which abbreviations are contained in the two longest, A CHRISTMAS STORY (17A. 1983 Jean Shepherd film memoir) and TRANSITION POINT (62A. Segue). Out in left field is ONTARIO (15A. Its official bird is the great northern loon).

Other across — 1. Denounce, CONDEMN; 8. Painters Frank and Joseph, STELLAS 16. Nasty fall, WIPE-OUT; 37. Kind of code, BINARY; 39. Noxious, MIASMAL; 42. Temper, as metal, ANNEAL; 65. Halo, AUREOLE; 67. Knobby, GNARLED; 68. At great length, ON AND ON.

Down — 4. Moved like a minnow, DARTED; 8. What lawn mowers make, SWATHS; 11. “Open up!“, LET ME IN; 23. Inactive, DORMANT; 25. Dentist, at times, DRILLER; 43. “Rich Man, Poor Man” Emmy winner, ED ASNER; 47. In Bartlett’s, e.g., QUOTED; 49. Cast off, DISOWN, 57. L‘UOMO Vogue, Italian fashion magazine.

Five-letter — ATEUP, CAPRI, EDINA, EMILE, HAYDN (46A. “The Palindrome“ Symphony composer), HYENA, IPANA, MICAH, MISDO, MISSY, MOPUP, “Another OP’NIN‘, Another Show“ (“Kiss Me Kate“ song), ORION, RICOH, SAITH, SHADE, SONNY, TISHA.

Short stuff — AIL, ANA, ARUN, ASS, ATTN, AURI, BAL, CAN, COAL, EDY, EPS, Verdi’s “ERI tu“, HIED, INSO, IPO, KARA, LEST, LOOM, MIX and MMIX, NOTA, NTHS, ONCE, ORI, PDA, PIE, QIX, RANI, RON, SAKS, SHIA, SILL, SOL, STAG, and the crossword’s other river, STYX (14D. Milton called it “The flood of deadly hate“) — no thanks, I’ll take the Mississippi!


Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at

THE NEW YORK TIMES — Crossword Puzzles and Games.

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Remaining clues — ACROSS: 19. Out of concern that; 20. Doth speak; 21. Year of the swine flu epidemic; 22. Last name in ice cream; 24. Summer refuge; 26. Botch; 29. Pompous sort; 30. Canon competitor; 34. Wall St. happening; 35. Hindu noble; 38. Preserve; 41. Slapstick prop; 44. Place for a pot; 45. Silver of the silver screen; 47. Popular 1980s arcade game based on simple geometry; 48. Minnesota city where part of “Fargo” was filmed; 50. Really enjoyed; 52. “Either you ___ …”; 53. Bergdorf competitor; 56. Finish cleaning, say; 58. Branch of Islam. DOWN: 1. Kentucky resource; 2. First word of “The Raven”; 3. Unspecified degrees; 6. Young girl; 7. “___ chance!”; 9. ___ B’Av, Jewish day of fasting; 10. Some records, for short; 12. Hang over; 13. Hearing: Prefix; 26. Prophet who prophesied that the Savior would come from Bethlehem; 27. Classic toothpaste brand; 28. One of the Corleones; 29. Literary olio; 31. Italian tourist destination; 32. Whom Artemis loved and unwittingly killed; 33. Coyote relative; 36. Not be well; 37. French court event; 40. This and that; 53.One way to go to a party; 54. Make ___ for it; 55. ___ Zor-El, Supergirl’s birth name; 59. Got a move on; 60. “___ doing …”; 61. Memo heading; 63. G; 64. iPhone, e.g., briefly.

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