11.30.10 — From OPTS to TOPS…

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Puzzle by Kristian House, edited by Will Shortz

The July 23, 2007 Times crossword by Randall J. Hartman featured an interrelated group running from POST through TOPS, including POTS, SPOT and STOP contained within LOBSTER POTS, NEW YORK POST, SUN SPOT, BACKSTOP and TANK TOPS. I mused at that time how many times I’ve sat at a STOP sign and contemplated its' anagrams! With that crossword, it was hoped that perhaps in a future puzzle we’d also get OPTS, as many drivers read STOP signs as optional!

Wish fulfilled!, we’ve OPTS today!

  • TOPS THE LIST (20A. Is ranked #1)
  • POST NO BILLS (30A. Sign on a construction site fence)
  • STOP OFF (39A. Brief visit along the way)
  • OPTS OUT (42A. Declines to participate)
  • SPOT REMOVER (48A. Dry cleaner’s fluid)
  • POTS OF MONEY (59A. Megabucks)

Other — ANY HOO (5D. “Moving on then …“), ENFOLD, OCELOTS (7D. Forest felines), RAPPER (49D. Ice-T or Ice Cube), RIVETS, ROSSINI (46D. “William Tell” composer), VIOLIN (50D. Isaac Stern’s instrument) and a few topers — BAR TAB (9D. Toper’s expense), DIPSO (25D. Toper, slangily), FLASK (4D. Toper’s back-pocket item) and a bonus JAG (56A. Drinking binge), but nary a SOUSE or SOT.

Five-letter — AMAZE, BEGIN, CUOMO, DISKS, EQUIP, FREDO (40D. Corleone who broke Michael‘s heart), HONDA, IN USE, KYOTO, LAUDE, Sierra LEONE, ON TAP, ROTOR, SINUS, SOCAL, SPATS, S-STAR (34D. Astronomical red giant), STOMP, SUAVE, TAMER, THRUM, TYPE O.

Short stuff — ALMA mater, ANIL, AQUA, AROD and ARLO, AVOW, CALF, COAT, CORE, DESI, DOC, EER, EMO (10D. Weezer’s music genre), EROS, “Fee fi fo FUM”, GATO (11D. Cat in una casa), GUAM,I’VE Got a Secret”, IZOD, “Surely you JEST”, KAMA Sutra, LAMP, LASS, NEO, NERD, NICE, NOVA (61D. Suddenly bright star), ODD, ORAL, PEAS, RIND, RUR, SAD, SEM, SILO, TAD, TSAR, YEWS and YVES.

I hooked up my accelerator pedal in my car to my brake lights. I hit the gas, people behind me stop, and I'm gone. ~ Steven Wright


Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES — Crossword Puzzles and Games.
Remaining clues — ACROSS: 1. Farm newborn; 5. Yankees’ $275 million man,” informally; 9. Test proctor’s command; 14. Like dental surgery; 15. “Good one!”; 16. Blow the socks off; 18. The “Y” in Y.S.L.; 23. Bizarre; 24. Climate-change protocol city; 25. Wee bit; 27. Disney dwarf with glasses; 35. Lavatory door sign; 37. Part of a school year: Abbr.; 38. Carrots’ plate-mates; 45. Play from which the word “robot” comes; 47. Civic maker; 52. Suffix with slogan; 53. Bummed out; 54. Congested area, sometimes; 64. Rig out; 66. Fodder holder; 67. Part of an apple or the earth; 68. Socially polished; 69. Source of indigo dye; 70. Solemnly swear; 71. Whip-cracker; 72. Outside of a watermelon; 73. Glasgow gal. DOWN: 1. Ulster, for one; 2. Folkie who sang of Alice; 3. Magic item of folklore; 6. Construction fasteners; 8. Arnaz or “I Love Lucy”; 12. Shirt brand; 13. Dweeby sort; 21. Like a universal donor’s blood; 22. Tread heavily; 27. PC storage units; 28. Coming up; 29. Andrew of New York politics; 31. Prefix with con or classical; 33. Honor, on a diploma; 36. Tiffs; 43. Rhythmic humming sound; 51. Wrap around; 55. L.A.’s area, for short; 57. Light blue; 58. Island “where America’s day begins”; 60. Pre-1917 autocrat; 62. Amor’s Greek counterpart; 63. Trees yielding archery bow wood.

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