01.23.11 — Cryptic Crossword


Sunday, January 23, 2011

CRYPTIC CROSSWORD by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon, edited by Will Shortz

A fairly friendly cryptic crossword for this Sunday’s second puzzle. Go ahead, take the plunge!

Across — 1. I.R.S. agents wildly making claims (9), ASSERTING, anagram of irs agents; 6. Gets ready to shoot birds in a barnyard (5), COCKS, pun; 9. Dangerous agent added to Italian city lawyer’s retinue (9, 6), ANDROMEDA STRAIN, and Rome DA’s train; 10. Mother was introduced to one of today’s leading playwrights (5), MAMET, ma met Mamet; 11. Board openings in no way complete things for auditors (9), KNOTHOLES, sort of pun, K not holes; 12. Young lady holding unoriginal ceremonies near the end (4, 5), LAST RITES, read trite within lass; 14. Food common at dinner or after one (5), PASTA; 15. The first person in diplomacy silently understood (5), TACIT, I within tact; 17. Sort of stem from “Cheers” conversation (9), ROOTSTALK, pun; 19. Skip around tavern yard and barely get wet? (6-3), SKINNY DIP, skip around inn and yd; 21. Shankar’s ending a blast with Indian music (5), RAGAS, r and a gas; 23. Note: credit card’s wrong, and you were right (1, 5, 9), I STAND CORRECTED, anagram of note credit card’s; 24. Bulletin board items required payment for speakers (5), TACKS, pun; 25. Parent led travels for a distant world (3, 6), RED PLANET, anagram of parent led.

Down — 1. Spook with a large tentacle (5), ALARM, alarm with an arm; 2. Stomach acidosis strangely mixing pain and pleasure (15), SADO-MASOCHISTIC, anagram of stomach acidosis; 3. Bird list contain nothing, ROOSTER, Zero within roster; 4. Improve the condition of creakiest athlete (3-6), ICE-SKATER, anagram of creakiest; 5. Nicaragua now carries Peruvian fertilizer (5), GUANO, guano within Nicaragua now; 6. Heard of tomato sauce? Join the rest of us (5, 2), CATCH UP, pun; 7. Actor who portrayed Henry VIII’s show of mirth in dance (7, 8), CHARLES LAUGHTON, laugh within Charleston; 8. Principal of school and head of staff listen for dangerous fish (4, 5), SANDSHARK, S and S hark; 12. Tough job assignment: unfortunately, that’s life (4, 5), LATE SHIFT, anagram of that’s life; 13. One of today’s leading playwrights reportedly blocked at the opening (9), STOPPERED, homophone of Stoppard; 16. People renting properties with a number of bugs (7), TENANTS, tenants and ten ants; 18. New ruler as strange as something in a dream (7), SURREAL, anagram of ruler as; 20. Delaware company restricted room furnishings (5), DÉCOR, abbreviations of Delaware, company and restricted; 22. Expressing regret in response to an Egyptian president (5), SADAT, well, just sad at.


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Puzzle available on the internet at


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