03.20.11 — CHICK LIT

Black billed cuckoo by John James Audubon, 1828


Sunday, March 20, 2011

CHICK LIT, Puzzle by Brendan Emmett Quigley, edited by Will Shortz

A perfectly nice idea for an interrelated group is ruined with clues that lay an egg in this flightless Sunday crossword. Does anyone on this planet memorize publication dates in relation to titles that include the names of bird species? Or is there really a list of same numbered from 1 to 8? No. The clues for the group might just as well, read “Clue,” or on the positive, why not a clue that makes a tiny peck of sense. This crossword leaves the nest empty, abandoning it to a small band of squirrels overly-enamored of their own dexterity at some nut-gathering. Additionally, the clues for the crosses, which could (and should) be of help in revealing the avian group across answers are even more cloy. Is The Times publishing crosswords for its readers or for a small clique congratulating themselves at their expertise at obfuscation? There’s a point where clever becomes weary. There was little to like in this turkey!

  • THE PELICAN BRIEF; 23A. Chick lit book #1 (1992)
  • UGLY DUCKLING; 33A. Chick lit book #2, with “The” (1843)
  • THE STERILE CUCKOO; 39A. Chick lit book #3 (1965)
  • SIX DAYS OF THE CONDOR; 59A. Chick lit book #4 (1974)
  • TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD; 69A. Chick lit book #5 (1960)
  • THE MALTESE FALCON; 87A. Chick lit book #6 (1930)
  • LONESOME DOVE; 95A. Chick lit book #7 (1985)
  • WHERE EAGLES DARE; 109A. Chick lit book #8 (1967)

Other — ALP (91D. Locale for many a gondola), BRUITED (116A. Spread, as rumors), ELIOT (46A. “A Cooking Egg” poet), ESPNEWS (119A. Game highlights shower), EXCULPATE (77D. Clear of charges), HALOS (117A. Some church overhead?), HAM ON RYE (83D. Classic sandwich), LAP (4D. Down, with “up”?), LARCH (95D. Conifer with durable wood), NOH (82A. Theater with fans), OSSEOUS (118A. Bony), OTHER THAN (2D. Besides), PETE (1D. Rose high in some people’s estimation), POT LUCK (1A. Dinner party), RAMPAGE (30A. A nut might go on one), THE LATEST (3D. Gossip fodder), WAR CLOUD (11D. First horse to compete in all three Triple Crown), WOOD SCREW (78D. Carpentry fastener).


Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES — Crossword Puzzles and Games.
Remaining clues — ACROSS: 8. Accompanied on a ticket; 15. ___ Works; 20. Biofuel option; 21. Size of a football field, roughly; 22. “Wyoming Outlaw,” e.g.; 25. Italy’s longest river; 26. ___ Pie Island (artist commune on the Thames); 27. Turned right; 28. The Browns, on sports tickers; 29. Headline; 36. Bear witness; 37. ___ Franco (watch brand); 38. “Down with thee!”; 44. ___ D. Young (Time’s Man of the Year in 1929); 48. Two-time N.B.A. M.V.P. Steve); 49.Kerfuffles; 50. Emphatic acceptance; 5. Italian city where pizza was invented; 53. Mich. Neighbor; 54. Clumsy handler; 56. P. R. locale; 58. Brand introduced by Philip Morris in 1975; 64. Iron Man coo-creator; 67. Where 76-Across may be worn; 68. Affixes on; 74. “A Dog of Flanders” writer; 75. Pip of “Great Expectations,” e.g.; 76. 67-Across jewelry; 77. Fold member; 80. Says; 84. Political commentator Colmes; 85. Nerve cell projection; 86. Opponent of Napoleon; 92. Start to production?; 93. Tel Aviv’s ___ Park; 94. Refer (to); 101. Group in “Sex and the City,” e.g.; 103. Some washers and dryers; 104. Wine container; 105. Philadelphia’s ___ Whiteman Bridge; 108. Environmental pollutant for short; 108. Snarl; 114. Bracelet attachment; 115. Christmas or Yom Kippur; 116. Spread, as rumors. — DOWN: 6. School in the Patriot League; 7. Stage light; 8. Artery; 9. True-crime writer Rule; 10. Home of Agate Fossil Beds Natl. Monument; 12. With cold feeling; 13. Stuck; 14. Famous bathrobe wearer, informally;15. Folk guitarist Leo; 16. 1988 Indy 500 winner; 17. Wombs; 18. O___ the Short, early king of the Franks; 19. Power cord feature; 24. Chess opening?; 29. “What moves you” sloganeer; 31. Mosquito protection; 32. Reno setting: Abbr.; 33. 180s; 34. Vitamin and supplement chain; 35. Night light?; 36. ___ time (never); 37. Old or morning follower; 40. Harsh treatment; 41. “If at first, the ___ is not absurd, there is no hope for it”: Einstein; 42. Ulster or Norfolk; 43. Friends and neighbors; 44. Broached; 45. A quarrel; 47. Dodge S.U.V.; 52. Affairs; 54. Part of a support group; 55. Skating maneuver; 57. Femur or tibia; 59. Rock singer Dee; 60. “Just a ___”; 61. Bookcase material; 62. When most movies open: Abbr.; 63. YouTube selection; 64. Bar selection; 65. Hypes; 68. Dog named after a Japanese prefecture; 70. Werewolf feature; 71. Lakers star Lamar; 72. Flame, e.g.; 73. Impersonate, in a way; 79. -ess alternative; 81. 2005 World Series team, for short; 84. End in ___; 85. Part of many ristorante dish names; 88. Shift’s end?; 89. Book before Num.; 90. Hesitates; 92. Whence the phrase “I will both lay me down in peace and sleep”; 96. Home of ConAgra; 97. Seagoing; 98. Dia de los Reyes month; 99. Group think?; 100. Pacers’ contests?; 101. [blech!]; 102. “Let’s ___ There” (old NBC slogan); 105. Maze choices; 107. Tanning salon fixtures; 109. Doctor ___ from the planet Gallifrey; 110. Samurai’s home; 111. Evian, e.g.; 112. “Yo!”; 113. Hue and cry.


Anonymous said...

I totally concur this was lame like a parrot and it's clipped wings.

Anonymous said...

My crossword in my paper the Daily Herald has the title "Click It". It threw me off track. Eventually, I got it but not without difficulty.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was a great puzzle and I guess I am the only one on the planet to relate the publishing dates to the titles. Thanks for the hint. "G"