12.23.11 — What's Today?

Voyager 2 photomosaic of Triton's sub-Neptunian hemisphere. The bright, slightly pinkish, south polar cap at bottom is composed of nitrogen and methane ice and is streaked by dust deposits left by nitrogen gas geysers. The mostly darker region above it includes Triton's "cantaloupe terrain" and cryovolcanic and tectonic features. Near the lower right limb are several dark maculae ("strange spots"). ~ Wikipedia


Friday, December 23, 2011

Puzzle by Patrick Berry / Edited by Will Shortz

The holiday season continues to be snubbed in this week’s Times crosswords with today’s generic offering of wordplay.

The Bulgarian martyresses by Konstantin Makovsky, 1877 Atrocities of bashibazouks in Bulgarian Orthodox Church  ~ Sacrilege, Wikipedia

Across — 1. Couldn’t stop obsessing about, GOT HUNG UPON; 12. Bolted, MADE A RUN FOR IT; 14. Nehru jackets have them, MANDARIN COLLARS; 16. Decides to try, INDICTS; 17. Branch of mathematics, LOGIC; 18. Man of steel?, STATUE; 19. Add numbers to, say, PAGINATE; 22. Flower named for its resemblance to a turban, TULIP; 23. Typesetting no-no, WIDOW; 24. Paul in politics, RON; 25. Bread box?, SAFE; 26. Renaissance painter Botticelli, SANDRO; 27. Member of a caste system, ANT; 28. Stealing from the collection plate, e.g., SACRILEGE; 31. Org. whose roots go back to the Civil War, IRS; 34. Violent upheaval, THROES; 35. Maintain, AVER; 39. “Evita” narrator, CHE; 40. Change for the better, AMEND; 41. “I’m very impressed!”, BRAVO; 42. Insects, HEXAPODS; 44. Trees sought by leaf peepers, MAPLES; 45. Twig used in wickerwork, OSIER; 46. Murderer in P.D.Q. Bach’s spoof opera “A Little Nightmare Music”, SALIERI; 47. Game you can’t lose twice, RUSSIAN ROULETTE; 51. Nationwide Series events, STOCK CAR RACES; 52. Initiated, as an undertaking, SPEARHEADED.

A Rhesus monkey: Full of hate, a monkey's most powerful emotion. (photograph by OskarN on flickr.com)

Down1. Visitor at the beginning of “The Hobbit”, GANDALF; 2. Material for the Guinness Book, ODDITIES; 3. Part of a service, TEA CUP; 4. “The Luck of Roaring Camp” writer. HARTE; 5. “Trinity” novelist, URIS; 6. Poor Clares member, NUN; 7. Seller of supplements, GNC; 8. Overhead light, perhaps, UFO; 9. It grows older and then croaks, POLLIWOG; 10. Woollike acrylic fiber, ORLON; 11. River flowing between two Great Lakes, NIAGARA; 12. Birthplace of Virgil, MANTUA; 13. Largest moon in the solar system with a retrograde orbit, TRITON; 14. Morning weather phenomena, MISTS; 15. Trail, SCENT; 19. Steering system components, PINIONS; 20. Slaphappy, say, ADDLED; 21. Sticks, GORES; 23. Battled, WARRED; 26. Nobody, SCHMO; 29. How pyrrhic victories are won, AT A PRICE; 31. Blood shed on Mount Olympus, ICHOR; 32. Popular test animal in medical research, RHESUS; 33. They put half the world down, SEXISTS; 36. Did Jeeves’s job, VALETED; 37. Turns out, EVERTS; 38. Albert’s love in “Bye Bye Birdie”, ROSIE; 41. Irving Berlin’s “Always,” e.g., BALLAD; 43. Creator of many talking animals, AESOP; 44. Actress Tierney, MAURA; 46. Cross, SORE; 48. Rap sheet abbr., AKA; 49. Manufacturer ofr bar code scanners, NCR; 50. Stadium shout, RAH.


"What's to-day?" cried Scrooge, calling downward to a boy in Sunday clothes, who perhaps had loitered in to look about him.

"Eh?" returned the boy, with all his might of wonder.

"What's to-day, my fine fellow?" said Scrooge.

"To-day?" replied the boy. "Why, Christmas Day."

"It's Christmas Day!" said Scrooge to himself. "I haven't missed it.

~ A Chistmas Carol by Charles Dickens


Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at

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