A to Z


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Friday, November 21, 2014

Puzzle by Kevin Christian / Edited by Will Shortz

The representation of the entire alphabet is the main feature of this Friday crossword. 

Across — 1. Having a big itch, JONESING; 9. Giant jet, AIRBUS; 15, EMOTICON; 16. “Swann’s Way” novelist, PROUST; 17. Marinara, e.g., RED SAUCE; 18. When to put all you eggs in one basket?, EASTER; 19. Late legend in countdowns, KASEM; 20. Bell part, LIP; 22. Fertiliser ingredient, NITRE; 23. Neighbor of 10-Down, IRAQ; 24. Underlying, BASAL; 26. “Country Girl” memoirist O’Brien, EDNA; 27. Capital player, briefly, NAT; 28. Fire, PASSION; 30. Soy, north of Mexico, I AM; 31. Elves, in poetry, FAYS; 32. Heat loss, maybe?, NBA GAME; 34. Home of minor-league baseball’s Brewers, HELENA; 37. Like lizards and lizardfish, SCALED; 38. Tennis since 1968, OPEN ERA; 40. “Give this A TRY”; 41. It can be dry or sparkling, WIT; 42. Title woman of a 1977 Neil Diamond hit, DESIREE; 44. Org. of sisters, SOR; 47. Bit of design info, SPEC; 49. Not still, ASTIR; 50. Where a ducktail tapers, NAPE; 51. Paroxysm, THROE; 53. Looney Tunes devil, for short, TAZ; 54. Ceilings, informally, MAXES; 55. Refuse to leave alone, HARASS; 57. Farmers’ market frequenter, maybe, LOCAVORE; 59. Novelist Shreve and others, ANITAS; 60. Hoosier, INDIANAN: 61. Key figure?, TYPIST; 62. Spark, CATALYST.

Down — 1. Close-fitting, sleeveless jacket, JERKIN; 2. 1998 Masters champ Mark O’MEARA; 3. Acknowledges without a sound, NODS AT; 4. Footnote abr., ET SEQ; 5. Neighbor of Indiana and China in Risk, SIAM; 6. Post-O.R. stop, maybe, ICU; 7. What a boor has, NO CLASS; 8. Rock with colored bands, GNEISS; 9. Boor, APE; 10. Neighbor of 23-Across, IRAN; 11. Good name for an optimist?, ROSIE; 12. Call from the rear?, BUTT-DIAL; 13. Avatar accompanier, USER NAME; 14. Like music on Pandora Radio, STREAMED; 21. Hassle, PAIN; 24. Giants’ environs, BAY AREA; 25. Source of the delicacy tomalley, LOBSTER; 28. Like man mirrors, PANED; 29. Nautilus shell feature, NACRE; 31. Home for a sedge wren, FEN; 33. Like the out crowd?, GAY; 34. “Come again?”, HOW’S THAT; 35. Moment when the fog lifts, EPIPHANY; 36. “Go for it!”, LET ‘ER RIP; 40. Major copper exporter, ARIZONA; 43. Slanted, ITALIC; 44. State bordering Poland, SAXONY; 45. Unlikely fare for philistines, OPERAS; 46. Mind a lot, RESENT; 48. Kinkajou’s kin, COATI; 50. Like some forces, NAVAL; 52. Those, in Toledo, ESAS; 54. Hermes’ mother, MAIA; 56. Boomer for nearly 35 yrs., SST; 58. Setting for many card games, CDT.

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11.20.14 — Z



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Puzzle by Timothy Polin / Edited by Will Shortz

ZORRO (44D. Subject of this puzzle), DON DIEGO / DE LA VEGA (5D. With 37-Down, real name of 44-Down), THE CURSE OF / CAPISTRANO (4D. With 29-Down, first story to feature 44-Down [1919]), and a note to the crossword, “After completing the puzzle, connect nine appropriate letters in order to discover an image associated with 44-Down,”  constitute the main feature of this Thursday crossword.

Other — AVARICE (50A. “The spur of industry,“ per David Hume), BENZINE (24D. Petroleum ether), CAIN (29A. Initial offer?), DEICIDE (20A. What Set committed when he slew Osiris), I’M COLD (8A. “Brr-r-r!”), KERF (42A. Slit made with a saw), LEONINE (28D. Having a sense of pride?), LIZARD (54A. Skink, e.g.), M AND M’S (43d. Little green ones come from Mars), MINDLESSLY (43A. How zombies act), NEWS AGENT (33A. British paper vendor), NINE-SIDED (40A. Like Baha’i houses of worship), SNORKELERS (25A. They’re hooked up to breathing tubes).


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11.19.14 — No — Two Ways About It



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Puzzle by Jacob Stulberg / Edited by Will Shortz

THERE’S NO TWO / WAYS ABOUT IT (18A. With 64-Across, words of certainty … or a hint to 23-, 40- and 56-Across), along with three answers beginning with NO and ending with ON, e.g., NORA EPHRON (23A. “Silkwood“ screenwriter), NON-PRESCRIPTION (40A. Like Advil vis-à-vis Vicodin) and NOMINATION (58A. Convention outcome) constitutes the interrelated group of this Wednesday crossword.

Other — CALIPH (21D. Self-proclaimed leader of ISIS, e.g.), ELYSE (54D. “Family Ties” mother), EMIGRANT (22A. One headed for Ellis Island, say), HOT TEA (4D. Cold sufferer’s drink), KOMODO dragon (huge lizard), MAURA Tierney of “ER”, OKLAHOMA (61A. Where the Joads were driven from), PRIE-dieu, TNT (30D. Discharge letters?), UKASE (53D. Czar’s edict).

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11.18.14 — Power


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Puzzle by Jacob McDermott / Edited by Will Shortz


POWER COUPLE (36A. Beyoncé and Jay-Z, e.g. … or a hint to 17-, 30-, 44- and 61-Across) and four answers where both words can use POWER, constitutes the interrelated group of this bright Tuesday crossword:

SUPERSTAR (17A. Luminary among luminaries), e.g., superpower and star power
FULL STEAM (30A. Flat out), full power and steam power
HIGH HORSE (44A. Snooty attitude), high power and horsepower
MUSCLEMAN (61A. Bodybuilder, for one), muscle power and manpower

Other — CLAM UP (49D. Stop talking), IT’S EASY (52A. Accidentally say), KIGALI (50D. Capital of Rwanda), KOOKS (58A. Wackos), LET OFF and LET SLIP (6D. Excuse from responsibility; 53A. Accidentally say), NOUGAT (10D. Candy bar filling), NAUSEA (2D. Feeling after a roller coaster ride), PISTOL (38D. Energetic sort), SNARK (9A. Sarcasm), SOCKS (48A. Low pair?), SPANKS (51D. Hits bottom?), UNCAS (31D. Last of the Mohicans in “The Last of the Mohicans”).

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11.17.14 — Twins

Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967, Diane Arbus 

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Puzzle by Tom McCoy / Edited by Will Shortz

TWINS (67A. Minnesota baseball team … or what 18-, 30-, 44- and 53-Across all are), KOFI ANNAN (18A. Ban Ki-moon’s predecessor at the U.N.), ASHTON KUTCHER (30A. “Two and a Half Men” co-star starting in 2011), MARIO ANDRETTI (44A. Sporting champion with a drive for success?) and VIN DIESEL (53A. “The Fast and the Furious” co-star) constitutes the interrelated group of this Monday crossword.

Other — CHICK MAGNET (25D. Sexy guy), MONSTROSITY (11D. Freak of nature), PHARAOH (5D. Pyramid schemer?), PRECEPT (43D. General rule), SAUNTER (27A. Mosey), YALTA (66A. Crimean conference site), YENTA (17A. Busybody), YES YES (49A. “Of course you’re right!”).

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11.16.14 — The Possessed — the Acrostic



Sunday, November 16, 2014

ACROSTIC, Puzzle by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon

Edited by Will Shortz


Love and the novel, the individual in history, the existential plight of the graduate student: all find their place in The Possessed. Literally and metaphorically following the footsteps of her favorite authors, Batuman searches for the answers to the big questions in the details of lived experience, combining fresh readings of the great Russians, from Pushkin to Platonov, with the sad and funny stories of the lives they continue to influence—including her own.  Amazon.com 

The quotation:  EVERY MORNING I CALLED AEROFLOT TO ASK ABOUT MY SUITCASE.  “OH, IT’S YOU,” SIGHED THE CLERK.  “WHEN WE FIND THE SUITCASE WE WILL SEND IT TO YOU.  IN THE MEANTIME, ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH OUR RUSSIAN PHRASE ‘RESIGNATION OF THE SOUL’?”

The author’s name and the title of the work:  ELIF BATUMAN, ‘THE POSSESSED”

The defined words:

A. Oprah Winfrey, relative to Rosa Parks in 2005, EULOGIST
B. Musician whose first band was the Quarrymen, LENNON
C. Reptile with a spiny back, IGUANA
D. Cookout for sectarians (2 wds.), FISH FRY
E. Windy conversationalist, BLOWHARD
F. Coiled fossil shell of a mollusk, AMMONITE
G. Fail to control one’s temper (3 wds.), THROW A FIT
H. Prop for a circus clown, UNICYCLE
I. Title for Camus or Sartre, MONSIEUR
J. Tune from which “Love Me Tender” derives (2 wds.), AURA LEE
K. Saint from the Lucian town of Myra, NICHOLAS
L. Hard-to-solve puzzle, TOUGHIE
M. Abominable, HEINOUS
N. Like a photographic memory, EIDETIC
O. Part of a desktop setup, PRINTER
P. One way of thinking or laughing (2 wds.), OUT LOUD
Q. Cat breed in “Lady and the Tramp”, SIAMESE
R. Go all to pieces, SHATTER
S. In bygone days, but no longer, ERSTWHILE
T. Means of capital conversion? (2 wds.), SHIFT KEY
U. One hoping for a free ride, STOWAWAY
V. Domain of a prince, EMIRATE
W. Author of “The Idiot”, DOSTOEVSKY

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11.16.14 — Don't Quit Your Day Job


Max Schreck as the Count in “Nosferatu”
based on Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

“Don’t Quit Your Day Job”  Puzzle by Andrew J. Ries
Edited by Will Shortz

The last names of eight notable personages twisted by the clue to each provides humorous results in this friendly Sunday crossword:

WILLIAM HURT (23A. Oscar winner who would make a lousy anesthesiologist?)
JOHNNY ROTTEN (33A. Punk rocker who would make a lousy grocer?)
BRAM STOKER (39A. Horror author who would make a lousy firefighter?)
NICOLAS CAGE (57A. Action star who would make a lousy free-range farmer?)
GEORGE BURNS (76A. Bygone comic who would make a lousy baker?)
BOBBY SHORT (90A. Cabaret pianist who would make a lousy electrician?)
GLORIA ALLRED (97A. Lawyer who would make a lousy anti-Communist leader?)
STEVIE NICKS (112A. Singer who would make a lousy mohel?)


Other — ARE WE DONE (41D. “Can I leave now?“); AROMA (26D. Drifter outside a coffee shop?); ATTENDEES (27A. Who’s there?); BAUXITE (91D. Main source of aluminum); BUG ZAPPER (77D. Barbecue fryer?), CHIME IN ON (29D. Add one’s two cents about); EX-HIPPIES (80D. Many boomers, now), FAT AS A PIG (110A. More than plump); GRAD PHOTO (46D. Yearbook feature); HAPPY MEAL (12D. Toy holder); IN A CAST (51D. Immobilized, as one’s arm); OAXACA (93D. Neighbor of Chiapas); SELECTMAN (4D. New England town official); SHOELAST (59D. Cobbler’s aid); SNEES (86A. Blades that sound like an allergic reaction); SPIN A YARN (63D. Fabulize).

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11.15.14 — Eureka!


Archimedes then took to the streets naked, so excited by his discovery that he had forgotten to dress, crying "Eureka!" (Greek: "εὕρηκα!," meaning "I have found it!"). ~ Wikipedia 

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Puzzle by Peter Wentz / Edited by Will Shortz


Across — 1. “Eureka!”, SO THAT’S IT; 10. Home tech product discontinued in 1987, IBM PC; 15. Pants extender?, KNEE PATCH; 16. Request for a hero, NO OIL; 17. Source of inspiration for Sir Isaac Newton, famously, APPLE TREE; 18. Locked up, FROZE; 19. Drudges, TOILS; 20. “Illness” affecting the wealthy, AFFLUENZA; 22. What a gate change might affect: Abbr., ETD; 23. Join in the attack, PILE ON; 24. Washed out, WAN; 25. Nereus, Proteus, Glaucus and Phorcys, to the ancient Greeks, SEA GODS; 27. A little night music, TAPS; 28. “Can this be?!”, WHAT THE; 30. “Y” athlete, YALIE; 31. Speeding, TOO FAST; 32. Hit, CLOCKED; 34. “The Painter of Sunflowers” setting, ARLES; 35. “That’s terrible!”, BOO HISS; 36. Classic Jaguars, XKES; 37. Who said “Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood”, T S ELIOT; 39. Life force, in meditation, CHI; 40. Chops meat, MUTTON; 41. Terrain maker, GMC; 44. Animal with a sweet tooth, HONEY BEAR; 46. First video game character to be honored with a figure in the Hollywood Wax Museum, MARIO; 48. Make a bank withdrawal?, ERODE; 49. Author who was the title subject of the Best Picture of 1937, EMILE ZOLA; 51. Grant presenter?, ASNER; 52. Endgame, LAST MOVES; 53. Freezing temps, TEENS; 54. Social butterfly, e.g., EXTROVERT.

Down — 1. Emulate a King or Senator, SKATE: 2. High, in a way, ON POT; 3. Muted, TEPID; 4. “A half-filled auditorium,” to Frost, HELL; 5. Some early astronauts, APES; 6. Gang symbol, for short, TAT; 7. Plain-spoken, STRAIGHT; 8. Something fallen off a shelf?, ICE FLOE; 9. Market leader, THE FED; 10. Not seriously, IN FUN; 11. Hollow out, BORE; 12. Excursions for some rock collectors?, MOON WALKS; 13. Certain party deliveries, PIZZA PIES; 14. Did a week-long juice diet, say, CLEANSED; 21. LOS Polos Hermanos (“Breaking Bad” restaurant); 23. Some dog rewards, PATS; 25. Good ones are never cracked, SAFES; 26. HHH, ETAS; 27. Silent, TACIT; 28. Tireless sort, WORK HORSE; 29. Ace, HOLE IN ONE; 30. High-seas cry, YO HO; 31. Al Capone, famously, TAX CHEAT; 32. One doing the highlights?, COLORIST; 33. Cut off the back, LOIN; 35. Loser in a 1970s-’80s “war”, BETAMAX; 37. Sight in an ice cream shop, TUB; 38. Literary contemporary of Addison, STEELE; 40. Bristol’s partner in pharmaceuticals, MYERS; 41. Place for a 17-Across, GROVE; 43. Meet someone?, MILER; 43. Put in minimal effort, COAST; 45. Locale painted in the Sistine Chapel, EDEN; 46. Note, MEMO; 47. Eastern Europe’s Sea of AZOV; 50. Printer setting: Abbr., LTR.

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11.14.14 — The Friday Crossword


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Friday, November 14, 2014

Puzzle by Joe Krozel / Edited by Will Shortz

Across — 1. APP Store (de but of 2008); 4. Space on a bookshelf?, SCI-FI; 9. Bush found in Florida, JEB; 12. “TOO funny!”; 13. Stray away, ROAM OFF; 15. Short coming?, ARR; 16. Boring thing, AWL; 17. Part of a bridge truss, END POST; 18. Apology opener, MEA; 19. 10th-century pope, LEO VIII; 21. War room topic, TACTICS; 23. “The Alphabet” artist, ERTÉ;  24. ALL BY itself; 26. Sponges, say, WETS; 27. Fly in the face of someone?, PEST; 29. Mau LOA (forever, in Hawaii); 30. It may have a high grain content, SILO; 31. B, for one, CAPITAL LETTER; 34. Bb, for one, MUSICAL NOTE; 35. Bb6, for one, CHESS MOVE; 36. Score at the half?, DECADE; 38. “You’ve got mail! And such, ALERTS; 41. Cry of innocence, NOT I; 42. Caesar’s force, VIS; 44. Notable 1979 exile, SHAH; 46. Invisible thing that’s inflatable, EGO; 47. They often succeed, PRINCES; 51. States on a game board, e.g.: Abbr., AVE; 52. Soap of a medical nature, GENERAL HOSPITAL; 55. Fancy invitation feature, RAISED LETTERING; 56. They might catch some rays, ORCAS; 57. Some 24/7 facilities, ERS; 58. Spanish for “basket”, CESTA.

Down — 1. “Ben-Hur: A TALE of the Christ”; 2. Basis of the Nintendo Wii’s, POWER PC; 3. It has four mounted players, POLO TEAM; 4. Gandhi who heads the Indian National Congress, SONIA; 5. Longtime luxury sedan, CADILLAC SEVILLE; 6. Sitter hitter, maybe, IMP; 7. Pat Patriot and Billy Buffalo, FOOTBALL MASCOTS; 8. Hypothetical example opener, IF SAY; 9. JAMIE LEE Curtis of the screen; 10. Player with Legos, for example, ERECTOR; 11. Authority figures, BRASS; 13. Big outdoor gear retailer, REI; 14. What might break people’s trust?: Abbr., FTC; 20. Discoverer of the Amazon’s mouth, VESPUCCI; 22. Giggles, TWITTERS; 25. “Copacabana” showgirl and others, LOLAS; 28. TISHA b’Av (annual Jewish fast day); 30. Place for a glowing element, STOVE; 32. 20-20, e.g., TIED; 33. Hydroxyl-bearing, ENOL; 36. Turned-over part of a leaf, DOG EAR; 37. Alternative to Avia, E-TONIC; 39. See 49-Down, THAT IS; 40. Wise one, SAVANT; 41. Opposite of blanco, NEGRO; 43. “IN HER Shoes” (2005 Cameron Diaz flm); 45. Frequent Wyeth model, HELGA; 47. One aboard Marine One: Abbr., PREZ; 48. “Wicked!”, RAD; 49. Id EST (39-Down); 50. Provide technical details for, SPEC; 53. Spanish demonstrative, ESA; 54. Burning feeling, IRE.

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