The Saturday Crossword

Reggie Rockstone ... pioneer of hiplife,
Africa's homemade take on hip-hop

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Puzzle by Kevin G. Der and Ian Livengood
Edited by Will Shortz

Across — 1. Where much grass grows, POT FARMS; 9. Moolah, WAMPUM; 15. Jazz/funk fusion genre, AFROBEAT; 16. Creature with a crest, IGUANA; 17. Enterprise headquarters, STAR BASE: 18. Tap, CALL ON; 19. Place for a sucker, TENTACLE; 20. Faiths, CREEDS; 21. Rosetta Stone symbol, ANKH; 22. Betty’s sister on “Ugly Betty”, HILDA; 24. One ferried by Charon, SOUL; 25. Plato portrayer in “Rebel Without a Cause”, MINEO: 26. Org. seeking to catch 11-Down, DEA; 27. Cork’s place, maybe, POPGUN; 31. Tameness, DOCILITY; 35. In abundance, APLENTY; 37. “Le Bourgeois Gentlhomme” playwright, MOLIERE; 38. Positive response to “How ya doin’?”, REAL GOOD; 40. Sherlock Holmes cover-up?, ULSTER; 41. Rugby four-pointer, TRY; 41. Flying female fighters in W.W. II, WASPS;44. Orange side dish, YAMS; 46. Hip, with “in”, CLUED; 47. Lolcats, e.g., MEME; 51. Kind of bullet, TRACER; 53. Before making one’s debut?, PRENATAL; 55. Photoshop command, ROTATE; 56. Cross words?, HATE MAIL; 57. Tip-offs, maybe, ALERTS; 58. Nexus 7 rival, IPAD MINI; 59. “No doubt!”, YES YES; 60. Important figure in business, NET SALES.

Down — 1. Tagliatelle, e.g., PASTA; 2. A lot, OFTEN; 3. One delivering a knockout, informally, TRANK; 4. Into the open, FORTH; 5. Ones repeating “ do” in 1976?, ABBA; 6. Access, as a pocket, REACH INTO; 7. Literary/film critic Janet MASLIN; 8. Girded, STEELED; 9. Practice with the Book of Shadows, WICCA; 10. Stabilizing kitchen supply, AGAR; 11. See 26-Across, MULES; 12. Faddish food regimen, PALEO DIET; 13. Italian count?, UNO DUE TRE; 14. Murderer, MANSLAYER; 23. Dr. DOOM (archenemy of the Fantastic Four); 25. MUNG bean; 27. Caterer’s preparation, PARTY TRAY; 28. Figaro, e.g., OPERA ROLE; 29. Ones with recess appointments?, PLAYMATES; 30. What keeps a part apart?, GEL; 32. Power outage?, COUP D’ETAT; 33. Shangri-la’s lack, ILLS; 34. Symbol of purity, in Lille, LIS; 36. Caterwaul, YOWL; 39. Heir apparent to a French king, DAUPHIN; 43. Wear for Clint Eastwood in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, SERAPE; 45. Blood-curdling, SCARY; 46. Garden CRESS; 47. Her “little baby love clambake,” in a 1967 Elvis song, MAMMA; 48. Cyber Monday activity, ET AL; 49. Home for Deer Isle and Moosehead Lake, MAINE; 50. Dock ELLIS, Pirate who claimed to have thrown a no-hitter on LSD; 52. Novel’s end?, ETTE; 54. “NEDS Declassified” (old Nickelodeon show).

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THE NEW YORK TIMES — Crossword Puzzles and Games.

12.19.14 — More Is Less

John Howard Davies as Oliver Twist
in the 1948 film by David Lean

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Puzzle by Brad Wilbur and Doug Peterson
Edited by Will Shortz

Across — 1. There’s the rub!, SPA; 4. Novel subtitled “The Parish Boy’s Progress”, OLIVER TWIST; 15. Lot, TON; 16. Underground waves?, PIRATE RADIO; 17. Animal on the Michigan state flag, ELK; 18. Is beyond compare, STANDS ALONE; 19. Plea opener, NOLO; 21. Heading from Okla. City to Tulsa, ENE; 22. Gown maker’s supply, TULLES; 23. Tests that accommodate claustrophobes, OPEN MRIS; 25. “Ella giammai m’AMO” (Verdi aria); 26. Pretend to be, POSE AS; 27. Casts a wide net?, TRAWLS; 30. Rarin’ to go, ANTSY; 31. Lot, maybe, ACRE; 33. Tiresias in “Oedipus Rex,”, e.g., SEER; 35. Heading: Abbr., DIR; 36. Major media event of ‘95, O J TRIAL; 39. “Star Wars” boy, informally, ANI; 40 Vacuum maintainer, SEAL; 42. “Scimitar-horned” creature, ORYX; 43. Find a spot for, say, ADD IN; 45. Flowering shrub whose name comes from the Greek for “coil”, SPIREA; 47. Chorus of approval, BRAVOS; 48. Big name n chips, NEC; 49. Play house?, TOY STORE; 51. Coin with a picture of un rey, PESETA; 54. About 28% of the U.N.: Abbr., AFR; 55. Indigestion cause, ACID; 56. Fictional school bully with henchmen named Crabbe and Goyle, DRACO MALFOY; 59. Volume 1 starter, maybe, A TO; 60. Practice swizzles and twizzles, say, FIGURE SKATE; 61. Dr. Watson portrayer on CBS’s “Elementary”, LIU; 62. Track star of 1977, SEATTLE SLEW; 63. Craft that must overcome wave drag, n brief, SST.

Down — 1. Quaint office supply, STENOPADS; 2. Ones involved in horseplay?, POLO PONIES; 3. Stiletto attachment, ANKLE STRAP; 4. Ending with psy-; OPS; 5. Some bottled water purchases, LITERS; 6. Almost any character n Jon Stewart’s “Rosewater”, RAN; 7. Turbine blades, VANES; 8. Gate approx., ETD; 9. Where you might see someone walk the dog, REST AREA; 10. TRAUMA center; 11. Indulges oneself, in a way, WALLOWS; 12. Fan fixation, IDOL; 13. 0, for 180 degrees, SINE; 14. Tips of wingtips, TOES; 20. Common notes, ONES; 24. Subway option, MAYO; 27. Cereal that reverted to spherical shapes n 2007, TRIX; 28. Frontman’s assignment, LEAD VOCALS; 29. Certain drop in motivation, SENORITIS; 31. Gillette brand, ATRA; 32. “Extra! Extra!,” e.g., CRY; 34. No longer sudsy, say, RINSED OUT; 37. Pack animal?, JOE CAMEL; 38. Never-seen neighbor on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, LARS; 41. Black-and-white engraving, LINE CUT; 44. Table filler, DATA; 46. Shoot back, RETORT; 47. Mechanically, BY ROTE; 49. Part of SALT, TALKS; 50. Some haggis ingredients, OFFAL; 51. Many email attachments, PDFS; 52. County name in three states, ERIE; 53. Novel format, SAGA; 57. Enzyme suffix, ASE; 58. Tree whose name sounds like a letter of the alphabet, YEW.

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12.18.14 — Pig Latin


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Puzzle by Timothy Polin / Edited by Will Shortz

Five asterisked clues, X-ray, Ashtray, eBay, Airway, along with PIG LATIN (62A. Hinto to interpreting the five starred clues) constitutes the main feature of this lackluster Thursday crossword:

JALOPIES (17A. *X-ray)
RIP TO PIECES (24A. *Ashtray)
LIVE AND BREATHE (32A. *e-Bay)
KNUCKLE DRAGGER (41A. *Outlay)
DETERIORATE (48A. *Airway)

Other — EXTRAS (19A. Ones who are never billed?), ON THE STAGE (10D. Performing, say), REDUCED FAT (30D. Attribute of the 1%?), SHEMP (6D. One of the original Stooges), STEEPLE (8D. Carillon holder).

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12.17.14 — Figures of Speech


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Puzzle by Stu Ockman / Edited by Will Shortz

A hyperbole, an oxymoron, a litotes and a simile,, different examples of linguistic tropes, constitute the interrelated group of this Wednesday crossword:

IT’LL TAKE FOREVER (17A. Hyperbole for an arduous task)
TAKE HASTE SLOWLY (22A. Oxymoron for cautious travel)
NOT UNATTRACTIVE (45A. Litotes for beauty)
AS THICK AS A BRICK (50A. Simile for denseness)

Other — FIVE WS (11D. Reporter‘squestions, collectively), WELL-KNIT (3D. Tightly interlocked), GALLEONS (4D. Many Spanish Armada ships), REST AREA (34D. Place to stop and text, perhaps), OLD IRISH (35D. Ancestor of Scottish Gaelic and Manx) and ZIP IT (31D. “Hush!”).

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12.16.14 — The Bee Gees


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Puzzle by Joel D. Lafargue / Edited by Will Shortz

THE BEE GEES (60A. Trio whose members start 17-, 26- and 44-Across), GIBB (66A. Last name of 60-Across), along with BARRY, ROBIN and MAURICE constitute the main feature of this neat Tuesday crossword:

BARRY WHITE (17A. R&B singer backed by the Love Unlimited Orchestra)
ROBIN WILLIAMS (26A. Late comic genius)
MAURICE SENDAK (44a. Chldren’s author/illustrator with a National Medal of Arts)

Other — Jane ADDAMS, ANSELM (9D. Canterbury saint), BULL MARKET (28d. Something you won‘t see many bears in), CANTEENS (21A. Thermos alternatives), DO OK (33A. Scrape by); EARTH (14A. Wod after Mother or Google), GEWGAW (5d. Showy trinket), HARD TASK (51A. No easy chore), KEPI 53D, French army headwear), NERD, (3D. One whose favorite website is Sporcle, say), SAPOR (63A. Flavor), SKIN (19A. Banana discard), SUPERB  (47D. Top-notch), TAKE A STAND (10D. Declare something boldly).

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12.15.14 — S to P



Monday, December 15, 2014

Puzzle by Zhouqin Burnikel and Dennis Ryall
Edited by Will Shortz

STOP [S to P] (69A. “Freeze!” … or, when broken into three parts, how the answer for each of the six starred clues goes), along with the six starred clues and their answers, constitutes the main feature of this fairly likeable Monday crossword:

SLAP (1A. *Obstetrician’s action on a newborn’s behind)
STANLEY CUP (18A. *Goal an N.H.L.’ER SHOOTS FOR?)
SKINNY DIPPING (20A. *Go swimming in one’s birthday suit)
SKI TRIP (40A. *Visit to Vail, maybe)
STEEL TRAP (56A. *Sharp mind, figuratively)
SUMMER CAMP (61A. *Setting for “Meatballs” or “Friday the 13th”)


Other — STP (36D. Indy letters), ALFA ROMEO (34D. Sports car with a Spider model), RACE AHEAD (11D. Quickly take the lead).

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12.14.14 — Musgrave Ritual — the Acrostic

Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

ACROSTIC, Puzzle by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon
Edited by Will Shortz

This Sunday’s intriguing acrostic draws a quotation from “The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual” by Arthur Conan Doyle.

The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual is a short story by Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring his fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. The story was originally published in Strand Magazine in 1893, and was collected later in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Unlike the majority of Holmes stories, the main narrator is not Doctor Watson, but Sherlock Holmes himself. With Watson providing an introduction, the story-within-a-story is a classic example of a frame tale. It is one of the earliest recorded cases investigated by Holmes, and establishes his problem solving skills. "The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual" shares elements with two Edgar Allan Poe tales: "The Gold Bug" and "The Cask of Amontillado".In 1927, Conan Doyle ranked the story at 11th place on his top 12 Holmes stories list. ~ Amazon.com  

The quotation:  ALTHOUGH… METHODICAL… [HE] KEEPS HIS CIGARS IN THE COAL-SCUTTLE, HIS TOBACCO IN THE TOE END OF A PERSIAN SLIPPER, AND HIS UNANSWERED CORRESPONDENCE TRANSFIXED BY A JACK-KNIFE INTO THE VERY CENTER OF HIS WOODEN MANTELPIECE

The author’s name the title of the work:  A C DOYLE, THE MUSGRAVE RITUAL

The defined words:

A. First and worst among adversaries, ARCHFOE
B. Director of a crew, COXSWAIN
C. British form of “Phooey!” (2 wds.), DASH IT
D. Cloud, fog, muddy, perplex, OBFUSCATE
E. Encouraging cry to foxhounds, YOICKS
F. Relax, LOOSEN
G. Given some improvement or magnification, ENHANCES
H. Onetime game craze with falling figures, TETRIX
I. Jazz Age term for a drug  addict, HOPHEAD
J. Items on which deposit may be paid, EMPTIES
K. Impressively grand, MAJESTIC
L. Like the loser of a medieval contest, UNHORSED
M. Detective whose name literally means “fair-haired”, SHERLOCK
N. n. Go see a therapist, say (2 wds.), GET HELP
O. Notable player of the quote’s subject, RATHBONE
P. Chopper named for a tribe, APACHE
O. Made to seem the bad guy, VILIFIED
R. Whimsical or odd sort, ECCENTRIC
S. Kept a sub going?, RENEWED
T. First small suggestion of comprehension, INKLINGS
U. “Charge of the Light Brigade” poet, TENNYSON
V. In no position to lie (2 wds.), UNDER OATH
W. A little something preprandial, APERITIF   
X. Battle of LEPANTO, 1561 naval engagement that was a setback for Ottoman Turks


The Full paragraph of the quotation: An anomaly which often struck me in the character of my friend Sherlock Holmes was that, although in his methods of thought he was the neatest and most methodical of mankind, and although also he affected a certain quiet primness of dress, he was none the less in his personal habits one of the most untidy men that ever drove a fellow-lodger to distraction. Not that I am in the least conventional in that respect myself. The rough-and-tumble work in Afghanistan, coming on the top of a natural Bohemianism of disposition, has made me rather more lax than befits a medical man. But with me there is a limit, and when I find a man who keeps his cigars in the coal-scuttle, his tobacco in the toe end of a Persian slipper, and his unanswered correspondence transfixed by a jack-knife into the very centre of his wooden mantelpiece, then I begin to give myself virtuous airs. I have always held, too, that pistol practice should be distinctly an open-air pastime; and when Holmes, in one of his queer humors, would sit in an arm-chair with his hair-trigger and a hundred Boxer cartridges, and proceed to adorn the opposite wall with a patriotic V. R. done in bullet-pocks, I felt strongly that neither the atmosphere nor the appearance of our room was improved by it.  ~ The Musgrave Ritual 

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