07.01.07 -- Diamond

Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY

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Sunday, July 1, 2007

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"DIAMOND JUBILEE" -- Puzzle by Nancy Salomon and Bill Zais, edited by Will Shortz

Puzzle in a puzzle -- squares with a circle form a baseball diamond looking from behind home plate -- In addition to the regular down and across clues, there are four clues under the heading "DIAMOND" (starting at*) (noted in electronic version as "starting at third square of 109-Across"):

NE - "Now I've seen everything!" -- THATSA 1st

NW - Swipes a base -- STEALS 2nd

SW - Show -- FINISH 3rd
NE - Didn't go out -- STAYED Home

The NE, NW, SW and SE (always absurd puzzle location directions) are placed oddly as though one would be standing at "third base" facing north, instead of home plate where the asterisk is situated -- a more clear directive would be LR, UR, UL and LL, which allows one to use C, CR, CL, UC, DC, DCR, DCL, etc. In any event, one gets the idea, even though the "ballfield" is askew. Oh, and perhaps someone can enlighten me as to why "Jubilee" is part of the puzzle's title. I suppose there's a reason, right?

Other baseball-related entries are the puns FIELDTRIPS (22A Cause of some baseball errors?); PARKRANGER (23A Texas ballplayer?); GRASSSKIRT (116A Diamond border?); and GROUNDBEEF (121A Complaint about a baseball playing area?) -- one could also add ELIMINATED (20A Knocked out) off in left field (UR). Keeping an eye on the field near home plate is KUHN (114D Former baseball commissioner Bowie), maybe expecting a GRENADE (107A Pin holder) to be thrown from foul territory down left to get the last out. To the right of the pitcher's mound -- WHOSON1st (69A Classic Abbott and Costello bit) provides distraction, and over at third -- BAT3rd (49D Precede the cleanup spot) is waiting to GOHome (112A "Get out of here!"). Baseball terminology is everywhere in the language of the USAUSA (15D Scream for the Dream Team)!

Just the kind of puzzle one needs around the All-Star game and the 4th of July -- nothing esoteric or intellectual or with any aspirations of being so -- just a good old-fashioned "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" crossword -- well, maybe there were a few off-base entries, such as OPERASERIA (21A Many an Allessandro Scarlatti work), not exactly a tail-gate entry. PIEDATERRE (3A Temporary residence), SILHOUETTE (126A It can be a relief) and NGAIO (32D Mystery writer Marsh) are also from left field.

Sick clue for ANKARA (38D Turkey heads can be found here)!

SILHOUETTE (126A It can be a relief) -- from Ingmar Bergman's "The Seventh Seal"

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The New York Times Crossword Puzzle solution above is by the author of this blog and does not guarantee accuracy. If you find errors or omissions, you are more than welcome to make note of same in the Comments section of this post -- any corrections found necessary will be executed promptly upon verification.
Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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06.30.07 -- Monkey Business

TITI (8D Furry tree-dweller of the Amazon)
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Saturday, June 30, 2007

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Puzzle by Byron Walden, edited by Will Shortz
A devious and devilish Saturday stumper!
Haven’t seen before or if I have, I don‘t remember:
SOWONESWILDOATS (32A Be profligate, in a way)
GUTTERBALL (Alley oops)
GIGGLETEST (5D Check for credibility, in modern lingo)
AMUDARYA (35D Aral Sea Feeder)
LEELEE (41D Sobieski of “Joan of Arc”)
DABO (52D Actress Maryam)
TITI (8D Furry tree-dweller of the Amazon)

Seen before or if I haven‘t, thought I did: ERAS, LACE, SITE, NEAT, PESO, CODERS, URBAN, ALTO, POSH, ARENAS, INURED, ASHY, etc.
Long-way-to-go-for-so-little clues:
1A. Where to find the Mercury line and the Girdle of Venus -- PALM
15A. Novel that ends “By noon, the island had gone down in the horizon; and all before us was the wide Pacific” -- OMOO
42A. He wrote “The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of” -- PASCAL
43D. Most-nominated Best Actor (eight times) never to win an Oscar -- OTOOLE
(O'Toole received a 2002 honorary award.)
51A DARK and 54A ARTS
Deviousness:
27D. Result of too many rusty nails on the road? -- DUI
21A Antarctica’s Prine ____ Mountains -- OLAV
55A. Lots to offer -- REAL ESTATE
57A. Bank holdings? -- TELEPHONES
34D. Line struck through by a winner -- OOO
5A Small wonders -- GIFTEDKIDS
16A. Dirt -- INSIDEINFO
52A It can keep ball fields dry -- ALCOHOLBAN
Initial-ized and abbreviated stuff: ALER, OOO, DEA, BYOB, FSTAR, DFLATS, UPCS, SHO, HWY, USROUTE, MIL
Some other language stuff: 49A. “Tout le monde en ____” (“Everyone’s talking about it”: Fr.) -- PARLE; 10D. Austrian article -- DER; 40A. 1961 Film also known as “The Job” - ILPOSTO
Good stack but dull stuff: ALCOHOLBAN, REALESTATE, TELEPHONES
Splits: DARK (51A With 54-Across, black magic) ARTS (54A See 51-Across) and HWY (31D See 44-Across: Abbr.) or USROUTE (44A Numbered 31-Down)
Remind you of anyone? -- ILLBRED (25A Uncouth); UGLYSCENES (28D Melees); SNEAKSBY (37D Beats narrowly and unexpectedly) -- give 'em the old KIBOSH (11D Squelch) -- adios, that SOLVES (14A Does the math) everything when you find him/her INALIE (12D Unpleasant way to catch one's spouse)!

UPLATE (44D Burning the midnight oil) -- what's a U-plate?

Leftovers: AMARILLO (2D Title city in a 1983 George Strait hit); DUCHESS (27A Title for Camilla); YEOMAN (39A Kind of service); LOCALLAW (3D Ordinance); MOES (4D TV Tavern) -- Moe's goes well with CLARET, GRAIN, BYOB, DUI and ALCOHOLBAN, maybe even TATERTOT (36D Starchy bite) -- but I'll go now, especially since a control-freak asked me yesterday "what have you been smoking?" -- "nothing ma'am, doctor's orders -- but I do stay UPLATE!"

Goodnight!

SOWEONESWILDOATS (32A Be profligate, in a way)
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Read more about today's puzzle at Crossword Nerdity.

The New York Times Crossword Puzzle solution above is by the author of this blog and does not guarantee accuracy. If you find errors or omissions, you are more than welcome to make note of same in the Comments section of this post -- any corrections found necessary will be executed promptly upon verification.

Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games

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06.29.07 -- Through A Glass Darkly

Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker
Friday, June 29, 2007
Puzzle by Mike Nothnagel, edited by Will Shortz
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Across:
1 Sitcom character with a leather jacket that’s now in the Smithsonian
8. The New Yorker cartoonist William -- STEIG, one of the greats.
13. Taxing preinitiation period -- been there, done that.
15. Childish retort -- ditto.
17. Have no dinner companions -- fine with me.
18. Make -- Webster’s devotes a whole page of fine print to this word -- take your pick.
19. They’re numbered in golf -- mmm, is there an actual printed number?
20. Fasten firmly -- never used INFIX, ever!
22. Prefix with lateral -- ISO, new to me.
23. One prepared for church: Abbr. -- not person, thing.
24. Quintillionth: Prefix -- oh boy, give me a break!
25. Thai currency -- old crossword standard.
26. 2004 Brad Pitt film -- starts out good, ends up in shambles.
28. Agitate -- CHURN is an interesting twist.
30. Scream -- how many ways can RIOT be clued?
31. Felicitous - APT, so overused -- sometimes an city unit.
33. 1974 Chicago hit -- another "never-knew".
35. 2002 sci-fi role for Hayden Christensen -- who doesn’t know?
39. Teacher’s request of a publisher -- or a FREECOPY.
40. Capitol Records owner -- strictly from happenstance.
41. Dancer Limon -- ole!
42. Moves laboriously -- very subjective.
44. New York Cosmos’ sports org. -- happenstance (or “fill” as some call it)
48. Linear, briefly -- ONED = one-dimensional (more happenstance).
49. Send a high-tech message -- very today clue, I guess.
50. Kind of season -- well, either that or ETE.
51. They, to Therese -- desperate happenstance (or fill), no other way to clue it.
52. Classic arcade game character who hopped around a pyramid -- never saw the game.
54. “David _____” (1934 Will Rogers film) -- biopic.
56. Seat of Hillsborough County, N.H. -- on the way to Manchester and then the Lakes.
58. Nintendo game with exercises for mental acuity -- at least I’d heard of QBERT.
60. Treats similar to Mallomars -- never had either.
61. Local election campaign staple -- all over Long Island!
62. Basketball defense -- PRESS, goes well with 19A IRONS.
63. Some shorts -- SPEEDOS, the ugliest most useless ridiculous item of clothing ever conceived!

Down:
1. Believer - just take away the “a” from athiest.
2. One catching some waves? -- should have put three questions marks!
3. California air station where Nixon landed after resigning in 1974 -- again, ole!
4. Glazed desert -- FLAN, SMORES, Mallomars, someone has a sweet tooth.
5. Mouse catchers -- they catch other things too, but this way we think its CATS.
6. Latin leader? -- who wants CHE?
7. Crown -- after THEFONZ, what else -- Z as in ZENITH!
8. Garment worn over a choli -- just in case you never heard of a SARI.
9. Bygone carnivore -- ho hum.
10. “I should ___ die with pity”: King Lear -- long way to go for EEN.
11. Drawing medium -- and for tattoos.
12. Ends one’s travels -- well, hopefully GOESHOME.
14. Omaha and Spokane were once in it -- you thought cities?
16. Competitor in a harness - you thought jackalope?
21. Initial venture - maybe Wall Street, no -- think moat.
24. Ad directive -- for the buyer, ACTNOW!
25. Player of Dr. Kiley on “Marcus Welby, M.D.” -- another tv thing I never saw.
27. Ran on and on -- like this commentary.
29. Giants are in it: Abbr. -- who doesn’t know it’s going to be sports?
32. Snap -- oh, yes, clever!
34. Flight - on the…
35. Makes contact with -- nice straightforward clue and entry.
36. Glower? -- not pout or stare -- but shine!
37. One with a taxing job -- not difficult, dutiful.
38. Avalanche -- this definition was a little in left field.
43. Hollywood crowd? -- very good!
45. Not stout -- I remember now, the song: “Give me some men, some stout-hearted men” etc.
46. Ernie Bushmiller comics character -- not ROLLO.
47. Light measures -- straightforward.
52. Survey part: Abbr. -- not land, door-to-door.
53. Follower of the bottom line? -- in music.
54. Screen - not scan, not cinema, not interview, not bug-proof, not, not, etc.
55. “As I Lay Dying” character -- just happenstance “fill”
57. It ended when Francis II abdicated: Abbr. -- ditto.
59. Ernst contemporary -- ditto.
INDIAINK (11D Drawing medium)
The New York Times Crossword Puzzle solution above is by the author of this blog and does not guarantee accuracy. If you find errors or omissions, you are more than welcome to make note of same in the Comments section of this post -- any corrections found necessary will be executed promptly upon verification.
Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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06.28.07 -- Garbo Laughs

Thursday, June 28, 2007
Puzzle by Joseph Crowley, edited by Will Shortz
Oh my word! I haven’t laughed so much over a crossword puzzle in my life! There’s enough food and frolic in this creation to cause one to Throw AFIT (58D) of gastronomical proportions!
Roller coaster RIDES (29A Carnival sights), water CHUTE (44A Way Down), COBRA (47D U.S. attack helicopter), heights of the ALPES (16D Suisse peaks), everything all ASTIR (24A Circulating) in an ADO (58A Foofaraw), that SLAPS (11D “Snap out of it!“ actions) ONES (60D Kind of place) TAIL (26D Detective, at times) down to the WIRE (2D Finish line maybe), with a visit to Coney Island and Nathan’s to OUTEAT (53A Beat at a hot dog contest) with a stomach full of MIXEDGREENSALAD (14A Colorful opening course), ORANGEMARMALADE (17A Colorful spread), RAINBOW (37A With 39-Across, colorful dessert) SHERBET (39A See 37-Across), a BLUEBERRYMUFFIN (61A Colorful breakfast food), and REDBEANSANDRICE (64A Colorful entrĂ©e) with SUDS (57D Beer, slangily) --- Hurry, hurry, hurry, step right up and get your tickets at the KIOSK (22D Mall station) -- DAMN (52A Curse), try to TEAR (55D Wrest) me from my comfortable DEN (4D Place to display trophies) maybe with a game of REVERSI (43D Game on an 8x8 board) this July 4th -- IWONT (33D Obstreperous child’s cry) move an inch -- call me a DWEEB (45D Nerd), food and motion don't mix, something will come up -- DUH (30D “Well, obviously!”).
I’ll just light a GEM (18A Sparkler) and sing a few bars of ISOUR (33A “A Mighty Fortress ____ God [hymn]) or turn on the RADIO (12D Part of a beach kit) and listen fondly to 9A The Beatles’INMY Life” or an ETUDE (49D Chopin piece)!

Or better yet, draw the shades of the bunker and roll a film with my favorite SWEDE (1A Greta Garbo, by birth)!
Greta Garbo as "Queen Christina" -- In what many call her greatest screen portrayal, the legendary Greta Garbo stars as the 17th century Queen of Sweden who shocked all of Europe when she relinquished her throne for love.
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The New York Times Crossword Puzzle solution above is by the author of this blog and does not guarantee accuracy. If you find errors or omissions, you are more than welcome to make note of same in the Comments section of this post -- any corrections found necessary will be executed promptly upon verification.
Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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06.27.07 -- Man

Wednesday, June 27, 2007
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Puzzle by Barbara Olson, edited by Will Shortz
Five inter-related entries MIDDLEMAN (34A Go-between, and a clue to 17-, 24-, 49- and 57-Across) along with SALAMANDERS (17A Newts and such), DISMANTLE (24A Take apart), PERMANENT (49A Salon job), and KILIMANJARO (57A Locale of Uhuru Peak) provide very little bonus in the course of solving this nice little Wednesday puzzle.
Bracketed by BASSETS (1D Stout-legged hounds) upper left and SEADOGS (43D Old salts) lower right, the grid is filled with delight and dementia.
ORACLES (2D Sources of wisdom), AHAB (5D Ill-fated captain), SON (6D Trinity member), STPAULS (37D Wren's cathedral) STRAD (37A Prized violin, briefly), THEMES (44A School papers), and OLIVIA (60A Lover of Cesario, in "Twelfth Night") provide fodder for TAS (41A Univ. staffers).
PORTA (52A ____ Potti), SNAILS (45D Garden pests), SCARABS (20A Nocturnal beetle), CONJOBS (48D Swindler's work) and SPAM (40A Canned fare since 1937) -- SSS (29A Deflating sound). OOP (16A Alley ____), ITT (19A "The Addams Family" cousin) and MIDDLEMAN provide comic relief.
TRESS (8D Long lock) brings to mind Rapunzel while SPUN (47D Worked like Rumpelstiltskin) and BAAS (55D Lambs' laments) POINTTO (Indicate, in a way) the NAIVE (51D Dewey-eyed) of HEART (32D Soul mate?) of childhood. Food fare includes ECLAIRS (3D Bakery treats), TARTARE (41D Rarer than rare), ONION (22D Something to cry over?), SPAM and SNAILS -- HOORAH (15A "Yippee!").
I'm all ASEA (53A Totally confused), but this puzzle hits THESPOT (38D X marks it)!
Illustrations: Top: Evolution of Man -- 34A with 17A, 24A, 49A and 57A. First row -- 43D, 37D, 37A; second 19A, 34A, 16A; third 8D, 55D, 47D; and pictured directly above, 57A.
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For today's cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
The New York Times Crossword Puzzle solution above is by the author of this blog and does not guarantee accuracy. If you find errors or omissions, you are more than welcome to make note of same in the Comments section of this post -- any corrections found necessary will be executed promptly upon verification.
Puzzle available on the internet at
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06.26.07 -- Sunrise Sunset

Apollo Sunrise Credit: Apollo 12 Crew, NASA
Explanation: In November of 1969, homeward bound aboard the "Yankee Clipper" command module, the Apollo 12 astronauts took this dramatic photograph of the Sun emerging from behind the Earth. From this distant perspective, part of the solar disk peers over the Earth's limb, its direct light producing the jewel like glint while sunlight scattered by the atmosphere creates the thin bright crescent.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007
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Puzzle by Ray Fontenot, edited by Will Shortz
The inter-related entries of four film titles -- TEQUILASUNRISE (20A First showing at an all-day film festival? [1988]), REDSKYATMORNING (25A Second showing [1970]), DOGDAYAFTERNOON (44A Third showing [1975]), AFTERTHESUNSET (49A Final showing [2004]) -- are the main feature of this Tuesday crossword.
ELIA (1A Director Kazan) and ABBE (5A Actress Lane of old TV) are the only other film references in the crossword; however, BARON (41A Von Richthofen’s title) has hit the silver screen on a few occasions, including a video game. ERATO (26D Muse with a lyre) can be involved from time to time, and certainly ARIES (34A First sign, astrologically) will have something to say about the sun’s appearance.
Some interesting crossings and juxtapositions: AXED (49D Pinked-slipped) with AXIS (57A Graph line); ALA (47A Taking after) shares the same line with AAA (48A Motorists’ org.); ETA (40A Greek H) follows ATE (39A Packed away); ACRE (11D Plot unit) and TRACT (14a Developer’s land) vie for space; TRUE (51D Loyal) and FALSE (42A Disloyal) are Shortzesque clues, and also recall the TRUEFALSETEST entry of yesterday’s puzzle, with ANANIAS (43D Biblical liar) emanating from the “A” in FALSE and NOTSO (32D “That’s a lie!”) sharing its “S“.
Words with “U” endings include ECRU (8D Neutral shade), MENU (60A Beanery handout), FRAU (42D Herr’s mate); ESAU (53D Biblical twin) and the pluralized EMUS (64A Avian sources of meat), although I’m not sure I’d take part in such a repast.
Illustrations: 44A, 27D, 7D
Anticipating the night, BATS (7D Upside-down sleepers) dangle(s) dead center at the top of the puzzle, backward reading STAB; and then there's the missing tail end of batting champ DIMAG (27D Joltin’ Joe) nearly turning his name phoenitically into Damage (52D HARM)? WHY (12D Tot’s repeated query) -- must be desperate fill, because the use is quite RARE (22D Red in the middle) -- "red"?, it's a SUNSET!
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For today's cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
The New York Times Crossword Puzzle solution above is by the author of this blog and does not guarantee accuracy. If you find errors or omissions, you are more than welcome to make note of same in the Comments section of this post -- any corrections found necessary will be executed promptly upon verification.
Puzzle available on the internet at
If you subscribe to home delivery of The New York Times you are eligible to access the daily crossword via The New York Times - Times Reader, without additional charge, as part of your home delivery subscription.

06.25.07 -- Elena Verdugo

Monday, June 25, 2007

Puzzle by Kurt Mengel and Jan-Michele Gianette, edited by Will Shortz
Four inter-related entries, PASSFAILCLASS (20A Course option), YESNOANSWER (37A Response option), ONOFFSWITCH (44A Electric light option), and TRUEFALSETEST (59A Quiz option) are the collective feature of this Monday back-to-work crossword puzzle.
Delightfully presided over by ELENA (18A Actress Verdugo), the familiar standards of crossword puzzles flash by quickly -- ACHE, IRON, ESS, AGA, TATAR, TUTU, MINOR, ALE STE, ROLES, CLIO, ALLAH, APSO, HAMS, FATSO, TEEN, EYES, STATE, ERNE, SHIPS, CARAT, AROSE, TENSED, AREA, DELI, ABEL, STALE, ASPS, HOT, ETS, PETS, ANTIC, OATH, UFO, ATOMS, FRAU, HIRE, LEAFS, CHE, LAY, ALTA, LAST, SHOE, ROTATE, LEPER, ESSEN and SCAT have all appeared in the New York Times crossword puzzles during the month of June several times each.

UFO (41D Carrier of 13-Down) and ETS (13D Travelers from another galaxy, for short) claim their puzzle birthright with ease and grace. ADAMS (5A Scott who draws “Dilbert”) gets a new cluing, SWATH (32A Space cut by a scythe) and SHREW (27D “The Taming of the _____”) share the lispers favorites list with a generous sprinkling of esses throughout. CHASEAWAY (11D Shoo off) and ATONETIME (36D Back then) are the long downs. EFLAT (54 Key of Mozart’s Symphony No. 39) echoes yesterday’s C SHARP MINOR (the acrostic), while the slim division between a MINOR (48A Person under 21) and a TEEN (70A Person under 20) is duly noted, with PETS (29D Consumers of Purina and Iams food) and PATS (19A Loving strokes) bringing a warm smile.

ISAW (30D Vidi in “Veni, vidi, vici”) and see -- as the EYES (71A Optometrists’ concerns) of the solver rest at LAST (62D Final) on STONE (58A Gem) -- indeed, a Monday gem!

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For today’s cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
The New York Times Crossword Puzzle solution above is by the author of this blog and does not guarantee accuracy. If you find errors or omissions, you are more than welcome to make note of same in the Comments section of this post -- any corrections found necessary will be executed promptly upon verification.
Puzzle available on the internet at
If you subscribe to home delivery of The New York Times you are eligible to access the daily crossword via The New York Times - Times Reader, without additional charge, as part of your home delivery subscription.