Blank Check


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Puzzle by Howard Barkin / Edited by Will Shortz

BLANK CHECK (59A. Complete freedom … and a hint to each half of the answer to each starred clue), BODY DOUBLE (18A. *Movie stand-in), BACKGROUND SOUND (29A. *Crowd noise, for example) and PERSONAL BAGGAGE (46A. *One’s physical or emotional burdens) constitute the interrelated group of this Wednesday crossword.

Other — A KEY (58D. Solution t the classic riddle “What force or strength cannot get through, / I, with gentle touch can do”), AGA KHAN (45D. Shiite leader who clams direct descent from Muhammad), ASKANCE (43D. With suspicion, as a look), BOAR (1A. Truffle-seeking beast), DARKENS (57A. What the moon does during a lunar eclipse), EQUATOR (10D. Where it’s always zero degrees), RUN COLD (24D. What your blood may do when you’re frightened), SWAK (52A. Love-letter words), TIME OUT (20A. Toddler’s banishment to a corner, say), TOCCATA (38A. Bach work).

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07.22.14 — Across and Down


“I’m Wishing” is the first song featured in
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ~ Disney Wiki 

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Puzzle by Joel Fagliano / Edited by Will Shortz


Seven crossing entries with one meaning across and another down, accompanied by cross-referenced clues, constitutes the interrelated group of this crafty Tuesday crossword:


  • LIGHT (6A. With 8-down, lime shade), with GREEN  (8D. With 6-Across, approve), light green and green-light.
  • MAN (16A. With 12-Down, not natural), MADE (12D. With 16-Across, mob inductee), man-made, made man.
  • HEAD (33A. With 23-Down, deli product), CHEESE (23D. With 33-Across fan of the N.F.L.’s Packers), headcheese, cheesehead.
  • WISHING (38A. With 38-Down, place to drop a coin), WELL (38D. With 38-Across, desiring happiness for someone), wishing well, well-wishing.
  • ARM (40A. With 31-Down, jazz legend), STRONG (31D. With 40-Across, coerce), [Louis] Armstrong, strong-arm.
  • PAN (58A. With 54-Down, waffle alternative), CAKE (54D. With 58-Across, bakery container), pancake, cake pan.
  • BREAK (59A. With 57-Down, part of a morning routine), FAST (57D. With 59-Across, basketball tactic), breakfast, fast break.



Other — BANDLEADER (3D. Count Basie, e.g.), BEATEN DOWN (30D. Demoralized), DIRT BIKES (35D. Off-road two-wheelers), DRONE BEE (20A. One in service to the queen?), IN CROWD (4D. Exclusive group), LASERDISC (6D. Bygone video format), LLAMA (52D. Fleeced beast), REFILLED (56A. Like gas tanks and many prescriptions, again and again), SPIED ON (44D. Watched through binoculars, say).


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07.21.14— Blue Monday


Pablo Picasso, Blue Nude, 1902

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Puzzle by Matt Fuchs / Edited by Will Shortz


PRIVATE PARTS (55A. What unmentionables cover … or what 20-, 27- and 44-Across all begin with?), HIDDEN VALLEY (20A. Big name in ranch dressing), SECRET GARDEN (27A. Classic of English children’s literature, with “The”) and CLASSIFIED AD (44A. Small paid item in the back of a newspaper) constitute the interrelated group of this Monday crossword.

Other — CLAM BAKE (18A. New England cookout), CREW CUT (38A. Military hairstyle), DECADES (7D. Divisions of a century), ESP and ESPYS, JOURNAL (36A. Diary), PICASSO (42D. Painter with a Blue Period), WEB SITES (58A. YouTube and Yahoo!).


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07.20.14 — Moving Parts


Land of junk, asylum insane journal

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

“Moving Parts” — Puzzle by Eric Berlin
Edited by Will Shortz


A note heads this crossword:  The answer to each starred clue must have two consecutive letters removed before it is written into the grid.  These letters will move to a pair of circles elsewhere in the puzzle.  (In all cases, new words will be formed.)  The nine letter pairs, when properly arranged, will spell an appropriate answer at 72-Across.

A LITTLE GIVE AND TAKE (72A. See instructions) is the end result of the noted exercise in this unfriendly Sunday crossword.

Other —  CAESAREAN (92D. Like the cry “Veni, vidi, vici”), DOODAD (44A. Thingamajig), GAROTTE (45A. Strangle), RISOTTO (49A. Italian dish that needs much stirring), STRETTO (101A. Close overlap of fugue voices), TOADSTOOL (10D. Mushroom), WHITTLE (22A. Yolk surrounder). 

Little else of interest except the tedious and uninteresting hopscotch between circled letters and starred clues.


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07.19.14 — The Saturday Crossword

Crossword, photo Getty

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Puzzle by Barry C. Silk / Edited by Will Shortz


Across — 1. It has many giants and dwarfs, COSMOS; 7. Profit-sharing figure: Abbr., AGT; 10. Part of the former Republic of Pisa, ELBA; 14. Run down a mountainside, SCHUSS; 15. Pour it on, GO ALL OUT; 17. One who winds up on a field, HURLER; 18. A kid might be punished for showing it, ATTITUDE; 19. Scores, A LOT; 20. Marked up, say, WROTE ON; 21. Something pocketed in Italy?, RAVIOLI; 24. Like Princes Leia vis-à-vis Luke Skywalker, YOUNGER; 27. Roller coaster feature with a food name, PRETZEL LOOP; 29. Celle-là, across the Pyrenees, ESA; 30. Movie with the line “I’m a vulgar man. But  assure you, my music is not”, AMADEUS; 31. Be a very fast learner?, CRAM; 32. Title woman n a “Paint Your Wagon” song, ELSA; 35. Hybrid, maybe, CAR; 36. Do a 35-Across chore, GAS UP; 37. Romp, LARK; 38. Brave, e.g., WARRIOR; 40. “Who AM I?”; 41. 1965 Yardbirds hit, FOR YOUR LOVE; 45. Like many rodeo animals, LASSOED; 47. Dweller near the Potemkin Stairs, ODESSAN; 48. Best seller, HOT ITEM; 50. In, AMID; 51. Track on “Beatles ’65”, I’M A LOSER; 53. “Out!”, BEGONE; 55. Scarab, e.g., TALISMAN; 56. Tip for slips, ERASER; 57. Barreled, SPED; 58. Like some broody teens, EMO; 59. Folks working on courses?, DINERS.

Down — D preceder, C SHARP; 2. Telescope part, OCULAR; 3. Tuesday preceder, SHROVE; 4. Be a juggler?, MULTITASK; 5. Ending of saccharine, OSE; 6. Letters on old atlases, SSR; 7. Seaweed derivative, AGAR; 8. Call for a timeout, GO TO YOUR ROOM; 9. Some body work, TATTOOS; 10. John in an arena, ELTON; 11. Chases, in Cheshire, LOUNGERS; 12. Flower child?, BUD; 13. Had dogs, e.g., ATE; 16. Fail at falling asleep, LIE UP; 20. Underdog playoffs participant, WILD CARD TEAM; 22. Character in many Baum works, OZMA; 23. Where Gay’s “lowing herd wind slowly”, LEA; 25. Biblical venison preparer, ESAU; 26. Artery connection, RAMP; 28. Noted acid studier, LEARY; 31. Noted 1-Across studier, CARL SAGAN; 32. Company with the King David Club, EL AL; 33. “Los Horizon” figure, LAMA; 34. St. Patrick’s Day order, IRISH ALE; 36. “Saw” sights, GORE; 38. Pity party plaint, WOE IS ME; 39. Alternative to the pill, briefly, IUD; 41. Snaps, FOTOS; 42. Slip through, say, OSMOSE; 43. Like Cinderella’s stepsisters vis-à-vis Cinderella, VAINER; 44. “ENDERS Game”; 46. Not iffy, SOLID; 49. Hungarian name meaning “sincere”, ERNO; 51. “IT’S me”; 52. Battle-planning aid, MAP; 53. Spring place, BED; 54. “Cap’n ERI” (1904 novel).


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07.18.14 — The Friday Crossword


Friday, July 18, 2014

Puzzle by Ian Livengood / Edited by Will Shortz


Across — 1. “Know what I‘m saying’?,” in hip-hop slang, YA’ HEARD; 8. “Yep, alas”, ‘FRAID SO; 15. Feature of many a reception, OPEN BAR; 16. 1998 N.F.L. M.V.P. Davis, TERRELL; 17. Tablet alternatives, GEL CAPS; 18. Laughed menacingly, CACKLED; 19. Any of the Baleares, ISLA; 20. Political leader?, GEO; 22. Bob of play-by-play, COSTAS; 23. Squeeze, CRUNCH; 26. Kind of dye, AZO; 27. Things that wind up on trucks, FIRE HOSES; 30. Sounded wowed, AAHED; 32. Days AGO; 33. Villainous organization in the 007 film “GoldenEye”, RUSSIAN MOB; 35. Sleep around, BED HOP; 37. Like many Plains Indians, SIOUAN; 39. Football and basketball, TEAM SPORTS; 43. Like innuendo, SLY; 44. Electronics component, DIODE; 45. Ole Miss, athletically, THE REBELS; 47. What you might arrive two hrs. early for, ETD; 48. Central American capital, SAN JOSE; 49. Blue-flowered Mediterranean herb, BORAGE; 52. Buff finish?, OON; 53. Nuzzling spot, maybe, NAPE; 57. Leader referred to as “His Imperial Majesty”, AKIHITO; 59. 1994 memoir with a chapter on “New Robot Novels”, I ASIMOV; 61. Oscar-nominated Greek-American actor, SAVALAS; 62. Crank, NUTCASE; 63. Certain solution holder, EYE BATH; 64. Figure in many a New Yorker cartoon, ST PETER.

Down — 1. Meditative sort, YOGI; 2. Big tree climbers, APES; 3. Something to catch from scolding parents, HELL; 4. Box, ENCASE; 5. Org. the Utah Stars belonged to, ABA; 6. Public Enemy and others, RAP GROUPS; 7. Who wrote “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not”, DR SEUSS; 8. U.S. fraud watchdog, FTC; 9. Breadth, REACH; 10. ARCO Arena (past Kings home); 11. Needles, IRKS; 12. Campus spot for Bluto, Otter and Boon, DELTA HOUSE; 13. Scuzz, SLEAZE BALL; 14. Motherland, OLD SOD; 21. Tender with Washington, ONES; 24. Google browser, CHROME; 25. Ted Danson hit series, CSI; 27. “Groovy!”, FAB; 28. “All right already!”,  I GET IT OKAY; 29. Walk of Style locale, RODEO DRIVE; 30. Flavorings in some root beers, ANISES; 31. Member of a loving trio?, AMO; 34. Person on a mission?, ASTRONAUT; 36. Ordered, HAD; 38. George Clinton was ts first gov. (for 21 years), NYS; 40. K-12 grp., PTA; 41. “Whoops!”, OH NO; 41. Answers, REJOINS; 44. Lower, DEBASE; 46. “Quit your squabbling”, BE NICE; 48. Swtched to, as on a thermostat, SET AT; 50. Fictonal boss of Stubb and Flask, AHAB; 51. River to the Colorado, GILA; 54. Member of a loving trio?, AMAT; 55. Work for an artist, maybe, POSE; 56. “Would I EVER!”; 58. Start of a kids’ clothing line name, OSH; 60. Letters on a track, STP.



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07.17.14 — BACK


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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Puzzle by Alan Arbesfeld / Edited by Will Shortz


Four answers with the first word spelled backwards along with BACK implied as part of the word constitutes the interrelated group of this Thursday crossword:

[KCAB]PMUH WHALE (17A. Singer in the sea, literally). e.g., humpback whale
[KCAB]LLAF POSITION (27A. Plan B. literally), fallback position
[KCAB]RETRAUQ SNEAK (42A. Gridiron maneuver, literally), quarterback sneak
[KCAB]YGGIP RIDE (57A. Little kid’s lift, literally), piggyback ride


Other — ALL CAPS (7D. Indicator of stress), ATT and ATTY, AURORA (39A. Skylghts?), EMPTY NETS (13D. Fisherman’s bane and hockey player’s boon), ILA and IRA, LOCATIONS (11D. Spots), NORTHEAST (32D. 45 degrees), OGLE and OGRE, ON E and ONE-C, QUAYLE (43D. Bush successor), SPARE TIRE (30D. Gut), TRATTORIA (12D. Vino spot), TRUE LOVES (31D. Soul mates).


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07.16.14 — Triangles


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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Puzzle by Daniel Raymon / Edited by Will Shortz


TRI, ANG and LES in circled letters, SCALENE (21A. Like the figure formed by the three circled letters in the upper left), ISOSCELES (36A. Like the figure formed by the three circled letters in the upper right) and EQUILATERAL (55A. Like the figure formed by the three circled letters at the bottom) constitutes the interrelated group of this clever Wednesday crossword.

Other — ANTWERP (1D. Belgian seaport), HERONRY (11D. Nesting area for wading birds), MALE SEX (41D. The symbol for the Roman god Mars represents it), PEROT (15A. Also-ran of 1992 and 1996), ROMNEY (39A. He tapped Ryan in 2012), ROSEANNE (8D. Comic with a “domestic goddess” persona). STEIGER (65A. “In the Heat of the Night“ Oscar winner), TEXTERS (67A. Some distracted drivers).


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