Sunday, 4/4/10 – Crossword Central

New York Times – 23:53 (yikes!)
Reagle – 10:33
Boston Globe – 12:50 (with mistakes)
Los Angeles Times – 12:35
CrosSynergy – 7:59
Sudoku Puzzle Grid of the Week

Big Announcement! – now posted!!!!

Crossword Central logo

Welcome to Jeffrey’s Crossword Central! It has been great having Amy blog about crosswords the last 5 years, but now it is time to take crossword commentary to the next level!

I will continue to blog about most of the daily puzzles, but over time this site will evolve to include new features including:

  • The North American Crossword Association Tour
  • Crossword Solvers World Rankings
  • Crossword Chat Live, featuring your calls
  • Crossword Meet of the Month
  • Crosswords for Lefthanders
  • Nitpick Nation
  • Crossword Essay of the Week. Upcoming topics include: the Relationship between Jim Steinman’s music and triple stacks; how to succeed in crosswords without being named Patrick or Matt; why “All About Steve” is the greatest crossword movie ever made.
  • Dumb Puzzle Tricks
  • Memories of Maleska

 and starting today:

  • Sudoku puzzle grid of the week

This promises to be the biggest relaunch since Conan took over the Tonight Show!

I’m saved the biggest news for last. Scroll down to the end for the next stunning announcement!!!


 Bob Klahn’s “AFTER WORD” New York Times’s Crossword

(Bonus question: What word can follow each half of the answer to each starred clue?) – BOARDNYT Apr 4 10

 I am currently working through a book called “The Wrath of Klahn Crosswords: Puzzles from the World’s Toughest Clue Writer”. This puzzle will only enhance that reputation.  I’m giving you all of the answers because I don’t think there’s a simple one in the bunch.

I take that back. There are lots of simple answers. And lots of simple clues. And that’s what makes it so tough. Every clue has multiple options.

Theme answers:

23A. [*”Either that ___ goes, or I do” (Oscar Wilde’s reputed last words)] – WALL PAPER
25A. [*Legislative V.I.P.] – FLOOR LEADER
34A. [*Object of superstition] – BLACK CAT
39A. [*Annual N.F.L. event] – COLLEGE DRAFT
54A. [*Zigzag trail up a mountain] – SWITCH BACK
72A. [*Green Bay Packers fan] – CHEESE HEAD
84A. [*Tally] – RUNNING SCORE
90A. [*Lamp holder] – END TABLE
98A. [*Lure] – DRAWING CARD
102A. [*Cover-up] – WHITE WASH
32D. [*Wonder product] – SANDWICH BREAD
35D. [*Risking detention] – CUTTING SCHOOL

The rest:

 1A. [Economy] – COACH. As in the seats in theback of the plane.
6A. [“Spare” part] – RIB
9A. [Direction for violinists] – UPBOW
14A. [Rubbish] – TRIPE, not trash
19A. [Relieve] – ALLAY
20A. [“Cold Mountain” heroine] – ADA
21A. [Hot stuff] – SALSA
22A. [High trump card] – HONOR. Ace, King, Queen and Jack don’t fit. Well, queen fits, but it’s wrong.
27A. [“As You Like It” role] – CELIA
28A. [Curved nail, perhaps] – CLAW
29A. [Dentiform : tooth :: pyriform : ___] – PEAR. This is how you take Bosc or Anjou up a notch.
30A. [Certain] – ASSURED
33A. [Chin] – CHAT
38A. [Wiped out] – BEAT. Yes, I am.
42A. [Project Blue Book subj.] – UFO
43A. [Get a flat] – RENT. No need for that spare part.
44A. [“___ Love” (1978 hit for Natalie Cole)] – OUR
45A. [German unity] – EINS
46A. [Kind of crazy?] – STIR. I certainly was solving this one.
47A. [Org. that gives approval] – USDA
48A. [Dirt] – SMUT
50A. [Obloquy, e.g.] – ABUSE
52A. [___ dish] – PETRI
53A. [Print maker] – PAW
56A. [Better writing, e.g.] – REVISE
57A. [Wry] – TWISTED
59A. [Big band] – HORDE
60A. [Navigator William with a sea named after him] – BARENTS. The Barents Sea is the one named after him. In the Arctic. The most obscure answer. Wait, he discovered the Orange Islands?
61A. [Jazzy Chick] – COREA
62A. [Decline in value] – SAG
63A. [Sitting around for years waiting to get drunk?] – AGING. Awesome clue.
64A. [Tedious trips] – SCHLEPS. For example, to the Barents Sea.
66A. [Something that might be hard to drink?] – CIDER
68A. [Open up] – BLOSSOM
71A. [Jostles] – ELBOWS
74A. [Chartres shout] – CRI
75A. [Femme fatale] – SIREN
76A. [They may offer rides] – FAIRS
77A. [Site of numerous firings] – KILN
78A. [A guard may protect it] – SHIN
79A. [Imitated] – APED
80A. [Real first name of Alfalfa of the Little Rascals] – CARL Switzer
81A. [Trouble] – AIL
82A. [Bring around] – COAX
83A. [Display in the Auckland Museum] – MOA
89A. [Choice] – A-ONE
92A. [“The Flying Dutchman” tenor] – ERIK
93A. [Armpits] – AXILLAS
95A. [Exotic berry in some fruit juices] – ACAI. New crosswordese.
96A. [Missed signals from Little Boy Blue, maybe] – BAAS
97A. [Director Kurosawa] – AKIRA
106A. [1986 rock autobiography] – I TINA
107A. [New addition] – HIREE
108A. [Lunkhead] – ASS
109A. [Babushkas] – NANAS
110A. [Actress Streep] – MERYL
111A. [Cultivates] – TENDS
112A. [Interjection added to the O.E.D. in 2001] – DOH
113A. [Land called Mizraim in the Bible] – EGYPT
1D. [Harsh call] – CAW
2D. [Suffix with boff] – OLA
3D. [Purely] – ALL
4D. [Birthplace of William Thackeray and Satyajit Ray] – CALCUTTA
5D. [Wired] – HYPER
6D. [Spanish fleet?] – RAPIDO
7D. [Brain matter?] – IDEA
8D. [Block] – BAR
9D. [June “honoree,” briefly] – U. S. FLAG
10D. [Sense of taste] – PALATE
11D. [Big wind] – BLOW
12D. [Spanish bear] – OSO
13D. [F-14, e.g.] – WARPLANE
14D. [1977 Liza Minnelli musical] – THE ACT
15D. [Family name in Frank Miller’s “Sin City” series] – ROARK
16D. [Gary’s home: Abbr.] – IND
17D. [“The Purloined Letter” writer] – POE
18D. [Foozle] – ERR
24D. [A Baldwin] – ALEC
26D. [Pages (through)] – LEAFS
28D. [Gregg Allman’s wife who filed for divorce after nine days] – CHER
30D. [Sudden] – ABRUPT
31D. [Oscillate] – SEESAW
33D. [Critical situation] – CLUTCH
34D. [Sharp and stimulating] – BRISK
36D. [Something unprecedented] – A FIRST
37D. [Major party] – TORIES
40D. [Yahoo] – LOUT
41D. [Dickens] – DEUCE
46D. [Some naturals] – SEVENS
48D. [Wins everything] – SWEEPS
49D. [Cursed alchemist] – MIDAS
50D. [Sands, e.g.] – ABRADES
51D. [Stars in many westerns] – BADGES
52D. [Stop sign?] – PERIOD
54D. [Cast about] – STREWN
55D. [One stocking stockings] – HOSIER
56D. [Coat named for a British lord] – RAGLAN
58D. [Made an individual effort] – SOLOED
60D. [Scene of confusion] – BABEL
64D. [“Open ___”] – SESAME
65D. [Like some earrings] – CLIPON
66D. [Serving from a pot] – CHILI
67D. [Football do-over] – REKICK
69D. [Epithet for Elizabeth I] – ORIANA
70D. [Sassy lassies] – MINXES
72D. [Meat, as in 66-Down] – CARNE
73D. [Liliuokalani Gardens site] – HILO
76D. [Half-circle window over a door] – FANLIGHT
78D. [Rogue] – SCALAWAG
80D. [Resident of Daiquirí] – CUBAN
81D. [Frequent disclaimer] – ASIS
84D. [Like some census categories] – RACIAL
85D. [Closed in on] – NEARED
86D. [Marks] – GRADES
87D. [Dashing] – RAKISH
88D. [Out] – EXIT
91D. [Light brown] – TAWNY
94D. [Galsworthy’s Mrs. Forsyte] – IRENE
96D. [One raised on a farm] – BARN
97D. [“Got it!”] – AHSO
98D. [Empty-headed] – DIM
99D. [Rural address abbr.] – RTE
100D. [It’s in circulation] – AIR
101D. [French firm: Abbr.] – CIE
102D. [Bankroll?] – WAD
103D. [A little or a lot] – ANY
104D. [Dupe] – SAP
105D. [Pres. with the Marshall Plan] – HST. Harmonized Sales Tax around these parts.  

A puzzle that kills you as you do it, but you look back and say why was it so hard? Bravo! 


Merl Reagle’s  “The Ongo-ing Investigation” Reagle Apr 4 10

The theme answers have “ONGO” in them, for no reason I can fathom. I’d highlight them in red but you can find them, right?

Theme answers:

18A. [Hordes on horses] – THE MONGOLS
22A. [Like a forgotten library book?] – LONG OVERDUE
23A. [Actor who played Steve McQueen’s righthand man Delgetti in “Bullitt”] – DON GORDON
31A. [Film with two Fondas] – ON GOLDEN POND. Henry and daughter Jane.
38A. [Independent, as some agencies] – NON-GOVERNMENTAL
62A. [The parent dogs in “101 Dalmatians”] – PONGO AND PERDIE
70A. [Delegate] – CONVENTION GOER
IN THE WRONG ORDER – 94A. [Out of sequence]
101A. [1970 movie musical about Edvard Grieg] – SONG OF NORWAY
115A. [Literary giant Johann Wolfgang ___] – VON GOETHE
117A. [1990s ticket] – CLINTON GORE
123A. [King Leonardo’s realm in 1960s cartoons] – BONGO CONGO. Double ONGO

Ten more to mention:

1A. [Flatten on impact] – SPLAT. Start with SPLAT and you have a good puzzle.
28A. [Singer-actress Kazan] – LAINIE
49A. [Processions] – PARADES
92A. [Attention-getting sound] – PSSST. A stretch word. Add all the S’s you need.
107A. [Fall abbr.] – SEPT/ 119D. [Fall abbr.] – OCT/ 120D. [Fall abbr.] – NOV – A complete set.
5D. [“Mazel ___”] – TOV. A traditional Easter phrase.
35D. [“Alley ___”] – OOP
54D. [Game show legend] – MERV Griffin. Let’s see Amy at the podium (Stormtroopers!). Part 2
98D. [“___ Song Coming On”] – I FEEL A
105D. [Joaquin’s “Walk the Line” co-star] – REESE

Henry Hook’s “…And Red All Over” Boston Globe Puzzle

This is the delayed AcrossLite version of a puzzle that apparently ran on or around Valentine’s Day.BG Apr 4 2010

Theme answers (reversing clues and answers):

22A. [VALENTINE] – ACTRESS KAREN OF ROOM222 (yes numbers)

Impossible crossings:

31A. [Maestro Lorin] – MAAZEL/20D. [Placekicker’s award eponym] – GROZA
81A. [John of the WWE] – CENA/67D. [1986 World Series ace Bob] – OJEDA

Today is Easter and Passover, not Valentine’s Day. That’s enough on this one.

Dan Naddor’s “Sidelined” Los Angeles Times puzzle

LAT Apr 4 10

Theme answers:

24A. [Spoiled meat?] – CURDLED HAM. Pig reference #1
25A. [Equestrian nobleman?] – MARQUIS DE SADDLE
43A. [Sweet scent source?] – CANDLE SUGAR
48A. [“Oink oink” jokes?] – PIGGYBACK RIDDLES. Pig reference #2
62A. [Con man’s strategy with a lonely widow?] – PEARLS BEFORE SWINDLE. Pig reference #3
84A. [Sells shorts?] – HANDLES UNDERWEAR
88A. [Horse’s headgear left out in the sun?] – BAKED BRIDLE
103A. [Lanky crustaceans?] – SPINDLY LOBSTERS. Very little that’s kosher about this puzzle.

Other stuff:

19A. [“Strange to see __ good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody”: Pepys] – HOW A
20A. [“D’oh” moment, slangily] – BRAINCRAMP. Good AMP answer #1
22A. [Men’s ideals] – DREAMGIRLS
39A. [Psychedelic desk item] – LAVA LAMP. Good AMP answer #2
51A. [The Bee Gees, e.g.] – TRIO
70A. [Flamenco clicker] – CASTANET
71A. [Singer DiFranco] – ANI
72A. [One interested in spreads] – BOOKIE
82A. [Donald, to his nephews] – UNCA
113A. [Nobel-winning Holocaust chronicler] – ELIE WIESEL. Rare full name treatment.
114A. [Graph that influences bond buyers] – YIELD CURVE. Can’t fool this accountant #1
119A. [From Jan. 1 to now] – YTD. Can’t fool this accountant #2

Sudoku Puzzle Grid of The Week

This is Web Sudoku #5,053,823,415

Web Sudoku #5,053,823,415

 Doug Peterson’s CrosSynergy “Sunday Challenge”

This themeless CrosSynergy puzzle is very appropriate as my final one today, and leads directly to the big announcement.

“Theme?” answers:

cs apr 4 20108A. [Key] – PIVOTAL. It sure is.
15A. [Coped with change] – ADAPTED. How’s that going?
17A. [2009 production of “Hair,” e.g.] – REVIVAL. Something that was good returns after an absence.
36A. [“There I go again!”] – ME AND MY BIG MOUTH. Be careful what you say when Amy asks you a question.
39A. [Country singer K.T.] – OSLIN. “Come Next Monday”

58A. [Killer in some murder mysteries] – ARSENIC. Hopefully none of you are thinking this applies.
59A. [Locker room delivery] – PEP TALK. Change is good! Revival is better! Now, go solve!
61A. [Bother] – TROUBLE. Doing this seven days a week would be a bother.
8D. [Helped out] – PITCHED IN. Yes, I did.
13D. [Tops] – A-ONE. That would be Amy.
14D. [“I’m up for it”] – LET’S. So I thought.
24D. [Culminates in] – LEADS TO the big announcement
46D. [Not suited] – INAPT. No comment.
57D. [Med. care option] – PPO. I might need this if I knew what it meant.

And also…

16A. [Son of Cedric the Saxon] – IVANHOE
18A. [Old type of store] – TEN CENT. Shares length and two letters with GENERAL. Grr.
34A. [Flowering shrub] – HYDRANGEA. Flower names are endless.
38A. [Jimmies] – PRIES OPEN

49A. [“Gypsy” composer Jule] – STYNE
3D. [First name in sitar playing] – RAVI
4D. [Highly reflective finish] – SPIT SHINE. Good one.
7D. [’50s campaign name] – ADLAI. You don’t see too many ADLAI’s these days.
21D. [Series whose title character works for Mode magazine] – UGLY BETTY
25D. [Soft polishing cloth] – CHAMOIS
27D. [On-line classifieds site] – CRAIGS LIST
29D. [Nation E. of the Andes] – ARGentina
32D. [“Blazing Saddles” actress] – KAHN
34D. [Sleeping pills] – HYPNOTICS
35D. [1922 German vampire film] – NOSFERATU
42D. [Film critic Richard] – ROEPER
44D. [“Wake Up With Al” weatherman] – ROKER. Now all we need is an anchor for a show.
53D. [Sommer of cinema] – ELKE
55D. [“… ___ yellow submarine”] – IN A

Big Announcement

Yes, as April Fool’s long weekend ends, Amy wants to return to her old time slot. My reign is briefer than Conan’s.  [applause] Good thing. I’m exhausted. How does she do this every day? Thanks for putting up with me this weekend, but there is only one Crossword Fiend. (You didn’t really think all this was serious? Sudoku Puzzle Grid of the Week?!). Thanks, Amy for letting me play in your sandbox. Welcome back!!!

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19 Responses to Sunday, 4/4/10 – Crossword Central

  1. Jared Hersh says:

    Where’s the stunning announcement?? I feel cheated!

  2. Jeffrey says:

    After ALL the puzzles are posted…come back Sunday morning after the LAt and CS puzzles are done.

  3. Tom says:

    Seriously – what is a “catboard”? There is nothing in the dictionary I can find, the the only definition (on urbandictionary, no less) is so disturbing and random, it certainly shouldn’t be in a crossword puzzle…

  4. Martin says:


    Here’s 883,000 hits on one brand of cat board.

  5. joon says:

    i’m working through the wrath of klahn, too. maybe it helped, because i was kind of on his wavelength today. i wonder how long it takes bob klahn to clue a sunday-sized puzzle? this one was a beauty.

  6. KarmaSartre says:

    I have a nit to pick with Nitpick Nation. . .

  7. Don says:

    Hardly a new level :( Just listing the answers is something a 3rd grader could do. The entertaining part of this blog was the comments and interpretations by Amy. What happened?

    Oh, and the stunning announcement matches the content of the blog today – nothingness.

  8. Evad says:

    I found echoes of Web Sudoku #5,052,713,904 in today’s puzzle, particularly the 7-1-8 string in the lower center. I guess with so many published, a reasonable solver has to accept a bit of overlap.

  9. Jeffrey says:

    @Don, and @Jared, I trust you’ll be pleased with the announcement that is now posted.

    @Evad, nice catch.

  10. Stan says:

    Okay Amy, you got me. But do watch out for burnout–you cover so much! Team Orange, please keep on helping out–it’s appreciated.

  11. EsmesValet says:

    I was expecting an Easter theme. I guess “Jazzy Chick” Corea will have to suffice.

  12. Paula says:

    First of all what were th answers to the “bonus question” in the newspaper version? (“What word can follow each half of the answer to each starred clue?”)
    Second I miss Amy. Sometimes there is too much info offered. And not enough comments.
    This was a hard puzzle and I confess I could not finish it. I do subscribe to “Missing Maleska” whom we used to refer to as Malevolent Maleska due to his devilish puzzles. This was beyond devilish, it was unfair to the mediocre among us b/c we have to wait till next Sunday for another puzzle to, hopefully, enjoy.

  13. Tim Platt says:

    Cat board may be an acceptable name for a cat scractching device (but believe me, mine doesn’t keep my cats from scratching what I wish they wouldn’t), but I think it’s the weak link in an otherwise marvelous meta-puzzle – a very impressive amount of “board” words. There’s certainly no chance of getting bored when you do a Bab Klahn puzzle!

  14. Jeffrey says:

    @Paula – as I indicated at the begininning of the NYT writeup, the answer is “BOARD”.

    I miss Amy too. She’ll be back tomorrow.

  15. Lex says:

    @Jeffrey, Amy, et al: This gag gets an A+ from me. I suspected something was up from the start, but I enjoyed seeing you teasingly string us along all weekend. By Saturday night, I was pretty sure what the “big announcement” on Sunday morning was going to be. So very clever to wrap the whole gag around not only April Fools’ Day, but Easter weekend too. Amy announces she’s hanging up her cross(word blogging career) in her Good Friday post, then goes underground for a few days while her disciples mourn, all leading up to her surprise resurrection on Easter morning. Very nicely played!

  16. David says:

    You guys suck! I bought the whole thing. HOOK, LINE, & SINKER! I’m so relieved Amy isn’t really leaving. Now I’m laughing at myself for falling for this stress inducing gag. Well done. Well done. Bravo!

  17. Rob says:

    If you liked Amy and Jeffrey’s joke… if you loved Google Topeka… if you were tormented by the choice of “Bieber or Die”… enjoy this…

  18. ArtLvr says:

    Thanks to Amy and helpers too — Glad out Fiend has a long weekend off, much deserved, but I’m sure we’re all glad she’s baaack! No foolin’.

  19. John Haber says:

    Whatever. Hoax, Easter commemoration, whatever. Still boring post, so looking forward to more genuine discussion.

    I was amazed at a hard Sunday, the very day after I assured a friend that Sundays aren’t the hardest day of the week or getting harder, and there was some odd vocabulary as well. But I enjoyed it and finished it. I worked roughly left to right, with the stickiest parts due E and SE.

    However, must admit that I too was scratching my head at CAT BOARD, but also at LEADER BOARD. The latter, I find online, has to do with golf, and the former, I agree, turns up nothing online but something obscure and downright yucky. At least this cat person hasn’t ever used the latter as a synonym for scratching post or comparable device.

Comments are closed.