On Wednesday, the New York Times accidentally printed an old crossword puzzle. On Thursday (today), it printed the new Wednesday puzzle alongside the new Thursday. That's right. One paper, two puzzles. It's a crossword nerd paradise.
In honor of this momentous occasion, I shall live blog my solving of the side-by-side puzzles.
It's a special Thursday edition of Wednesday Wordplay. Stop reading now if you haven't done the puzzles yet and plan to.
Ok. I'm going for pure stream of consciousness here, so bear with me. Or don't, I don't care. Hey, be happy I'm blogging something again the way the summer's been going.
I start with the Wednesday puzzle, which has a pattern of circles throughout that kind of looks like a staircase. I start at 9-across (Frank in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame). That's ZAPPA, and then 9 down (Cubic ______) is ZIRCONIA. Both of those words start with Z and end with A. Both words are in circles. I thought 1 across (Coors Product) might be Beer, but it's also circled, so I'll go with ZIMA. Don't hear much about Zima anymore. 4-down (Ingrediente en paella) starts with A, and ends with Z - ARROZ. Gracias, Senora Collella.
Let's try to get all the circles. 23 across (Keebler cracker brand) I'll come back to, but it must end in A. 24 down (Flagstaff's place) is ARIZONA. 39 across (This puzzles theme) crosses Arizona at the Z, and starts with A and ends with Z, so it's "A-TO-Z-TO-A". That works. 39 down (The Rock) ALCATRAZ. Thank you Sean Connery. 68 across (Ball's Comic partner) "arnaz."
70 across (Animated film hit of 1998) ANTZ. Never saw that one.
Off to a good start. Let's get rolling.
A recital player is a SOLOIST. 1 down (Goes this way before going that) is zigs or zags. But it means 17 across (lovers of fine fare)starts with G. I don't know yet.
Rough up - MAUL. NYC Theater area - Bway. What's more - AND. Sammy Davis, Jr's "___ Can" starting with Y, must be YES I.
All the way to 41 across now (One of eight Eng. kings) is EDS. Because Eng. is abbreviated in the clue, the answer is abbreviated too. There were eight Edwards, or Eds here. Let's get the crossers - 31 down (Cubs, but not Bears for short) think Chicago, think baseball vs. football and you get NLERS, short for national leaguers, a crossword puzzle favorite. 32 down (When said 3 times, "et cetera") that's YADDA, as in "yadda yadda yadda." And 33 down (Ol' Blue Eyes classic). MY WAY, but only if 41 across is EDW. One of eight. So it is EDW.
60 down Let's leave IT AT that. 54 down lady of Spain is a DAMA. 49 down Of course, senor! SI SI senor. Boy Spanish class is coming in handy. Begins slowly - EASES IN.
Yes! Lovers of fine fare - GOURMANDS. That will open things up. So that's MIES van der Rohe, a military official is a BRASS HAT, and 6 down (deteriorated) is WENT TO POT. Incidentally, the Keebler cracker is a ZESTA. 44 across (Famous Amos) TORI. She has nothing to do with cookies.
40 down (Getty or Rockefeller) is OIL BARON. Madison Ave trade is ADBIZ. That's the last of the theme clues. Harsh quality - STRIDENCE. Sacramento Arena - ARCO. Secluded area - GLEN. Mother of England's Charles II and James II - Henrietta. English history classes paying off as well.
Back up to the top right corner. This puzzle is harder than I thought it would be at the beginning. 12 across (producers' fears) is pans, so it's producers as in movies and pans as in bad reviews. Apple instant messaging program is ICHAT. River flowing in and out of Lake geneva is the RHONE, Madden and How - INCENSE. Nothing to do with John. 22 down (Three R's org) is NRA. Nothing to do with guns, that's the National Recovery Administration, one of FDR's programs. FDR's successor was Truman, who's last secretary of state (10 Down) was ACHESON.
Still with me? I'm almost done with the first puzzle...1 Down must be zigs, because you zig before you zag and the clue is goes this way before that. So Zigs, I'm going with it. So ITAR Tass news agency, not ATAR. I think that's right. Top is done.
Sci-fi sidekick, maybe - BOT? NYC Country Club? - THE UN. That's cute. "What a kidder!" - OH YOU. Free Pass, of sorts - BYE.
54 across (redlines) is DEMOTES. 9 empty squares to go. Stiller's comedy partner is Anne MEARA. 6 to go. Richard Strauss must have been born in MUNICH because that's what fits. Down to 3. 62 Across (Be _____ and...) 5 letters A_ _ _ R
A Dear! It's done! But wait, flip the page over...and there's a whole other puzzle for me to do...on the Subway home. I'll let you know how it goes.
One more time though - the A to Z to A theme: ZIMARROZESTARIZONADBIZEENAntZ and ARNAZARTACLATOZTOAINOCRIZAPPA (Alcatraz and Zirconia are the backwards ones) .