By Tom Toce
Here’s another puzzle constructed by one of my test solvers, Jerry Miccolis. Jerry is a retired actuary. He is a serious crossword constructor and lately, an author. Look for his book The Boys of Late Summer, which is about his senior softball team.
I leave you with Jerry’s introduction.
“Welcome to Cryptic Corners, a fun little gathering place for creative solvers! Here you’ll find a standard cryptic puzzle, at least as far as the clues are concerned. Within both grids below, there are (arguably) two proper names and one alternate (though quite common) spelling among the answers—even so, all entries, including each of the three words contained in the long central entry at 17 Across, are playable in Scrabble.
When you have completely filled in the irregularly shaped grid, you may wish to (at least mentally) cut it out along its outside edge. The next step is hinted at in that long central entry. Thereupon you will find eight aptly placed letter triplets, each of which provides three of the four letters needed to answer one of the eight “cornerstone” clues below. The letters you will need to add to complete those eight answers—letters whose squares you may wish to heavily outline in the supplemental grid provided for your convenience—will spell out, from top to bottom, what you will have compiled from all your creative work. Get there, and you will have displayed quite a gift!
Many thanks to my fellow crypticians, Bob Fink, Eric Klis, and regular columnist Tom Toce, for their excellent advice and suggestions during the development of this puzzle. Hope you enjoy it! As always, be wary of punctuation, which has been known to deceive.”
|1. Commerce or State, e.g., have for starters many great players (5)||1. Unnerve and insult Spider-Man’s aunt (6)|
|4. Overstuffs cases, lacking time (5)||2. NY/NJ rapid transit operating system produces deep sadness (6)|
|5. Terminal A dedicated passage (5)||3. Hustle takes in Hamilton (6)|
|7. WHO’s parent sounds altogether awful (6)||6. Around 2001, communist arose as regulator of resistance (6)|
|10. Sun is exploding. Kind of a headache (5)||7. Disturbed little green man dogs big brown truck (5)|
|12. Los Angeles rookie gamely executes suicide squeeze in the first—a huge contribution (7)||8. Epic poet is a big hit (5)|
|17. Needing more structure, boys squirmed, seem real agitated (4,8,8)||9. Add yeast before the last drop (5)|
|18. Sailor achieves objectives (7)||11. Genres for singer/actor Harry (6)|
|19. Drive off retreating pariah (5)||12. Look sideways and stumble over (4)|
|22. Gasp “Hooray” before ref loses support (6)||13. Harsh sound from a dog, say (5)|
|23. Confidential statement rattled aides (5)||14. Ghostly, empty, lake town (5)|
|24. His and her true beneficiary (5)||15. Small, useless edge (5)|
|25. Slow movement is key in Florida (5)||16. Demands duties, taking 20% off the top (4)|
|20. Soft-hued petals strewn about (6)|
|21. First-degree metal in earth’s core (6)|
|22. Eccentric female deer identifying themselves to anyone who’ll listen (6)|
TOM TOCE is a senior manager for actuarial services with Ernst & Young in New York and is a member of the Jeopardy Hall of Fame. Solutions may be emailed to him at Thomas.Toce@ey.com. In order to make the solver list, your solutions must be received by Sept. 30, 2020.
Previous Issue’s Puzzle—Triply Cryptic
1 PONCHO—Pancho hom.
6 EARDRUM—hEARD RUMblings (hid.)
13 ENEMY—ENEM(Y) (A—>Y)
14 OBOE—hOBO Elusively (hid.)
15 SEWN—sown hom.
16 SEE SPECIAL CLUES
17 SPED—S&P + ED
18 RAIN—reign hom.
20 JERKING—JER + KING
26 SLOPED—S + LOPED
27 ERGO—hER GOat’s (hid.)
28 ASPEN—grASP + bENt (hid. + hid.)
30 SEE SPECIAL CLUES
31 RISKS—(skiers – e) ana.
33 CART—CA + RT
34 HARPED—HARP + ED (oPRAH – o) rev.
37 TALENT—latent ana.
38 UNEVEN—fUN EVENts (hid.)
39 ORIOLES—OuR tIvO bLeEpS (hid.)
42 PROP—(PORPoise – oise) rev.
44 MARK—double defn.
45 SEE SPECIAL CLUES
46 TWIN—TW + IN
47 REEK—cREEKs (hid.)
48 AGENT—A + GENT
49 THEATRE—baTHE AT REst (hid.)
50 SLEDGE—SLED + G.E.
1 PEST—step ana.
2 ONEROUS—ONER (Reno rev.) + iOUS (i del.)
3 NEWARK—NEW + ARK
4 HYMN—N(MY)H rev.
5 OVERDO—O(V)ERDO (rodeo ana.)
6 EON—one ana.
8 ROARED—adorer ana.
9 DESK—D + E + S + K (last letters)
10 RAPIERS—repairs ana.
11 UPEND—sUsPEND (SS del.)
12 SEE SPECIAL CLUES
19 INSET—(I sent) ana.
21 GOOSE—double defn.
23 SEE SPECIAL CLUES
24 PER—rep rev.
25 MACHO—M + A + C + H + O (first letters)
27 EIDER—(deer I) ana.
29 PRAIRIE—PR + AIR + I.E.
30 FAN—(NA+ F) rev.
32 KEEPING—(geek pin) ana.
34 HELMET—HE + L + ME + T
35 PURSES—PURSuES (u del.)
36 AVOWED—A + V + OWED
37 TRASH—TR(A)SH (I —> A)
40 OKRA—OK + R + A
41 EVER—sEVER (s del.)
42 PEAL—PEA + L (ape ana.)
43 ANTE—Auntie hom.
44 SEE SPECIAL CLUES
45 UKE—flUKE (FL del.)
A PORTS—double defn.
B INMATES—INtiMATES (T.I. del.)
C DAM—eDAM (hid.)
D EWES—fEWESt (ft del.)
E IMMENSE—(meme’s in) ana.
F FORE—FOREman (man del.)
Modified Grid Entry
A SPORT—ports ana.
B MAT—inMATes (hid.)
C MAD—mad rev.
D USE—ewes hom.
E MEN—imMENse (hid.)
F FOR—fore hom.
Mad men use mat for sport (9)
AMUSEMENT—(men use mat) ana.
Team AALO (Kristen Bischoff, Danny Clark, Kristen Detwiler, Alec Pirritano), Steve Alpert, Anthony Amodeo, Dean Apps, Jack Brauner, Bob Campbell, Lois Cappellano, Mick Diede, Sean Donohoe, Deb Edwards, Mendy Friedman, Bruce Fuller, Phil Gollance, Pete Hepokoski, Catharine Hornby, Ruth Johnson, Eric Klis, Paul Kolell, Mike Kosciuk, Ken Kudrak, Ben Lynch, Michael Manos, Dave McGarry, Jon Michelson, Jim Muza, David and Corinne Promislow, Bill Scott, Sally Smith, Zig Swistunowicz, Team KT (Katie Anderson & Megan Taylor), T. O. C. E. (Josh DenHartog and Sean Donohoe), Betsy and James Uzzell, Joshua Wallace, Jim Wickwire