December 29, 2007

First and Last puzzle

This weekend's second Sunday puzzle below the New York Times crossword puzzle is called "First and Last," and Will Shortz concocted it. It was much easier than I expected. Am I a super-genius, or is this just easier than many of the other sorts of second Sunday puzzles? In this puzzle, the task is to guess the famous people given the first and last letters of their first and last names, which make a four-letter word.

My answers, if you're looking for help or confirmation, below the fold. They're in white, so highlight the line and the answer will appear. If you think I'm wrong on any, let me know, will you? Thanks.

1. ENDS Ellen Degeneres
2. DIME Demi Moore
3. BUBS Beau Bridges
4. ALAS Abigail Adams
5. DARE Della Reese
6. REDS René Descartes
7. MACS Maria Callas
8. JETE Joe Torre
9. MAST Martha Stewart
10. BASK Barbara Stanwyck
11. RAPS Rosa Parks
12. ELLE Emeril Lagasse
13. MAGI Mahatma Gandhi (not technically his name, but what he's best known as in the U.S.)
14. JEAN Jane Austen
15. CEDE Catherine Deneuve
16. GALA Gina Lollobrigida
17. PIPE Patti Page
18. BALI Bela Lugosi
19. MASS Monica Seles
20. SAWS Serena Williams
21. CYAN Clay Aiken
22. HOAR Horatio Alger
23. POST Picabo Street
24. PACK Petula Clark
25. CARE Condoleezza Rice
26. MEAT Madeleine Albright
27. EDGY Edward Gorey
28. BEAR Brooke Astor
29. LEIA Lee Iacocca
30. ESPY Elvis Presley

I like that 19 of the 30 are women, many of whom are clued in a gender-neutral fashion. So if your mindset is to assume a generic term = male, that could slow you down here. Also, one of the men has a first name ending with A, and one of the women has a first name ending with O.