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Fred Flare

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Inside Bill Clinton's Puzzling Mind

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Bill Clinton is a crossword buff; he even makes an appearance in Wordplay, the film about puzzle maniacs and their patron saint, Will Shortz. Sunday, finally, he moved from a mere solver to a published author: The Times Magazine published a crossword with the clues — although not the grid itself — designed by the former president. The magazine seemed vaguely unimpressed with Clinton's effort — his exercise didn't supplant the usual puzzle but was published alongside it, and Shortz appended an "editor's note" pretty much wiping his hands clean of it: "The clues in this puzzle are a little more playful and involve more wordplay than in a typical crossword." Ouch. We went ahead and solved the damned thing today, on five hours of sleep and battling a hangover. (Don't say we never do anything for you!) After the jump, a journey through the presidential puzzle. Needless to say, the crossword equivalent of spoilers follow.

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Bob Kerrey Likes Hillary and Bloomberg, Won't Talk About Models

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Former Nebraska senator and '92 presidential candidate Bob Kerrey's perch at the New School seems to have made him a New York partisan: He says he "probably won't" make any '08 endorsements, but he did tout two locals as his candidates of choice. "I like Hillary a lot," he said at the annual Parsons benefit last week. "I think she's been a great senator for New York and has a tremendous amount of experience. And I got to say I think Bloomberg's done a phenomenal job. I'd be very comfortable with Hillary or Bloomberg." But Bloomberg insists he won't run. And neither will Kerrey, for that matter. "I have no elective political aspirations for '08," Kerrey said. "But everything I do is political. Aren't you going to ask me about Parsons? About fashion?" Okay — who's your favorite designer? "I don't have one." Any thoughts on the skinny-model controversy? "Yes, but I'm not going to give you them. Most of my thoughts about the models are not publishable." Glad we asked. —Amy Odell

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Wang vs. Wang

Designer Vera Wang is suing another Vera Wang for copyright infringement. Bonnie Fuller is looking to branch into TV, and her NYU film-student son may be involved. Silly Billy, the clown from weird documentary Capturing the Friedmans, now goes the name by Dr. Blood. André Balazs and Naomi Campbell might be dating. An upcoming bio of Condi Rice claims she's accrued power personally but not professionally. The broker for Bob Guccione's East Side mansion (current asking price: $50 million) quit. Ellen Barkin reiterates that she regrets marrying Ron Perelman. Gisele will jump ship to H&M when her contract with Victoria's Secret expires. Court TV is going through a rebranding process.

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Scott Conant Soon to Be Very Busy; the New Shake Shack

Scott Conant has lots to keep him busy until his next major restaurant project, including a book, a Home Shopping Network deal, and a pilot for a cooking show. [The Strong Buzz] Earlier: Scott Conant Takes Leave of Alto, L’Impero [Grub Street] A customer sues Zen Palate for serving her jagged little pieces of metal along with her meal. [NYP] The lines at Grom have grown even beyond Shake Shack proportions, stretching a whole city block. [Serious Eats] Related: Grom’s Gelato Conquers New York for Italy [Grub Street]

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By Dogsled or HMS Beagle, Celebs Prepare for ‘Time’ 100

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The Time 100 dinner, to be held tomorrow night at Jazz at Lincoln Center in celebration of the magazine's annual "Most Influential People in the World" issue, is a hot ticket, an exclusive and glittering black-tie affair. And it seems the influential people will go to great lengths not to miss it. Virgin mogul Richard Branson, on the list this year, is currently on a 325-mile dogsled journey across Canada's Arctic province of Nunavut to see the effects of global warming. He's rushing to reach his endpoint — the delightfully named Igloolik — by Tuesday morning so he can be whisked to New York to make the dinner that night. "Will get the husky dogs to work a little bit harder!" he e-mailed.

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Never Fear, Corzine's Here

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• Is New Jersey governor Jon Corzine a superhero? He's back to work today, just a few weeks after breaking a leg, eleven ribs, his collarbone, his sternum, and more in a horrific SUV crash. Three-time acting governor Richard Codey again politely recedes into the background. [WNBC] • Kirsys Rodriguez, a 12-year-old Bronx girl, is in critical condition after catching a bullet in a post-party "dispute": She was trying to flee the gunfire that erupted over somebody's Sidekick. [NYT] • Roger Clemens is back with the Yankees for the rest of 2007, for the discussion-ending $28 million (the Red Sox put up a paltry $18 million). Since the Yanks' starting pitchers have been dropping like flies, he'll start within days. [amNY] • Joseph Oddo, a Virginia-based writer whose pet cause is to draft independent candidates to run for president, ha set his sights on Bloomberg. The Website, DraftMichael.com, handily serves to raise public awareness of, well, Joseph Oddo. [NYS] • And it's not exactly local news, but since Spider-Man has been bugging this city for the last several weeks, the least we can do is report his box office: $148 million for the weekend (a record), $59 million on Friday alone (a record), and $375 million worldwide (a record). Can he go away now? [NYDN]

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