How many letters in the Answer?

New York Times May 20 1997

'Dies ___' IRAE
'Surfin' ___' (Beach Boys hit) USA
'Take ___ Train' THEA
'The Birdcage' co-star NATHANLANE
'The George & ___ Show' (former talk show) ALANA
'There ought to be ___!' ALAW
'___ Fire' (Springsteen hit) IMON
1991 Tony winner Daisy EAGAN
24-hr. conveniences ATMS
4:1, e.g. ODDS
Acorn, in 2020? OAK
Arafat of the P.L.O. YASIR
Basketball hoop site, often GARAGE
Certain exams, for short GMATS
Chinese province HUNAN
Chooses actors CASTS
Computer part HARDDRIVE
Desertlike ARID
E-mail command SEND
El Greco's birthplace CRETE
Existed WERE
Fills up SATES
Gandhi's title MAHATMA
Gets up ARISES
Guarantee ASSURE
Helps in dirty deeds ABETS
Hurting SORE
Ice cream parlor order ROCKYROAD
It's a stitch! SEAM
Jamaican exports RUMS
Joker's gibe HAHA
Joplin piece RAG
Kett of old comics ETTA
Last name in spydom HARI
Like a worn tire BALD
Little guitars UKES
Military plane acronym AWACS
Mint and sage HERBS
Mubarak's predecessor SADAT
Much-publicized drug AZT
Overhead shot SMASH.
Pacific Rim region ASIA
Parrots APES
Possess HAVE
Prefix with physical META
Recipe direction STIR
Rip apart REND
Rush job notation ASAP
Russian space station MIR
Ryan's 'Love Story' co-star ALI
Singer Cara IRENE
Singer Lopez TRINI
Some Broadway shows DRAMAS
Stadium sounds RAHS
State of financial independence EASYSTREET
Stimulate WHET
Striped critter ZEBRA
Suggest itself (to) OCCUR
T-bar sights SKIS
The Scriptures ORACLES
Thrift shop stipulation ASIS
TV rooms DENS
Underworld figure SATAN
Union rate SCALE
Utters SAYS
Verve ELAN
Video arcade name ATARI
Wallflower's characteristic SHYNESS
Want ___ ADS
When repeated, a fish MAHI
Whitney Houston's 'All the Man That ___' INEED
Winter bird food SUET
Wired, so to speak MANIC
Wyoming neighbor UTAH
___ qua non SINE
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