Perfect Jobs

New York Times, May 17

Perfect jobs for Robin, Dustin and Warren? You mean besides acting? Because you’re clearly talking about Williams, Hoffman and Beatty, right?

Um, no. Try Smith, Schmoe and Doe. These guys are total nobodies in this puzzle. But it turns out they do have perfect jobs: MASTER THIEF (65 Across), HOUSEKEEPER (23 Across) and MERCENARY (25 Across). They’re perfect because that’s what their names sound like (well, if you say them with a drawl and drop the “g”): robbin’, dustin’ and warrin’.

I have to say this was a tough one for me, and I’m not quite sure why. Maybe because all the first names were famous enough that I thought they were going to be doing some wordplay with their last names. A perfect job for Rowan (44 Across)? Rowan Atkinson? Mr. Bean? Nope. Rowan is someone who’s rowin’ — OLYMPIC CANOER. (But I have to say, although I’m no expert, I actually think a canoer paddles.)

Then there were Landon and Brandon — landin’ jets as an AIRPLANE PILOT (93 Across) and brandin’ cattle as a COWHERDER (118 Across). But the darin’ one is Darren: STUNT DOUBLE (71 Across).

Questions or comments? Twitter me @crosswordkathy