I Haven't the Vegas Idea

Merl Reagle, June 7

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but in this puzzle, Merl certainly gives you SLOTS TO THINK ABOUT (92 Across, “What gaming fans have, in Vegas?”).

From PEACHY KENO (23 Across, “Really swell, in Vegas?”) to POKERHONTAS  (72 Across, “First Native American to own a gaming parlor?”), the theme answers incorporate various games of chance and gambling terms to form clever plays on words.

I loved PAIR OF DICE LOST (35 Across, “‘Your throw didn’t win,’ in Vegas?”), and while I thought 54 Across (“Big food supplier, in Vegas?”) would have to be PROCTOR AND GAMBLE, the real answer — GAMBLE SOUP COMPANY — was more entertaining. 

But the clue that made me smile most actually was 76 Across, “Name of the inflatable pilot in “Airplane!” I have seen that movie more than 100 times, can recite nearly all of the dialogue, and can clearly picture the beatific smile on the cockpit dummy. Yet I still had to fill in a couple of crossing answers before I figured out it was OTTO. Kudos to Merl for using a clue more original than the name of Bart Simpson’s bus driver.

Questions or comments? Twitter me @crosswordkathy

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