Let's Talk About Me

New York Times, Aug. 16

I’m really not one to talk about myself. But if you insist …

This is one of those puzzles where the theme lies in the phrasing of the clues themselves –“Pardon me,” “Feed me,” “Kiss me.” The answers are not really linked except that they are all double entendres.

So while we think we know what an error message is (and don’t start with that “I have a Mac, I don’t get error messages” stuff), this puzzle makes you rethink the phrase. Here, “Pardon me” is the ERROR MESSAGE (23 Across).

Among the others … “Feed me” (38 Across) is really a COUNTER PLEA (I used to love sitting at the counter at Bob’s Big Boy with my Dad when I was a kid); “Shoot me” (75 Across) is a FILM DIRECTION;  “For me?” (54 Across) is a RECEIVING LINE; and “Kiss me” (107 Across, perhaps my favorite) is a PECKING ORDER.

I will admit to a bad guess on 42 Down (“Daytime talk show starting in 1987”). Recalling the awful afternoon TV that was on in my high school years, I put down “Donahue” — as in Phil, with that huge shock of white hair and thick glasses, bounding around the studio audience with a microphone. Turns out it was GERALDO, with the mustache and the skinhead chair-throwers. Sigh.

Questions or comments? Twitter me @crosswordkathy

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