Inside Dope

New York Times, Dec. 20

First off, congratulations to everyone who braved the aftermath of the storm to go out and buy a Times this morning. I think we got about a foot here in Philadelphia.

Today’s puzzle was all about the knowledge economy or, looked at another way, something the SEC frowns on. The theme answers all contained inside INFO — literally that string of letters somewhere in the answer. So “Average Joes” (25 Across) are PLAIN FOLKS; “Republicans in 2008” (35 Across) are MCCAIN FOLLOWERS (well, maybe not all of them); a “Rafael Nadal specialty” (96 Across) is a TOPSPIN FOREHAND; and a “Busboy’s assignment” (55 Across) is NAPKIN FOLDING; to “Unite” (114 Across) is to JOIN FORCES; and to “Stop a trip?” is to REGAIN FOOTING, to name a few.

A couple other clues caught my attention. Turns out that the “Boy’s name that means ‘the king'” (85 Across) isn’t Elvis, but ELROY. Did George Jetson know that? I think he’s the only Elroy I’ve ever heard of. But “el roy” certainly makes sense. And OKEY DOKEY was more interesting than the average answer (74 Across, “You bet”).

Stay warm.

Questions or comments? Twitter me @crosswordkathy

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