Tee Time

New York Times, April 11

Wouldn’t you know it — Tee Time comes just in time for the final round of the Masters! And there’s even a tiger in the puzzle: 30 Down, “Tiny tiger” (insert joke here, but the answer is CUB).

To me, the “Tee Time” title implied the theme answers would have an extra letter “T” in them. But you actually had to add the whole “tee” sound to a common phrase to get the answer. So a “Bathing beauty at a swimming facility?” is a POOL CUTIE (19 Across); an “Armistice signed on December 25?” is a CHRISTMAS TREATY; a “Scottish body of water with beverage concentrate added?” is LOCH NESTEA (38 Across); an “Awful illustration from cartoonist William?” is a HANNA-BARBARITY (43 Across, though Hanna worked with Barbera, not Barbara; Hanna-Barbera created “The Flintstones” and “Scooby-Doo,” among others); and “Opting not to sunbathe?” is KEEPING PASTY (56 Across).

Also: “Exactness in giving orders to toymaking elves?” is SANTA CLARITY (70 Across, from the city of Santa Clara); “What a bunny buyer at a pet shop might want?” is a RABBIT WARRANTY (88 Across); “Choice of songs at a piano bar?” is HIT OR MISTY (90 Across, for “Play Misty for me”); a “Hybrid sheepdog that moves ver-r-ry slowly?” is a TORTOISE SHELTIE (108 Across); and “Drinking and dancing instead of sleeping?” is UP TO PARTY (115 Across).

Other clues that resonated: 101 Across, “Actor Haley Joel _____ of ‘The Sixth Sense'” (OSMENT), made me think of how beautiful Philadelphia looks in that movie. (Not long before that film, Haley played Tom Hanks’ son at the very end of “Forrest Gump.”)

52 Across, “____ Field (former name of Minute Maid Park)” (ENRON), reminded me that I just watched the documentary “The Smartest Guys in the Room.” It left me speechless. (I’m ashamed to say the book has been sitting on my shelf for a couple of years now and I haven’t read it yet.)

94 Across, “R&B singer Marie” (TEENA), made me recall the day I interviewed her by phone for a story on the R&B Pioneer Award she was about to receive in Philly. Her song “Lovergirl” was played to death when I was a kid and I thought she was an annoying one-hit wonder. I had no idea, until my pre-interview research, how extensive her career has been and how groundbreaking — no one knew she was white until after her first album was a hit. A lawsuit she later filed against Motown also set an important legal precedent for musicians.

Questions or comments? Twitter me @crosswordkathy.

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