New York Times, May 2
Apologies for the late post. I hosted a 1980s-era bachelorette/slumber/pizza party last night — the bride-to-be chose the theme — and I’m still recovering. If only she had chosen a crossword puzzle theme …
The title of this week’s puzzle (“Fix-a-tion”) got me thinking there might be an extra “A,” or the sound of a long “A,” in the theme answers, but I was a syllable off — it was all about affixing “TION” to common phrases. So a “Variety of arbitrating techniques?” is MIXED MEDIATION (36 Across); a “Title under a photo of rain?” is a SHOWER CAPTION (53 Across); a “Detergent factory, e.g.?” is a SOAP OPERATION; and “Following the rules?” is CONTRA VIOLATION, though my lack of a classical music background leaves me scratching my head a bit on that one.
Others: “Being fored into a smaller house, say?” is a HOME DEMOTION (16 Down); a “Passing reference in the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech?” is KING’S MENTION; “‘$100 per dozen plus shipping,’ e.g.?” is a SALES QUOTATION; and the “Enthronement of a metalworker?” is a SMITH CORONATION (106 Across).
I’ll use that old typewriter reference to segue to another notable clue, 7 Down: “Grp. with the old slogan ‘A deadline every minute.'” The answer, UPI, is a 100-year-old wire service that’s a shell of its former self, and yet in the Internet era its “old” slogan is more relevant than ever for journalists.
From the Not Really Department: 9 Down, “The Golden Bears, briefly,” is ostensibly UCAL, though anyone who knows anything about Berkeley (or California) simply calls it “Cal.”
From the Ick Department: 11 Down, “‘It’s digestible’ sloganeer, once” — CRISCO. ‘Nuff said.
From the Childhood Nostalgia Department: 71 Down, “Classic Parker Brother card game” — PIT, which I can remember playing at my grandparents’ house as a kid, with everyone boisterously bartering to corner the market and ring the bell, signaling they’d won.
Also, was wondering why the answer to last week’s puzzle didn’t display the final pyramid form in the grid. Just askin’.
Questions or comments? Twitter me @crosswordkathy.