Full Circle

New York Times, May 30

Today’s theme is built into circular pairs of clues scattered throughout the puzzle. Kind of clever, but I have to say one of the less challenging grids I’ve solved recently.

“Two things that are stuffed” (22- and 24 Across) are ROAST TURKEY and a SCARECROW; “Two things on a farm” (24- and 36 Across) are the aforementioned SCARECROW and a HAYSTACK; “Two things associated with needles” (36- and 38 Across) are the HAYSTACK and a RECORD PLAYER; “Two things that spin” (38- and 55 Across) are the RECORD PLAYER and a FERRIS WHEEL.

Continuing, “Two things at an amusement park” (55- and 82 Across) are the FERRIS WHEEL and COTTON CANDY; “Two things that are sticky” (82- and 95 Across) are the COTTON CANDY and RUBBER CEMENT; “Two things with brushes” (95- and 99 Across) are the RUBBER CEMENT and a MURALIST; “Two things with ladders” (99- and 115 Across) are the MURALIST and a FIRE TRUCK; “Two things that are red” (115- and 117 Across) are the FIRE TRUCK and CRANBERRIES; and, finally, “Two things associated with Thanksgiving” (117- and 22 Across) are the CRANBERRIES and ROAST TURKEY from way back at the beginning of the puzzle. A full circle, indeed.

Plug for Philadelphia Dept., Part 1: If you’re looking for a MURALIST (99 Across), Philly is the place to go. The Mural Arts Program has created more than 2,800 works of art on buildings across the city; they are beautiful, vibrant, quirky, inspiring and downright cool. You can come here and take a tour or just look at some of them online.

Fatal Irony Department: SKOAL is the name of a smokeless tobacco and, apparently, a toast “To your health!” (5 Across). I had no idea.

Shout-Out To My Husband In Missouri Dept.: Turns out Daniel BOONE (“Cumberland Gap explorer,” 10 Across) didn’t just roam around lovely Boone County, Mo., where the University of Missouri has its flagship campus in Columbia.

Hope This Isn’t The First Credit In His Obituary Dept.: “‘No Escape’ star, 1994” (92 Across) is LIOTTA. I’m sure Ray would rather be clued as the star of “Goodfellas,” but I guess that’s too easy.

Plug for Philadelphia Dept., Part 2 (also known as Lord Stanley’s Cup Dept.): The city is crossing its fingers for another p-word, but we won’t say it out loud until the Flyers seal up the CREASE (“Hockey goalie’s area, 25 Down).

Questions or comments? Tweet me @crosswordkathy.

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