To Thine Own Self Be True

New York Times, June 27

As the title indicates, this was certainly an egotistical puzzle. Either that or a subtle homage to everything Apple, including the new iPad and iPhone 4.

The theme here was camouflaged in several clues beginning with the word “I” – the trick was to separate the “I” from the rest of the word, instead of reading it intact. So “Irate” (23 Across” is really “I rate,” yielding the answer FILM CRITIC. And “Isled” (28 Across) is read as “I sled,” yielding OLYMPIC LUGER.

Others: “Islander” (52 Across) is TABLOID WRITER (although I’m sure a slew of New York Post and Daily News reporters would take issue with that); “Iran”  (88 Across) is ELECTION LOSER; the aforementioned “iPhone” (109 Across) is TELEMARKETER; “Ibid.” (117 Across) is EBAY PATRON; “Icon” (33 Down) is PONZI SCHEMER; and “Ideal” (42 Down) is CASINO WORKER.

We Have That in Philadelphia Too Dept.: “____ Lane, home of London’s Theatre Royal” (21 Across) is DRURY. Here in Philly, we have an equally historic Drury Lane that is home to McGillin’s Olde Ale House, the city’s oldest continuously operating tavern. It’s celebrating 150 years this year, and I wrote about the milestone last summer.

They Have That in North Carolina and Ohio Too Dept.: “Long Island town where the Wright Brothers experimented” (94 Down) is MINEOLA. Lots of cities like to claim the Wright Brothers, foremost among them Kitty Hawk, N.C., and Dayton, Ohio; I’d never heard of the Mineola connection. Reminds me of Edgar Allan Poe, who also has multiple cities claiming him (Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York and Richmond, Va.). A Poe scholar in Philly has suggested Poe’s body should be stolen from Baltimore and repatriated here, since he wrote a slew of stories in the City of Brotherly Love. And in related exhumation news, my AP colleague broke the story last week that a lawsuit has been filed in Pennsylvania over the body of athlete Jim Thorpe.

Questions or comments? Tweet me @crosswordkathy.

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