Making Ends Meet

New York Times, July 4

Happy Phourth from Philly!

I’ll start off by saying I’m a little surprised that Independence Day didn’t factor into the theme at all (not even a single clue, actually). If Flag Day merits a doozy of a puzzle, you’d think the Fourth would at least score a mention in the grid. Oh well. Maybe I should make that my goal for next year: Get an Independence Day-themed puzzle published. I’ll get right on that. After today’s phestivities.

The theme clues in today’s grid were italicized, a font I hope is replicated in the syndicated versions next week. The answers were all common two-word phrases in which the last two letters of the first word also were the first two letters of the second word _ but they were only written once. So “Technical trouble” is a COMPUTERROR (23 Across); “Helper in herding” is an ENGLISHEEPDOG (32 Across); “Collectible book” is a LIMITEDITION (42 Across);  and a “Line in London” is the PRIMERIDIAN (57 Across).

Others: “Like man an online password” is CASENSITIVE (66 Across); “It might have a theater and planetarium” is a SCIENCENTER (76 Across); “Singer who played Cyrano in ‘Cyrano de Bergerac'” is PLACIDOMINGO (87 Across); “Introvert or extrovert” is a PERSONALITYPE (100 Across); and a “Protector” is a GUARDIANGEL (111 Across).

Republicans Probably Aren’t Laughing Dept.: “Herd of elephants?” is GOP (111 Down).

Wha-wha-what? Dept.: “‘Just a ___!’ (‘Hold on!’)” is A MO (2 Down). Really? Just a sec, just a min(ute) … and now “just a mo”? Eek.

Nice Parallel Clues Dept.: “Not e’en once” (38 Across) and “Not even once, in Nuremberg” (67 Down). Answers are NE’ER and NIE, respectively.

Questions or comments? Tweet me @crosswordkathy

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