For Your Edification

New York Times crossword March 6 / Constructed by David Levinson Wilk

Sorry to say I’m cutting short my post today due to mobile blogging issues. My mi-fi is acting up on Amtrak and im finishing this post on my iPhone. Arrrgggghh.

“For Your Edification” isn’t really an edifying puzzle in terms of bettering yourself, though it will improve your knowledge of famous people named Ed. The grid is filled with Eds of all stripes, from actors and politicians to a late-night talk-show host and a CBS newsman. The key is to separate ED from its root word in a common phrase: “Be willing to apprehend Mr. Bradley at any cost?” is to WANT ED DEAD OR ALIVE (23 Across).

Others: “Punish Mr. Harris in a medieval way?” is BURN ED AT THE STAKE (31 Across); “Get Mr. Koch addicted to a modern reading method?” is HOOK ED ON PHONICS (43 Across); “Preside over Mr. O’Neill’s baptism?” is a BLESS ED EVENT (66 Across); “Do Mr. Sullivan’s stand-up material?” is CRACK ED JOKES (75 Across); “Prohibit Mr. McMahon from ever socializing again?” is GROUND ED FOR LIFE (93 Across); “Perform brain surgery on Mr. Begley?” is TOUCH ED IN THE HEAD (103 Across); and “Put Mr. Meese in an Armani suit?” is DRESS ED TO THE NINES (116 Across).

Wonder if constructor David Levinson Wilk tried to fit in either Mr. Ed or the ever-gregarious Ed Rendell (former Pa. governor, former DNC chairman, former longtime Philly mayor and current sports columnist and political commentator).

Spring Training Dept.: “Pirates’ home” in seven letters is not SOMALIA but PNC PARK, the bank-sponsored stadium where Pittsburgh’s struggling baseball team plays.

Heard in the Hospital Dept.: I only hear the word COAGULATE (“Thicken,” 1 Across) when medical types on TV are talking about blood. I’ve never heard a doctor say the word “Adipocyte” (90 Down), though it is apparently a fancy way to say FAT CELL.

Just Born Dept.: “Mike and __ (some jellybeans, informally” (40 Down) are Mike and IKES, manufactured by Just Born Inc., not far from Philadelphia in Bethlehem, Pa. The company also makes Peeps, those yellow marshmallow chicks that should be everywhere pretty soon now that Easter is coming up.

Seeing Things Dept.: “‘Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out’ subject” is LSD (6 Down), which played a role in a bizarre movie I watched last night called “The Men Who Stare At Goats.” Great cast (George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey, Ewan McGregor), but it left me kind of … meh.

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