New York Times crossword May 15 / Constructed by Cathy Allis
The key to today’s puzzle lies in your ability to fuhgeddaboudit — or to at least emulate those who do. A Nu Yawk accent is “Included Herewit,” whereby the theme answers tweak common phrases by replacing a “TH” sound with a hard “T.” The big hint comes in 75 Down, “Film cousin whose accent this puzzle spoofs“: VINNY. How would “My Cousin Vinny” describe the “Possible result of a costly Italian vacation?” DEBT IN VENICE (27 Across).
Others: “What Ernie may wish he had vis-a-vis his roommate?” is BERT CONTROL (4 Down); “Jokes in a campy 1960s TV locale?” is BATROOM HUMOR (55 Across); “Akin to milking a cow?” is LIKE PULLING TEAT (64 Across); “Bless butter with a gesture?” is CROSS ONE’S PAT (78 Across); “Vessel for just the two of us?” is YOU AND ME BOAT (108 Across); “Role of a boxer’s physician?” is WELT MANAGEMENT (113 Across); and “Non-choice for restaurant seating?” is TABLE OR BOOT (68 Down).
Finally, there is “Salt Lake City athlete’s dear hawk mascot?”: SWEET BIRD OF UTE (24 Across). It reminds me of a great scene in the movie when Vinny, played by Joe Pesci, gets into an spat with the judge over his pronunciation of the word “youths.”
Better Half Dept.: Also included in this Vinny-themed grid is a clue for the female lead: “Marisa who played 75-Down’s girlfriend”: TOMEI (59 Across). She also won a best supporting actress Oscar for it.
Excuse for Vacation Photos Dept.: “One of the Leeward Antilles” is ARUBA (35 Down). We went there back in January.
Printed Too Soon Dept.: “Politico Gingrich” is NEWT (117 Across). Had the puzzle gone to press a few days later, surely the clue would have been “Presidential candidate Gingrich.”
Fun Foodstuffs Dept.: “Frozen tater brand” is ORE-IDA (8 Down) while “Kellogg’s cereal” is MUESLIX (61 Down).
Feathers and Sequins Dept.: “Word after string or rubber” is BAND (1 Down). Here in Philly, we have numerous string bands that don gaudy costumes each year to compete in the Mummers Parade on Jan. 1. It’s kind of like our Mardi Gras. Come out and see it sometime.