New York Times crossword June 26 / Constructed by David Levinson Wilk
Product placement? Ad revenue? After seeing the “T Mobile” title of today’s puzzle, you might be forgiven for thinking that Will Shortz had sold out. Of course, Will would never ask a cell phone carrier to sponsor a crossword. But he would use the company’s name as a hint for the theme answers, which are common phrases where the letter T has migrated from its rightful place. (It’s mobile — get it?)
That’s how a “Dance seen in a Lincoln Center performance of ‘Don Giovanni’?” (23 Across) becomes a NEW YORK MINUET, derived from “New York minute.” Others: “‘None of the leading sales people came in today’?” (33 Across) is ALL BEST ARE OFF; “Celebration after a 1964 heavyweight championship?” (40 Across) is a FETE OF CLAY; “Stirrup?” (55 Across) is a COWBOY BOOST; “Decide to sleep in the nude?” (71 Across) is CAST PAJAMAS; “What whitewashers apply?” (81 Across) are IVORY COATS; “Response to the query ‘Does Ms. Garbo fist-bump?’?” (88 Across) is NO GRETA SHAKES; and “Love before war?” (102 Across) is PREMARTIAL SEX.
I was kind of expecting the Ts to be a little more mobile than they were — they only moved one space over in each phrase. But overall I thought the clues and answers were pretty clever.
Higher Education Dept.: You get a virtual college tour in this puzzle, with four schools mentioned. It starts with a “Penn State campus site” in ALTOONA (25 Across); moves on to CAL, which is a “Berkeley campus nickname” (39 Across); then travels to the University of Maine in ORONO, a “College town just off Interstate 95″ (17 Down); and ends with Arizona State University in TEMPE, which is “Home to Sun Devil Stadium” (63 Down).
Hint, Hint Dept.: “When doubled, a number puzzle” is KEN (24 Down), as in KenKen, which of course is featured on the same page as the crossword.
I’m There Dept.: “Didn’t miss” is WAS AT (70 Down) while “Doesn’t miss” is ATTENDS (80 Down).
Capital Offense Dept.: The “1988 Grammy winner for ‘Crying’” is K.D. LANG (1 Across), which I wrote in ALL CAPS — like I do for all my answers — even though the Canadian singer-songwriter lower-cases her name.
Call Them Champs Dept.: “The Mavericks, on scoreboards” are DAL (65 Across), for Dallas. They also won this year’s NBA title a couple of weeks ago.
Frankly, My Dear Dept.: I read “Gone with the Wind” about 15 years ago — all 1,000-something pages of it — and couldn’t put it down. I even took a vacation to Atlanta (and Charleston and Savannah) in part because of the book. Yet somehow I had forgotten that “Scarlett O’Hara’s real first name” is KATIE (59 Across). I had to get a few crossing answers before filling in that one.
Rest In Peace Dept.: “Some cats blow on them” is SAXES (74 Across), which of course brings to mind the death last week of Clarence Clemons. The Big Man, as he was known, played sax with Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band for decades, performing signature solos on songs like “Dancing in the Dark.” (That song, incidentally, came out the year after David Bowie’s LET’S DANCE, the “1983 #1 hit with the lyric ‘Put on your red shoes’” (79 Across).