Body Enhancement

New York Times crossword July 10 / Constructed by Ben Pall and David Kahn

Sorry for the late post … Had some problems with the interwebs earlier and am just now posting from home in Philly.


Hello and greetings from Cape May, N.J., billed as America’s first seaside resort. The shore is surely a good place for a SUNTAN (“Get dark?” 125 Across), though not necessarily the best place for blogging. (Between getting the temperamental MiFi to work, keeping sand off the iPad and trying not smear sunscreen on the puzzle, life can be a real beach.)

If you watch too much of MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” you might think there would be some “body enhancement” — as today’s puzzle is titled — visible on the sand around me. But, seeing as how this is a family resort and not Snooki’s Seaside Heights, the only IMPLANTS I spotted this weekend were in the crossword.

The reason I capitalized IMPLANTS is because those are the circled letters in the grid, as you read from top to bottom. Each of those letters is implanted in a theme answer, turning a common body-centric phrase into a clever new one: “What a poltergeist investigator does?” is COUNT NOISES (22 Across).

Others: “What the tired waiter provided?” is LIMP SERVICE (30 Across); “Fruit for lagomorphs?” is RABBIT PEARS (40 Across); “Disorderly poultry workers?” are CHICKEN FLINGERS (56 Across); “Attempts to climb a mountain range?” is TAKES ON THE CHAIN (75 Across); “Sad sports headline in a Providence paper?” is BROWN BEATEN (90 Across); “Dusting on the side of a cut gem?” is FACET POWDER (103 Across); and “Churchgoers, sometimes?” are PSALM READERS (116 Across).

Doubled Double Trouble Dept.: There were two sets of twinned clues in today’s puzzle. “Sweetheart” was DEARIE (66 Across) and BEAU (98 Across) while “Numerical prefix” was OCTA (5 Down) and TRI (35 Down).

Philly Shout-Out Dept.: “Paolantonio of ESPN” is SAL (45 Down), a former Philadelphia sports writer who still lives in the area.

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