Hack Saws

New York Times crossword Aug. 14 / Constructed by Paula Gamache

I never understood why old, tried-and-true saying were called saws. But knowing that synonym was helpful in solving today’s puzzle, which finished off well-known quotations with joke-like new endings. I say joke-like because they’re really not that funny — and that may be the point considering the “Hack Saws” title. These are saws a hack might offer up at a comedy club: “Where there’s a will, there’s …” GOING TO BE A RELATIVE (35 Across). Rim shot. Take my husband, please.

Others: “Where there’s smoke, there’s …” AIR POLLUTION (56 Across); “People who live in glass houses …” LET IT ALL HANG OUT (66 Across); “He who laughs last …” FINALLY GOT IT (80 Across); “If at first you don’t succeed …” REDEFINE THE MISSION (99 Across); “Don’t bite the hand …” THAT HASN’T BEEN WASHED (108 Across); and “A penny saved is …” NOT ENOUGH TO RETIRE ON (27 Across).

Philly Shout-Out Dept.: That last theme answer calls to mind our favorite son Ben Franklin, who is interred here in the Christ Church burial ground. His grave is often covered in pennies as visitors pay tribute to the actual words of his famous saw, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

Can I Buy A Vowel? Dept.: “Entertainment providers at a sports bar” are LCD TVS (49 Across).

What Century Is This? Dept.: “E-mail alternative” is a FAX (45 Across) in this puzzle, but not in the world I live in.

The Other End Dept.: “Western terminus of I-90” is SEATTLE (24 Down). I’m much more familiar with the eastern terminus in downtown Boston, where it’s known as the Mass Pike.

Hi-Ho Silver Dept.: Could it really be that TONTO means “Stupid, in Sonora” (127 Across)? Oy vey.

Silver Screen Supermodels Dept.: “___ blue” is STEEL (55 Down), but movie buffs know “Blue Steel” as the look perfected by Derek Zoolander.

L.A. Story, The Sequel Dept.: Last week’s puzzle helped me tell a story about our vacation in California. While in L.A. — my original hometown — we actually spent quite a bit of time on PICO (“Boulevard where Fox Studios and the Los Angeles Convention Center are located,” 4 Down). But I have to point out that Fox and the Convention Center, while sharing a street name, are actually about 10 miles apart.

L.A. Story, Part III Dept.: Just off Pico Boulevard, Fox has an office tower better known in filmdom as Nakatomi Plaza. It’s the skyscraper that Bruce Willis saved from European terrorists in “Die Hard.” I love that movie for absolutely no good reason, but my husband had never seen it until I made him watch it while we were in L.A. He found the movie incredibly dumb (sigh), but was pleasantly surprised by the recognition he got from his Tweeple after checking in from there on FourSquare.

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