New York Times crossword Sept. 11 / Constructed by Kay Anderson
I’m blogging from the road again. This weekend I’m in Glens Falls, N.Y., which pretty much lives up to its nickname of “Hometown, USA” with an old-fashioned main street and gazeboed downtown park. But more on that later.
Today’s puzzle throws you for a curve — or, more accurately, a corner. The theme clues, which are helpfully italicized, all yield answers that turn at right angles. I’ve used a ballpoint pen to show a couple of them in the grid below; unfortunately, I don’t have any highlighters with me to show all the interior ones.
Basically, the last letter of the first word doubles as the first letter of the next word: “Part of a boxer’s training” (95 Down) is JUMPING ROPE, where the G doubles as the end of JUMPING and the first letter of GROPE (“Really feel for?” 131 Across). Same goes for “Title figure in an Aesop fable” (14 Across): GRASS HOPPER, where the S is also the first letter of SHOPPER (“Ad-filled weekly,” 18 Down).
Others, with the common corner letter underlined: “Nitty-gritty, as of negotiations” is BRASS TACKS (1 Across); “Work on at a desk, say” is HUNCH OVER (58 Across); “Bracket shape” is a RIGHT ANGLE (77 Across); “Ernest and Julio Gallo product” is MERLOT WINE (35 Down); “Usual amount to pay” is the GOING RATE (57 Down); and “It’s pitched for a large audience” is a CIRCUS TENT (107 Down).
Sucking Up Dept.: Every crossword geek knows Will Shortz is NPR’s puzzlemaster on Sundays. Is he looking for a raise? Because 55 Across is STAMBERG (“Susan of NPR,” 55 Across).
Happily Ever After Dept.: In Paris, the phrase “Once upon a time” becomes “‘Il etait UNE fois …’ (French fairy-tale starter)” (103 Across).
Kodachrome Dept.: “Time it takes to develop a set of photos, maybe” is ONE HOUR (96 Down). That is, if you can still find a camera that uses film.
High Holidays Dept.: The Jewish New Year is coming up at the end of the month, when you might hear “‘L’shanah TOVAH!’ (Rosh Hashana greeting)” (22 Across).
Shake and Bake Dept.: “Alabama speedway locale” is TALLADEGA (124 Across), which I only know because of “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” Will Ferrell’s send-up of NASCAR.
New York, New York Dept.: “N.Y.C. landmark” is THE U.N. (71 Down). The city is also the focus of an exhibit at The Hyde Collection museum here in Glens Falls. My husband took one of the photos in the exhibit — a powerful image of Ground Zero on Sept. 12, 2001 — and his gallery talk featuring other pictures from that day was a moving way to spend the 10th anniversary of 9/11.