New York Times crossword Nov. 6 / Constructed by Elizabeth C. Gorski
You don’t need a sweet tooth to solve this puzzle, but it sure might help. The grid is filled with enough desserts to make Buddy Valastro jealous.
The theme of today’s clever yet caloric crossword is types of cake. The catch is that you have to look up to find them: The answers all read from bottom to top. Figuring out that trick comes from solving 47 Down, “Pastry chef creations … and a hint to 12 other answers in this puzzle”: UPSIDE-DOWN CAKES. And 13 theme answers, of course, makes a baker’s dozen — just like the title says.
So while “Not having quite enough money” (1 Down) is SHORT, it’s entered as TROHS. The same goes for “The ‘mode’ of ‘a la mode’?” (12 Down), which is ICE CREAM, entered as MAERCECI.
Others: “Schokolade” is ETALOCOHCNAMREG (GERMAN CHOCOLATE, 3 Down); “Manna, according to the Bible” is DOOFLEGNA (ANGEL FOOD, 5 Down); “Canine shelter” is DNUOP (POUND, 15 Down); “Wooded area near the Rhine Valley” is TSEROFKCALB (BLACK FOREST, 40 Down); and “Squishy dish cleaner” is EGNOPS (SPONGE, 50 Down).
More: “Word before republic or seat” is ANANAB (BANANA, 61 Down); “Girl’s holiday party dress fabric” is TEVLEVDER (RED VELVET, 84 Down); “Cause for bringing out candles” is YADHTRIB (BIRTHDAY, 87 Down); “Coat of paint” is REYAL (LAYER, 103 Down); and a “Bed cover” is a TEEHS (SHEET, 110 Down).
Keystone State Shout-Out Dept.: “Peak leaf-peeping time in Pennsylvania” is MID-OCTOBER (97 Across). And sticking with the bakery theme, central Pennsylvania is home to “The Sweetest Place on Earth,” where you can see “How Hershey’s Kisses are wrapped” — IN FOIL (18 Down). On a sad note, the 41 Down clue “One of the Alis” — LAILA, daughter of boxer Muhammad — reminded me of yesterday’s stunning news here in Philly: Native son and ex-Ali nemesis Joe Frazier is gravely ill with liver cancer.
Say What? Dept.: “Math coordinates” are ABSCISSAE (13 Down). I thought for a minute that entry was part of the upside down theme, but no, it’s just terribly obscure. And while I’ve heard of going incognito, I’ve never heard the abbreviated version INCOG (“Wearing a wig and shades, say,” 55 Across).
Polar Opposites Dept.: The “Focus of Gandhi’s philosophy” is NON-VIOLENCE (24 Across), which is paired in its corresponding space below with RIOT SHIELDS (“Police protection,” 117 Across).
Where in the World? Dept.: “Area known to the Chinese as Dongbei” is MANCHURIA (42 Down). “Russia’s ___ Bay, arm of the White Sea” is ONEGA (104 Down). “___ Beach, Hawaii” is EWA (63 Down).