New York Times crossword Jan. 1 / Constructed by Patrick Berry

Happy New Year!

Hmmmmmm. I suspect today’s fairly easy puzzle was designed for solvers with wicked hangovers. Each theme answer took a common phrase but added a phonetic “um” syllable to the end _ a literal interpretation of the “add-end-um” title.

So a “Pool ball’s ‘Watch this!’ comment?” is SEE IF I CAROM (18 Across), and a “High-mounted window you can’t stop looking at?” is a HYPNOTIC TRANSOM (23 Across).

Others: STEM TO STERNUM (“Part of a watch touching the breastbone?” 32 Across); OFFICE MAXIM (“‘You don’t have to be busy to look bust,’ e.g.?” 46 Across); SILICON VALIUM (“Pill that relieves computer related anxiety?” 59 Across); BRUTE FOURSOME (“Inhuman group of golfers?” 71 Across); HEAD OF HAREM (“Sultan’s wife, perhaps?” 81 Across); THE LION’S DENIM (“Jungle king’s jeans and overalls?” 99 Across); PARTICLE BOREDOM (“Ennui among quantum physicists?” 110 Across); and PIE A LA MODEM (“Dessert delivered over the Internet?” 116 Across).

Need more Ms? How about 17 Down, “Candy eaten in handfuls”? Answer: M AND M’S.

Mummers Parade, New Year's Day 2012, Philadelphia

Philly Shout-Out Dept.: “‘Philadelphia’ director” is Jonathan DEMME (103 Down). I still get misty-eyed watching the opening titles of that film.

Common Answer, Uncommon Clue Dept.: “Best-selling author who wrote ‘I did not write it. God wrote it. I merely did his dictation'” is Harriet Beecher STOWE (29 Down), who penned “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

Auld Lang Syne Dept.: Hope you indulged in a sip of MUMM (“Big name in Champagne,” 83 Down) to ring in the New Year! Or maybe you caught Justin Bieber covering the Beatles (oy vey!) on “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” to see if the ball was “About ready to drop” (BEAT, 94 Down). Hope you had a “Great time” (EON, 113 Down) and not a “Bad experience” (BUMMER, 94 Across) on New Year’s Eve.

Questions or comments? Leave them here, visit my Facebook page or tweet me @crosswordkathy.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!