Doing Without

New York Times crossword Jan. 8 / Constructed by Tony Orbach

Sorry for the late post! I was in Aruba last week and had to “do without” — as today’s title serendipitously puts it — the NYT crossword puzzle. I know, poor me.

The title also hints at a pretty easy theme: Take common phrases and remove the word “with,” creating an amusing new phrase. Like DON’T PLAY MATCHES (“‘Just do drills for now’?” 24 Across) and KEEP UP THE JONESES (“Disturb one’s neighbors at night?” 30 Across).

Others: GREEN ENVY (“Duffer’s feeling toward a putting pro?” 52 Across); DATE DESTINY (“Meeting one’s soul mate, perhaps?” 54 Across); GET THE PROGRAM (“Successfully perform a download?” 67 Across); SEALED A KISS (“Applied foil at the Hershey’s factory?” 87 Across); I’M THE BAND (“One man’s declaration to an upset party planner?” 91 Across); PASS FLYING COLORS (“Drive by the United Nations?” 105 Across); and I ONLY WANNA BE YOU (“Impostor’s excuse?” 117 Across).

Reading (Almost) Double Dept.: “Went into la-la land, with ‘out'” (127 Across) is ZONED, while “Go into la-la land, with ‘out'” (27 Down) is SPACE.

Geography 101 Dept.: “Glen Canyon reservoir” is LAKE POWELL (4 Down), which is in UTAH (“4-Down locale,” 78 Down). And “New York’s Tappan ___ Bridge” is ZEE (62 Down), which we use frequently to avoid taking the George Washington Bridge through the city.

Cinema 101 Dept.: “Hannibal’s foil in ‘The Silence of the Lambs’” is CLARICE (6 Across). “‘Me, Myself & ___’” is IRENE (124 Across). And “Actor Colin” is FIRTH (11 Down).

Philly Shout-Out Dept.: “What Oliver asked for more of” is GRUEL (109 Down), a reference to Dickens’ “Oliver Twist.” The Philadelphia public library, which has an extensive collection of Dickens’ correspondence and manuscripts, is celebrating a “Year of Dickens” to mark the novelist’s 200th birthday on Feb 7. The Philly library also has Dickens’ pet raven, Grip, stuffed and preserved. More on that in a future post.

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