Snow White’s Employment Agency

New York Times crossword Jan. 22 / Constructed by Adam Fromm

Thank you, Will Shortz and puzzle creator Adam Fromm, for giving me an awful earworm today: “Heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s off to work we go …”

Those are the only lyrics I remember from the entirety of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the Disney fairy tale that serves as the crossword’s theme. In the movie, the beauty’s septet of little people toils in a diamond mine; today’s puzzle indicates that perhaps those jobs are to keep keep them away from less appropriate work.

The uniform theme clues (“Bad occupation for …..”) suggest ill-fitting employment for each dwarf: NIGHT WATCHMAN (Sleepy, 24 Across); GOTH MUSICIAN (Happy, 29 Across); FLORAL ARRANGER (Sneezy, 57 Across); MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER (Grumpy, 63 Across); ALGEBRA TEACHER (Dopey, 73 Across); VILLAGE IDIOT (Doc, 98 Across); and TV PERSONALITY (Bashful, 110 Across).

Hate to complain, but this was pretty lame. It won’t be on my list of favorite puzzle for 2012.

Philly Shout-Out Dept.: “Hallmark of the Philadelphia sound” is HORNS (96 Down). Philly is the home of Gamble & Huff, the songwriting duo responsible for hits like “Love Train” by The O’Jays and “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes (later redone by Simply Red). Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, along with Thom Bell, were the force behind Philadelphia International Records and the lush acoustics that became known as TSOP — “The Sound of Philadelphia.” Unfortunately, the downtown recording studio was ruined by fire in a bizarre incident a couple of years ago. It remains boarded up, although a TSOP souvenir shop was undamaged and remains open.

Speaking of Music Dept.: Until today, the only song I knew called “All the Things She Said” was performed by Simple Minds. Now I know there’s another song done by TATU (“Duo with the 2003 hit ‘All the Things She Said,'” 64 Down). The latter video has more than 21 million views, which is what happens when things GO VIRAL (“Become a YouTube sensation,” 56 Down).

Watch Your Language Dept.: “‘Shoot!'” is DANG (101 Down). “Gives a darn?” is SEWS (89 Across).

Things I Never Knew Dept.: “Relating to the palm of the hand” is VOLAR (98 Down). “Cave ___” is CANEM (4 Down), which I looked up after solving. It means “Beware the dog.” I’ll be sure to teach that to my cat.

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