Infractions

New York Times crossword April 29 / Constructed by Tracy Gray

We’ve really been taken back to school recently with these crosswords. Earlier this month, you needed to remember high school chemistry to solve the puzzle. This week, it’s elementary school math — fractions, to be specific. But you probably figured that out from the title.

The "Infractions" aren't violations but literal representations of fractions.

Clever constructor Tracy Gray came up with theme answers that use visual representation of fractions to form common phrases. Take 94 Across, which references one of my favorite Philly movies: “With 103 Across, 1999 Shyamalan thriller.” The two-part entry becomes THE ONE SENSE for 94 Across, with the word SIX underneath (103 Across) the ONE. ONE over SIX, of course, is a sixth, yielding the answer “The Sixth Sense.”

Others: “With 26-Across, like grandchildren” (23 Across) is entered as ONE GENERATION over THREE, creating the phrase “third generation.” “With 44-Across, execute, in a way” (33 Across) is DRAW AND ONE over FOUR, yielding “draw and quarter.” “With 50-Across, euphoric” (45 Across) is IN ONE HEAVEN over SEVEN, for “in seventh heaven.” “With 77-Across, high-end retail chain” (71 Across) is SAKS ONE AVENUE over FIVE, for “Saks Fifth Avenue.” “With 112-Across, compromise” (105 Across) is MEET ONE WAY over TWO, for “meet halfway.” And “With 127-Across, classical work that’s the source of the European Union’s anthem” (122 Across) is BEETHOVEN’S ONE over NINE, for “Beethoven’s Ninth.”

Ewww Dept.: “Jobs for dentists” are ABSCESSES (49 Down).

Mad Men Dept.: “Product with the old ad catchphrase, ‘Mother, please, I’d rather do it myself!'” (51 Across) is the pain-reliever ANACIN. The clue references an ad in which a woman with a headache yells at her mother as she’s trying to make dinner. I tried to find a YouTube clip, but only came up with commercials like this one from the same campaign.

Nice to Meet You Dept.: Never heard of TITOV (“Gherman ___, cosmonaut who was the second human to orbit the earth,” 48 Down), ARVO (“Sacred music composer ___ Part,” 65 Across) or a CASUIST (“Student of morality,” 13 Across).

For Fun Dept.: “Fine word for libraries?” is OVERDUE (22 Across). “Flips” is GOES GAGA (5 Across).

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