New York Times crossword June 17 / Constructed by Kyle T. Dolan
Although this amusing crossword was not terribly challenging, I’m so glad to wash away the bad taste left by last week’s puzzle. Today’s title is literal, if you punctuate it correctly: Play a “ble.” In other words, take common phrases and add the letters BLE. So “Falter while imitating Jay-Z?” is BUMBLE RAP (22 Across).
Others: “Something thrown in ‘West Side Story’?” is a RUMBLE PUNCH (24 Across). “Sing high notes?” is WARBLE ON DRUGS (36 Across). “Cry upon arriving at an earthquake site?” is THERE’S THE RUBBLE (54 Across). “What the turnover-prone football player had?” is DROPPING TROUBLE (77 Across). “Shenanigans at the royal court?” is NOBLE NONSENSE (92 Across). “Nickname for a hard-to-understand monarch?” is QUEEN MUMBLE (110 Across). And a “Lens cover for a large telescope?” is a HUBBLE CAP (114 Across).
Moonrise Kingdom Dept.: Saw the new Wes Anderson movie last night and liked it very much. The “Troop grp.” featured in the film is not the BSA (57 Down, for “Boy Scouts of America”) but the fictional and extremely similar Khaki Scouts of North America.
In Other Words Dept.: “‘Ver-r-ry funny!'” is HAHA (43 Down). “‘Have a look!'” is GO SEE (33 Down). And “‘Are you kidding me?!'” is OH BROTHER (4 Down).
New To Me Dept.: Never heard of BELOT (“Trick-taking game,” 30 Across), which crosses with NABOB (“Bigwig,” 1 Down). I didn’t realize the latter was a real word; it sounds so made-up, and the only place I’ve ever heard it is in the famous Spiro Agnew quote about “nattering nabobs of negativism” (which was actually written by William Safire).
Doubled-Up Dept.: The twice-used clue “Genesis son” yields ABEL (73 Down) and his lesser-known sibling SETH (42 Down). “Suffix with ball” is the dubious OON (72 Across), while “Ball partner” is not “chain” but ARNAZ (103 Down), as in Desi and wife Lucille.
Bad News Dept.: Journalism suffered another huge blow last week. Hundreds of reporters were laid off at four papers down South, including at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans (which also won’t be publishing daily print copies anymore). I wonder how things are at the Daily Planet, employer of Superman, aka Clark KENT (“Alter ego who carries a notepad,” 75 Down).
Philly Shout-Out Dept.: Jay-Z (from the aforementioned 22 Across, “Falter while imitating Jay-Z”) is bringing a major two-day concert to the City of Brotherly Love over Labor Day weekend.