Make The Change

New York Times crossword July 8 / Constructed by Joel Fagliano

Yo! How you doin’? It helps to be in a Brooklyn (or Philly) state of mind for today’s puzzle. As the title implies, constructor Joel Fagliano has taken common phrases that include the word “the” and made “the” change. And in each case, it’s been made into a “da” sound, creating a punny answer: “So happy you can’t see straight?” is BLINDED BY DELIGHT (22 Across).

Others: “Argument about a fork-tailed bird?” is SWALLOW DEBATE (34 Across). “Circle above the airport?” is PUT OFF DESCENT (50 Across). “Making one’s way down the corporate ladder?” is GOING THROUGH DEMOTIONS (70 Across). “Breed hatred in?” is TEACH TO DETEST (88 Across). “Woman who’s the very best at saying no?” is QUEEN OF DENIAL (110 Across). And “Really enjoy giving specifics?” is LIVE TO TELL DETAIL (122 Across).

Higher, Faster, Stronger Dept.: The 2012 London Games are set to begin in 19 days, and “One of the five Olympic rings” represents AFRICA (104 Down). But I’m pretty sure there are seven continents, so the symbolism is a little confusing. Even if you count Eurasia as one land mass — or the Americas as one — that still leaves out Antarctica. I found one reference (scroll to page 8) implying that Antarctica is represented by the white background on the flag. Hmmmm.

Say What? Dept.: There are a bunch of snippets of conversation in this puzzle. “‘Yeah, right'” is I BET (43 Across). “‘With 67-Across, ‘That’s not true!'” is YOU LIE (77 Across). “‘Sure thing'” is YUP (98 Across). “‘Your point being …?'” is AND (132 Across). “‘I won’t bore you with the rest'” is ETC ETC (74 Down). “‘I get your point. Jeez!'” is OK, OK (59 Down). And “‘Hmm …'” is I SEE (109 Down).

And Many More Dept.: “Birthday party, e.g.” is an EVENT (89 Down). “Words heard at a birthday party” are OPEN IT (90 Down).

Double Up Dept.: The clue “Combines” is used twice, once for COUPLES (96 Down) and once for POOLS (103 Down).

Philly Shout-Out Dept.: “Nickname for the Philadelphia Eagles’ stadium, with ‘the'” is LINC (4 Down), short for Lincoln Financial Field. It’s across from Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies are doing their damnedest to hit into DPS (“Infielder feats: Abbr.,” 125 Down) and complete their slide from first to worst. Ugh. We went last night; so painful. You might consider them OVERPAID (“Like pro athletes, some say,” 92 Down) for the 37-49 record they’ve rung up so far.

For Fun Dept.: “One to consult for PC problems” is an I.T. GUY (87 Down). And “Jump accompanier?” is GERONIMO! (93 Down).

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