Debut Promos At The World’s Fair

New York Times crossword July 29 / Constructed by Kevin G. Der

If you need a reminder of just how quickly times have changed, today’s puzzle is for you. Can you believe people used to travel to international expos to see newfangled contraptions like an ESCALATOR (117 Across) or TYPEWRITER (44 Across)?

Welcome to the World’s Fair(s). Constructor Kevin G. Der writes modern-day taglines to clue the inventions that once wowed ’em but are now commonplace — or even obsolete. The ESCALATOR is “‘Getting fairgoers moving on the right track’ (Paris, 1900)” while the TYPEWRITER “‘Puts the keys of the future at your fingertips’ (Philadelphia, 1876).”

Other discoveries: XRAY MACHINE (“‘Get an inside look at our booth’ (Buffalo, 1901),” 23 Across); TELEPHONE (“‘Come by and chat at our booth’ (Philadelphia, 1876),” 25 Across); TOUCH-SCREEN (“You’ve gotta get your hands on this’ (Knoxville, 1982),” 41 Across); HEINZ KETCHUP (“‘Bring your dog to our booth’ (Philadelphia, 1876),” 59 Across); HUMANOID ROBOT (“‘The fair’s toughest man alive’ (New York City, 1939),” 69 Across); ICE CREAM CONE (“‘Get the scoop on our new hand-held offering’ (St. Louis, 1904),” 79 Across); WALL OUTLET (“‘Fairgoers may be in for a shock’ (St. Louis, 1904),” 94 Across); FERRIS WHEEL (“‘Starting a giant revolution at the fairgrounds’ (Chicago, 1893),” 97 Across) and the IMAX THEATER (“‘Now showing our big vision of the future’ (Osaka, 1970),” 119 Across).

Philadelphia’s Memorial Hall, built for the 1876 World’s Fair, now houses a children’s museum

Philly Shout-Out, Part 1 Dept.: I can’t help but be proud that Philadelphia hosted three of the debuts in the puzzle: TELEPHONE, TYPEWRITER and HEINZ KETCHUP. The 1876 World’s Fair here was also called the Centennial Exposition — in honor of the U.S.’s 100th birthday — and we still use one of the buildings constructed for the event. Memorial Hall is part of Fairmount Park and served as the city’s art museum until 1928, when the current building (famous for the “Rocky” steps) opened about a mile away. Memorial Hall now houses a children’s museum known as the Please Touch Museum. (It also offers “Grown-up Tours” of the Centennial facility.)

Philly Shout-Out, Part 2 Dept.: “‘High Hopes’ lyricist Sammy” is CAHN (15 Down), and you’ll hear that song at Citizens Bank Park after every Phillies win. Our version is sung by the late Harry Kalas, a longtime team announcer. Alas, it’s hard to have high hopes for this year’s team, which is 11 games under .500.

New Word Dept.: “Female counselor” is an EGERIA (100 Down), which I only got through crossing words. Apparently she was an adviser to a king of Rome whom I’ve also never heard of.

Twofer Dept.: The clue “Gross!” yielded both UGH! (7 Down) and EWW! (82 Down).

Speaking Of Which Dept.: “Firenze’s place” is ITALIA (40 Down), while a “Day spa treatment” is a PEEL (50 Across). The clues reminded me of the double-feature we saw last night: Woody Allen’s “To Rome With Love,” which of course takes place in Italy, and the documentary “Queen of Versailles,” which features a scene involving youthful skin treatments. Thumbs up on both movies, by the way.

Ha Ha Dept.: “It may receive a few pointers” is a KENNEL (111 Across).

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