New York Times crossword Aug. 26 / Constructed by Amanda Yesnowitz and Doug Peterson
There was a lot of talking going on in this crossword — chatting, to be specific — so it’s good that Will Shortz tried to put a lid on it. Oops, I mean in it.
“Lid,” of course, is slang for “hat” — something I learned from the baseball cap store at the mall. The theme answers in today’s puzzle all contain the letters HAT, which are entered into a single square. A literal hint could be found at 110 Down: “Storage item … or one of six in this puzzle?” which yields (HAT) BOX.
That answer crossed with ALL’S WELL T(HAT) ENDS WELL (“Source of the line ‘They say miracles are past,’” 107 Across). Others: TO CATC(H A T)HIEF (“1955 Grant/Kelly thriller,” 74 Across), which crosses with I (HAT)E YOU (“Mock response to a friend who pulls a practical joke,” 71 Down). And HORTON (HAT)CHES THE EGG (“Source material for Broadway’s ‘Seussical,’” 43 Across) crosses with (HAT)ARI (“1962 John Wayne film,” 45 Down), which I’ve never heard of.
Here’s where the chatting took place: LADY C(HAT)TERLY’S LOVER (“Banned book of 1928,” 25 Across), C(HAT)TANOOGA CHOO CHOO (“World’s first certified gold record, 1942,” 88 across) and C(HAT)TY CATHY (“Talking doll that debuted in 1960,” 53 Down). They crossed with, respectively, AR(HAT)S (“Nirvana achievers,” 18 Down), MA(HAT)MA GANDHI (“Time’s 1930 Man of the Year,” 59 Across) and T(HAT)CH (“Hut cover,” 84 Down). I’d never heard of “arhats.”
Not a bad puzzle, although it struck me that most of the theme clues referenced years that predate my birth (and I’m Generation X). Wonder if there were more modern HATs to be had? It also would have been better if my artistic skills were such that I could actually draw hats instead of just writing the letters.
I’ll try to post something on that puzzle later in the week.