New York Times crossword Oct. 14 / Constructed by Todd Gross
Today’s puzzle is for the couch potatoes among us — the theme sneakily pays homage to an array of cable and network TV stations.
The hint lies in the “start-up” reference in the title. Channel abbreviations are found by taking the first letter of each word in the theme answers: TENDER LOVING CARE (“Special attention,” 23 Across) yields the letters TLC, which is the abbreviation for The Learning Channel. (Although, honestly, can it really be called that if it airs “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”?)
Other stations: NBC, from NOT BY CHOICE (“Against one’s will,” 28 Across); AMC, from ALL MY CHILDREN (“Soap discontinued in 2011,” 44 Across); PBS, from PEARLS BEFORE SWINE (“Comic strip with the characters Rat and Pig,” 63 Across); TBS, from TOTAL BODY SCAN (“M.R.I., maybe,” 80 Across); TNT, from TELL NO TALES (“What dead men are said to do,” 104 Across); and CBS, from CAROL BURNETT SHOW (“With ‘The,’ former sketch comedy program on CBS … fittingly enough,” 108 Across).
For Fun Dept: Constructor Todd Gross included some awesome long entries that were not part of the theme. “2010 movie with a plot to steal the moon” is DESPICABLE ME (60 Down), the animated film starring (the voice of) Steve Carell. “Warning” is ADMONISHMENT (15 Down). “Boating hazards” are WHIRLPOOLS (41 Down). “Recipe unit” is a TABLESPOON (36 Down). And “You may go under it at a hotel” is a FALSE NAME (106 Across).
Twofer Dept.: The doubled clue “Behind” yielded IN ARREARS (27 Across) and PAST DUE (70 Across). The grid also featured SOREN (“Philosopher Kierkegaard,” 79 Down) and SORENSEN (“Ted who wrote ‘The Kennedy Legacy’,” 82 Down).
Touche Dept.: “Ikea store, to some” is a MAZE (58 Across).
Learn Something New Every Day Dept.: “Cinnabar, e.g.” is ORE (57 Down), not to be confused with the tasty offerings at Cinnabon. (OK, maybe I mixed them up.) “African region including Khartoum and Timbuktu” is SAHEL (101 Down). And “Home of the oldest school in Sweden, founded in 1085” is LUND (31 Down).
Time Machine Dept.: “Bread dispensers” are ATMS (15 Across), except that it’s not 1970 and no one calls money “bread” anymore. Arrrrgh.
Philly Shout-Out Dept.: You might have noticed the new-and-improved look of Crossword Kathy. Thus, today’s Philly Shout-Out goes to my husband, who kindly updated the website so that it will now appear the same regardless of which device you read it on. Thank you!