Lo and Behold!

New York Times crossword Dec. 2 / Constructed by Steven E. Atwood

Lo, and behold, the holiday season is here. And with it comes this crossword filled with lo-ing (which is not to be confused with lowing, the sound cattle make in an old Christmas hymn).

Today’s theme answers are common phrases that include the extra letters LO — an exclamation in biblical times, I think, and now an indispensable two-letter word in Scrabble and Words With Friends. Behold the amusing entries created with the extra letters: “Consideration in choosing a deli?” is THE LOX FACTOR (23 Across), while “Paintball weapons?” are BLOB GUNS (103 Across).

Others: “Part of a butcher’s stand-up routine?” is a LOIN JOKE (28 Across). “Laundry basket of just colors or just whites?” is a CLASSIFIED LOAD (35 Across). “Wise lawmaker most likely to be re-elected?” is a FAVORITE SOLON (46 Across). “Causing Election Day delays?” is SLOWING VOTERS (67 Across). “Chart indicating the progression of darkness after sunset?” is a GLOAMING TABLE (84 Across). “Power in Hollywood?” is DIRECTOR’S CLOUT (93 Across). “When there might be a two-for-one special on ice cream drinks?” is FLOAT TUESDAY (113 Across). And “Artistic expression on the slopes?” is SLALOM DANCING (61 Across), although I haven’t heard the base phrase “slam dancing” in years.

Silver Screen Dept.: Lots of Hollywood surnames were used to clue unusual first names like ALFRE (“Actress Woodard,” 6 Down); NIA (“Actress Vardalos,” 7 Down); ELKE (“Actress Sommer” 45 Across); IDAS (“Actress Lupino and others,” 109 Down); and MAUD (“Bond girl Adams,” 85 Down). Also, just to flip it around, “Actress Lena” is OLIN (24 Down).

Strong To The Finish Dept.: “Olive ___” (48 Down) is not oil but OYL, as in Popeye’s love. Speaking of Popeye, did you see this guy in Massachusetts with the 31-inch biceps?

Sincerest Form Of Flattery Dept.: “Prop for Mr. Monopoly or Mr. Peanut” is CANE (101 Across). The clue is pluralized at 117 Across (“Props for Mr. Monopoly and Mr. Peanut”) to yield TOP HATS.

For Fun Dept.: Only a few blog-worthy words in this fairly mundane puzzle – FOLK HERO (“Paul Bunyan, e.g.,” 4 Down), ALI BABA (“Woodcutter of legend,” 20 Across) and CALIENTE (“Salsa specification,” 112 Across).

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2 thoughts on “Lo and Behold!”

  1. This was the first site I came across when I googled New York Times Crossword salsa specification, and I’m not familiar with your blog or what the “For Fun Dept.” section entails, but this is a faulty clue. Caliente is Spanish for hot as in temperature. The hot in Spanish that would be a salsa specification is picante (like spicy).

  2. Hi Zac … you make a good point about the difference between hot-temperature and hot-spicy — one that I clearly missed because the only Spanish I know comes from crossword clues and restaurant menus. You should take your complaint to the source at the NYT crossword blog. (And the “For Fun Dept.” is just a category I use in my posts to point out uncommon entries.) Thanks for reading!

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