New York Times crossword puzzle Aug. 4 / Constructed by Steven Ginzburg
Today’s rather mundane crossword poses an equally mundane question: Should you call the repairman? If you own as many broken appliances as this puzzle features, I suppose the answer is yes. Although let’s be honest: Most people would either junk this stuff or sell it as-is on Craigslist.
The first device goes on the fritz at 27 Across: “The jigsaw …” KEEPS CUTTING OUT. Then we see that “The elevator …” JUST WENT DOWN (40 Across). And more: “The mosquito zapper …” HAS STILL GOT BUGS (53 Across); “The quiz-grading machine …” FAILED SOME TESTS (77 Across); “The crosswalk signal …” IS ON THE BLINK (89 Across); and “The film-processing machine at the movie studio …” DEVELOPED A SHORT (104 Across). Unforutnately for the lonely Maytag repairman, it looks like the washing machine and dryer still work.
Fun Phrases Dept.: There were quite a few long entries that had nothing to do with the theme. They include KING-SIZE BED (“Part of a honeymoon suite, perhaps,” 14 Down), RHUBARB PIE (“Tart dessert,” 74 Down), STREET-WISE (“Savvy, in a way,” 6 Down), AT A DISCOUNT (“On sale,” 66 Down), WALLPAPERED (“Hung some strips,” 62 Down) and CORNER STONE (“Place to find a date,” 3 Down). Also in this category are AGA KHAN (“High Muslim honorific,” 6 Down), FAR EAST (“China setting,” 7 Down) and ARBORISTS (“Tree experts,” 23 Across).
Broadcast News Dept.: “Onetime NBC news anchor” was Chet HUNTLEY (91 Down). Another longtime NBC news reporter died yesterday: John Palmer was 77.
Check The Record Dept.: The “Pride of St. Louis” is not Charles Lindbergh nor his plane, but THE RAMS (90 Down)? You mean the football team that went 7-8-1 last year? And 2-14 the year before that? I guess the clue implies that rams travel in prides the same way that lions do. But I’ve never heard of a pride of rams.
Typo Alert Dept.: Thanks to Rob Jones (@meansman01) for pointing out that 3 Down is CORNER STONE, not CORNER STORE as I wrote earlier.