Should I Call The Repairman?

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.

Need some solving tips and tricks? I’ve posted some here. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments below. You can also visit my Facebook page, or tweet me @crosswordkathy.

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