That Girl

New York Times crossword puzzle Sept. 15 / Constructed by Joe DiPietro

Greetings! Sorry for the late post. I had to work my day job today.

I’m a bit too young to have watched the TV program “That Girl.” Luckily, today’s crossword of the same name has nothing to do with the show or its star, Marlo Thomas.


But the grid *is* all about HER. Constructor Joe DiPietro has aurally tweaked common phrases to include those three letters. So to “Confiscate a chef’s appetizer?” (23 Across) is to SEIZE HER SALAD (Caesar salad? Seize-her? Get it?) while to “Conk a coach’s team member?” (37 Across) is to SOCK HER PLAYER (soccer player). Cute, but not terribly challenging.

Others: SHUT HER BUG (“Close a VW Beetle owner’s car door?” 55 Across), RUB HER CHICKEN (“Put a spice mix on a cook’s piece of poultry?” 66 Across), LET HER BOMB (“Keep a bad comedian onstage?” 77 Across), LICK HER BOTTLE (“Find out what a baby’s milk tastes like?” 98 Across), JUMP HER CABLES (“Hop over an electrician’s wires?” 114 Across), CHECK HER BOARD (“Ensure a surfer’s safety?” 15 Down), and COUNT HER PARTS (“Take a mechanic’s inventory?” 52 Down).

Say What? Dept.: There’s lots of dialogue in the puzzle. “‘Just arrived!’” is IT’S HERE (92 Down). “‘C’mon, help me out’” is BE A PAL (99 Down). “‘Count me in!’” is I’M THERE (25 Across). And “‘See?!”” is TOLD YOU (30 Down).

Hmmmm Dept.: Not sure how I feel about the dropped “and” in the phrase STOP GO at 60 Across (“Like much rush-hour traffic”). And since when is EATABLE (“Fit to be consumed,” 69 Down) a synonym for “edible”?

Much Music Dept.: As a member of Generation X, I was thrilled to see THE SMITHS (“Band with a 1985 U.K. No. 1 album titled ‘Meat Is Murder’,” 54 Down) in the grid. And I’m guessing the ’90s band Foo Fighters – formed by a member of Nirvana after Kurt Cobain died – was the inspiration for the clue “Feu fighter?” (65 Across). The French answer? EAU. (Those two references almost make up for the inclusion of the lesser bands Haircut 100 and Matchbox 20 in the puzzle two weeks ago.) Also in this category: AL GREEN (“‘Love and Happiness’ singer, 1972,” 47 Down), Frank LOESSER (“‘Luck Be a Lady’ composer/lyricist,” 96 Down) and the BIEB (“‘Baby’ singer’s nickname, with ‘the’,” 91 Across).

Ouch! Dept.: “Like Julius Caesar” is STABBED (86 Down).

What did you think of the puzzle?

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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Comments

2 thoughts on “That Girl”

  1. Felt this puzzle was more inevitable than enjoyable. At no point was there any doubt that I could finish…would finish is another story. “Handy Andy” Pillips, you must be kidding.

  2. Yeah, I know – I’ve never heard of Andy Phillips. But just wait until next week’s puzzle — oh, boy! Actually, it might be worth buying the NYT today to solve it. The grid is actually a contest, and entries have to be in by 6 p.m. Tuesday. So you won’t have a chance to win if you wait until it appears in the Inquirer next week. (Admittedly, the prize is a crossword calendar. But you’ll get major bragging rights!)

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