Toe Tags

New York Times crossword puzzle Oct. 6 / Constructed by Patrick Berry

Bonjour, mes amis! I am in the extremely fortunate position of blogging from Paris this week. I am also in the extremely unfortunate position of having been up for about 24 hours straight at this point, since I’ve never been one for sleeping on planes. So please forgive any typos, bad jokes or cloudy thinking.

And to add another unusual element to the situation, I actually made my own grid to solve today’s puzzle. My dear friend Maryclaire was kind enough to text me photos of the empty crossword – and clues! – from her NYT magazine, which she received early Saturday morning because she subscribes to the paper. (The puzzle wasn’t posted online before I left on Saturday, and I wasn’t sure I would be able to find a hard copy of the Times here.)

Mon dieu! I had to make my own grid to solve today's puzzle. (Photo by Jim MacMillan)

Mon dieu! I had to make my own grid to solve today’s puzzle. (Photo by Jim MacMillan)

At any rate, today’s not-so-challenging grid was pretty much given away by its title, “Toe Tags.” The theme answers are all common phrases that have been tweaked with the addition of a final “toe” syllable. So a “Magic word that never loses its power?” is PERMANENT PRESTO (23 Across).

A “1970s Ford on the move?” is a ROLLING PINTO (28 Across). “Enthusiastic enjoyment of one’s unhappiness?” is GLOOMY GUSTO (39 Across). “The Josip Broz Memorial Trophy?” is the CUP OF TITO (41 Across). And a “Stingy snack vendor’s special offer?” is BUY ONE, GET ONE FRITO (58 Across).

More: “Big Apple cop who’s looking to bust Popeye?” is NYPD BLUTO (75 Across). “Learn all about the capital of Ecuador” is MASTER QUITO (77 Across). “Portion of Dante’s ‘Inferno’ that was wisely excised?” is the GARBAGE CANTO (88 Across). And a “Christmas decoration that automatically steers toward lovers?” is GUIDED MISTLETOE (96 Across).

Sweet Revenge Dept.: “Fitting punishment” is JUST DESERTS, an always controversial phrase because most people think it’s spelled “just desserts.” (Including me, until I started writing this blog.)

Hit The Road Dept.: “Driver’s suggestion” is BUCKLE UP (74 Down). “Model A features” are RUMBLE SEATS (36 Down).

Starving Artists Dept.: I’m learning that plenty of famous painters once lived in Paris, including Pablo Picasso. In stand-up comedy, such artistry apparently belonged to Richard PRYOR (“Seinfeld called him ‘the Picasso of our profession’,” 84 Down). By the way, the lines to get into the museums here are insane!

Philly Shout-Out Dept.: Local denizens use the term “Round house” as a nickname for the city’s police headquarters, not an IGLOO (43 Down).

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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