New York Times crossword puzzle Nov. 10 / Constructed by Alan Olschwang
Apologies for this late and short post. I’m in the sick ward – better known as my couch – and am struggling to get over a nasty bug.
Today’s puzzle involves a subject near and dear to my journalistic heart – but only when it’s spelled bylines. As you might have guessed from the extra “E” in the title, this simple puzzle is all about famous sign-offs.
They begin at 23 Across with The Lone Ranger: HI-YO SILVER, AWAY! Next up is movie reviewer Roger Ebert – THE BALCONY IS CLOSED (47 Across) – followed by the stuttering Porky Pig: TH-TH-TH-TH-THAT’S ALL, FOLKS! (64 Across). The theme answers end with comedian Red Skelton’s AND MAY GOD BLESS (109 Across) and George Burns’ famous SAY GOODNIGHT, GRACIE (79 Across).
Masked Man Dept.: The Lone Ranger made another (half) appearance at 27 Across, SABE (“Kemo ___.”) Here I will confess that I always thought his exit line was HI-HO SILVER, not HI-YO SILVER. That made for some initial problems at 3 Down – “Bears’ home in Texas.” I eventually figured out it’s BAYLOR University.
Aside from being easy, my other complaint is how old these “bye-lines” are. Red Skelton? George Burns? Those guys were old when I was a kid. If you want to attract a new generation to crossword puzzles, you need some modern exit lines.
Philly Shout-Out: “‘August: ___ County’ (2008 Pulitzer winner for Drama)” is OSAGE. Though the play has nothing to do with it, Osage Avenue in Philadelphia was the site of the 1985 MOVE bombing. City police dropped explosives on a fortified rowhouse belonging to the militant back-to-nature group known as MOVE, killing 11 people and leading to a fire that consumed an entire block of homes. A movie about the event, “Let the Fire Burn,” was recently released.
Now I’m going to apologize for my own abrupt sign-off. I think I should go back to bed.
And, as Walter Cronkite says, that’s the way it is.