Nosy Nonsense

New York Times crossword puzzle March 9 / Constructed by Brendan Emmett Quigley

Between my jet lag coming back to Philly and the jump ahead to Daylight Saving Time, I’m operating four hours behind schedule and my brain is somewhat addled. Luckily, today’s puzzle was easy-peasy.

The theme answers add a “zee” sound to common phrases, as evidenced in the title: “Nosy Nonsense.” So a “Marvel from Idaho’s largest city?” is a BOISE WONDER (103 Across), while a “Picky little dog?” is a CHOOSY TOY (28 Across), from chew toy.

Others: “Business transactions free from government regulation?” are EASY COMMERCE (52 Across), for e-commerce. A “Barely remembered seaman?” is a HAZY SAILOR (36 Down). The “Sports score most likely to be on the highlight reel?” is a DOOZY POINT (44 Down). A “Carefree dairy product?” is BREEZY CHEESE (73 Across). “Optimistic theater audience?” is a ROSY HOUSE (101 Across). And “One unsatisfied with a ‘She loves me, she loves me not’ result?” is a DAISY TRADER (26 Across).

City of Brotherly Love Dept.: I’ll give a Philly shout-out to the aforementioned ROSY HOUSE, which comes from “row house,” which is what our fair city is filled with. Also will note the upcoming start of March Madness, otherwise known as the annual office bracket-guessing contest sponsored by NCAA (“Certain tourney overseer,” 105 Down). The Philly-area Villanova Wildcats may be one of the higher seeds this year.

City of Angels Dept.: Having just returned from a weeklong visit to my other hometown (Los Angeles), I’ll point out that a “College up the coast from L.A.” is UCSB (102 Down), for the University of California at Santa Barbara. And a “CBS series that, oddly, was filmed in L.A.” was CSI: NY (53 Down).

New To Me Dept.:  Was not familiar with STEPTOE (“Isolated hill surrounded by lava,” 8 Across) or EUROMART (“Continental free trade group,” 86 Across), both of which I got from crossing words.

Product Placement Dept.: You’ll find both ISOTONER (“Brand of gloves and slippers,” 84 Down) and DENTYNE (“Orbit rival,” 67 Across) in the grid.

You’ve Got To Be Kidding Dept.: MAZY is a word? As in maze-like? Seriously? Apparently it’s a synonym for “Labyrinthine” (66 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. And here’s a little more about me.

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