Predictable Partings

New York Times crossword puzzle April 27 / Constructed by John Lampkin

Had to work my day job on this sunny spring Sunday, so apologies for the late post. Luckily, this easy grid allowed me to finish in near-record time – or LICKETY SPLIT, as the soda jerk at 108 Across might say.

Today’s theme is all about emergency exits. The hasty departures are common phrases made punny by the occupations they’re linked to. So “The paparazzo … WAS GONE IN A FLASH” (23 Across) while “The demolitionist … BLEW THE JOINT” (35 Across). Others:

_ “The civil engineer … HIT THE ROAD” (55 Across) while “The lingerie manufacturer … SLIPPED AWAY” (60 Across).

_ “The chicken farmer … FLEW THE COOP” (69 Across) while “The sound technician … MADE TRACKS” (74 Across).

_ “The film director … QUIT THE SCENE” (92 Across) while “The soda jerk … RAN LICKETY SPLIT” (108 Across).

_ “The van driver … MOVED ON” (84 Down) while “The paper doll maker … CUT OUT” (89 Down).

_ And finally, “The percussionist … BEAT IT” (17 Down) while “The ecdysiast … TOOK OFF” (15 Down). Confession: I have no idea what an ecdysiast is – maybe a nudist? A quick check of the dictionary … and I’m close. It’s a stripper.

An impressive number of theme answers, but pretty predictable once you figured out the trick. (Which, of course, is what the puzzle’s title promised.)

Ugh Dept.: There were quite a few fudges to make this grid work, the worst being DO TO A T (“Execute perfectly,” 100 Across). IKON was also not one of my favorites (“Religious figure: Var.” 102 Down).

Well, I’m not sure what type of parting would be ascribed to a crossword blogger, but I’m going to skedaddle. It’s a lot more fun than logging off.

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.