New York Times crossword puzzle June 15 / Constructed by Tony Orbach
Boy, dads sure got the shaft considering the royal crossword treatment moms got on Mother’s Day. But they really shouldn’t complain, considering this was a pretty easy puzzle to solve. Happy Father’s Day!
The theme – like the one a couple of weeks ago – is a literal interpretation of the title. In the previous grid titled “Aladdin,” the letters AL were added to common phrases (AL-ADD-IN); today, constructor Tony Orbach tried to “Enrich” phrases by adding EN.
So a “Naval officer who’s an expert in astrology?” is an ENSIGN OF THE ZODIAC (99 Across). And a “Religious ceremony for two Hollywood brothers?” is a COEN ORDINATION (111 Across), for siblings Joel and Ethan Coen (of “Fargo” fame, among many others).
Others: “Episode title for a cooking show featuring chicken recipes?” is PREPARATION HEN (23 Across). “Goal for a comic working the Strip?” is LEAVENING LAS VEGAS (32 Across). “Informal advice to an overeager picker?” is LET ‘ER RIPEN (47 Across). “Request to represent a Minnesota senator’s side of a debate?” is CAN I BE FRANKEN (67 Across)? And “Tarzan’s response when asked if the noodles are cooked?” is RAMEN TOUGH (82 Across), a somewhat obscure reference to a Dodge truck slogan.
Along Those Lines Dept.: The puzzle also contained ENRAGE (“Incense,” 17 Down) and EN-DASH, the typographical term for “-” (90 Down).
To The Point Dept.: “Bit of needlework?” is TAT (43 Across), while “Do some needlework” is SEW (45 Down). And a “Writing tip” is a PEN NIB (65 Across).
For Fun Dept.: Interesting fill in the puzzle included PB AND J (“Sack lunch staple, for short,” 1 Across), PERFECT TEN (“Beauty ideal,” 16 Down) and PONIED UP (“Forked over,” 51 Down). And the “Option for ‘Which came first …?'” is not the chicken, but THE EGG (12 Down).
Born From Jets Dept.: The clue that stumped me was “What a 9-5 worker worked on?” I had SAA_ entered at 45 Across but could not for the life of me fill in the last box. The answer is SAAB, which once made a poorly punctuated car model called the 9-5. Looks like the Swedish automaker might be making vehicles again, two years after production shut down.
Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? Dept.: I’m just a tad jealous of 23-year-old Anna Shechtman, who I just learned spent her first year out of college as an assistant to crossword editor Will Shortz. Had I known such a job existed when I was that young, I would have spent more time constructing puzzles and less time covering small-town school board meetings. Still, I’m thrilled at the idea of bringing fresh young talent into the puzzle kingdom. And I’m guessing if you ask her “You dig?”, she’ll reply I’M HIP (84 Across).
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