We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident

New York Times crossword puzzle July 13 / Constructed by Tom McCoy

Even a week after July Fourth, the NYT puzzle continues to salute the Founding Fathers.

Today’s title refers to the Declaration of Independence, and the grid is filled with a few other “declarations” that are almost as famous … like I YAM WHAT I YAM (“Declaration from Popeye,” 35 Across). Hmmm. Thomas Jefferson is probably not amused.

Others:

_ BOYS WILL BE BOYS (“Classic excuse for some misdemeanors,” 23 Across)

_ WHAT’S DONE IS DONE (“Doubt-dispelling words from Lady Macbeth,” 43 Across)

_ HATERS GONNA HATE (“Words dismissive of detractors,” 97 Across)

_ IT IS WHAT IT IS (“Expression of resignation,” 105 Across)

_ ENOUGH IS ENOUGH (“‘We will tolerate this no more!’,” 121 Across)

_ IT AIN’T OVER TILL IT’S OVER. This “Famous Yogiism” (72 Across) refers not to a yoga instructor nor Yogi the Bear, but to baseball legend Yogi Berra. I had quite a few writeovers in that answer because I kept inadvertently correcting Berra’s grammar – first I entered IT’S NOT OVER TILL IT’S OVER, then IT ISN’T OVER TILL IT’S OVER. Finally, I figured out the AIN’T.

_ And the bonus declaration: A ROSE IS A ROSE IS A ROSE. This answer is referred to by an editor’s note at the top of the clues: “The circled letters, when read clockwise, will reveal a quote from Gertrude Stein.” The letters only spell out A ROSE IS, so it’s up to you to keep going ’round. (Honestly, I didn’t know it repeated itself twice; I had stopped at “A rose is a rose” until I looked up the poem.)

Pretty clever! And I’m impressed that Will Shortz allowed the ultra-modern HATERS GONNA HATE entry. I guess if you allow AIN’T, you have to acknowledge GONNA.

Oops Dept: In addition to the aforementioned AIN’T debacle, I also mistakenly entered ROLLER at 80 Across for “Holy ___,” which I later had to change to TERROR. I also was too quick on the draw at 108 Down, entering DYLAN for “Rocker Bob,” when the answer ended up being SEGER.

Doubled-Up Dept.: “Mercury or Earth” is an ORB (7 Down), while “Mercury, but not Earth” is a GOD (28 Across). And the twice-used clue “Follower of lop” yields SIDED (48 Across) and EARED (49 Across).

Seriously, You Expect Me To Remember High School Chemistry? Dept.: You bet your sweet bippy that I needed crossing words to help me get TITRATES at 64 Down (“Determines the concentration of a dissolved substance”).

Battleground State Dept.: “Fights” is HAS AT IT (44 Down) while “Send in troops, say” is START A WAR (47 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.