NYTimes Crossword

Thursday May 26, 2016 — NYTimes Crossword No. 0421

Thursday May 26, 2016 — NYTimes Crossword No. 0421
Ok, today wasn’t even fair. I spotted the trick about five minutes in. I started at 31A: WOODY (Friend of Buzz in Toy Story). 

Then worked the verticals at: 31D: WAFER (Symbol of thinness); 32D: ORATE (Hold the floor); and 33D: OIL[TYCOON] (David or Charles Koch), immediately saw “Oil,” but “Tycoon” took me a bit longer. 

This took me straight into the heart of the beast at 41A: FALSEDART (Counterfeit Dodge?). I saw the “FAL” and my mind went immediately to two possibilities: one was “Falcon,” which is a Ford, and might be considered a counterfeit Dodge, but a stretch, and thus unlikely. The other thought I had was “False,” so I started thinking in that direction.  

I tried: 42D: SEEHOME (Escort after a party), but wasn’t ready for this one yet; 27D: TYPE (Redheads or book lovers, maybe), but not quite, and it almost threw me off because I thought this answer might be plural; 38D: ADD (Contribute), but also too early, as I was still miles from thinking about the Dodge Dart (I owned one when I was seventeen); 34D: PLAYED (Taken for a fool), but alas, no dice yet; 43D: RETRIES (Gives another go) uh-uh; and 20D: SILENT (Kind of treatment) nope.

Instead I had to look for inspiration elsewhere, and found it at: 66A: SOY (Tempeh base); and 48A: GNC (Vitamin World competitor). Love the three-letter gimmes. This pair of bookends gave me 48D: GUNSHY (Nervous and apprehensive). And that little “U” was enough for me to resolve 51A: ETTU (“I thought you had my back!”), thank you Jack L. Sanchez (Del Oro High School) for making me read the classics. 

Now I had enough for 43D: RETRIES. Another three-lettered gift at 37A: PAL (One you might hang with), and then I got 34D: PLAYED (Taken for a fool). That gave me: 47A: DYE (Frosting ingredient, often); and 38D: ADD (Contribute). 

Now I had: 38A: FAL___DAR_, and since I was already thinking “False,” the homonymic FALSEDART (“False Start”) became clear to me. 

I next worked South, and then East, and soon had 57A: CHILDRENSDORY (Fishing boat at a summer camp? — “Children’s Story”). There was no stopping me then, as I felt I was inside the head of Mr. Alex Bajcz, the puzzlemaker. 

Loved the other inner puzzle answers at: 19D: BLUEGRASSDATE (Romantic night in Kentucky? — “Bluegrass State”); 4D: NOSEDUD (Failure to sneeze? — “Nose Stud”), which I found particularly clever, and almost got past me; 34A: PLEASEDAY (“Come on Doris”? — “Please Stay”); and 45D: ICEDORM (Student housing in Fairbanks? — “Ice Storm”), which I resolved third, and is when I really knew I had this one. 

Super fun puzzle for me today. Over too soon, but I’m sure it was more challenging for most. I just got super lucky. Love it when it clicks like this! 22 minutes. 


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