Monday June 6, 2016 — NYTimes Crossword No. 0502
Too many proper names on a Monday morning, for my taste. Including four I didn’t know, or had to dig deep for.
These include: 21D: ASSAM (Indian state known for tea and silk), I had no idea and was completely at the mercy of crossers; 22A: YVONNE (Actress Strahovski of “Dexter” and “Chuck”), I don’t know her, and am wondering how an actress gets cast in both these shows — is she up for title of Queen Nerd perhaps?; 34D: UTA (Tony winner Hagen), sure, I’ve heard of her, and should remember this one from previous crosswords, but it was not on the tip of my mind, though the answer did eventually come to me; and 43A: ZOLA (Emile of the Dreyfus Affair), which is a period of French history I am only now learning, thanks to Wikipedia and The New York Times Crossword Puzzle.
Other proper names in today’s crossword (all on the vertical) include: 53D: ABBIE (Hoffman of 1960s radicalism); 24D: HOWIE (Comic Mandel); fictional 54D: BILBO (“The Hobbit” hero Baggins); 50D: REGGIE [Mr. October!!] (Jackson who was on five World Series-winning teams in the 1970s); and 26D: ELTON (John who sang “Philadelphia Freedom”), great performer and songwriter, and a terrific song!
The inner puzzle was cute and worthy. The reveal is at 41A: METOO (Copycat’s comment … or phonetically, a hint to this puzzle’s theme).
The other thematic clues include: 18A: PRI[ME]TI[ME] (8:00-11:00 p.m., TV-wise); 23A: RHY[ME]SCHE[ME] (ABAB in a poem, e.g.); 56A: WELCO[ME]HO[ME] (Greeting to a returning soldier, maybe); and 62A: BLA[ME]GA[ME] (What a finger-pointer plays). Notice the “ME” at the end of each word?
Other fun clues/answers include: 1A: PEPSI (Coke rival); 17A: TESLA (Electric car maker); 16A: LEAH (Wife of Jacob), love the Bible clues!; 28A: LOOIES (Superiors of sarges); 29A: LYNX (Wildcat with tufted ears); 32A: KAPUT (D-E-A-D dead); 46A: DANKE (“Thanks” in Deutschland), love the German-language clues; 49A: FORA (Roman marketplaces); 61A: AROMA (Coffee shop lure), where I am now; 64A: IRONY (Robbery at a police station, e.g.).
Also, cute clue/answer pairs, vertically, include: 5D: INAWEEK (Seven days from now); 6D: ASPIC (Savory jelly), you’ve got to know this one if you are going to solve the NYT crossword puzzle; 23D: RLESS (Like non-oyster months); 25D: YOWZA (“Holy moly!”); 40D: ELF (Santa’s little helper); 45D: YOWIE (“Ouch, that hurts!”); 57D: CAMEO (One of many Hitchcock appearances in his own films); and 60D: WMDS (Iraq war concerns, for short).