On Monday, I stopped at Battleview Orchards to buy a few things. As I began to make my way towards the back, I suddenly stopped short. What have we here?! Oooh! Boxes of their own strawberries! I had seen the sign on the road alongside their fields and the one on the chalkboard outside announcing that strawberry picking would begin on May 19th. That’s why I was so surprised to see these strawberries as I didn’t expect them to begin selling the boxes for those who don’t want to go picking before that date. Well, there was no way I was holding out until this coming weekend with those luscious-looking morsels staring me in the face. So, I bought a large box. And, yes, delicious as always! Little doubt they will be gone just in time for me to go pick my own.
Title: Simply Put
The main clue is provided by 29-Across: With 44-, 63-, 77-, and 93-Across, a piece of long-winded advice.
The quote running through those four across lines is as follows: Potential consequences of a plan or decision one cannot reverse should be heeded prior to the time an action is effectuated.
The far less convoluted version, a well-known adage, runs down the center of the grid.
24-Down: This puzzle’s long-winded advice, simply put. Answer: Look before you leap.
This puzzle was pretty easy. Only one clue about a person I’ve never heard of.
10 D. Fashion photographer Herb. Answer: Ritts
Since this is Mother’s Day, it would have seemed likely that today’s Sunday puzzle would have had that as a theme. Turned out not to be the case. However, this past week, both the Wednesday and Thursday puzzles were about Mother’s Day — quite unusual for two consecutive puzzles to have the same theme.
17A. Interstitially, say = Between the lines
28A. Wearer of a red-starred tiara = Wonder Woman
47A. Marquee actress = Leading lady
58A. Happy Mothers Day
The answer to 17A. relates to the fill for the squares in the center of the puzzle: Hi Mom
The theme answers are things one might have done for Mother’s Day, all clued the same: Remembered Mom, in a way.
18A. Shipped gift
31A. Mailed card
48A. Called home
63A. Sent flowers
In addition, there is a clue for an answer that runs diagonally starting from 1.
Annual message = Happy Mothers Day
Title: Crunch Time
The word “crunch” in the title immediately indicated to me that the theme answers would involve a rebus, i.e., more than one letter to a square. It didn’t take me too long to figure out that they were the three-letter abbreviations for the days of the week.
23A. Early entrepreneurial efforts = LeMONade stand
28A. Florentine attraction = StaTUE of David
43A. Food to go? = SteWED prunes
69A. Birthplace of Harry Houdini = BudapesT Hungary
93A. Big name in feminism = Betty FRIedan
110A. Just makes the 7:47, perhaps – CatcheS ATrain
118A. Does spy work = GoeS Under cover
In the category of “things I didn’t know”:
2D. French pantomime character. Answer: Pierrot
18D. Alberta’s largest city, named after an animal. Answer: Red Deer
81A. “Friends” co-star. Answer: LeBlanc. I’ve never watched the show.
90D. World’s largest exporter of bananas. Answer: Ecuador
102D. Sleep problem, in Britain. Answer: Apnoea. Of course, I’m familiar with (sleep) apnea but not the correct British spelling. I first had an “a” instead of on “o.”
T.S. Eliot’s poem The Wasteland begins with the famous line, “April is the cruellest month….” With regard to the weather here, I would quite agree as winter kept its frigid grip for most of the month, and it’s just now beginning to feel like spring. However, when it came to the four New York Times Sunday puzzles, April was very kind to me. I completed all of them. On the 7th, I made one error. The other three: Perfect!
Title: Soft T’S
In the theme answers, the “T” in one of the words is replaced by “TH,” thereby turning familiar phrases into silly ones apropos of the clues.
30A. Gun belts, holster, and nightstick straps? = The leather of the law
45A. Dismounts like an expert gymnast? = Gets off lithely
66A. Women’s pants with pictures of wood shop tools? = Lathe bloomers
86A. Become a new person by washing up? = Bathe and switch
95A. Unpopular ophthalmologist’s implement? = A sythe for sore eyes
108A What a giggling supporter of the Salem witch trials was told? = No laughing Mather
Title: Front Flips
The first word in each of the themed answers is flipped, i.e., letters in reverse order, turning a familiar phrase into a silly one related to the clue.
24A. Tammany Hall corruption? = Evil from New York
34A. Try to see what you’re getting for Christmas? = Peek under wraps
45A. Academy for criminals? = Perp school
64A Hidden drug habit, maybe? = Pot secret
76A. Drink greedily? = Gulp it in*
91A. Be a lenient judge? = Dial down the law
105A. Maligned merchandise? = Reviled the goods
*“Gulp it in”? Really?! I think the common phrase is “gulp down.” So, that’s what I first wrote in. I quickly discovered that “down” was not going to work but had no idea what else it could be. It took filling in the surrounding answers to get the correct answer.
Each of the theme answers begins with a type of chocolate as hinted at by 59D.
59D. Kiss alternative… or a hint to the starts of 3-, 5-, 10-, 14-, 26-, 64-, and 68-Down = Chocolate drop
3D. 1984 “educational” Van Halen song = Hot for the Teacher
5D. 1998 Grammy-nominated song by the Verve = Bittersweet Symphony
10D. Setting of Barbara Kingsolver’s “The Poisonwood Bible” = Belgian Congo
14D. 2012 Johnny Depp movie as a bloodsucker = Dark Shadows
26D Classic novel subtitled “Adventures in a Desert Island,” with “The” = Swiss Family Robinson
64D. Light, fruity alcoholic drink = White sangria
68D. Flowering plant used to treat liver ailments = Milk thistle
New York City
Eleven Madison Park
Union Square Café
New York City
2nd Ave. Deli
Eleven Madison Park – 2
New York City
Drew’s Bayshore Bistro
Siam Thai Restaurant
Local Smoke Barbecue
Title: You’ll Know It When You See It
This is one of those puzzles that I hadn’t expected to finish much less get it entirely right. I started it Saturday evening (puzzles are usually available at 6 p.m.), worked on it a bit on Sunday, had about three-quarters of it filled in but was having trouble going any further and didn’t take it with me when we went into the city that evening. We did our seder Monday evening and came back to NJ Tuesday morning. I decided to give the puzzle a quick last look to see if I could fill in anything else. Next thing I know, answers are suddenly coming to me, I’ve completed it and, miraculously, it’s all correct!
The theme answers are responses by famous people to “the classic question” (67-Across), “What is art?”
24A. Answer to 67-Across, per John F. Kennedy = “A great Democrat”
32A. Answer to 67-Across, per Yeats = “But a vision of reality”
49A. Answer to 67-Across, per Malraux = “A revolt against fate.”
88A. Answer to 67-Across, per Beethoven = “Selfish and perverse”
107A. Answer to 67-Across, per Nietzsche = “The proper task of life.”
116A. Answer to 67-Across, per Emerson = “A jealous mistress”
A few interesting answers:
38A. River of Phoenix. Answer: Gila. I didn’t get this immediately but should have since back in the mid-1980’s during a cross-country car trip, we actually stopped in the town of Gila Bend. We had lunch at the Space Age café which was supposed to have “the best” a.c. in town. Well, that meant an interior temperature of around 85 when it was 100 outside.
60A. 1994 film based on an “S.N.L.” skit. Answer: It’s Pat. I’ve rarely watch S.N.L., so I didn’t know what the skit was, and I’ve never heard of the movie.
83A. KNO3, in Britain. Answer: Nitre. Totally clueless on this one.
124A. Whoopie’s role in “The Color Purple.” Answer: Celie. I’ve never seen the movie.
55A. Director Wenders. Answer: Wim. I’ve never heard of him. This answer crossed the answer to the S.N.L. clue, which made that section difficult to fill in.
112D. Prince in “Troilus and Cressida.” Answer: Ajax.
68D. Greek Goddesses of the seasons. Answer: Horae.
25D. 1804 symphony that includes a funeral march. Answer: Eroica. Beethoven’s Third is my favorite of his symphonies. The funeral march is in the second movement. Powerful and moving!