NYT Sunday Puzzle – October 23, 2011

NYT Sunday Puzzle - October 23, 2011

Title: Take It from the Top

Last week, I breezed through the puzzle only to end up making one stupid mistake. This week, I struggled toward completion and finished perfectly. I didn’t even make the connection between the puzzle’s title and the theme answers. I got the explanation from Rex Parker when I checked my answers on his blog as I always do. When familiar phrases beginning with IT have IT removed, that leaves the odd or whacky answers to the theme clues. So…

3D. Gets up for debate? = Stands to Reason
7D. Beats it and won’t explain why? = Goes without saying
8D. Proof that a “Jersey Shore” character has an incontinence problem? = Depends on the situation
13D. Arrests en entire crime syndicate? = Runs in the family
42D. Contents of Lenin’s tomb? = Remains to be seen
33D. Eschews Mensa material when going to parties? = Doesn’t take a genius
50D. Merits at least a 20% tip? = Serves you right

38A. Start of a 1957 hit song. Answer: Dayo. From my era of popular music. Formal title: Banana Boat Song. Singer: Harry Belafonte.
74A. Screenwriter Ephron. I first wrote in Norah. But i knew that’s not how she spells it (no “h”), so I took it out. The correct answer: Delia. They are sisters.
90A. His debut album was “Rhyme Pays.” Correct answer: Ice-T. I know zilch about his music. I know him as an actor having seen the never-ending repeats of Law & Order SVU, in which he plays Det. Tutuola. His real name: Tracy Marrow.
91D. Motorola phone line. Answer: Razr. This was the very last clue I filled in. I wasn’t sure it was right. However, I was sure that the correct answer to 102A was Adze. So the “z” had to be right. Turns out, my first cell was a Motorola Razr. I just didn’t know that was the model’s name.

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