NYT Sunday Puzzle – February 16, 2014

NYT Sunday Puzzle - February 16, 2014

Title: Passing Grades

All theme answers are phrases with one word which would normally start with the letter “F” but is changed to a “D” thereby forming a silly phrase commensurate with the clue.

23A. One who turned Cinderella’s pumpkin into pumpkin cheesecake? = Dairy godmother
49A. Snorkeling bargain? = Two dives for a ten
77A. Transportation company that skimps on safety? = No drills airline
105A. Steohen Hawking’s computer-generated voice? = Science diction
15D. Two things seen beside James Bond at a casino? = Dish and chips
58D. “Oh, yeah? Let’s see you hold your breath for TWO minutes!,” e.g. = Dare increase

This puzzle was fairly easy, and I didn’t have much trouble filling in almost all the answers. It finally came down to needing one letter — a vowel — where 107-Across (Church vessel) and 90-Down (Eucharist holder) crossed to complete it. I’m definitely not any kind of maven with regard to church-related matters, so I had no idea what either of these things are. However, after being stumped for a while, I had something of an “Aha!” moment when it occurred to me that incense is used in church services. So, I filled in an “e” for 107A. Censer and thereby got 90D. Paten, both of which turned out to be correct.

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