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NYT Sunday Crossword Hints – Jan. 12, 2014 – It’s Only “A” Game

It seems like every Sunday these days we get a theme that’s very clever from the constructor’s point of view, but not very exciting from the solver’s perspective.   Oh, well.   As always, pay close attention to the title.   Solve one of the starred answers (by doing lots of the crossing clues if you need to). Once you’ve got one, look at the title again and see how it relates to the correct answer.   That should help solving the others.   There’s a little of what I’d call “misdirection” in the starred clues, making you wonder, for example, if they are all anagrams or something like that.   There is some word play within the clue/answer combos, but not a consistent specific pattern.   I suspect the author of the puzzle might have been starting out going for something in addition to his “A” game theme.

Some specific hints”

Down:

6.  Modernist Kafka:   the “modernist” label threw me off.   This guy was “modern” a long time ago.

7.  A bridge might have one:   Some bridges have lots of these.   The GWB famously had theirs reduced for revenge recently.

8.  Lord of the rings villain:  “Villain”?   Enemy, sure.  Ugly.  Yeh!

11.  Designer McCartney:  Or:  Stanley Kowalski’s wife

48.  Something woeful:  2 words

Across:

71. Chip on one’s shoulder, say:  the clue should probably have identified the answer as slang

80.  Stone figures?:   Think small, expensive “stones”

83.  Louis Armstrong, to friends:   I guess those who knew him well didn’t need to use the final MO, no mo’.

86.  Houston’s old ______ Field:  If you could bilk millions out of your customers, you’d get to name a field after your company too.

91.  Prefix with -hedron:  No, not TETRA, more obscure.   This kind of “hedron” has 20 faces, not that that helps much.

 

 

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