NYT Sunday Crossword Hints – Dec. 1 – Two Halves in One

Theme hint:  Usually the theme, once you get the hang of it, is a big help solving the puzzle.   This time I had to go a long way before the theme became clear.   The title, usually a big help to figure out the theme, didn’t help much.   The first thing to be aware of is that 27-Across and 95-Across are both “key” clues, meaning that they give a hint at what’s going on with the theme.  If you can get either of those by the down clue/answers that cross them, especially 95-Across, it can unlock the mystery of the theme.    The other thing to notice is all the clues that are just dashes.  Sometimes this just means “un-clued” (this was true a couple weeks ago) but that’s not really the case here.   Meanwhile, solve away at the non-theme answers.   Remember my hint that, if an answer doesn’t fit, it’s probably a rebus — well, forget that hint this time!  One more thing, the normal rule that a  long answer = theme answer also doesn’t hold true here.

Specific hints:

79-Across – Ocean menace:  Not an ORCA this time, though probably orcas and these guys get together at thanksgiving!   Just be sure that you’re not the main dish!

109-Across – Not a reduction, abbr.:  Think photograph

78-Across – Eponym of Warsaw’s airport:  Know your Poles?  Hum a few bars and the name of the person who gave his name to this airport might come to you.

65-Down –  Go pfft, with “out”:  Well, I wanted CRAP (out) but that didn’t work.  Think car engine.

61-Down – It’s caught by a stick on a field:  Well, not really the stick, but something that’s stuck to the stick

83-Down – Bishop’s place:  Think Holy See, not chessboard

67-Across – Met one’s potential:  Especially true if you happen to be a flower.

35-Down – Amphibious rodent:  I had no idea there were varieties of these varmints that were amphibious.    Ick, yuck, or, the answer to 19-Across (which could almost be a direction on a compass, btw)






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