Sun Jan 20 NYT Crossword Hints – All-Inspired

Theme:  Well, not too inspired, as themes go.  Worth trying to get one of the long (across or down) clues because it’ll help with the others.

(In case you don’t know: Question marks mean wordplay is involved.   This puzzle fits the most common type:  Well-known phrases are altered in some consistent way throughout the long answers.  The clue accurately defines the actual answer rather than the well-known phrase.)

I got “Prince’s pottery equipment” last.  More common to think of the well known phrase as associated with a king rather than a prince.

Only other across theme clue/answer is 104-Across.  3-Down, 14-Down, 36-Down, & 58-Down  are the othertheme-related clues.  Unusual to have so few Across theme clues.

Other hints on the theme:

Stop proceeding in the maze when you reach the end?:  Boy is this a stretch for a small amount of word play!  You’re not going to get your $200. this way!

Strategy employed by a Siberian Hansel and Gretel?:  Since they wouldn’t have bread crumbs, what would they use?

Haymakers?:  The “phrase” in this case, is quite appropriate for this Sunday, if you follow this category of event.

Other hints:

Like some church matters:  Various forms of the root of this word are very common in xwords.  Remember that not all church matters are matters of the church.

Dr. Moreau’s creator:  He’s also the creator of xword-land’s favorite human species of the future, the ELOI.

It can be shocking: Well, EEL is too short.  No matter how shocking this is, it can’t electrocute you.

Ginger Spice’s first name:  It isn’t Ginger?  What if you had to make a girl’s name out of Ginger but could only use 4 letters.

Good-sized musical group: What’s a good size?   Depends, doesn’t it.  For a symphony, this wouldn’t be “good-sized” and the answer, ironically, sounds like it doesn’t have anyone in it at all.

Det. Bonasera on CSI: NY  — In my mind, I hear Marlon Brando calling to her now.

“The Player” director — One of the most well-known Hollywood directors.  He’s famous also for his famous Hollywood actors per movie ratio, but his most well-known movie takes place a couple thousand miles east of LA.

Feats of construction:  Ah, the agony of da feat!  Really, calling these constructions “feats” is a bit overstated.  We’re not talkin’ pyramids, here, something much more mundane.

Hawker:  Most commonly, of fish.  As in “fish ______”

Ten, for openers:  Sometimes you’ll see a question mark after clues like this.  It’s not about an ANTE, what it “opens” isn’t a game or a door.

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