Sun Jun 23 NYT Crossword Hints not Answers – Two-by-Fours

Theme:   The sooner you can get the pattern for this puzzle, the smoother your solving will go.   This time there are no puns (no clues ending in “?”) and essentially no wordplay.   As always, keep the title (Two-by-fours)  clearly in mind.   Hint #1:  The theme has nothing pieces of wood.  Hint #2 All the long clues (both across and down) contain the full pattern.  Hint #3:  Maybe start on 45-Across by getting as many of the down clues as you can figure out.   Since this is #1 on AFI’s all time musicals, it’s gotta be familiar and Hint #4 it’s gotta fit even though it looks like it can’t.

Once you get that 45-Across (or any of the other long acrosses), look for a similar pattern in all the other long acrosses.

Hint #5:  The same “trick” works for each of the long answers, but don’t assume the same letters are used in them.   (If there was logic to which letters went into each answer, I didn’t see it and certainly didn’t need to in order to solve the puzzle.)

Specific hints (if they  intersect with long answers, beware of the “trick” being embedded in them):

1-Across Mustard variety:  Think refrigerator or French sandwich, not herb garden or spice cabinet.

106-Across French or Italian bread:  Don’t try putting 1-Across on this kind of bread!

36-Down Pulitzer-winning composer Ned:  (Not a hint really)  If you didn’t know this one, lock it in your memory henceforth, ’cause this is a very common xword clue/answer known primarily for his operas.

93-Across Welcome sight after a flood:  Well, not just any flood.   This one happened a long time before Katrina.

69-Down Like some stores of years gone by.  Prices have gone up about 10 times since then!

35-Down Prize won by Alice Munro and Stephen King.  Most prizes are named after people who were champs at the particular skill.  No surprise ending here!

74-Down Eggplant casserole:  Well ratatouille won’t fit.  Think Greek.

21-Down All ______ :  What you may be when you finish the puzzle.

6-Down Rink jumps:  Cousin of toe loops, camels, etc..  Where do they get these names from anyway?  Especially the camels.  This is no place for a desert animal!

23-Down Fruit growers:  Since money doesn’t grow here, might as well enjoy the fruit!

Check out Why we solve crossword puzzles for my latest thoughts on the magic of puzzle-solving.





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