Sun May 19 NYT Crossword Hints – Befitting

Here we have one of the more standard large puzzle themes:  Common phrases given a little “twist” hinted at by the title the puzzle.    You might think that “Befitting” is telling you that several letters will squeeze into a single box, but it’s actually much simpler than that.  A simple switch.  Once you get one of them, you’ll get the others.   So this one where it pays to get a bunch of the down clues crossing the long acrosses and see if you can get the wordplay that’s going on.

So I’ll concentrate my specific hints on down clues that cross them answers.  Here are this Sunday’s 10 hints:

(All Down clues)

3.  Near perfect rating:  Think Olympic gymnastics. Of course, these days, the answer that’s right here is actually less than what you’re going to need to get the gold medal.

4.  No longer fizzy:  Two words.   Think an opened soda can after a few hours.

26 Slowing down, musically:  If the second letter of the answer were and “E,” and being politically correct weren’t a requirement of a puzzle, the clue could be what the slow kid in school used to be called all the time.

65- Al _____ :  No, not Queda.  Think pasta.

87- Game of tag?:  Though in this game you’re not “it” but “out.”

11- Taverna offerings:  Remember that tavernas are Greek “restaurants,”  though the places you get these are more often “hole-in-the-walls” than “restaurants”

85- Fish trap:  Remember that you don’t have to have much in the way fins to be a fish.  Think of something akin to a lobster trap.

38- Leafy green:  Apparently eating these are what keep people living forever.  Is the health value of food proportional to its bitterness?

13- Salad ingredient:  Not for you vegans!

75- It has buttons but no button holes:  Clue could be:  An ancient communication device before iPhones, iPads, iWhatevers toook over the universe!





Bonus hint on long theme answers: 116-Across Fortuneteller’s protest demand:   The clue could be a Multiple Personality person’s protest demand.








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