Tue Feb 5 NYT Crossword Hints & Tips

Theme:  A cute one this time.  Question-marked clues long acrosses  mark the theme clue/answer pairs. (The long down clues aren’t part of the theme this time.)  Each one is the most common kind of word play:  A common expression / phrase is modified in some way to match the clue.  It’s rare that you can solve this type of clue without getting some of the down clues to fill in some of the long across answer.

Let’s take 57-Across as an example.  Let’s look at some of the down clues first:

57-Down Encouraging word:  What do you say to your kid when they say can’t do a homework problem?

59-Down “Star Trek” extra: Abbr.  Remember there aren’t just aliens in Star Trek, but the officers and crew, too.

22-Down Home of the California’s Screamin’ Roller Coaster:  And what started in California before adding to a World in Florida?

50-Down Like 125, to 5:  As in 5 times 5 times 5.

See if you can get a few more that cross 57-Across

Remember that answers sometimes include articles like Up ____ =  A TREE.   There’s one here.

So if 51-Down is “Cunning””: as in _____ like a fox, then we have the literal answer to the very special award when you successfully waste your waist!  And now you see the “missing ingredient” in the other long acrosses to turn ordinary phrases into word play clues!


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