Tue Jan 29 NYT Crossword Hints & Tips

Welcome back solvers who want hints and not direct answers!   Tuesday NYT are a step harder than Mondays, but just a small step.  No reason not to give it a shot without googling for answers!

The theme:  Ok, what do we see?  Asterisks.  So we know that the theme answers are identified specifically rather than just being all the long answers in the puzzle.  Next look to see if there’s a “key,” a specific answer that gives us a hint to rest.   Ah, yes, here it is.  Take a look at 40-Across. And they’re all films.  For me, at least, all relatively obscure ones.  So this means we’ll need to get some down clues (all the starred clues are across clues) before we’ll have a shot at the theme.   But, hint, don’t worry about it too much, getting the theme isn’t a huge help at knowing the movie names.  Actually, it works a little the other way around, once you get a couple movie names, you’ll be able to get 40-Across and that gives you a lot!  A lot!! A lot!!!

Let’s go to some specific hints, then take a look at the theme again.

Letter-shaped support:  These are always single letters followed by a common three letter word.  Here’s a hint to that:  Mars isn’t always a planet, sometimes it’s a ____.

Emulated a lamb:  Nothing tricky here, just a word you never see spelled out.  This word (the answer) is almost always used in the present tense, that’s why it looks so funny in the past tense.  (In case you didn’t know:  NYT puzzles are very careful about matching the tense, plural/singular, slang/normal speech, etc. between clue and answer.

Here’s a small hint to one of the theme answers — 17. *1952 Marlon Brando film:  Che Guevara would have been proud of him.

12-Across “Connector of stories”:  No, not the kind of stories you find in a book.  Look somewhere else in your house…if it’s a tall one.

51-Down “Loud, as a crowd”:  Another word no one ever says or writes.  What does a crowd when the home team scores?  It _____.  So suppose you wanted to use that as an adjective rather than a verb?

50-Down “A ring bearer”:  Well, not just any ring bearer, a very particular who’s the central character of recent film that might be called a prequel.

29-Down “Watt’s equivalent”:  This word is essentially a portmanteau word:  Two words put together to mean something that’s like a combination of the two.  Both parts are common electrical terms you’re likely to know.




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