WEDNESDAY PUZZLE — Puzzle makers all have different styles, and some even specialize in certain types of crosswords. David J. Kahn has made other kinds of themed puzzles, but when I see his byline, I think“tribute puzzle.”
That is the case with this puzzle, and it celebrates someone who has spent his life building things up.
7A: “Ring punch” sounds like something you use to make jewelry, but in this puzzle, it is a punch you throw in a boxing ring. The answer is JAB.
17A: More misdirection! “Site of some strikes” is not hinting at people leaving their jobs. It’s hinting at oil strikes, and the answer is OIL WELLS.
23A: I knew the answer was SILO from the crossings, but it took me a while to understand why that might be a “place for an Atlas.” Obviously, Atlas is a name, hence the capital “A.” Atlas is a brand name for a missile SILO.
29A: “Do a little stretching?” is an encouraging clue, and I am impressed that Mr. Kahn and the editors are concerned about our health. It’s always good to do some stretching, unless you are stretching the truth. Then you are FIBbing.
46A: “Help for the disabled?” refers to cars, trucks and motorbikes, not human beings. The answer is TOWS.
62A: Ah, the old “Is it a noun or is it a verb?” trick. The “stick” in “Stick in a boat” could be a verb, meaning to stash something away in your craft. In this puzzle, however, it is a noun, and that stick is an OAR.
1D: “Soul mate?” is a great clue. It could be HEART (as in “heart and soul”), but in this puzzle, the answer is BODY (as in “body and soul”).
8D: I know that the quotation marks around the word “talking” in “‘Talking’ with one’s hands, for short” are there to make the clue easier to solve, but most deaf and hard-of-hearing people I know consider American Sign Language (ASL) to be a language, meaning that they are talking when they sign. The clue might have been better without the quotation marks, but that could have also made it harder for people to solve.
56D: I feel that AFTS for the clue “When soap operas usually air, informally” is more of an abbreviation for AFTernoonS than an informality.
58D: Hi, kids! “Bud’s bud in old comedy” is LOU Costello.
This puzzle is dedicated to the architect I.M. PEI, who died on May 16 at age 102. Mr. PEI was an architect of superstar stature, and TIL that STARCHITECT is a portmanteau of “star” and “architect” that describes people like Mr. PEI, Frank Lloyd Wright and Renzo Piano, who designed the New York Times’s current building.
We take a tour of some of Mr. Pei’s best-known projects in Mr. Kahn’s puzzle, such as the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME, DALLAS City Hall, the BANK OF CHINA TOWER and, of course, the beautiful LOUVRE PYRAMID in Paris, plunging right through the center of the grid.
This is probably as good a time as any to mention that, for quite a long time before Mr. PEI died, a bot on Twitter with the handle @PeiCheck tweeted his status as either “living or dead” every day:
This was all well and good, but understandably, since Mr. Pei was 102 at the time of his death, these tweets made people very nervous. Obviously, the bot’s status could change at any moment because of his advanced age. Was anyone paying attention? How was Mr. PEI doing?
Never fear. As soon as the news of his passing was announced, the bot’s status changed:
And it has been like that ever since.
I realize that this might be kind of dark, considering that the puzzle is a tribute to the man, but honestly, if I don’t bring you this kind of news, who will?
I’ve been an admirer of I.M. Pei’s work ever since he designed the original Newhouse School building at Syracuse University, my alma mater. And when in Paris two years ago, my granddaughter and I got a kick out of seeing the Louvre Pyramid up close.
Even so, I’m not sure I would have written this puzzle unless it included the nice theme crossings.
The Tipping Point
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