Among my modest attainments is the fact that I complete each week the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle, considered the gold standard of that genre. In fact, a very bright friend of mine once told me that the only other person she knows that does it in pen is Anthony Kurtz, the MIT engineering genius who has worked with NASA on designing all the space modules and shuttles.
The amazing thing about this puzzle is not only that most people can't figure out the answers when the paper is blank, they cannot even figure them out after they have been filled in. I am often asked to give a touch of insight into this process for intelligent people who would like to begin enjoying this form of mind-stimulating recreation.
I have just completed the one which ran in yesterday's Miami Herald; we get last week's, so this would have appeared in the Jan. 23 Sunday Times.
Now, the key to the puzzle is its title. But the title only reflects upon the longer answers.
The title of this particular puzzle is CYBERCHUCKLES. Here are the clues to the longer phrases and their answers, in keeping with the theme of the title.
24 Across: Rich man's wife, often - LADY OF LEISURE.
37 Across: Consequence of war - LOSS OF LIFE.
58 Across: Usually low-paying work - LABOR OF LOVE.
84 Across: Opulence - LAP OF LUXURY.
102 Across: Chop alternatives - LEGS OF LAMB.
117 Across: Illinois - LAND OF LINCOLN.
3 Down: English policy-makers - LLOYDS OF LONDON.
54 Down: Stuff in baskets - LOADS OF LAUNDRY.
Do you get it now? If not, you might want to stick to gin rummy.