SPOILER WARNING: Don't read any further until you've done today's New York Sun Crossword Puzzle. New York Sun puzzles are every bit as good as the more well-known New York Times, and they're indisputably better in one way -- they're free. You can download this puzzle and join in on the fun here.
At the Snow Bank is by Brendam Emmett Quigley, one of my favorite constructors. And he does not disappoint here. Who knew there were so many expressions welding winter weather with wealth?
20A: Ready money at the snow bank? (COLD HARD CASH) I was ready for this one. I used to work in a parking lot. We had no safe and about the only place to keep the money was in the refrigerator. When the next shift came on, it was obligatory to make the “cold, hard cash” joke.
36A: Bribe money at the snow bank? (SLUSH FUND) Actually, “slush fund” was originally a nautical expression. “Slush” was what they called the fat obtained from meat boiled onboard ship. Sailors boiled down and stored the fat remains of their salt beef rations to sell.
53A: Unliquefiable money at the snow bank? (FROZEN ASSETS) Although it’s not hard to figure out what it means, “unliquifiable is not a word you’ll see in many Monday puzzles.
More “cold” conjuring entries at 19A: Host of VH1’s “Rap School” (ICE T), 66A: Figure skater Thomas (DEBI) and 11D: “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” author (LECARRE, who also wrote “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.”
Other entries of interest:
38D: Only last name shared by two different Best Actor Oscar winners (HOFFMAN) That’s Dustin and Philip Seymour, by the way. I didn’t read the clue carefully enough, had only the initial H and filled in Hepburn, as in Katherine and Audrey. Katherine won four best Actress Oscars, the first in 1933 and the final in 1981. She deserved at last a couple more.
Our old friend REX shows up at 25D Nero Wolfe Creator Stout. This time he has abandoned comic strip medicine for mystery-writing.
And speaking of comic strips, you didn’t miss the apostrophe-laden 34A: Blondie’s husband’s boss’s wife (CORA) did you? She’s usually portrayed beating her husband with an umbrella or whatever blunt object is at hand.
14A: “Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon” speaker. (ROMEO) Why does young Mister Montague want to murder the moon? He doesn’t really, he’s just excited because Juliet just came out on the balcony and he thinks she’s prettier than the moon – and the stars too judging by this line that follows soon after : “The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars as daylight doth a lamp.”
35D: “What a waste it is to lose one’s mind” speaker (QUAYLE) Remember the good old days when the inarticulate boob who you cringed to hear speak was the realitively powerless Vice-president and not the leader of the free world? (Sorry, I said I was going to refrain from political statements.)
I don’t think I have a favorite crossword letter, but my favorite Scrabble letter is definitely X, and there are four of them in this puzzle – XEROXED, BOSOX, XXL, LUX, XMEN and the aforementioned REX.
See you Tuesday.