Vic Fleming and Bruce Venzke's Sunday NYT crossword, "Having Pull," has a smattering of pop culture clues, but less than yesterday's puzzle. These were mostly gimmes for me: STARSKY of …and Hutch fame and ALLIE of Kate and… fame, daytime TV's Linda DANO, and the discotastic GIBB. There was nowhere in this grid for A FAST ONE, YOUR LEG, or STRAIGHT A'S, but there were 10 other "things that can be pulled" (including the pair of 7's crossing in the center of the grid—and one of those, MUSCLES, is crossed, aptly enough, by TONED UP). [Appeared] was a rather bland clue for CAME OUT, given what "coming out" means in the vernacular. Seeing [Lincoln, maybe] (as a clue for TOWNCAR) reminds me of something my son said at Chuck E. Cheese today—there was a Mount Rushmore mural on the wall, with five faces (four presidents plus the titular rodent). "Chuck E. is not the president!" he said, aghast. Speaking of presidents, I loved the clue for VIRGO: [Lyndon Johnson, by birth]. Favorite theme entries included ALL-NIGHTERS, WISDOM TEETH, and the OLD SWITCHEROO. Anyone familiar with the usage that teams [Kick] with BEEF?
January 27, 2007