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Author Topic: The em-inent April 22 crosswords  (Read 1616 times)


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The em-inent April 22 crosswords
« on: April 22, 2016, 05:05:38 PM »
Today's Los Angeles Times crossword by Jeffrey Wechsler includes STICKEMUP ("Robber's demand"). Four long vertical answers have the letters EM stuck to the beginnings:

Snoopy starting a trip? EMBARKINGDOG
Lining with raised decorations? EMBOSSINGAROUND
Mideast leader's personal CPA? EMIRSAUDITOR
Insurance for royalty? EMPRESSCOVERAGE

STICKEMUP made me think of Jack Benny's most famous comedy bit. Benny was quite generous and charitable in real life but on radio and television he portrayed a tightwad and miser. On a 1948 episode of his radio program, Benny is confronted by an armed robber who demands, "Your money or your life!" Benny didn't respond. The robber repeated the demand: "Look, bud, I said your money or your life!" Benny elicited a lot of laughter with his reply: "I'm thinking it over." The clip can be heard at

"____ work: menial labor" is SCUT. The term "scut work" dates from around 1950 and its origin is unknown. It may derive from "scuttle." It may derive from the Irish slang word scut, which refers to a foolish or contemptible person. It may derive from the Old English scitan, which means "excrement." It may derive rom the now-obsolete Scandinavian word scout, which meant "to treat with scorn" and came from the Old Norse skuta or skute. It may derive from a slang word used by medical personnel to refer to junior interns. To add to the confusion, James Joyce's 1939 novel Finnegans Wake includes this line: "He was immense, topping swell for he was after having a great time of it, a twentyfour hours every moment matters maltsight, in a porterhouse, scutfrank, if you want to know..."

"Hair care brand since 1930" is BRECK. Breck Shampoo was launched by John Breck in Springfield, Massachusetts. For more than 50 years, Breck's magazine ads featured pastel portraits of women who became collectively known as "Breck Girls." Among the more famous Breck Girls are Cheryl Tiegs, Farrah Fawcett, Brooke Shields, Christie Brinkley, Kim Basinger, Cybill Shepherd, Jaclyn Smith and Patti Boyd, former wife of George Harrison and Eric Clapton. The Breck brand is now owned by the Dollar Tree discount store chain.

Cornell University graduate Robyn Weintraub has been creating crosswords since 2010. Her puzzles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and New York Times and she created a Cornell-themed crossword for the 40-year reunion of the class of 1971. Her New York Times crossword today has no theme but it does have some clever clues, such as "Bass parts" for FINS, "Thoughtful gift?" for ESP, "Sharp shooter?" for NAILGUN and "Fox coverage that might be controversial" for FUR.


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