NYTimes Crossword Answer: Legerdemai – The New York Times
97D. I’m analog and thought of a “trailer” as having “attachment issues” (freeing itself from its little snag and rolling down a highway). Think digital and be careful when you’re the EMAILER trying to send someone a particularly hilarious lolcat – malware lurks everywhere these days.
You really have to be on your toes to get this theme, and even that might not save you from some dizzying surprises.
First, when it comes to themed puzzles, the relevant entries are very well concealed. There’s a tell-tale at 122-Across: “The secret exits represented five times in the grid of this puzzle.” There are five down entries: 32-, 62-, 65-, 105-, and 113-Down. Each is indexed with only an em space, -, which certainly doesn’t give much to a solver. You may have even skimmed through the entire hint set without seeing any indication of the theme, as I almost did.
I had an idea to whisper to 102-Across, “The Sound of Music house”, which refers to a movie clan I know just enough to note that their name – “Von Trapp” – does not did not fit the space. Curiously, I discovered afterwards that they just go through “Trapp”, so I’m sure many solvers have taken a step back by entering “Trapp family” there.
This whisper grew louder when I encountered 14-Down, “Circus Device”. My first thought was “trapeze”, which is appropriate. I’m sure many of you chose this entry as well. I almost wrote it, but I was saved by SAKS and its famous seasonal showcases, which led me to discover a few crossover entries, YANK and LEIA. Given __ LY __ __ __ __, I was still a little puzzled, but the common letters TRAP, from trapeze and Trapp, settled in my head.
Then I hit 75-Down, “Rube Goldberg Machines, for example,” where I got things figured out. What could it be, if not conT-RA-Ptions? ACORN squash works, the aforementioned DO-RAGS, DNA test; I realized here that a rebus for TRAP also works in the crossover entry, 96-Across, with its reference to Marilyn Monroe. This sT-RA-Pless dress! Swoon.