I’m doing the crosswords while listening to Bill Barr’s testimony to the House Judiciary Committee, so I’m not counting times today. The audio keeps getting lower and lower in the transmission, and I don’t know what’s going on. It could be the Washington Post feed on YouTube, but I don’t want to go elsewhere because they’re really good at showing the raw footage without any overlays.
I got the theme of this puzzle kinda late. The clue: 59A Feature of Manhattan, and of this puzzle’s answers that contain circles. The answer: CENTRALPARK. Another NY-specific clue. I think of Central Park so little that it’s always a surprise to me when people on TV walk in front of skyscraper after skyscraper and then happen upon a endless greenery.
Now, the theme is related to the following clues:
16A Pelt by a fireplace: BEAR(SKI)NRUG [SKI PARK]
24A Public projects of questionable merit: BOON(DOG)GLES [DOG PARK]
35A Award show rollout: RED(CAR)PET [CAR PARK]
51A Bought some time, in a way: FEED(THEME)TER [THEME PARK]
THEY REALLY HAVE TO FIX THIS AUDIO SITUATION. Come on, Congress. Get it together.