Planner’s Aid – The New York Times


Men play dominos in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami.Credit Scott McIntyre for The New York Times

MONDAY PUZZLE If someone were to ask me, “Deb, other than the prescription anti-anxiety medication, what is the most important part of a successful move, whether it’s moving house or moving a crossword column from one place to another?”, a well-developed sense of organization would probably be at the top of my list.

Nothing is more embarrassing, after all, than packing up everything you think you need and leaving an emu behind. To make a successful move, you need to be on the ball. You need to be caffeinated. Most of all, you need a TO-DO LIST.

Today’s Theme

Kurt Mengel and Jan-Michele Gianette have collaborated today on just such a TO-DO LIST. They offer us a list of four, two-word theme entries whose words start with TO- and DO-, plus the revealer at 59A, TO-DO LIST.

Only TOY DOLLS seemed a bit stretchy to me: I would call a Barbie either a TOY or a DOLL, but wouldn’t put the two words together. I also wish that there was some way to make it singular to match the rest of the theme entries. The other three, TOUCHDOWN, TOMMY DORSEY and TOP DOLLAR are all in the language, although TOUCHDOWN is the only one-word theme entry. I would have liked more consistency inside the theme besides the fact that they all start with TO- DO-, but it didn’t really bother me until I looked back at the finished puzzle.

Tricky Clues

As you might expect, most of the clues are very straightforward, so you won’t need much help from me. That’s why I am invading the Tricky Clue section of today’s column and will be showing you adorable animals instead. Because we all need that a lot more on a Monday.

• 8A: Here’s a cute OTTER video:

• 6D: And here is a baby owl having a sink bath, because everyone can appreciate a moist OWLET.

Let us now move on to Mr. Mengel and Ms. Gianette:

Constructors’ Notes

As with many of our puzzles, we come up…

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