Theme: "Sounding Wordy" — Eight theme answers are familiar phrases with a long E sound added to them creating new whacky phrases which are clued "?" style.
Hey, everybody. Sorry I'm late with this puzzle today. I wasn't really expecting the puzzle to be available as early as it was, and then when I saw it I already had some other stuff going on. Yadda yadda yadda ... not very interesting ... sorry. I'll do better next week.
Remember, there are two puzzles on Sundays, both of which are available through the links on our sidebar. Orange has already written up one of the puzzles and I'm getting ready to do the other. So, if this grid doesn't look like the puzzle you solved today, scroll down a bit and see if Orange has your puzzle covered. Or you can click on the link in the sidebar, solve this puzzle, and come on back. I'm not going to wait for you, but the blog post will still be here when you return!
Crosswordese 101: Bambi's aunt is ENA. How are you supposed to know that? Well, I guess you're supposed to remember it from when you saw the movie back in 1942. Okay, maybe you saw the movie more recently than that. In any case, you've seen the clue pop up now and then and this time you're going to file it away so that from now on ... you'll just remember it!
- 22A: Latte that won't quit? (PERSISTENT COFFEE). Plays on "persistent cough."
- 38A: Prepare pickled fish? (READY HERRINGS). "Red herrings."
- 55A: Suitable for squaring away? (FIT TO BE TIDY). "Fit to be tied."
- 79A: Squab sycophant? (PIGEON TOADY). "Pigeon-toed." Just learned the word squab from another crossword puzzle yesterday!
- 93A: Lacking, say, Spencer? (WITHOUT A TRACY). "Without a trace."
- 109A: Tale of utility? (CONVENIENCE STORY). "Convenience store."
- 15D: Silence in the stable? (NO-WHINNY SITUATION). "No-win situation." With a couple of the Ns and the H in place, I was trying to figure out how to fit neigh in there somewhere, but it's a different horse sound they were going for here.
- 31D: Klum unobscured? (HEIDI IN PLAIN SIGHT). "Hide in plain sight." Heidi Klum is a fashion model. I believe she dated Michael J. Fox's character on "Spin City" for a while. In real life, she's married to Seal.
- 15A: ATM mfr. (NCR). I'm pretty sure there are also electronics companies called NEC and NES. I can never remember which one is which.
- 21A: Milk, for Penn (ROLE). Sean Penn played Harvey Milk in the recent movie.
- 26A: Spanish snacks (TAPAS). Never sure if this will be tacos or TAPAS, so I fill in the TA--S and wait for crosses.
- 32A: Riga resident (LETT). Wikipedia says this is an "archaic" word for Latvian.
- 35A: Belief that isn't wearing? (NUDISM). A little too cute for me.
- 43A: Grafton's --- "for Noose" (N IS). Sue Grafton has written a series of mystery novels whose titles all follow the pattern "[Letter] is for [Word]": "A is for Alibi," "B is for Burglar," "C is for Corpse," etc. through "U is for Undertow," which will be released later this year.
- 44A: Brief variety (AMICUS). This is a type of legal brief that might be submitted a person or entity not party to the case at hand. It's short for Amicus curiae, which is Latin for "friend of the court."
- 46A: Slangy turn (UEY). This is sometimes spelled uie. Again, check the crosses.
- 58A: Erstwhile JFK landers (SSTS). A future Crosswordese 101 lesson. SST stands for Supersonic Transport. It's an airplane. The Concorde was one. The clue indicates "erstwhile" because they're not flown any more. Too expensive or something.
- 59A: Chou En- --- (LAI). Sometimes spelled "Zhou Enlai," he was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China.
- 62A: Conductor Georg (SOLTI). I'm sure I've seen him in puzzles before, but couldn't remember his name without crosses. He was music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1969 until 1991.
- 76A: Broadway's Hagen (UTA). You remembered her from our earlier Crosswordese 101 lesson, didn't you?
- 77A: Sound (HALE). In this case, sound doesn't mean noise, but rather sane or healthy.
- 85A: Desolate (LORN). I've seen this in puzzles a few times and I still don't like it. Should be forlorn, right?
- 87A: Tequila cousin (SOTOL). Ne-Ever heard of it. Maybe Wade can give us some info. It's from his part of the world.
- 88A: Cologne's river (RHINE). I'm Really Bad with my rivers and never know if this one will be RHINE or Rhone.
- 91A: Alley coup (STRIKE). Bowling alley.
- 100A: "Rule, Britannia" composer (ARNE). One of those composers you just have to know. There's an Arno River in Italy and I always get the river and this guy confused.
- 107A: "Born Yesterday" playwright Garson (KANIN). Again, never heard of this guy, but have definitely heard of his work. He directed "Funny Girl," which is one of those musicals I know a bunch of lyrics to from back in my junior high days dancing around a friend's living room with hairbrush microphones.
- 118A: The blahs (ENNUI). Love this word! It's a great word, isn't it? I know I posted this clip over at Rex's once when I was filling in for him, but I can't help it. I'm going to post it here too.
- 122A: "Giant" spread (REATA). "Giant" is a 1956 film that takes place on a family ranch named REATA.
- 5D: Shakedown cruise (TRIAL RUN). File it with any other nautical stuff you know.
- 6D: "Hakuna ---" (MATATA). This is a Swahili phrase meaning, basically, "no worries," and the title of a song in the popular "Lion King" movie.
- 7D: War god (ARES). Not to be confused with Eros, the god of love.
- 9D: QB stats (INTS). Interceptions.
- 23D: Smiley, et al. (SPIES). George Smiley is the "spy" of John le Carré's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
- 29D: Checks for prints (DUSTS). Easy for us Law & Order freaks.
- 37D: Rosie of tennis (CASALS). I remember her as Billie Jean King's doubles partner.
- 56D: Piccolo played by James Caan (BRIAN). "Brian's Song." (*sob*)
- 57D: Mayor before Bradley (YORTY). Here's a name you'll probably never see in the New York Times puzzle. I bet all you L.A. people had no problem with it though, right?
- 75D: Veiled words? (I DO). Words said while wearing a veil.
- 80D: Saxe-Coburg- --- (GOTHA). Something German I've never heard of and don't have time to figure out. Is Ulrich back yet?
- 81D: Banks on the runway (TYRA). Another fashion model. She has a talk show now. I've never seen it.
- 94D: Pole feature (ICE CAP). You don't want to know what kind of pole I was picturing at first.
- 99D: "Off the Court" author Arthur (ASHE). More tennis! He is sometimes clued with respect to the stadium named after him at the National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens.
- 104D: Matryoshka, for one (DOLL). You may know is as a Russian nesting doll. If you're me, you do anyway.
- 107D: Writer Hamsun (KNUT). Totally guessed the initial K on this one. I'm a little embarrassed I've never heard of him, what with my Norwegian heritage and all. A quick scan of his Wikipedia page looks pretty interesting. I'll find out more when I have time!
Everything Else — 1A: Dangle a carrot (TEMPT); 6A: San Quentin's county (MARIN); 11A: Speedy steed (ARAB); 18A: Say *%40%23!%26*! (SWEAR); 19A: Rice- --- (ARONI); 20A: "Jaywalking" comic (LENO); 25A: Young Obi-Wan portrayer (EWAN); 27A: USSR part (SOV); 28A: A, B, C/D, e.g. (WIDTHS); 30A: Critic Gene (SHALIT); 37A: Record-setter Sebastian (COE); 47A: Heist haul (TAKE); 48A: In shape (TONED); 50A: Coupe kin (SEDAN); 51A: Half-moon tide (NEAP); 52A: Scouting outing (HIKE); 53A: Authority (SAYSO); 54A: Take --- view of (ADIM); 59A: Chou En- --- (LAI); 60A: "Amadeus" director Forman (MILOS); 61A: Union Sta. users (RRS); 64A: Sentence structure (SYNTAX); 66A: Slapstick missile (PIE); 67A: Pastoral (RUSTIC); 70A: Internet annoyance (POPUP); 72A: La-la lead-in (TRA); 73A: Razzle-dazzle (GLITZ); 82A: Fastening device (HASP); 83A: "... to fetch --- ..." (APAIL); 86A: Fluctuate (YOYO); 89A: Another, in Andalusia (OTRO); 90A: French way (RUE); 92A: Big vase (URN); 97A: Mare's morsel (OAT); 98A: Tile art (MOSAIC); 101A: Plymouth was one (COLONY); 103A: Put down (DISSED); 105A: Letters from Atlanta (CNN); 108A: Word with dive or five (HIGH); 116A: Will- --- -wisp (OTHE); 117A: Away from the wind (ALEE); 119A: "Personal Best" director Robert (TOWNE); 120A: Favorite (PET); 121A: Collude (PLOT); 123A: Squishy spill sound (SPLAT); 1D: Recipe amt. (TSP); 2D: Flock female (EWE); 3D: Sea of Le Havre (MER); 4D: Rigatoni or rotini (PASTA); 8D: Wood of the Rolling Stones (RON); 10D: "Cold Mountain"'s Kidman (NICOLE); 11D: TV ET (ALF); 12D: Sports judge (REF); 13D: From the top (ANEW); 14D: Aerospace biggie (BOEING); 16D: Most modish (CLASSIEST); 17D: Stimpy's TV pal (REN); 21D: Not act. (RETD); 24D: "Send the word" song (OVERTHERE); 30D: Eventually (SOMEDAY); 33D: Characteristics (TRAITS); 34D: Rikki- --- -Tavi (TIKKI); 36D: Windows predecessor (MSDOS); 39D: Because of (DUETO); 40D: "Sailing to Byzantium" poet (YEATS); 41D: Allergenic opener (HYPO); 42D: Has to have (NEEDS); 45D: Nanny or mini closer (CAM); 49D: Curing kilns (OASTS); 51D: Zip (NIL); 55D: Make a match for (FIXUP); 60D: Auto club offering (MAP); 63D: Light, in Lima (LUZ); 65D: Alignment concern (TOEIN); 66D: Say the word (PRONOUNCE); 68D: "Not a problem!" (ITSOKAY); 69D: Pill variety (CAPLET); 71D: First chair in the air (PILOT); 72D: Comics' Calvin, for one (TERROR); 73D: Exit (GOOUT); 74D: Tier (LAYER); 77D: --- -scarum (HARUM); 78D: Goddess of love (APHRODITE); 82D: Vert. opp. (HOR); 84D: Jerry or Jerry Lee (LEWIS); 87D: Hair doers (STYLISTS); 91D: Teacart treat (SCONE); 95D: Two fins (TENNER); 96D: Mimosa family tree (ACACIA); 102D: Victorious (ONTOP); 106D: Muse count (NINE); 108D: Quick trip (HOP); 110D: "The Matrix" hero (NEO); 111D: Dachshund's doc (VET); 113D: Night bird (OWL); 114D: Genetic info (RNA); 115D: Still (YET).