THEME: "Making a Scarf"—Everything you'll need to knit a scarf is right here in this puzzle—the supplies and the instructions
- 20A: Tingly feeling is PINS AND NEEDLES.
- 33A: DYED IN THE WOOL means Through and through.
- 42A: At the airport, the FLIGHT PATTERN is a Control tower concern.
- 57A: Directions appropriate for the activity suggested by the last words of 20-, 33- and 42-Across are KNIT ONE, PURL ONE. I have never knitted, so I don't know if those are actually the stitches you'd use to make a scarf.
(Bad sweater courtesy of The Sweater Project.)
A while back, another crossword blogger shared an e-mail he'd received from an NYT solver. She felt that with all the baseball and car references in crosswords, the editor/constructor's male bias was showing, and she wanted more female-friendly crossword fill. Her idea of that differs from mine—I find that knitting and sewing are not built in as standard options with the XX chromosomes—but if she's doing the Los Angeles Times crossword, I'll bet she loved the theme. And even though I don't knit, hell, I wouldn't care if we had just as many knitting and crafts themes as all-male sports ones until parity has been reached. They'd bore me, sure, but so do many of the sports ones to be honest.
Crosswordese 101: Ah, look what we have here: 37A: Proofing mark is DELE. This proofreading word is both a noun—"a proofreader's sign indicating matter to be deleted"—and a verb—to delete, or to mark text for deletion. If you've ever done any copyediting or proofreading, you have surely crossed something off and doodled the dele loop with your red pen. Heck, my son learned the basic proofreading marks in second grade.
Other clues for DELE have included "remove from the text," "editor's mark," and "a stet cancels it." To be trickier in a tougher puzzle, the constructor might go with "Take-out order?"
An olio of answers and clues:
- 16A: Two-fifths of one quarter would give my son arithmetical nightmares. Let's see...that's 2/5 times 1/4, and 2/20 can be reduced to 1/10...holy cow, that's the fraction of a dollar that's a DIME! Two-fifths of 25¢ is 10¢, and you probably knew that without multiplying fractions.
- 19A: Educ. catchall clues ELHI, meaning elementary through high school. Teachers will cry foul at this word and say that nobody uses it. People who work in textbook publishing may disagree.
- 38A: "Stroke!" shouter, for short is COX, which is short for coxswain, who is the "steersman" of a boat. In rowing, I gather the COX bosses the rest of the team around and keeps everyone rowing in sync. Courteney Cox Arquette probably made it into more crossword clues for COX before she added a name. You know who else shouts "Stroke!", don't you? Thaaat's right: Billy Squier. I am heartbroken to report that embedding is disabled for this video of Billy Squier's "The Stroke." The tight jeans! The sleeveless crop top! The prance/dance! The '80s hair! It's so delicious, but alas, I can't post it here.
- 52A: Canyon and Sierra are GMCS, both SUVs if I recall correctly.
- 57A: I can't tell you why I wanted OXENS to be the answer to They may be pulled by teams. The correct answer is SLEDS, as in dog sleds. OXEN is already plural, so OXENS is all kinds of wrong. And a team of oxen pulls things—what sort of team would go around pulling oxen?
- 69A: Masculine principle is YANG. I tried YING here first, muddling my yin and my yang. Is that harmful?
- 3D: BARI is a crosswordese Italian town, clued here as Adriatic port. I have a friend named Bari. She should work harder at becoming famous, as these "Adriatic port" clues tend to be lifeless.
- 10D: Fingered, as a perp sounds gross, doesn't it? Like the movie, Freddy Got Fingered? The answer is IDED, short for "identified."
- 11D: BOB BARKER is not the answer to Original host of "The Price is Right" even if he is the host I grew up with. Apparently BILL CULLEN preceded him.
- 32D: You know what the Mohair source is, don't you? It's the GOAT. It's all in the marketing, baby. Nobody much minds having a mohair sweater or coat. But who's gonna buy a goat coat or a goat sweater? Same with cashmere. The Kashmir goat doesn't sound nearly as luxurious.
- 44D: One dismounting from a horse, maybe is a GYMNAST sproinging off the pommel horse. Is there good video of pommel horse action? You bet your bippy there is. I've never seen the movie Gymkata, but thanks to the marvel that is YouTube, I can share the great pommel horse fight scene with you today:
Did you watch that? Really, you must. I tend to skip most of the videos embedded in blog posts, but this one is a gem. Why the villagers don't just stab him in the back, I'll never understand.
- 58D: TANG! That Spacecraft beverage was a childhood favorite of mine. How proud I was when I was finally old enough to mix orange powder and water myself. I remember my mom bringing me a glass of Tang to accompany my bath. "Calgon, take me away"? Nah. Bring on the Tang! Sheer tangy bliss, plus astronaut chic.
- 59D: Backwards-arrow command clues UNDO. I don't know about your computer, but on my Mac, a backwards arrow doesn't UNDO anything—it just moves me back one space. UNDO is command-Z.
I'll be back here on Saturday, but will surely visit for PuzzleGirl and Rex's posts in the interim.
Everything Else — 1A: SFPD alerts (APBS); 5A: Event with a baton (RELAY); 10A: Term referring to a prev. citation (IBID); 14A: Crux (MEAT); 15A: Greek market (AGORA); 17A: Ecuador neighbor (PERU); 18A: Pricey mushroom (MOREL); 23A: H.S. equivalency test (GED); 24A: Retail ad word (SALE); 25A: Monitor, briefly (CRT); 26A: Sit-up beneficiaries (ABS); 29A: W.C.'s "My Little Chickadee" costar (MAE); 31A: Makes a case (ARGUES); 39A: Jessica of "Fantastic Four" (ALBA); 47A: Strange thing (ODDITY); 49A: Keats work (ODE); 50A: "Fat chance!" (NOT); 51A: __ Lingus (AER); 55A: Small amount (DAB); 62A: Surface magma (LAVA); 63A: Flared dress (A-LINE); 64A: Luminous glow (AURA); 66A: Tree of Knowledge site (EDEN); 68A: Pass over (SKIP); 70A: Fusses (TO-DOS); 71A: Big top (TENT); 1D: Rock booster (AMP); 2D: Tiny sound (PEEP); 4D: Smarted (STUNG); 5D: Fast time in Fallujah (RAMADAN); 6D: Ray and Peter's co-Ghostbuster (EGON); 7D: Parliament members (LORDS); 8D: Coliseum (ARENA); 9D: Alito and Thomas are graduates of it (YALE LAW); 12D: Words upon arriving (I'M HERE); 13D: Many Founding Fathers, philosophically (DEISTS); 21D: Big rig (SEMI); 22D: Architect Saarinen (EERO); 26D: Tack on (ADD); 27D: Short farewell (BYE); 28D: Like many high achievers (SELF-DRIVEN); 30D: Cut with acid (ETCH); 34D: Pastrami seller (DELI); 35D: Fenced, perhaps (HOT); 36D: __ 67: Montreal fair (EXPO); 40D: "Dude!" (BRO); 41D: Pesky picnic problem (ANT); 43D: Let __: stop obsessing (IT GO); 45D: URL, e.g. (ADDRESS); 46D: Ducky color? (TEAL); 47D: Subject of "Annie Get Your Gun" (OAKLEY); 48D: Reply to "Gracias" (DE NADA); 53D: Rostropovich's instrument (CELLO); 54D: Watched furtively, with "on" (SPIED); 56D: Brag (BOAST); 60D: Microwave (NUKE); 61D: Hibernia (ERIN); 65D: Fitting (APT).