Theme: "Initial Exposé" — Theme answers include made-up first and middle names of famous people who are known by their initials.
[Note: This is the syndicated L.A. Times puzzle. It does not appear in the actual newspaper, but is available for free at cruciverb.com.]
- 27A: Author who's rarin' to write? (EAGER BEAVER WHITE).
- 45A: Daredevil writer? (HANG GLIDER WELLS).
- 67A: Explosive blues singer? (BIG BANG KING).
- 92A: Hard-hitting mystery writer? (PILE DRIVER JAMES).
- 109A: Threatening, but harmless, showman? (PAPER TIGER BARNUM).
- 15D: Merchant who moonlights as a union boss? (LABOR LEADER BEAN).
- 44D: Poet surfing the Net? (WEB BROWSER YEATS).
- 54A: Sainted Norse king (OLAV II).
- 74A: Brewery fixture (OAST).
- 116A: On the safer side (ALEE).
- 40D: Icelandic epic (EDDA).
- 71D: Serengeti grazer (ELAND).
- 108D: New newts (EFTS).
Other tricky answers? I was sure 50A: Jazzman Calloway's birth name didn't have Cab in it anywhere. Thought it might be Charles or something. But no, it's CABELL.
I know I've seen the word THOLE before (82A: Pin on a rowboat), but I got it totally through crosses today. Pretty sure I've never seen ANADEM before (75D: Ancient wreath for the head) but the crosses were straightforward. Well, except for SPAWN (79A: Give rise to), where I first entered cause. The other stupid mistake I made was entering Lou for ROY at 52A: Campanella of Ebbets Field fame. Campanella and Pinella are the same person in PuzzleGirl World.
- 39A: Insurance that covers bridges? (DENTAL). Took me a while. I don't really like to think about dental appliances unless I absolutely have to.
- 56A: Ocular sphincter (IRIS). Eww.
- 90A: Creamsicle color (ORANGE). No doubt a shout-out to our creamsicle-y co-blogger.
- 97A: High-tech card interpreter (READER). I was expecting something a little more high-tech-sounding than this. Even scanner maybe.
- 103A: They work on wheels (POTTERS). Took me way too long to get this one. I'm glad it wasn't clued as [Harry and Sherman]. Actually, now that I think about it, I kinda like the clue [Harry and Sherman].
- 125A: Christian name? (DIOR). This would be fashion design Christian Dior. I used to work with a guy named Brent Dior who named his son Chris.
- 4D: __ pole (TOTEM). First wanted North, then thought of Inter. Interpole is something, right? Oh wait, it's Interpol without the E. Whatever. I finally got around to TOTEM.
- 6D: "God Bless America" inning (SEVENTH). When did they start singing "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch, by the way? I'm guessing it was shortly after 9/11.
- 7D: Part of WATS (AREA). Y'all old enough to remember WATS lines? Or maybe they still exist. The last time I remember using one was in high school, so that was, like, a hundred years ago.
- 8D: Sicko, for short (PERV). Awesome answer. Never seen it in a puzzle before.
- 46D: Lizard's habitat? (LOUNGE). Always makes me think of, well, this.
- 58D: Inasmuch as (SINCE). I, personally, never like to use the word SINCE unless I'm talking about a temporal relationship. But maybe that's just me.
- 102D: Gibberish, metaphorically (GREEK). As in "It's all Greek to me!" (Or as they say in Greece: "It's all Japanese to me!")
- 111D: Tiger Woods's wife (ELIN). They've been married for almost five years now. You'd think we would have seen her more often by now.
Everything Else — 1A: Autograph site (CAST); 5A: "Yesterday!" ("ASAP!"); 9A: Hefty competitor (GLAD); 13A: Twist together (ENLACE); 20A: "A __ technicality" (MERE); 21A: To a degree (SOME); 22A: Pressure, loan shark-style (LEAN ON); 23A: Help out at the trampoline (SPOT); 24A: "Did you __?!" (EVER); 25A: Florida Marlins uniform color (TEAL); 26A: RoboCop, e.g. (CYBORG); 32A: __ War: 1850s conflict (CRIMEAN); 33A: Perjure oneself (LIE); 34A: Deep-seated (INBRED); 36A: Connecting (BETWEEN); 41A: Vermont ski resort (STOWE); 53A: Green-lighted (OK'D); 55A: Horse of the Middle East (ARAB); 58A: Africa's largest nation in area (SUDAN); 60A: Blue-pencils (EDITS); 61A: Dead center? (TOMB); 62A: "Oh, brother!" (MAN); 63A: Series opener? (MINI-); 64A: Hill worker (AIDE); 66A: Geppetto wished on one (STAR); 70A: Keep out of the lineup (REST); 76A: Houston school (RICE); 77A: Actor Mineo (SAL); 78A: Cheese with veins (BLEU); 84A: Comme ci, comme ça (SO-SO); 85A: Bring in (EARN); 86A: Try to hit with (TOSS AT); 88A: White House nickname (IKE); 89A: Take up, perhaps (HEM); 96A: Much of Chile (ANDES); 98A: Seriously restrained, as a prisoner (IN IRONS); 100A: Thwart (STYMIE); 102A: GM debut of 1964 (GTO); 108A: Rochester's love (EYRE); 114A: Frock wearers (FRIARS); 117A: Bibliography abbr. (ET AL.); 119A: Go quietly (TIPTOE); 120A: Malibu landmark (PIER); 121A: "Clair de __" (LUNE); 122A: Luth. or Meth. (PROT.); 123A: Answered with attitude (SASSED); 124A: Like a stained shirt pocket, maybe (INKY); 126A: Title word in an annual Guy Lombardo classic (SYNE); 1D: Sine's reciprocal, in trig (COSEC); 2D: How some stocks are sold (AT PAR); 9D: It doesn't conceal much (G-STRING); 10D: "Gigi" composer (LOEWE); 11D: Indian wet nurse (AMAH); 12D: Place for a bagel with a schmear (DELI); 13D: City in California's Imperial Valley (EL CENTRO); 14D: Napoleonic Wars marshal (NEY); 16D: Galvanic cell part (ANODE); 17D: Like baked apples (CORED); 18D: Certain B.S. holder (ENGR.); 28D: James Dean persona (REBEL); 29D: Milton's "Lycidas," e.g. (ELEGY); 30D: Trident feature (TINE); 35D: Turned on the waterworks (BAWLED); 37D: Blender name (WARING); 38D: Grandson of Adam (ENOS); 39D: Antelope named for the sound it makes when frightened (DIK-DIK); 41D: Sings like Ella (SCATS); 42D: It has a Lovers card (TAROT); 43D: 2004 Democratic keynoter (OBAMA); 47D: DLX ÷ X (LVI); 48D: Beyond tipsy (LIT); 49D: Word before boom (SIS); 51D: Perching places (LIMBS); 57D: Grammy winner Bonnie (RAITT); 59D: Some grandkid spoilers (NANAS); 63D: Jiffy Bag, e.g. (MAILER); 65D: All-natural abode (IGLOO); 68D: Arrange, as a deal (BROKER); 69D: Chemical relative (ISOMER); 72D: Suit material (SERGE); 73D: Nano or Shuffle fillers (TUNES); 79D: Indy additive (STP); 80D: Pacific finger food (POI); 81D: Comm. method reputedly used by Koko the gorilla (ASL); 83D: Cellular structure (HIVE); 84D: High roller? (SEMI); 87D: Went (all over) (TRAIPSED); 89D: Capital WNW of Manila (HANOI); 91D: Haile Selassie worshiper (RASTA); 93D: "The very __!" (IDEA); 94D: Wired, so to speak (JITTERY); 95D: Opera heroine, often (SOPRANO); 99D: More stately (NOBLER); 100D: Fertile Crescent land (SYRIA); 101D: Fools, with "up" (TRIPS); 104D: Nabs using trickery (TRAPS); 105D: Log item (ENTRY); 106D: Yak, yak, yak ... (RUN ON); 107D: Walloped, old-style (SMOTE); 110D: Big __: baseball's David Ortiz (PAPI); 112D: Fix, in a way (GELD).