Theme: "Teeing Off" — The golf warning "Fore!" is hidden in familiar phrases.
[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.]
- 23A: Sharp rock used by early hominids? (BLADE FORERUNNER). Based on the 1982 Harrison Ford thriller, "Blade Runner."
- 33A: Choose Mounds over Almond Joy? (FOREGO NUTS). From the familiar phrase "go nuts."
- 53A: Like the elbow of Rodin's "The Thinker"? (FOREVER BENDING). This one took me a minute to figure out. The original phrase here is "verb ending." Tricky!
- 70A: Anti-park service career advice? (DON'T BE A FOREST RANGER). HAha! From "don't be a stranger."
- 87A: According to predictions in the show "Medium"? (AS FORESEEN ON TV). "As seen on TV."
- 103A: What Ali did often at the Rumble in the Jungle? (HIT FOREMAN). "Hitman."
- 119A: "Clear skies tonight," to an astronomer? (ALL-STAR FORECAST). "All-star cast."
I always like it when people are referred to by both first and last name in the grid, and today we see that twice with AMY TAN (56A: "The Kitchen God's Wife" novelist) and ERIC IDLE (115A: "Spamalot" co-creator). I only saw one golf-related non-theme answer: PAR (81D: 72, often), but there were a couple tricky misdirecting clues that had a baseball feel to them. To me, a 129A: Farm team is a minor league baseball team, not literally a team of animals (OXEN) on the farm. And 46D: Joltless joes? (DECAFS) turns Joltin' Joe DiMaggio into coffee, which is appropriate because DiMaggio was the spokesman for Mr. Coffee back in the 70s.
More stuff to talk about:
- 1A: Archie Bunker oath (JEEZ). This made me laugh. I can hear the inflection and see the look on his face.
- 32A: It might be given orally (EXAM). Is this clue a little risqué or is it just me?
- 40A: Rained out, e.g.: Abbr. (PPD). Postponed? Okay, that's pretty ugly.
- 43A: Not gun-shy? (ARMED). Love this clever clue. Here, shy is used in the sense of not having enough.
- 60A: Singer Vannelli (GINO). Well, okay.
- 79A: Prefix with fauna (AVI-). I assume this refers to the prefix that relates to birds (avian, aviary, etc.).
- 95A: Lasso (REATA). Sometimes (more commonly?) spelled riata.
- 101A: "M*A*S*H" NCO (CPL.).
- 107A: Teammate of LeBron (SHAQ). I guess I get kind of set in my ways when it comes to sports. It's hard for me to think of him as anything other than a Laker.
- 111A: Ageless pitcher Satchel (PAIGE). He played professional baseball for 40 years and was the oldest rookie to every play Major League Baseball. I don't know a lot about the Negro leagues, but just scanning Satch's Wikipedia page makes me want to learn more.
- 10D: "You eediot!" speaker of cartoons (REN). Hey! We just talked about this the other day!
- 13D: 4 Seasons hit of 1963 (MARLENA). Anyone seen "Jersey Boys," the musical about Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons? I'm dying to see it. This is one of my favorite songs of all time:
- 38D: Source of some '60s trips (LSD). Also the source of some '70s trips, some '80s trips, some '90s trips, and I'm gonna guess some '00 trips as well.
- 44D: Richie's dad, to the Fonz (MR. C).
- 69D: Marsh of whodunits (NGAIO). Learned her name from crosswords.
- 88D: Arctic seabird (SKUA). Learned this one from crosswords too.
- 104D: 1935 Nobelist Joliot-Curie (IRÈNE). Pierre and Marie's daughter. She and her husband were awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their discovery of artificial radioactivity.
- 114D: Spanish pronoun (ESTAS). I know there's going to be some confusion about this one. This word, which doesn't have an accent mark, means these. With an accent mark, estás is a conjugation of the verb to be. Two totally different words.
Crosswordese 101 Roundup:
- 22A: Last Olds model (ALERO).
- 37A: Former Giants manager (ALOU).
- 62A: Reproductive cells (OVA).
- 92A: Bald eagle relative (ERNE).
- 117A: Turkish coins (LIRAS).
- 127A: Fished using pots, perhaps (EELED).
- 10D: "You eediot!" speaker of cartoons (REN).
- 36D: Afore (ERE).
Everything Else — 5A: Spice (up) (JAZZ); 9A: Refracting device (PRISM); 14A: Fashions (MAKES); 19A: Mercury or Saturn (AUTO); 20A: __ fixe (IDÉE); 21A: Soprano Mitchell (LEONA); 26A: One paid to make hoops, briefly (NBAER); 27A: Get rolling (BEGIN); 29A: Refinement (ELEGANCE); 31A: Fields of study (AREAS); 35A: Cavs, on scoreboards (CLE); 39A: Prone to prying (NOSY); 47A: Scary movie reaction (SCREAM); 49A: West Coast wine valley (NAPA); 58A: Box (CRATE); 59A: Perfumer Chanel (COCO); 63A: Vino __: dry wine (SECO); 64A: Capital of Pakistan's Punjab province (LAHORE); 68A: Earth tones (SIENNAS); 75A: Monarch's spouse (CONSORT); 76A: 1980s timekeeping fad (SWATCH); 77A: Omnia vincit __ (AMOR); 80A: Speak hoarsely (RASP); 82A: Briny greeting (AHOY); 84A: Ocho minus uno (SIETE); 85A: Wet floor? (SEABED); 93A: Went two ways (FORKED); 96A: "That's right," quaintly ('TIS); 97A: MBA subject (ECON.); 99A: Language that gave us "khaki" (URDU); 116A: Major muddle (SNAFU); 118A: Family auto (SEDAN); 123A: Wind, as a river (SNAKE); 124A: When la luna rises, usually (NOCHE); 125A: Falafel holder (PITA); 126A: Blue-green hue (AQUA); 128A: Turn out (END UP); 130A: Reading material for some? (LIPS); 1D: "Star Wars" gangster (JABBA); 2D: Swiss mathematician (EULER); 3D: Floor, in France (ÉTAGE); 4D: 12-part belt (ZODIAC); 5D: Skippy competitor (JIF); 9D: And (PLUS); 11D: Electrified particle (ION); 12D: Scornful look (SNEER); 14D: Tropical fruits (MANGOS); 15D: Capital west of Boston, MA (ALBANY, NY); 16D: Reeves of "Speed" (KEANU); 17D: Upright (ERECT); 18D: Tender spots (SORES); 24D: Shackle (ENSLAVE); 25D: It's up the coast from Napoli (ROMA); 30D: Bloated condition? (EGOMANIA); 33D: Convergence points (FOCI); 34D: Boondocks possessive (OUR'N); 40D: 101-Across's subordinates: Abbr. (PFCS); 41D: Studied in detail (PORED OVER); 42D: Extremely unforgiving (DRACONIAN); 45D: African virus (EBOLA); 48D: Silly Putty holder (EGG); 50D: Amends (ATONEMENT); 51D: Vocalist who gave his farewell performance at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin (PAVAROTTI); 52D: Santa __: offshore winds (ANAS); 54D: Jackets facetiously called bum-freezers (ETONS); 55D: Not at all (NO HOW); 57D: Big name in showerheads (MOEN); 61D: Leb. neighbor (ISR.); 65D: __ pro nobis (ORA); 66D: Pave over (RETAR); 67D: Artist who explored infinity in his work (ESCHER); 71D: Rent (TORE); 72D: Primary author of the Mayflower Compact (BRADFORD); 73D: UFO pilots, ostensibly (ETS); 74D: More than that (THOSE); 75D: Docket item (CASE); 78D: Guns (REVS); 83D: "__, verily" (YEA); 84D: Drink with a Real Fact on each bottle cap (SNAPPLE); 86D: Some women's mag photos (BEEFCAKE); 89D: Common office plant (FERN); 90D: Uneven? (ODD); 91D: And so forth: Abbr. (ETC.); 94D: Like a road section with a flagger, maybe (ONE LANE); 98D: Neologized (COINED); 100D: Sen. McCain's alma mater (USNA); 102D: Not of the clergy (LAICAL); 103D: Frankfurt's state (HESSE); 105D: Word with basin or flat (TIDAL); 106D: Dieter's breakfast (MELON); 108D: Curly-haired pantomimist (HARPO); 109D: Paste on (AFFIX); 110D: Dealer's offering (QUOTE); 112D: Kirkuk native (IRAQI); 113D: Refuel (GAS UP); 116D: Procedure part (STEP); 120D: Calculator display, briefly (LCD); 121D: Moo __ pork (SHU); 122D: Dashed (RAN).