Note: cruciverb.com (where many people get their LAT puzzle online) is down for reasons I don't fully understand. No word on when it will be back up. We haven't received permission to post the .puz ourselves, so those who get the puzzle online will just have to wait. [UPDATE: Permission granted — go here for your .puz]
Puzzle write-up below ... after the Spoiler Whales (stolen from the amazing Matt Kish).
THEME: THE WALLS HAVE EARS (38A: "Be careful what you say," and a hint to a feature shared by this puzzle's perimeter answers) — every word on the perimeter of the gird contains the letter string "EAR"
This is a clever idea, one that required an extra-wide grid to accommodate its theme-revealing answer (16x15 instead of normal 15x15). This was my fastest LAT Friday of the year by a full minute and a half, but that doesn't mean there weren't significant thorny patches. I was particularly vexed by the NE, where neither the clue at 13D: Mahdi, in Islam (REDEEMER) nor the cross at 20A: Thompson in the Theater Hall of Fame (SADA) meant anything to me. I had EMMA for the Theater clue, and that was enough to slow me down but good. Further, went with NAP instead of LAP at 24D: Sitter's offer to a tot. Cheap trick, but it worked. Also got slowed down at the (aargh) tilde-free LA NINA (49A: Oceanic phenomenon that affects weather) — needed every cross before I got it and saw that it was a. two words and b. a phrase I definitely know. Not much more luck on the western seaboard, where TEAR-AWAY meets RAMEAU (53A: Baroque composer Jean-Philippe). I figured the jerseys were TEAM-something, and I just don't know the composer in question. I know that his name means "branch."
- 1A: Poet Edward and a king (L EAR s)
- 6A: "Like Mike" actress (M EAR a) — wtf is this!?!?! I've seen MEARA clued a million ways, but have never heard of "Like Mike." I hope it's a Michael Jordan biopic ... um, well, close:
- 11A: Make on the job (EAR n)
- 14D: Close one (n EAR miss)
- 52D: Show up (app EAR)
- 71A: Promise (sw EAR)
- 70A: Tough test metaphor (a b EAR) — :(
- 69A: Wine industry reference point (y EAR)
- 38D: Like some football jerseys (t EAR -away)
- 1D: Shoe co. founded in Venice Beach (L.A. G EAR)
Crosswordese 101: ALOP (57A: Unbalanced) — one of those words that no one ever uses but that appears in crosswords with pretty good frequency. Functionally equivalent to "lop-sided." Many dictionaries don't feature this word, and if you enter [define alop] into Google, you get no dictionary sites, no definitions ... almost unheard of. Can't think of another word where I've seen that happen. Type [define kakistocracy] and you get scads of dictionary sites. [Define alop] = bupkus.
- 19A: Lindsay's "Bionic Woman" role (Jaime) — why oh why does she spell her name like that of a Spanish man!?
See you Monday.
Everything Else — 1A: Poet Edward and a king (LEARS); 6A: "Like Mike" actress (MEARA); 11A: Make on the job (EARN); 15A: When Polonius says "brevity is the soul of wit" (ACT II); 16A: Outdoor seating area (ARBOR); 17A: Old knife (SNEE); 18A: Equatorial African country (GABON); 19A: Lindsay's "Bionic Woman" role (JAIME); 20A: Thompson in the Theater Hall of Fame (SADA); 21A: Notable period (ERA); 22A: Scrooge's visitors (GHOSTS); 24A: "Ta-ta!" ("LATER!"); 25A: "L.A. Law" extras (ATTS.); 27A: City near Provo (OREM); 28A: Chaos (MAYHEM); 29A: Swipe again? (RE-SCAN); 31A: Found, as tabloid fodder (DUG UP); 33A: Rec. label across the pond (EMI); 34A: The duck, in "Peter and the Wolf" (OBOE); 36A: Liver oil source (COD); 37A: Home of the Big 12's Cyclones (AMES); 38A: "Be careful what you say," and a hint to a feature shared by this puzzle's perimeter answers (THE WALLS HAVE EARS); 43A: Thought patterns, briefly? (EEGS); 44A: Guitar cousin (UKE); 45A: Shade (TINT); 46A: Latin I word (AMO); 47A: It's not on the level (SLOPE); 49A: Oceanic phenomenon that affects weather (LA NIÑA); 53A: Baroque composer Jean-Philippe (RAMEAU); 55A: Jump in a rink (AXEL); 57A: Unbalanced (ALOP); 58A: Ever (AT ALL); 59A: Lens holders (FRAMES); 61A: Back talk (LIP); 62A: Erosive force (WIND); 63A: Like candied fruits (GLACE); 64A: Revolutionary Chopin piece? (ETUDE); 66A: Play to __ (A TIE); 67A: Dull (MATTE); 68A: Where gobs go (TO SEA); 69A: Wine industry reference point (YEAR); 70A: Tough test metaphor (A BEAR); 71A: Promise (SWEAR); 1D: Shoe co. founded in Venice Beach (L.A. GEAR); 2D: French card game similar to whist (ECARTE); 3D: Casey's turns (AT BATS); 4D: Ipanema's city (RIO); 5D: Do a number (SING); 6D: College choice (MAJOR); 7D: Undid (ERASED); 8D: Adequate, and then some (A BIT MUCH); 9D: CD-__: computer inserts (ROMS); 10D: "You __ what you eat" (ARE); 11D: Blue book entry (ESSAY); 12D: Object of loathing (ANATHEMA); 13D: Mahdi, in Islam (REDEEMER); 14D: Close one (NEAR MISS); 23D: Frequent Pro Bowl site (HONOLULU); 24D: Sitter's offer to a tot (LAP); 26D: Garbage haulers (SCOWS); 28D: Casey's team (MUDVILLE); 30D: Org. for 25-Across (ABA); 32D: Bearded butter (GOAT); 35D: Nevada city on I-80 (ELKO); 37D: Health Net rival (AETNA); 38D: Like some football jerseys (TEAR AWAY); 39D: Iron ore (HEMATITE); 40D: Dorian Gray's flaw (EGOMANIA); 41D: Like exes (SEPARATE); 42D: Bambi relative (ENA); 47D: __ Paradise, "On the Road" narrator (SAL); 48D: Parimutuel bet (EXACTA); 50D: Mishandling (ILL USE); 51D: Shrugger's comment (NO IDEA); 52D: Show up (APPEAR); 54D: Respected one (ELDER); 56D: Arab potentate (EMEER); 59D: Tightening target (FLAB); 60D: Jazz sessions (SETS); 63D: "Today" rival, briefly (GMA); 65D: Haul (TOW).
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