Theme: "Just Do It" — Theme answers are familiar phrases with the letter string DO inserted into them to, creating wacky phrases which are clued "?"-style.
[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: Unlikely bar snack? (BEER DONUTS).
- 25A: Hair stylist's blunder? (GOOFED UPDO).
- 95A: Paid athletes with upscale apartments? (PROS AND CONDOS).
- 48A: Place marker in "The Compleat Angler"? (FISHING DOGEAR).
- 120A: Tennis great's swimwear? (GRAF SPEEDO).
- 124A: Typical dog's motto? (SEMPER FIDO).
- 36D: "What a jerk!" ("HE'S ONE DOOFUS!").
- 41D: Bringin' up a crime boss portrayer? (RAISIN' BRANDO).
Cute theme from our esteemed editor today. (Nora Pearlstone is one of Rich Norris's pseudonyms — it's an anagram of "not a real person.") I thought all of the theme answers were interesting, and a couple of them are awesome. For some reason, PROS AND CONDOS tickled me. The clue is kind of blah (not that I could come up with a better one), but the answer is fun to say. SEMPER FIDO totally cracked me up. And — seriously — who among us wasn't intrigued by the idea of BEER DONUTS?
- 20A: Arabian peninsula capital (SANA'A). I'm sure I've seen this in a puzzle before, but I was totally relying on crosses today. SANA'S is the capital of Yemen.
- 57A: Soprano Lily (PONS). Never heard of her. Her last performance was in 1960.
- 94A: British golfer Poulter (IAN). His name is vaguely familiar.... Oh, he placed second in the British Open in 2008.
- 49D: Horizontal bar dismount (HECHT). Um ... what?
- 79D: Orphan boy of old comics (DONDI). Ne-Ever heard of him.
- 22A: Southern New Mexico county (OTERO). This is not hard for me to remember because I lived in the next county over for a few years in the 1990s. White Sands is in Otero County.
- 66A: Snack brand sold in twists and puffs (CHEETOS). Mmmm, Cheetos.
- 75A: Talky get-together (GABFEST). I have most of my gabfests these days by email.
- 78A: Like eagles (TALONED). Anybody see Alvin & the Chipmunks 2: The Squeakquel? A scarily taloned eagle figures prominently in the story.
- 82A: Alley wanderer (STRAY CAT).
- 86A: Lower Manhattan neighborhood (NOHO). You can never be sure whether this will be NoHo or SoHo, so wait for the cross.
- 88A: Jazz home (UTAH). The Utah Jazz of the NBA.
- 89A: Legend creator (ACURA). Plopped Aesop in without even thinking.
- 110A: Scale's fifth (SOL). Sometimes referred to as so, which drives me nuts.
- 133A: Mothers' groups? (DENS). Moms who help out with Cub Scouts are referred to as "den mothers."
- 11D: Vocational course (WOODSHOP). Back in 8th grade, we had the choice of taking home ec or shop. I chose shop just to be different and now that I'm a stay-at-home mom I wonder if home ec would have been more useful to me.
- 37D: Medical stat? (AT ONCE). If you ever watched "ER," you knew this one.
- 57D: Like a good waiter (PATIENT). This is just a strange clue. I can think of about ten characteristics I'd like to see in my waiter before I get to patient.
- 73D: Mullally of "Will & Grace" (MEGAN). Love her. I'd go look for a clip to include, but I'd get sucked into watching YouTube videos for God knows how long and I just can't do that today!
- 83D: Keister (TUSH). This one should be easy to find though ....
- 117D: Apt company for this puzzle? (NIKE). It will be interesting to see how Nike recovers from the Tiger Woods scandal. Considering the nature of the scandal and the company's slogan — "Just Do It" — it seems like they may be in for some serious mocking.
- 120D: Boxer's warning (GRR). This clue made me picture Barbara Boxer growling at her colleagues.
Crosswordese 101 Roundup:
- 55A: Copycats (APES).
- 116A: Arm bones (ULNAS).
- 128A: They're usually made of African Blackwood (OBOES).
- 129A: Barely managed, with "out" (EKED).
- 5D: British mil. award (DSO).
- 12D: Baseball's Matty (ALOU).
- 26D: LAX info (ETA).
- 118D: Port of Yemen (ADEN).
- 121D: Classic wheels (REO).
Everything Else — 1A: Apply crudely (DAUB); 5A: Practice exercise (DRILL); 10A: Man __: 1920 Horse of the Year (O' WAR); 14A: Interface developed for the Intel x86 family of microprocessors (MS-DOS); 19A: Juanita's "this" (ESTA); 21A: Part (ROLE); 27A: Try (TASTE); 28A: South side? (GRITS); 30A: Quarrel (DUSTUP); 31A: Don't just sit there (ACT); 33A: Provides with funds (ENDOWS); 35A: Hilo exchanges (ALOHAS); 39A: Santa __ (BARBARA); 43A: A single bounce, in baseball (ONE HOP); 46A: Glacial ridge (ARETE); 47A: Sch. founded by Jefferson (UVA); 52A: Beaver, to Ward (SON); 53A: Churn (ROIL); 55A: Copycats (APES); 56A: Paint spill sound (SPLAT); 58A: Ligurian Sea city (PISA); 59A: Kitchen tools (DICERS); 62A: Class (ELEGANCE); 64A: Beatles girl with a "little white book" (RITA); 69A: Pan-fried (SAUTEED); 70A: Singer with The Velvet Underground in the '60s (NICO); 72A: Nice piece of change (TIDY SUM); 74A: Household servant (MAID); 80A: 82-Across cry (MEOW); 84A: Equiangular geometric figure (ISOGON); 92A: Sugar source (CANE); 93A: Maker of nonstick cookware (T-FAL); 99A: Kin of -kin (-ULE); 100A: Like some waves (TIDAL); 102A: Eye shadow? (SHINER); 103A: Cuts into (INCISES); 105A: Kept a partner up, maybe (SNORED); 107A: Rather modern (NEWISH); 111A: Primarily (MAINLY); 114A: Jewish community orgs. (YMHAS); 116A: Arm bones (ULNAS); 126A: Vaudeville show (REVUE); 127A: Race (TEAR); 128A: They're usually made of African Blackwood (OBOES); 129A: Barely managed, with "out" (EKED); 130A: Explorer Amundsen (ROALD); 131A: Vodka in a blue bottle (SKYY); 132A: '30s veep John __ Garner (NANCE); 1D: Charging result (DEBT); 2D: On the Aegean (ASEA); 3D: Old Navajo enemies (UTES); 4D: It may be picked up at a pub (BAR TAB); 5D: British mil. award (DSO); 6D: Made a jingle (RANG); 7D: Accustom (INURE); 8D: "Aeneid" language (LATIN); 9D: Puzo novel, with "The" (LAST DON); 10D: Dot follower, perhaps (ORG); 12D: Baseball's Matty (ALOU); 13D: Calls the game (REFS); 14D: Sectional home (MODULAR); 15D: Daze of wine and rosés? (STUPOR); 16D: Security pmt. (DEP.); 17D: Diner req. (ORD.); 18D: Great Lakes' __ Canals (SOO); 24D: Java choice (DECAF); 26D: LAX info (ETA); 29D: Album track (SONG); 32D: Three-tone chord (TRIAD); 34D: Ties the knot (WEDS); 38D: Detected (SENSED); 39D: Newborn's achievement? (BURP); 40D: To have, to Henri (AVOIR); 42D: Gelatin garnish (ASPIC); 44D: Eye blatantly (OGLE); 45D: Bell sounds (PEALS); 50D: Op art viewer's cry, maybe (I SEE IT); 51D: Elite unit (A TEAM); 54D: Queen with a Grammy (LATIFAH); 60D: Prynne's stigma (RED A); 61D: Pens and needles (STYLI); 63D: Micronesia's largest island (GUAM); 65D: __-deucy (ACEY); 67D: Baja bears (OSOS); 68D: Shell alternative (SUNOCO); 71D: Actor's dream (OSCAR); 75D: Astronauts' wear (G SUITS); 76D: Accomplish (ATTAIN); 77D: Food in shells (TACOS); 81D: Jonah's problem (WHALE); 85D: Bright signs (NEONS); 87D: Pamplona chorus (OLÉS); 90D: Future time of need, metaphorically (RAINY DAY); 91D: Writer Tyler (ANNE); 95D: Smiling, probably (PLEASED); 96D: Damp at daybreak (DEWY); 97D: Ivy League color (CRIMSON); 98D: Search all over (SCOUR); 101D: As much as you can carry (ARMFUL); 104D: Undernourished (ILL-FED); 106D: Onion __ (DIP); 108D: Biblical queendom (SHEBA); 109D: Rye lead-in (HAM ON); 112D: Bottom lines (NETS); 113D: Vichyssoise veggie (LEEK); 115D: Design detail, briefly (SPEC); 118D: Port of Yemen (ADEN); 119D: Lays down the lawn (SODS); 121D: Classic wheels (REO); 122D: Actress Gardner (AVA); 123D: Transit end? (-ORY); 125D: L.A.-to-Tucson dir. (ESE).