Theme: "Gross Words" — Theme answers are familiar phrases with a C replaced by a G to create new wacky phrases 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.]
Good morning! First of all, I appreciate all the good wishes you sent me last week as I re-entered the work force. My first two days went really well and I think this job is going to be a good fit for me. It will take me a while to get used to the pace, though. I was exhausted by Friday evening. I could barely keep my eyes open — and the Hawkeyes were wrestling!
Do you ever look at the puzzle's title and try to guess what the theme is going to be? I thought today's theme was going to be phrases with ICK added to them. Or something like that. But no, in this case, the title is actually an example of the theme (Gross words = Cross words). Here are the rest of the ...
- 27A: Tammany Hall expo? (GRAFT FAIR). [craft fair]
- 29A: Result of a run? (STOCKING GAP). [stocking cap]
- 52A: Glutton for fuzzy fruit? (PEACH GOBBLER). [peach cobbler]
- 79A: Low-priced drink holder? (ECONOMY GLASS). [economy class]
- 105A: Mr. Clean? (GRIME SOLVER). [crime solver]
- 109A: Telemarketing at dinnertime? (PHONE GALL). [phone call]
- 37D: Award for the best flop? (GOLD TURKEY). [cold turkey]
- 42D: Kid in a ditch? (TRENCH GOAT). [trench coat]
This puzzle has a tennis mini-theme going too, with:
- 12D: Court tie (DEUCE).
- 82D: 1980s-'90s women's tennis player who was #1 for a record total of 377 weeks (GRAF).
- 89D: Shutout for 82-Down (LOVE GAME).
- 1A: Junk, e.g. (BOAT). Very tricky. Especially for 1-Across.
- 24A: Monthly reading for some (METER). This one had me stumped until I got a few crosses. Cute!
- 43A: Single-minded sort (NERD). I don't know anything about this.
- 44A: Excuse that's often exaggerated (SOB STORY). Fantastic entry.
- 115A: Cybermemo (ENOTE). Ugh. Ugh UGH UGH. Who has ever used this word in real life? You wanna know who? Nobody. That's who.
- 119A: Lost strength (WANED). Tried ebbed at first. See also 40D: Let up (ABATE).
- 7D: Start to knock? (ANTI-). Some kind of car thing.
- 9D: Orchestra sect. (STR.). This is an ugly abbreviation, but I'm kinda used to it now.
- 14D: Half of a "Which do you want first?" pair (BAD NEWS). Another fantastic entry. This one has a great clue too.
- 16D: Turf controller (GANG). PuzzleHusband likes to pretend he's the leader of a gang called "Los Nortaños." I believe the gang is comprised of business executives in North Arlington. Their colors are light blue and khaki.
- 35D: Adam's third (SETH). I promise we'll do a CW101 on Bible names someday. But not today.
- 48D: Heavily financed deals, briefly (LBOS). Leveraged Buy-Outs.
- 52D: Pound product (POEM). Ezra Pound. The poet.
- 53D: Incidentally, in chat rooms (BTW). Stands for By The Way.
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Everything Else — 5A: Lawrence's men (ARABS); 10A: Adapter letters (AC/DC); 14A: Sired (BEGOT); 19A: High style (UPDO); 20A: Principle (TENET); 22A: Brand on a range (AMANA); 23A: Hard to fathom (DEEP); 25A: Markers (IOUS); 26A: Railroad car (DINER); 31A: Before now (EARLIER); 32A: Cultivate (RAISE); 33A: Talk about salvation, e.g.: Abbr. (SER.); 34A: Bakery fixture (OVEN); 35A: Feel (SENSE); 36A: Wealthy widow (DOWAGER); 40A: Childish retort (AM TOO); 46A: "Quit fidgeting!" ("BE STILL!"); 49A: Gp. that supports malpractice damage award limits (AMA); 51A: Thing to grind (AXE); 54A: __ Moines (DES); 55A: Inferior cookware (TIN POTS); 57A: Day-care charges (TOTS); 58A: Put in stacks, say (SORT); 61A: Dais VIP (EMCEE); 62A: 2009 A.L. MVP Joe Mauer, e.g. (TWIN); 66A: Pirate's loot (SWAG); 68A: Makeup item (ROUGE); 71A: Ones acting badly (HAMS); 73A: It's sometimes enough (ONCE); 75A: Like Dorothy's magical shoes (RUBY RED); 77A: Identify (PEG); 84A: Frat party supply (KEG); 85A: Wide-eyed (AGOG); 87A: "Told you so!" ("SEE?"); 88A: "Too much information!" ("SPARE ME!"); 89A: __ majesty: high treason (LÈSE); 90A: Open-bodied antique auto (ROADSTER); 92A: Verve (ELAN); 93A: Vestibule (FOYER); 94A: Posh properties (ESTATES); 95A: Font flourish (SERIF); 97A: Film noir blade (SHIV); 99A: To this day (YET); 100A: Carrier more likely to be tipped (CANOE); 101A: Accumulates (PILES UP); 111A: Summary (RECAP); 112A: Burn slightly (SEAR); 113A: Ad infinitum (NO END); 114A: Utah ski resort (ALTA); 116A: Nail to the wall (HANG); 117A: Oklahoma native (OSAGE); 118A: Jupiter neighbor (MARS); 120A: Affectedly flamboyant (ARTY); 121A: Try to prevent (DETER); 1D: Move slightly (BUDGE); 2D: Verdi work (OPERA); 3D: "Be __ ...": start of a polite request (A DEAR); 4D: Penthouse place (TOP FLOOR); 5D: Charge for cash (ATM FEE); 6D: Get back, as lost trust (RE-EARN); 8D: Brewski (BEER); 10D: The way things stand (AS IT IS); 11D: Go for (CHOOSE); 13D: Port container (CASK); 15D: Leave the country, perhaps (EMIGRATE); 18D: Infield protector (TARP); 28D: DVR brand (TIVO); 29D: Urban play area (SANDLOT); 30D: Indicators of equal pressure (ISOBARS); 32D: Get (a ship) ready to sail again (RERIG); 36D: Capitol cap (DOME); 39D: Deli selections (RYES); 41D: Saying (MAXIM); 43D: White House advisory gp. (NSC); 44D: Topping for chips (SALSA); 46D: Push in some chips (BET); 47D: Right direction? (EAST); 56D: Little legume (PEA); 59D: Heavenly bodies (ORBS); 63D: Beau (WOOER); 64D: B&B (INN); 65D: Two-stripers, e.g.: Abbr. (NCOS); 67D: Fat unit (GRAM); 69D: Ninnies (GEESE); 70D: Turf tool (EDGER); 72D: Sonnet sections (SESTETS); 74D: Augustus, for one (EMPEROR); 76D: Benefit (USE); 77D: Whittle (PARE); 78D: Bigheads (EGOS); 80D: Bocce pair? (CEES); 81D: Certain Ivy Leaguer (YALIE); 86D: Sydney salutation (G'DAY MATE); 91D: Drenched (STEEPED); 93D: Grind, in a way (FILE); 95D: Scholar (SAVANT); 96D: Get-up-and-go (ENERGY); 97D: Spot remover (SPONGE); 98D: Impede (HINDER); 100D: Spelled-out (CLEAR); 102D: Dressing recipient (SALAD); 103D: Part of UHF (ULTRA); 104D: Suffix with proto- (PLASM); 105D: Cultivated (GREW); 107D: Pic to click (ICON); 109D: Masquerade (as) (POSE); 110D: Pressure (HEAT); 113D: Silent assent (NOD).