SUNDAY, January 31, 2010 — Merl Reagle (calendar)

We have a lot to talk about with this puzzle, so let's get to it. You may recall that last week I promised to come back and blog Merl's Sunday puzzle and then I never did it. So sorry about that. My bad! That one's on me! Then when I went to look for Sylvia's puzzle today, I found another Merl puzzle. Turns out he constructed a two-part puzzle for us and the LA Times agreed to run his puzzles two weeks in a row so we could get the full effect.

So what I'm going to do today is post the grids and theme answers to both puzzles here. Then I'm going to encourage you to hop over to Merl's own blog where he both explains the genesis of this awesome puzzle idea and shares some details of the ordeal he went through to get it in publishable shape. It's a pretty interesting read. I hope you'll check it out.

If you haven't solved the puzzles yet, you should do that first. This week's puzzle can be found here. Last week's is here. I don't think these are permanent links though. If you're coming to this blog late, I think you'll be able to find PDF versions of the puzzles here and here.

Just in case I haven't rambled on long enough yet, I'm going to add a little spoiler space before I post the grids and theme answers. If you haven't solved the puzzles, go do it now!

Kindergarten Crime Spree Part 1 (January 24, 2010)
Theme answers:
  • 22A: I arrived at the crime scene at 9 a.m. The kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Ladey, SPELLED IT OUT FOR ME.
  • 35A: "First," she said, "someone STOLE A KISS."
  • 39A: "Wait," I said, "I thought there was a KIDNAPPING."
  • 46A: "Yes, but we woke him up. Then a pinky ring went missing." "Real jewels?" I asked. "No," she said, "JUST PASTE."
  • 52A/69A: She said, "Then I saw the HANDWRITING ON THE WALL."
  • 78A: "Graffiti?" I asked. "No, just letters." "Ah," I said, "a CAPITAL CASE."
  • 85A/97A: I thought, All right, fine, I can PLAY THEIR LITTLE GAME.
  • 99A: "Then I found these," she said, and even I was shocked. There were CHALK MARKS on the floor.
Kindergarten Crime Spree Part 2 (January 31, 2010)
Theme answers:
  • 21A: I narrowed it down to two suspects. Naturally, they both LOOKED INNOCENT.
  • 26A: Let's call them DICK AND JANE.
  • 35A: I could tell right away that she was HOOKED ON PHONICS.
  • 49A:And he—well, let's just say that he was IN A CLASS BY HIMSELF.
  • 64A: I laid out the evidence; they could see that I'd done MY HOMEWORK.
  • 66A: But neither would talk. So I said, "I'm going to COUNT TO TEN."
  • 82A: And that did it—they immediately started crying. I said, "Well, I hope you've LEARNED YOUR LESSON."
  • 93A: "Maybe you'll both be let out early FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR."
  • 106A: "But only if you SHOW AND TELL me exactly what happened."
  • 113A: They agreed. And that's when the FINGERPOINTING / FINGERPRINTING / FINGERPAINTING began. THE END (Hint: Because of a single variable letter, this clue has three different appropriate answers. Write in whichever one(s) you like. See 116 Down.)
  • 116D: Start of a crime novel by Sue Grafton, whose titles are particularly apt for this puzzle. (This clue has three possible answers. See 113 Across.) (O / R / A IS).
January 24 Puzzle / Everything Else — 1A: Dumas dueler (ATHOS); 6A: Pioneer heading (WEST); 10A: Pre-Edison term? (ALVA); 14A: Sailor's sure thing? (AYE); 17A: Feud-ending word (SHAKE); 18A: Part of a foot (INCH); 19A: Malicious looks (LEERS); 21A: DFW's state (TEX.); 25A: PC bailout key (ESC); 26A: Strike (HIT); 27A: Start of the second qtr. (APR.); 28A: NYC mayor after David (RUDY); 29A: Despite all that (YET); 30A: Conk out (DIE); 31A: Opera CD track (ARIA); 33A: Bridge whiz Sharif (OMAR); 42A: Club with maps (AAA); 43A: Bonanza finds (ORES); 44A: Playwright Eugene (O'NEILL); 45A: Canonized Mlle. (STE.); 49A: Lorelei Lee's creator (LOOS); 51A: Couch potatoes (SITTERS); 57A: Given the nod (OKAYED); 62A: With Andrea, an ill-fated ship (DORIA); 63A: Like some translations (LOOSE); 64A: Persian protest, perhaps (MEOW); 67A: Niger neighbor (MALI); 68A: Strong adhesive (EPOXY); 71A: Succinct saying (MAXIM); 72A: Cocktail fruit (LIME); 73A: Intro to many words? (INSO); 74A: Inflexible (RIGID); 75A: Biscotti flavoring (ANISE); 76A: A.s.a.p. (IN A SEC); 80A: Opens the door for (LETS OUT); 84A: Currently has the stage (IS ON); 88A: Neon's state (GAS); 90A: Car options (LEASES); 95A: Starting (AS OF); 96A: Moreover, to poets (E'EN); 103A: Approximately (OR SO); 104A: Isle off Tuscany (ELBA); 105A: Soup container (CAN); 106A: Adjective ending (-IAL); 107A: Moistens (WETS); 109A: Cosmo, for one (MAG); 112A: Descartes' deduction (I AM); 113A: She who gets sheared (EWE); 119A: Austrian article (DER); 120A: Metrical feet (IAMBI); 121A: It gets hammered (NAIL); 122A: Hang on (to) (CLING); 123A: Football's "Too Tall" Jones and others (EDS); 124A: ABC series about crash survivors (LOST); 125A: Hannibal's obstacles (ALPS); 126A: Must (HAS TO); 1D: It's a relief (ASPIRIN); 2D: Words after stem or turn (THE TIDE); 3D: Henry V, as a prince (HAL); 4D: State the Joads left: abbr. (OKLA.); 5D: Ooze (SEEP); 6D: Nintendo's ___ Remote (WII); 7D: Registered player (ENTRANT); 8D: Attila, to his enemies (SCOURGE); 9D: Sound of a flop (THUD); 10D: Franklin's 1936 foe (ALF); 11D: "Dr. Hug" Buscaglia (LEO); 12D: After 2 a.m., say (VERY LATE); 13D: Fighting force, to Fifi (ARMÉE); 14D: Groveled (ATE DIRT); 15D: Answer to "Get the picture?" (YES I SEE); 16D: What sots drink to (EXCESS); 20D: ___ good example (SET A); 22D: Plumed military cap (SHAKO); 23D: Bit in a bucket (DROP); 24D: Cobb, Detmer, and Law (TYS); 32D: "Wheel of Fortune" buy, maybe (AN I); 34D: Military assignments (MISSIONS); 36D: Lacking slack (TAUT); 37D: Tobacco-drying oven (OAST); 38D: Punches senseless (KOS); 40D: Like some suckers (ALL-DAY); 41D: Tractor trailer? (PLOW); 46D: Irish dance (JIG); 47D: Frigate's front (PROW); 48D: Start of a JFK quote (ASK); 50D: DuPont fiber (ORLON); 51D: Treat disdainfully (SNEER AT); 52D: Pickup line? (HOP IN); 53D: You can smell it (AROMA); 54D: Vetoes (NIXES); 55D: Wizard's unveiler (TOTO); 56D: Cartoon ending? (-ISH); 58D: Appliance brand (AMANA); 59D: Vertical line on a graph (Y AXIS); 60D: Beethoven's "Für ___" (ELISE); 61D: "... spare a ___?" (DIME); 62D: Site with a slicer (DELI); 64D: O. Henry title trio (MAGI); 65D: Snobs (ELITISTS); 66D: ___ the hills (OLD AS); 70D: Reddi-___ (WIP); 71D: Patrick who played Steed on TV's "The Avengers" (MACNEE); 73D: Rapper-actor (ICE-T); 77D: Ex-actor Ron (ELY); 78D: Dog show reject (CUR); 79D: Laze (about) (LOLL); 81D: Bowie's last stand (THE ALAMO); 82D: With sight, a tourist (SEER); 83D: Porcine plaint (OINK); 85D: Interjected disapprovingly (PSHAWED); 86D: Temporary cars for repair patrons (LOANERS); 87D: CIO's companion (AFL); 88D: Like some stops, in speaking (GLOTTAL); 89D: Dirigible (AIRSHIP); 91D: Voting issue (AGE); 92D: Hard-to-miss (SALIENT); 93D: Trade restriction (EMBARGO); 94D: Clothes lines? (SEAMS); 95D: Give in (to) (ACCEDE); 98D: Bulky book (TOME); 100D: New Zealand bird or fuzzy fruit (KIWI); 101D: The Taj ___ (MAHAL); 102D: Neighbor of Nor. (SWE.); 108D: Author Ferber (EDNA); 110D: Foot feature (ARCH); 111D: Dressy event (GALA); 115D: "Survivor" airer (CBS); 116D: Young fox (KIT); 117D: Raised RRs (ELS); 118D: Boom-bah opener (SIS).

January 31 Puzzle / Everything Else — 1A: Pioneering cartoonist (NAST); 5A: Prep for a trip (PACK); 9A: Cry of recognition (AHA); 12A: Stumblebums (CLODS); 17A: Job safety org. (OSHA); 18A: Present opening? (OMNI-); 19A: Job opening (SLOT); 20A: Jewelers' lenses (LOUPES); 24A: Manifesto co-author (ENGELS); 25A: Takes in or lets out (ALTERS); 28A: Untrue (NOT SO); 29A: Earthquake origins (FOCI); 32A: Promising letters (IOU); 33A: Org. of cadets (ROTC); 41A: Old college cry (RAH); 42A: Capital on the Aare (BERN); 44A: Pianist Gilels (EMIL); 45A: Sculler's prop (OAR); 46A: Words before "merry" (AND BE); 48A: Chinese principle (TAO); 54A: Goes ballistic (ERUPTS); 56A: Hydrox finish (-IDE); 57A: Before you know it (SOON); 58A: Be in a different form? (ARE); 59A: Pool problem (ALGAE); 60A: Golf great (SNEAD); 62A: "Convoy" star's first name (KRIS); 72A: At a snail's pace (SLOW); 73A: Takes shape (FORMS); 74A: Chocolate shop lure (AROMA); 75A: Reagan's "Star Wars" prog. (SDI); 78A: Lingerie items (BRAS); 80A: Cloud chamber bit (ION); 81A: Toyota rival (NISSAN); 87A: "Twitch," minus every other letter (TIC); 88A: Arm bones (ULNAS); 89A: Seattle-to-Vegas dir. (SSE); 90A: GM's electric car (VOLT); 91A: Island near Java (BALI); 92A: Saints' org. (NFC); 99A: Sugar-free, perhaps (DIET); 101A: Extinct 12-footer (MOA); 102A: In ___ (lined up) (A ROW); 103A: Terra follower (COTTA); 111A: Last two words in the title of an epic 1962 western (WAS WON); 112A: Actress Stone (SHARON); 117A: "Fighting" NCAA team Colorful eye part (ILLINI); 118A: Swan lover of myth (LEDA); 119A: Colorful eye part (IRIS); 120A: Words to a traitor (ET TU); 121A: One way to choose (BY LOT); 122A: 2001 and 2010, for ex. (YRS.); 123A: "Darn it" preceder (GOSH); 124A: Greek letters (RHOS); 1D: Ace of diamonds Ryan (NOLAN); 2D: Embark on ___ career (A SOLO); 3D: Noticeably filled (with) (SHOT THROUGH); 4D: Goes up against (TAKES ON); 5D: Okra features (PODS); 6D: Pal, to Pascal (AMI); 7D: Wolf's home? (CNN); 8D: Relations (KIN); 9D: Actor with actor brothers (ALEC); 10D: Flying wedge sound (HONK); 11D: Reach (ATTAIN); 12D: Nor, for one: abbr. (CONJ.); 13D: Long-time Indiana senator (LUGAR); 14D: Market action that remains in effect until filled or canceled (OPEN ORDER); 15D: Easily trashed, e.g. (DELETABLE); 16D: Air-leak sound (SSS); 19D: "Nova" subj. (SCI.); 20D: Nobel decliner ___ Tho (LE DUC); 22D: Switch ending (-EROO); 23D: Frigg's husband (ODIN); 27D: "___ insist!" (NO I); 29D: Katrina aftermath org. (FEMA); 30D: Like poems of praise (ODIC); 31D: Coal miner (COLLIER); 34D: Food Network figure (CHEF); 36D: Berry and Burns (KENS); 37D: Struck a stance (POSED); 38D: Partakes of (HAS); 39D: Space balls (ORBS); 40D: See 60 Across (SAM); 42D: Second-string squad (B TEAM); 43D: Premature (EARLY); 47D: Ultrasecret org. (NSA); 49D: List details (ITEMS); 50D: It's an Aleutian (ADAK); 51D: Dogpatch name (YOKUM); 52D: Brassy group (HORNS); 53D: ___ to win it (IN IT); 55D: Kung ___ chicken (PAO); 60D: "Kill Bill" weapon (SWORD); 61D: "Dream on!" ("NO WAY!"); 63D: Coffee-spill result (STAIN); 65D: Hamburg's river (ELBE); 66D: "Sounds great" ("COOL"); 67D: "It's Now ___" (OR NEVER); 68D: Surgery sites, briefly (ORS); 69D: "For openers ..." (TO START WITH); 70D: BlackBerry delivery (EMAIL); 71D: Folk singer Griffith (NANCI); 73D: Pulled the trigger (FIRED); 75D: How misers act (SELFISHLY); 76D: Glenn Miller milieu (DANCE HALL); 77D: Roth follower (IRA); 79D: Lackluster (SO-SO); 81D: Punishment for some kids (NO TV); 82D: "Casablanca" role, Ilsa ___ (LUND); 83D: Research-funding org. (NSF); 84D: "Camp show" org. (USO); 85D: London district (SOHO); 86D: KFC side dish (SLAW); 91D: Rocket stage (BOOSTER); 94D: Saudi neighbor (OMANI); 95D: Democrat Dellums (RON); 96D: One who may bug you (GADFLY); 97D: Barn bundle (BALE); 98D: Able one's assertion (I CAN); 100D: Hope-Crosby flick, "Road ___" (TO RIO); 104D: Famed sidekick (TONTO); 105D: Burger beef (ANGUS); 107D: "I ___ tell" (WON'T); 108D: Arena level (TIER); 109D: Some linemen (ENDS); 110D: NYC airport, on tickets (LGA); 111D: Genie's gift (WISH); 112D: Sis or bro (SIB); 114D: Fix dishonestly (RIG); 115D: Con's opposite (PRO).


Djinn said...

Thanks PG for remembering us this week and psoting Merle's link.

JIMMIE said...

I just knew you would get back to us. I saved last week's puzzle to check the answers this week just like I used to do in the good old days before this blog.

Thanks Merl for the clever and entertaining pair of puzzles, which even included my old school the UofI. Oskeewowwow!

And thanks again, PG, for this and everything else.

Djinn said...

I meant to say thanks for posting Merl's link and remembering us this week. I'm visiting his site and then will return to comment further, but my greatest CW hurdle came from filling 26A with JACK AND JILL instead of DICK AND JANE before seeing the error.

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Orange said...

I was going to delete that spam comment, but its link is coded wrong (so the spammer's goal of having a link is thwarted) and I appreciate the mangling of English generated by an auto-translation tool. You see how "better" (as in good, better, best) turns into "wagerer"? And the cosmopolitan airport has trendy baggage handling? It's gorged of fun, it is.

Anonymous said...
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*David* said...

First puzzle was one I zipped through, the second one was a bit more of a slog. I did enjoy the story telling and would like more puzzles with this type of theme as long as it is well thought out.

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