Theme: "Gross Income" — Theme answers are familiar phrases with the letter string ICK added to them, 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.]
- 22A: Martial artist's autobiography? (THE KICKING AND I).
- 37A: Protest against fiery roadsters? (RED CAR PICKET).
- 57A: Really cool security device? (WICKED LOCK).
- 78A: Price tag in the meat department? (HAM STICKER).
- 93A: Communication from perverts? (SICKO'S SIGNAL).
- 113A: Competition for greased-up pooches? (SLICKED DOG RACE).
- 16D: Preserved a liquor bottle? (PICKLED THE FIFTH).
- 44D: Aggressive policy to increase box office sales? (TICKET OFFENSIVE).
- 20A: Bob Hope Airport city (BURBANK). Learn something new every day.
- 24A: Combo wager (EXACTA). An exacta bet is when you predict the first- and second-place finishers in order.
- 26A: 1973 Stones ballad (ANGIE). A personal favorite.
- 29A: Short timetable? (SKED). I've been doing a lot of puzzles the last couple days, catching up on a bunch of puzzles from this past month. Seems like SKED is in all of them.
- 32A: Foofaraw (ADO). Foofaraw is an awesome word.
- 47A: Try to keep, as a title (DEFEND). Guess who will be defending a national champion title in a couple weeks. That's right! The Iowa Hawkeye wrestling team — can't wait!
- 49A: Madden coached them in the '70s (RAIDERS). This is funny. I didn't know that Madden was a coach. I don't know where I thought he came from, or why he acted so much like a coach, but it just never occurred to me. Weird.
- 69A: Boxing writer Fleischer (NAT). Never heard of this guy. Nat Turner, Nat King Cole, Nat Hentoff, sure. Nat Fleischer? No.
- 81A: LL Cool J label (DEF JAM). Ladies Love Cool James.
- 90A: That ship (HER). Anyone know why ships are female?
- 107A: "__ the Boys": Katy Perry album (ONE OF). Eight-year-old PuzzleDaughter was running around the house singing a Katy Perry song the other day. Yes, that Katy Perry song. *sigh*
- 2D: Doff a bowler (UNHAT). "Doff a bowler" sounds vaguely dirty.
- 14D: Latin king (REX). All Hail the King!!
- 18D: Hipster's accessory (SHADES).
- 34D: Summer refresher (ICE TEA). Yes, yes, I know, I know, it should be iced, blah blah blah ….
- 43D: Drink named for a football team (GATORADE). Another thing I did not know. The Florida Gators? Did you guys know that?
- 72D: Convention booths (KIOSKS). Because of the theme there are an awful lot of Ks in this grid. And this is an awesome K-licious word.
- 76D: Director Howard (RON). Weird to think of him as a grown-up person. I bet some peope can't get past Opie. He's stuck in his teens for me.
- 82D: Bowie at the Alamo (JIM).
- 95D: "Nothing Compares 2 U" singer O'Connor (SINEAD). Remake of a Prince song. Two other popular songs you might not know are Prince songs: Chaka Khan's "I Feel for You" and Cyndi Lauper's "When You Were Mine."
- 108D: Flat beer's lack (FOAM). Ew.
- 115D: "Take This Job and Shove It" songwriter David Allan __ (COE). (There's one bad word in this video around 2:45.)
Crosswordese 101: If you need to know one SNL alum for crossword puzzles it's not Jon Belushi or Chevy Chase or even Gilda Radner. No, you need to know Cheri OTERI. Look at that name. It's perfect for puzzles. If she's not familiar to you, the good news is pretty much all you need to know is that she was on Saturday Night Live, where she performed in the cheerleader skits with Will Ferrell, and she was in "Scary Movie." Easy, right?
Everything Else — 1A: Kept afloat (BUOYED); 7A: Big sizes (JUMBOS); 13A: Things drawn across windows (DRAPES); 19A: Like books for long-distance road trips (ON TAPE); 21A: Savor (RELISH); 25A: "Attention!" ("HARK!"); 27A: Columnist Bombeck (ERMA); 30A: Theater level (TIER); 33A: Formal orders (DICTUMS); 36A: "College GameDay" football analyst Corso (LEE); 40A: Neruda works (POEMS); 42A: ATF employee (AGT.); 45A: Like dried soil (CAKY); 46A: Emotional work (ODE); 51A: Pirate riches (BOOTY); 53A: When Hamlet feigns insanity (ACT TWO); 56A: Not marked up (AT COST); 60A: Mortar trough (HOD); 61A: "Classic" drinks (COKES); 62A: "The queen of sciences": Gauss (MATH); 63A: Thought-revealing drama techniques (ASIDES); 64A: Genre of the band Fall Out Boy (EMO); 65A: Charlemagne's reign: Abbr. (HRE); 66A: Come out with (SAY); 67A: Check for authenticity (VET); 68A: Sibs, uncs, etc. (FAM); 70A: Piercing cry (SHRIEK); 73A: Storage facility (SHED); 75A: Curing solution (BRINE); 77A: Vow after reading vows (I DO); 80A: Entrepreneur's goal (PROFIT); 83A: Actor Feldman or Haim (COREY); 84A: Jewish pancake (BLINTZE); 85A: Alarm setting for one with a paper route, maybe (FIVE AM); 88A: Strew seed (SOW); 89A: Globule (BEAD); 91A: __ brulée: custard dessert (CREME); 97A: Over there, back when (YON); 98A: Gear on the slopes (SKI MASK); 100A: Google had one in Aug. 2004 (IPO); 101A: W. Coast enforcer (LAPD); 104A: Letter sign-off (BEST); 106A: Organic compound (ENOL); 109A: Didn't hold, as dyes (BLED); 111A: It'll put you under (OPIATE); 117A: Energizes (REVS UP); 118A: Sky lights (AURORAS); 119A: "Knocked Up" director Judd (APATOW); 120A: Does an usher's job (GREETS); 121A: Football bettor's concern (SPREAD); 122A: Buds at sea (MATEYS); 1D: Inclusive choice (BOTH); 3D: Castmate of Gasteyer, Ferrell et al. (OTERI); 4D: Gas bag (YAKKER); 5D: Dermal opening (EPI-); 6D: Prefix with -gon (DECA); 7D: Son (JUNIOR); 8D: Impulse (URGE); 9D: W.'s degree (MBA); 10D: Blackball (BAN); 11D: Batting next (ON DECK); 12D: Got around (SKIRTED); 13D: Night vision? (DREAM); 15D: "Unfortunately ..." ("ALAS …"); 17D: High regard (ESTEEM); 20D: It may be circled on a calendar (BIG DAY); 23D: Special gifts (KNACKS); 28D: Remote control? (MUTE); 31D: Break (RECESS); 33D: Got a B-minus, say (DID OK); 35D: Traces (SPECKS); 38D: Tavern flier (DART); 39D: Hound (POOCH); 41D: Niagara Falls prov. (ONT.); 42D: Spider, e.g. (ARACHNID); 48D: Phase (FACET); 50D: John or Jane (DOE); 51D: Series of jokes (BIT); 52D: Football stat. (YDS.); 54D: Emulate Don Juan (WOMANIZE); 55D: Gas mileage calculating aid (ODOMETER); 57D: Can't tell which __ up (WAY IS); 58D: Onions partner (LIVER); 59D: Had too much (OD'ED); 62D: Old school add-on? (MARM); 66D: Humiliate (SHAME); 70D: They may be close (SHAVES); 71D: And so forth: Abbr. (ETC.); 73D: Misrepresents (SKEWS); 74D: "I'm talking to you!" ("HEY!"); 75D: Like some gowns (BRIDAL); 79D: Swindler (CROOK); 80D: Seating __ (PLAN); 84D: Parent's reminder (BE GOOD); 86D: J __ Juliet (AS IN); 87D: Brunch drinks (MIMOSAS); 89D: Humans and ostriches, e.g. (BIPEDS); 91D: Many a sci-fi villain (CYBORG); 92D: Former "At the Movies" co-host (ROEPER); 94D: Bring to the majors (CALL UP); 96D: Experimental runner (LAB RAT); 99D: Stays fresh (KEEPS); 102D: Fundraising dinner unit (PLATE); 103D: Plastic duck, e.g. (DECOY); 105D: Subdue by shocking (TASE); 107D: Fried Cajun veggie (OKRA); 110D: Mountain __: sodas (DEWS); 112D: King whose tomb was found in 1922 (TUT); 114D: Bargain bin abbr. (IRR.); 116D: College résumé fig. (GPA).