SUNDAY, February 7, 2010 — Dan Naddor (syndicated)

Theme: "Heros Welcome" — Theme answers are familiar phrases with SUB added to them, creating new wacky phrases clued "?"-style. (Sub and hero are synonyms. Other names for this type of sandwich are grinder, po' boy, and I'm pretty sure there are one or two more.)

[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.]

Theme answers:
  • 23A: Confidential town green projects? (SUB ROSA PARKS).
  • 28A: Inferior salad dressing ingredient? (SUBSTANDARD OIL).
  • 33A: What a white flag indicates? (COMBAT SUBMISSION).
  • 50A: Pine tar? (BATTING SUBSTANCE).
  • 65A: Early 1600s threat to the English throne? (KING JAMES SUBVERSION).
  • 82A: Government overseer of the mortgage crisis? (SUBPRIME MINISTER).
  • 94A: Dannon disciples? (YOGURT SUBCULTURE).
  • 101A: Bookkeeper's gift? (SUBTOTAL RECALL).
  • 115A: Sensational sapphire, say? (SUBLIME STONE).
I don't know if you heard, but we have a little snow here in Washington, DC. I tell you what. This winter has been very disappointing for me. Not necessarily because of all the snow, but because the weather people have been Right Every Time. It's much more fun when I can mock the weather people and everybody's completely excessive response to their predictions. But not this year. No, this year I was in the line at the Safeway on Thursday with Every. Body. Else. Of course, by the time I finally decided to shop there were no eggs to be found in the entire metropolitan area. So much for baking cookies on a snowy day. It finally stopped snowing this evening and we're supposed to be clear now until Tuesday. They recorded 32.4 inches at Dulles. Wow! Will everybody please join me in saying a little prayer that Arlington County Schools are open Monday? So far I haven't made it an entire week at my new job without taking a day off. Very impressive, right? Ugh.

Okay, the puzzle. Cute theme. SUBTOTAL RECALL made me laugh. KING JAMES SUBVERSION is also pretty funny. I had trouble in the NE until I remembered 12D: Designer Versace's first name. (It's GIANNI.) But I did end up with a wrong letter that I couldn't find on my own. I had DRY humor instead of WRY humor at 26D. I thought ALEDIVES sounded pretty weird for 25A: Old English pub proprietors, but hey! It wouldn't be the weirdest word I've ever heard, so I thought it could be right.

I noticed several misdirection clues and I liked them all. Raise your hand if you entered menace for RASCAL (6A: Dennis in comics, e.g.). And how about 88A: Letters before F? Anyone besides me try CDE? I also thought 37D: Get in the pool was a great clue for BET.

  • 46A: Metallic money (SPECIE). Learned it from crosswords.
  • 75A: Grave (ACUTE). I never noticed this before now, but in addition to being synonyms, grave and acute are two types of accent marks used in French.
  • 99A: Welsh actress Tessie (O'SHEA). Apparently, Milo has the day off.
  • 35D: It may be held at lunchtime (MAYO). Ha! Cute!
  • 39D: "There's no __ team" (I IN). Of course I know this phrase, but here's how dumb I am. At first I had A IN — "There's no A IN team." Um ... actually there is.
  • 42D: Something to save for a rainy day (PONCHO).
  • 43D: Ragamuffin (URCHIN). Ragamuffin is an awesome word.
  • 50D: Key with five sharps: Abbr. (B MAJ.). Started out with E MAJ, which (obviously) has only four sharps.
  • 53D: Token concession (BONE). Ooh, I like this one. Had to think about it for a minute. It's referring to the idiom "throwing someone a bone."
  • 55D: Navel buildup (LINT). Ew.
  • 64D: Chamberlain of the NBA (WILT). The Stilt.
  • 85D: Columnist Hentoff (NAT). This seems like an awfully tricky clue for NAT. Of the 210 times NAT appears in the cruciverb.com data base, it's only clued with reference to Hentoff 15 times. I only knew him because back when I lived in New York a hundred years ago, I used to read him in the Village Voice every week.
  • 91D: Charges (FLIES AT).
  • 95D: Mitchell family (O'HARAS). Gone With the Wind, right? Someday I should see that movie.
  • 98D: River to the Ubangi (UELE). Wait, what? Never heard of it.
  • 102D: Bruins' home (UCLA). My high school mascot was the Bruin, but Fargo South High didn't fit.
Crosswordese 101: Lots of CW in this puzzle, which is typical for a Sunday. If you had trouble with any of these, you might take a little time to review them:
  • 15A: Prince William's alma mater (ETON).
  • 30A: Gillette razor (ATRA).
  • 73A: Reef dweller (EEL).
  • 117A: Server of many kosher meals (EL AL).
  • 122A: That, in Tijuana (ESO).
  • 6D: "Red Seal" record co. (RCA).
  • 7D: Some dadaist works (ARPS).
  • 15D: Seat of Oklahoma's Garfield County (ENID).
  • 29D: DDE opponent (AES).
  • 56D: Tiny bit of work (ERG).
  • 75D: Heavenly altar (ARA).
  • 79D: Words following Casca's "Speak, hands, for me!" (ET TU).
  • 80D: Food thickener (AGAR).
Everything Else — 1A: Zingers (BARBS); 12A: Phone button letters (GHI); 19A: Voodoo relative (OBEAH); 20A: Iron target (CREASE); 21A: It's not free of charge (ION); 22A: One of a 15th century trio (NINA); 27A: It might be a bust (STATUE); 32A: Access (ENTRY); 41A: Musical work (OPUS); 45A: Slightest (LEAST); 47A: Chaperon (ESCORT); 49A: Big name in ice cream (EDY); 54A: Song for which Pavarotti won a 1980 Grammy (O SOLE MIO); 57A: U.S. security (T-NOTE); 58A: "Evita" role (CHE); 59A: Author Levin (IRA); 60A: "Tahitian Women on the Beach" artist (GAUGUIN); 64A: Trounce (WHIP); 71A: Divide (PART); 72A: Wave through, as at a guard station (LET PASS); 74A: "Just as I thought!" ("OHO!"); 77A: Hostage negotiator's group (SWAT TEAM); 89A: Vehicle with caterpillar treads (SNO-CAT); 90A: Wicker material (RATTAN); 91A: Procyon or Canopus (F STAR); 93A: Vittles (EATS); 100A: Next in line (HEIR); 110A: Looked like a wolf (LEERED); 114A: '60s Defense secretary (MCNAMARA); 118A: Sylvester, to Tweety (TAT); 119A: Stereo knob (TREBLE); 120A: Malfunction (ACT UP); 121A: Sing the blues (WAIL); 123A: Becomes pervasive (SETS IN); 124A: Identity __ (THEFT); 1D: Head honcho (BOSS); 2D: Touch (ABUT); 3D: Country's McEntire (REBA); 4D: Drinkers may run them (BAR TABS); 5D: Berate loudly (SHOUT AT); 6D: "Red Seal" record co. (RCA); 8D: 12-time Pro Bowl NFLer Junior (SEAU); 9D: Low-__ diet (CARB); 10D: Solicits (ASKS); 11D: For fear that (LEST); 13D: Not abandon, as principles (HOLD TO); 14D: Sincerely (IN EARNEST); 16D: Modern recorder (TIVO); 17D: "Dedicated to the __ Love": 1960s hit (ONE I); 18D: Cosmos' org. (NASL); 24D: Spanish muralist (SERT); 26D: Like some humor (WRY); 31D: Very, in music (ASSAI); 33D: Jazzy Laine (CLEO); 34D: Refs. that take up lots of shelf space (OEDS); 36D: "What've you been __?" (UP TO); 38D: Old AT&T rival (MCI); 40D: Line part: Abbr. (SEG.); 41D: Andean stew veggie (OCA); 44D: Expensive (STEEP); 48D: Fr. holy woman (STE.); 51D: Concert souvenirs (STUBS); 52D: Place to get your B.S. (UNIV.); 60D: "__ while they're hot!" (GET 'EM); 61D: Nile biter (ASP); 62D: __ Today (USA); 63D: Gloomy guy (GUS); 65D: Hawaiian priest (KAHUNA); 66D: Collection in which Asimov's story "Robbie" appears (I ROBOT); 67D: Grad (ALUM); 68D: Hand (out) (METE); 69D: Keister (REAR); 70D: Jazz club unit (SET); 71D: Riders after robbers (POSSE); 76D: Carthage, for one (CITY-STATE); 77D: Attempt (STAB); 78D: Lusty lass (WENCH); 81D: Bog down (MIRE); 83D: Staples staples, briefly (PCS); 84D: Discount rack abbr. (IRR.); 86D: "__ show time!" (IT'S); 87D: Disco __ of "The Simpsons" (STU); 92D: Track straightaway (STRETCH); 96D: Trattoria dessert (GELATO); 97D: Former Mideast inits. (UAR); 99D: Tuba's first note? (OOM); 101D: Diving duck (SMEW); 103D: __ B'rith (BNAI); 104D: Towering (TALL); 105D: Round nos. (ESTS.); 106D: Restore to health (CURE); 107D: Aid's partner (ABET); 108D: Overseas bar degs. (LLBS); 109D: Taylor of "Six Feet Under" (LILI); 111D: Memorization (ROTE); 112D: Sufficient, in slang (ENUF); 113D: Interior, e.g.: Abbr. (DEPT.); 116D: Guys (MEN).


Crockett1947 said...

Nice to see Dan this morning after Barry's offering yesterday. Made for a great puzzle weekend for me.

I also had the ALEDIVE error. Finally had to use "reveal" to get my congratulations screen.

Hope all of you east coasters get out from under the snow without any serious grief.

Have an awesome Sunday!

shrub5 said...

Another hand raised for ALEDIVES and MENACE. The latter was eventually overwritten with RASCAL. ALEDIVES remained as is.

My fave answers were KING JAMES SUBVERSION and SWAT TEAM.

Don't like OHO. I'm an AHA kind of person.

The first theme answer I got was SUBROSA PARKS so I thought the theme was going to be puns on heroic people. Then I got SUBSTANDARD OIL and realized "hero" in the title referred to the edible kind.

lit.doc said...

@Puzzle Girl (and meaning no disrespect to Rex and Orange), I *so* enjoy your write-ups. Witty, spontaneous, and educational. Thanks for the "No 'i' in stupid" sign (gotta get one for my classroom). And I feel your winter-weather pain. Grew up in Denver, and that's a familiar scenario. Stay warm. :)

This is my favorite kind of themed puzzle. A clever device that piques my interest by making all the theme answers little "OK, what's he up to this time?" riddles.

Yeah, me too with DRY and MENACE. ALEWIFE was the sound of grad school paying for itself. Embarrassing Full Disclosure of the Day (cf. my and @Elaine's posts on the NYT blog): when I got to 88A I actually looked at my cell phone. No earthly idea *what* I was hoping to discover. And the clue for 98A might just as well have been "River to yo momma" for all the good it did me.

Re today's Crosswordese 101, every time I see "DDE opponent" I think "Adlai [not again!!] Stevens. My brain appears to be E-proof. And I always have problems with ESO as it can also be ESE or ESA, which limits its utility.

Crockett1947 said...

@lit,doc That would be Adlai E. StevensON. The E. is for Ewing (Thank you, Wiki). This is really dead, even for a Sunday!

KJGooster said...

DRY/ALEDIVES here, too. Doesn't the T in Boston have an ALEWIFE station? I think that's what finally got it to click for me. Tried MENACE as well for 6A, but that didn't last long since 8D Junior SEAU was a gimme for me.

Also couldn't remember how to spell GAUGUIN, and wanted PICKS for 51D: Concert souvenirs.

OK puzzle overall. Seemed to be rather easy for an LA Times Sunday.

Tinbeni said...

Naddor is the King of the Puns, his WRY wit lives on in his puzzles.

Liked the BARTABS (very familiar), T-NOTE and SNOCAT (useful in DC).

Someday I'll learn to spell Gauguin's name without help.

NAT Hentoff appeared rarely in my paper, but a 3 letter unknown is easily ciphered.

SUBPRIME MINISTER? Are we using London financial terms now?

OHO had a lousy clue.

But Sunday should be fun and doable. This was both.

@PG - I hope the schools are open for you, and closed for the kids.

lit.doc said...

@Crockett1947, thank you for the teachable moment. I'll start work on the ON thing right after I get the E[wing] down. ;)

Crockett1947 said...

@lit.doc I know I could use a primer on star types. Anyone?

docmoreau said...

Did anyone have "see red" instead of LEERED "looked like a wolf"? It's something Naddor would have pulled.
Also, liked CREASE for "iron target," and MAYO for "it may be held at lunchtime." Clever puzzle.


In my opinion, one of Dan's better puzzles. Took me a while, but I got it 100% right and that feels good after a weekend of very hard work... finished my ICE PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO. Wow! Got some great shots! Now I can catch up on a backlog of puzzles I missed while away.