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.]
- 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).
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.
- 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).