5.09.2010

SUNDAY, May 9, 2010 — Merl Reagle (calendar)

Theme: "Exchanging Vowels" — Familiar phrases have two vowels exchanged, creating new wacky phrases clued "?"-style.

[Note: This is the puzzle that appears in the Sunday L.A. Times newspaper. If you don't get the paper, you can find the puzzle here. Scroll down to see today's syndicated puzzle.]


Theme answers:
  • 19A: Imitators of a certain barbarian? (CONAN COPIERS).
  • 23A: Definite tip-off that Tarzan is your new baseball coach? (CHIMP AT THE BAT).
  • 30A: Couple of guys? (MAX AND MITCH).
  • 47A: Eating regimen that really ticks you off? (THE SLAM-FIST DIET).
  • 58A: Actor's uncensored biography? (CONNERY RAW).
  • 72A: Crystal's "gain weight now, ask me how" program? (BILLY TOTAL FATNESS).
  • 87A: Coffee order that puts hair on your chest? (MACHO LATTE).
  • 97A: KFC's basic concept? (CURBSIDE CHICKEN).
  • 113A: Crossword puzzle? (MENTAL PIECE).
  • 125A: Worst-ever gymnast? (MARY LOU ROTTEN).
  • 132A: Movie epic that's probably more than you ever wanted to know about poi? (TARO TARO TARO).
Everything Else — 1A: Spots for yachts (MARINAS); 8A: South American carnivores (COATIS); 14A: "___ that's the way it is, eh?" (OH SO); 18A: "Poor Johnny" of song (ONE-NOTE); 22A: Eye doctor, at times (DILATOR); 25A: Greek letters (ETAS); 26A: Expected (DUE); 28A: Hungarian sheepdog (PULI); 29A: Reckon (OPINE); 35A: Makeup, e.g. (TEST); 37A: Poet's initials (TSE); 38A: Music notes (FAS); 39A: ___ wave (TIDAL); 41A: Song of Sol. follower (ISA.); 44A: Ms. Lauder (ESTEE); 54A: Standup Margaret (CHO); 55A: A miner offering? (ORE); 56A: Parolee, perhaps (EX-CON); 57A: Texas player (ASTRO); 63A: Woody Allen's worries (ANGST); 65A: Cheer syllable (SIS); 66A: Chicago university (LOYOLA); 67A: Music jobs (GIGS); 70A: Mysterious John (DOE); 71A: Per (EACH); 77A: Foundry form (MOLD); 79A: Ready for a refill (LOW); 80A: It may have eyes (SPUD); 81A: Abhor (DETEST); 84A: Rte. recommender (AAA); 85A: Little ones (TYKES); 90A: Surrey, e.g. (SHIRE); 92A: The ___ Good Feelings (ERA OF); 95A: Hose wrecker (RUN); 96A: Old polit. alliance (UAR); 101A: ___ pants (CAPRI); 103A: Seeking, in the personals (ISO); 104A: Turns on an axis (SLUES); 105A: Palm (off) (FOB); 106A: Movie popcorn unit (TUB); 109A: Catches, as perps (NABS); 118A: Some stones (OPALS); 121A: Cat, in Catalonia (GATO); 123A: Boarding loc. (STA.); 124A: See 9 Down (LA LA); 130A: Role for Rosie (RIVETER); 133A: Like some oil (IRANIAN); 134A: Didn't toss (KEPT); 135A: Fled to wed (ELOPED); 136A: Rises (ASCENTS); 1D: Way to the web (MODEM); 2D: Singer Baker (ANITA); 3D: Unwind (RELAX); 4D: Locked away, perhaps (IN A SAFE); 5D: "___ a chance" (NOT); 6D: Unable to agree (AT ODDS); 7D: It may lead to the truth (SERUM); 8D: VI x L (CCC); 9D: With 124 Across, a can-can comment (OOH); 10D: "Wheel of Fortune" buy, perhaps (AN I); 11D: Pack (down), as tobacco (TAMP); 12D: Ideas and suggestions (INPUT); 13D: Reduce, with "back" (SCALE); 14D: Choose (OPT); 15D: Old brand of crackers (HI-HO); 16D: Flow real slow (SEEP); 17D: Shuttle path (ORBIT); 20D: Groucho's Driftwood (OTIS); 21D: Without (SANS); 24D: Shirt type (TEE); 27D: Choice word (EITHER); 31D: Scot's negative (NAE); 32D: No-win situation? (TIE); 33D: PC inserts (CDS); 34D: In good shape (HALE); 36D: Carol's contraction ('TIS); 40D: West Coast baggage tag (LAX); 42D: Order to an orderly (STAT); 43D: Sunday paper inserts (ADS); 44D: Song of Sol. preceder (ECCL.); 45D: Drive (away) (SHOO); 46D: John Major's successor (TONY BLAIR); 47D: Attempt (TRY); 48D: Former name of Universal Studios, Inc. (MCA); 49D: "12 Angry Men" star (FONDA); 50D: Valuable bar (INGOT); 51D: "Don't take the bait, Mugsy!" ("IT'S A SETUP!"); 52D: He's Will to Debra's Grace (ERIC); 53D: Comedian Daniel, or a Brit's nonsense (TOSH); 55D: Via sneezing, perhaps (ORALLY); 59D: Reason for being denied admission, perh. (NO ID); 60D: Right-angled extension (ELL); 61D: In the past (AGO); 62D: Smart, funny folks (WITS); 64D: Forward (SEND ON); 68D: Space (GAP); 69D: Inner-city blight (SLUM); 71D: Basic Spanish verb (ESTÁ); 73D: Linked, as oxen (YOKED); 74D: "I am the sorrier; would ___ otherwise" (Shak.) ('TWERE); 75D: Rx overseer (FDA); 76D: Stork's mouthful (EEL); 77D: Like some Fr. nouns (MASC.); 78D: Surfing mecca (OAHU); 82D: Pound alternative (STAR); 83D: Actress Garr (TERI); 85D: Roman directed it (TESS); 86D: Give up a chess piece, for short (SAC); 88D: Parts of waves (CRESTS); 89D: Attila, to his wife? (HUN); 91D: An ___ single (RBI); 93D: Cries of surprise (OHS); 94D: Ebert's love (FILM); 98D: Lithium-___ battery (ION); 99D: Stick or ball intro (CUE); 100D: Understanding (KEN); 101D: "Law & Order" role (COP); 102D: Kansas or Texas city (ABILENE); 105D: Popular pens (FLAIRS); 106D: Arnold of "True Lies" (TOM); 107D: ___ the crack of dawn (UP AT); 108D: Netanyahu's successor in 1999 (BARAK); 110D: Juan's water (AGUA); 111D: Ballet support (BARRE); 112D: Pub perch (STOOL); 114D: Skylit courtyards (ATRIA); 115D: Have lunch at one's desk (EAT IN); 116D: Traction aid (CLEAT); 117D: Makes (EARNS); 119D: Muse's instrument (LYRE); 120D: Trough chow (SLOP); 122D: A Ringling brother (OTTO); 126D: Mel who could really belt one out (OTT); 127D: Additional phone line? (TAP); 128D: Before, of yore (ERE); 129D: Tacit approval (NOD); 131D: Prod. in the suction section? (VAC).

5 comments:

*David* said...

I really liked this puzzle, the theme lends itself to endless variations and should be used more often. At first I found the theme a bit frustrating but how can you not love TARO TARO TARO?

Anonymous said...

I REALLY HATED THIS OBEISANCE BY REAGLE TO HIS DILETTANTE ATTEMPTS AT PUNNERY. SUCH PEDESTRIAN ATTEMPTS AT TURNING A WORD ONLY SHOWS HIS DISDAIN FOR TRUE INGENUITY WITH THE USE OF WORDS, AS USUAL, HE SELLS HIS SOUL TO THE POPULAR GENRES BECAUSE HE IS NOT ERUDITE ENOUGH TO USE THE MAGIC OF OUR ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND ITS POWERFUL AND COMPLEX VOCABULARY TO BUILD A TRULY LEARNED "PUZZLER". IS IT ANY WONDER READERS LIKE MYSELF ARE CANCELING OUR NEWSPAPER SUBSCRIPTIONS WHEN WE HAVE TO PUT UP WITH SUCH MOCKERY OF OUR LANGUAGE?

Orange said...

Anonymous, hon, please don't shout. Step away from the shift key.

I don't know how to break it to you, but this isn't a pun theme. It's a wordplay theme in which vowels trade places. Merl's got a deep fondness for puns as well as a true gift for all sorts of wordplay.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was "chOmp at the bit" not "chAmp at the bit"

Diana said...

They are both correct.