S U N D A Y   August 15, 2010 — Gia Christian (syndicated)

Theme: "Knock 'Em Dead" — Theme answers are familiar phrases with an M omitted, creating new wacky phrases 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.]

Theme answers:
  • 23A: What would trouble Trixie if the Kramdens moved away? (ABSENCE OF ALICE).
  • 51A: Parallel world? (OTHER EARTH).
  • 69A: Badly burned British dish? (BANGERS AND ASH).
  • 85A: Pint-drinking buddies' experience? (ALE BONDING).
  • 117A: 19th-century queen's tough tests? (VICTORIAN ORALS).
  • 14D: "Wiggly dessert stale, kemosabe" (JELLO OLD).
  • 17D: Religious dissenters? (PRAYING ANTIS).
  • 61D: Type that regularly visits Willy Wonka's factory? (CHOCOLATE ILK).
  • 83D: Mischievous long-eared critter? (ARCH HARE).
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:

  • 57A: Cars over the road (ELS).
  • 62A: Mauna __ (LOA).
  • 91A: Jazz immortal (ELLA).
  • 4D: Automne preceder (ÉTÉ).
  • 13D: Dairy case item (OLEO).
  • 18D: Bean measures? (EEG'S).
  • 34D: Middle East VIP (EMIR).
  • 47D: Notre Dame's Parseghian (ARA).
  • 116D: Drink stand buy (ADE).
Everything Else — 1A: Citrus source (LIME TREE); 9A: __-Turkish War (ITALO); 14A: Quartz variety (JASPER); 20A: Boss's okays, often (INITIALS); 21A: Twangy (NASAL); 22A: Duck à l'orange, e.g. (ENTRÉE); 25A: "Gil Blas" novelist (LESAGE); 26A: __-jongg (MAH); 27A: Half a dance (CHA); 28A: Daily opinion page, briefly (OP-ED); 29A: Van Gogh works (OILS); 31A: Designer monogram (YSL); 32A: Whacked, biblically (SMOTE); 34A: Key of Brahms's Symphony No. 4 (E MINOR); 36A: Notorious '80s-'90s crime boss (GOTTI); 38A: Three-handed card game (SKAT); 39A: Regret deeply (LAMENT); 41A: Maker of Nutri-Grain Waffles (EGGO); 43A: Cell messengers (RNA'S); 46A: Roman holiday (FESTA); 48A: "The Mod Squad" role (LINC); 49A: Record material (VINYL); 50A: Fairy tale baddie (OGRE); 53A: Onetime Burmese statesman (U NU); 54A: Go (DEPART); 56A: Picnic spoiler (RAIN); 58A: Rocking Turner (TINA); 59A: Sonoma and Safari (GMC'S); 64A: Computer acronym (ASCII); 66A: Customer file ID (ACCT. NO.); 68A: Fed. medical org. (NIH); 72A: Red-and-white supermarket logo (IGA); 73A: Bottom line, ideally (PROFIT); 75A: When gluttons eat (OFTEN); 76A: Tick off (IRK); 77A: Rehab admission (USER); 78A: Hail __ (A CAB); 79A: Get to work again (FIX); 80A: "Take __ from me" (A TIP); 82A: Nova __ (SCOTIA); 84A: Bentley of "American Beauty" (WES); 92A: Do a double take, say (REACT); 94A: Wool: Pref. (LANI-); 95A: Addition symbol (CARET); 96A: Fanaticism (ZEAL); 97A: Golfer's option (CART); 98A: From the heart? (AORTAL); 100A: "Soap" family name (TATE); 101A: PC troubleshooters (TECHS); 103A: Courses at bars (SALADS); 105A: Idyllic spots (EDENS); 107A: Own, to a Glaswegian (HAE); 109A: "Excuse me ..." ("AHEM …"); 111A: Store of ore (LODE); 112A: Cheerleader's word (RAH); 113A: Space (GAP); 115A: Richards of "Jurassic Park" (ARIANA); 121A: Not as chilly (MILDER); 122A: Prosecutor's burden (PROOF); 123A: Perturbs (AGITATES); 124A: Bully's dare (MAKE ME); 125A: Personnel (STAFF); 126A: Ship's cargo list (MANIFEST); 1D: Neeson of "The A-Team" (LIAM); 2D: To-do pile site (IN-BASKET); 3D: Hodgepodge (MISH-MASH); 5D: Touch of color (TINCT); 6D: "The Sea Around Us" author Carson (RACHEL); 7D: Zeno's home (ELEA); 8D: That, in Tijuana (ESO); 9D: If nothing else works (IN A PINCH); 10D: Scout's discovery (TALENT); 11D: "... say, and not __" (AS I DO); 12D: Europe's __ de Genève (LAC); 15D: "__ of robins ..." (A NEST); 16D: OK and others (STS.); 19D: Virginia __ (REEL); 24D: Instigate (FOMENT); 30D: Pop of rock (IGGY); 33D: Aquatic frolickers (OTTERS); 35D: Restrains (REINS IN); 37D: Torrid Zone boundary (TROPIC); 38D: Bay Area hub: Abbr. (SFO); 40D: Friends-and-family support group (AL-ANON); 42D: Safari sighting (GNU); 44D: Adapt musically (ARRANGE); 45D: Jazz group? (SET); 49D: Spock, partly (VULCAN); 52D: Israeli port city (EILAT); 55D: Inscribe (ETCH); 57D: Southend-on-Sea's county (ESSEX); 59D: Econ. measure (GNP); 60D: Word with drug or mile (MIRACLE); 63D: Previously (AGO); 64D: Museum exhibitor (ARTIST); 65D: Uganda's Amin (IDI); 66D: Invite as one's date for (ASK TO); 67D: Wake maker (OAR); 69D: Netanyahu of Israel, familiarly (BIBI); 70D: Results (EFFECTS); 71D: Lawrence's land (ARABIA); 74D: Femme __ (FATALE); 77D: Keep current (UPDATE); 81D: Business mag (INC.); 82D: Speaks in slang? (SEZ); 84D: Simple card game (WAR); 85D: What you might take if you're tired? (A LOAD OFF); 86D: Food storage area (LARDER); 87D: Sinus specialists, briefly (ENT'S); 88D: Reagan-era scandal (IRAN-GATE); 89D: Proprietor's calculation (NET SALES); 90D: Onetime AT&T rival (GTE); 93D: Relax (EASE); 98D: Many (A LOT OF); 99D: Get closer, as to hear better (LEAN IN); 102D: Cave __: beware of the dog (CANEM); 104D: Foil maker (ALCOA); 106D: Hindu loincloth (DHOTI); 107D: "Go for the Goal" autobiographer (HAMM); 108D: Operatic highlight (ARIA); 110D: MLB honorees (MVP'S); 112D: Hindu music style (RAGA); 114D: It ain't quite "Hey!" ("PSST!"); 118D: NYC subway (IRT); 119D: "__ Sam": "Green Eggs and Ham" opening (I AM); 120D: U.K. defense arm (RAF).


Van55 said...

Nice enough puzzle with a droll theme. Very sticky crosses were EMIR/EMINOR which could have been AMIR/AMINOR and HAMM/ARIANA. Didn't know Ariana at all and didn't recall that Mia Hamm wrote a book.

Anonymous said...

Is there anyone who knew that ARIANA was a 14 year old when she had a minor role in a 1993 movie about dinos? Without iMdb? Just because she has lots of vowels in her first name? Irksome, eh?

Ruth said...

All the theme answers keep the same pronunciation when the "M" is dropped, except Praying Mantis to Antis. A flaw. Just a quibble. Cute Sunday puzzle.

Sidknee said...

Man to an - where's the change?

Anonymous said...

It would have all come together sooner if the title had read "Knock 'M' Dead". Otherwise a nice challenge for a lazy Sunday.

Anonymous said...

started this puzzle in Topeka & finished it in Colby. On my way to a week in the mountains. Liked the puzzle except 5 down &16 down. didn't get them

Anonymous said...

Mantis to antis - it's in there.


Not bad for nine themes, but I found their clues to be rather strained (e.g. “Wiggly dessert stale, kemosabe” = JELLO OLD). They were all pretty corny and trashy. Puns are okay if they’re cute, but these were awful.
Wow, I finally solved a Sunday puzzle in a tad over a half-hour, which is good for me… but then, I did it online which helps speed me up a lot.
Whenever we have a 21 x 21 grid that’s loaded with ALOTOF theme words, we end up with far too many CW101 words. Some crosswordese is okay, but after a while it makes for a very boring puzzle, especially for the veteran solvers. I think I would much rather see non-theme puzzles on Sundays that have a more literary content.

Some good words: ALANON, TINCT, LARDER, MISH MASH, Cave CANEM, FOMENT, Femme FATALE, MANIFEST, and IRANGATE (although I hate how the press adds “gate” to everything that’s a scandal).
Some horrible words: ACAB, ATIP, UNU, ASIDO, ETE, FIX, and ASCII (too obscure computerese for most people).

I thought the clue for 27A was a bit confusing… “Half a dance” (CHA). It could have just as well been clued as “A third of a dance”, because it’s more commonly referred to as the CHA-CHA-CHA.

JASPER is a form of chalcedony… an opaque, impure type of silica, usually red, brown, yellow, or green in color, but blue is quite rare. When we were in Colorado we found some good deposits of beautiful dendritic and banded green JASPER. If you can find a good lapidarist (which we did), it can be made into some very attractive pendant jewelry.
JASPER is also a marvelous National Park in Alberta, Canada which I went to last year.

Since I’ve been on the road a lot lately, I have a backlog of unsolved puzzles to do, so I better get cutting… hmm, that reminds me--- my neglected lawn needs cutting too.