S U N D A Y   December 12, 2010
Robert A. Doll (syndicated)

Theme: "Familiar Endings" — Phrases that begin and end with the same word.

[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:
  • 22A: Memorable 1994 film exhortation (RUN FORREST RUN).
  • 27A: Ruthless (DOG EAT DOG).
  • 35A: Skipping no pages (COVER TO COVER).
  • 53A: In detail (PLAY BY PLAY).
  • 71A: Defend one's principles bravely (FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT).
  • 88A: 1969 Bob Dylan hit (LAY LADY LAY).
  • 107A: Lehane crime novel about a missing girl (GONE BABY GONE).
  • 115A: Complete (OUT AND OUT).
  • 125A: Continually (YEAR AFTER YEAR).

Hey, folks. Doug here, back for another Sunday. Looks like this is my regular gig now. Once I caught onto the theme, I flew through the puzzle. The longer theme answers have more oomph than the shorter ones, and FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT looks great smack-dab in the middle of the grid. Solid work.

I do have a question for the constructor. Did you go by "Bobby" when you were a kid, and if so, did the other kids tease you by calling you "Bobby Doll"? That would have sucked. Also, the bassist for Poison is named Bobby Dall (don't ask me how I know that), and you really don't want to be mixed up with that guy. I'm glad I didn't get teased much in elementary school. Fortunately the mean kids didn't capitalize on the Doug/bug rhyme very often.


  • 1A: Bear mascot of the 1980 Moscow Olympics (MISHA). I was guessing it might be BORIS, but MISHA sounds good too
  • 20A: Roll player (PIANOLA). Another name for a player piano.
  • 22A: Memorable 1994 film exhortation (RUN FORREST RUN). From Forrest Gump, of course. Sorry to tick off the Gumpophiles, but I wasn't a big fan of that movie. I thought it was OK, but I've never felt the urge to watch it again. For the record, I've seen Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure at least 20 times, so you might not want to rely on me for film critiques.
  • 65A: Have in spades: (OOZE). Great clue for OOZE. Think about someone who "oozes insincerity," e.g.
  • 77A: ___ Tunes (LOONEY). I wanted to include a Looney Tunes video here, but if I start watching Looney Tunes on youtube, I'll be there all day and never finish the blog. I wonder if that ever happens to PuzzleGirl.
  • 107A: Lehane crime novel about a missing girl (GONE BABY GONE). This was made into a movie a couple years ago. I didn't see it, so I have no idea what it's about. I was probably at home watching my Bill and Ted's DVD.
  • 134A: Bee killer (STING). Cool clue. I hate bees. Yeah, I know we need bees for pollination and all that, but I don't need to see them buzzing around
  • 15D: Aqaba is its only seaport (JORDAN). Michael Jordan is so awesome he has a country named after him. As Larry Bird said after he watched Jordan score 63 points in a playoff game against the Celtics, "I think he's God disguised as Michael Jordan."
  • 50D: Team with a mascot named Uga, familiarly (DAWGS). The University of Georgia Bulldogs are called the "Dawgs," and I just found out that "Uga" is an actual bulldog who sits on the sidelines. His name is derived from University of GeorgiA.
  • 61D: Crüe-ish? (MOTLEY). Mötley Crüe, a band known for their use of the "heavy metal umlaut." I'm thinking of adding one to my name (Döug.) And there's this from The Onion: "In a move designed to make the United States seem more "bad-assed and scary in a quasi-heavy-metal manner," Congress officially changed the nation's name to the Ünited Stätes of Ämerica Monday. "Much like Mötley Crüe and Motörhead, the Ünited Stätes is not to be messed with," said Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)."
  • 106D: ___TV: "actuality" network (TRU). This has a Crosswordese 101 entry (TRU), but that write-up only mentions the play about Truman Capote. truTV used to be called Court TV, but I guess they figured a misspelled, strangely capitalized name would be more "edgy." And they've got an online feed that features "car chases, dumb criminals, gun fights, drunk drivers, drug busts, naughty girls, police, things that blow up, taser attacks, naked thieves and more!" We might have to spice up the blog a little to compete. 
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 80A: Hard to catch (EELY).
  • 110A: Divided sea (ARAL).
  • 114A: Foe of the Iroquois (ERIE).
  • 36D: Earthen stewpot (OLLA).
  • 57D: Nitrogen-based dye (AZO).
  • 80D: Best of the stage (EDNA).
  • 86D: Hunter of fiction (EVAN).  
  • 121D: Vintage pop (NEHI).
  • 126D: Dawn deity (EOS).
Everything Else — 6A: Like some dancing (AEROBIC); 13A: Grunt's position (MCJOB); 18A: Modern messages (EMAIL); 19A: Horace's "Ars __" (POETICA); 24A: Well-fortified, in a way (ARMORED); 25A: __ Pie (ESKIMO); 26A: Nail site (TOE); 29A: Q5 maker (AUDI); 32A: Intrude (IMPOSE); 34A: '60s activist Bobby (SEALE); 40A: Spirited horse (ARAB); 42A: Nintendo's Super __ (NES); 43A: Game show name (ALEX); 44A: Originate (from) (STEM); 45A: Bribe (SOP); 47A: "The Gold Bug" author (POE); 49A: "If you prick us, do we not __?": "The Merchant of Venice" (BLEED); 51A: Understood (SAW); 59A: Feature of many a bad review (SARCASM); 62A: Here-there link (NOR); 64A: Pitching staff leaders (ACES); 66A: "Hold it!" ("WHOA!"); 68A: NASCAR racer Mark (MARTIN); 70A: Penn or Pitt (ACTOR); 75A: He-men (STUDS); 78A: Needing ice, maybe (SORE); 79A: "I, Claudius" role (NERO); 81A: Power tool? (DAM); 83A: Stock holder? (RANCHER); 91A: Fate (LOT); 93A: "Three Coins in the Fountain" fountain (TREVI); 94A: Baltimore daily (SUN); 95A: Fa-la link (SOL); 97A: Maker of PowerCat soccer shoes (PUMA); 100A: Divided sea (ARAL); 101A: Crime show with two spin-offs (CSI); 104A: Wilson's predecessor (TAFT); 112A: "Twelfth Night" duke (ORSINO); 117A: Navig. aid (GPS); 119A: Like many beach bums (TANNED); 124A: Sports no-no (STEROID); 129A: Goes after crustaceans (SHRIMPS); 130A: Access, in a way (LOG ONTO); 131A: India's first prime minister (NEHRU); 132A: SAT segment (ESSAY); 133A: Paul Anka love song with a Spanish title (ESO BESO); 1D: No more than (MERE); 2D: 1989 Radio Hall of Fame inductee (IMUS); 3D: Went under (SANK); 4D: Old player (HI-FI); 5D: 10-time Gold Glove winner Roberto (ALOMAR); 6D: Loan no. (APR); 7D: Want ad letters (EOE); 8D: Musical symbol (REST); 9D: Emperor under Pope Innocent III (OTTO IV); 10D: Galleys with two banks of oars (BIREMES); 11D: Post-ER area (ICU); 12D: Unofficial Seabees' motto (CAN DO); 13D: Hardly the macho type (MAMA'S BOY); 14D: 100 clams (C-NOTE); 16D: Corrida cry (OLÉ OLÉ); 17D: Scouting prizes (BADGES); 20D: Means to get in touch (PAGER); 21D: High dudgeon (IRE); 23D: Whomps (ROUTS); 28D: Adventurers/documentarians Martin and __ Johnson (OSA); 30D: Period, e.g. (DOT); 31D: Seals, as a deal (ICES); 33D: Support, with "up" (PROP); 35D: Hacks (CABS); 37D: Zig or zag (VEER); 38D: Perk recipient (EXEC); 39D: Muscat's land (OMAN); 41D: They may include ht., wt., skin color, etc. (APB'S); 46D: Academy teacher (PLATO); 48D: Pleistocene, e.g. (EPOCH); 52D: Bryn Mawr undergrads (WOMEN); 54D: Etcher's supply (ACIDS); 55D: Have a __: crave (YEN FOR); 56D: Ex-senator Trent (LOTT); 58D: Law closing? (-YER); 60D: "Pipe down!" ("SHH!"); 63D: Was relentless, as a storm (RAGED); 67D: Reef ring (ATOLL); 69D: Shade of blue (ROYAL); 70D: Secret __ (AGENT); 71D: Violent anger (FURY); 72D: Admired stars (IDOLS); 73D: Georgetown athletes (HOYAS); 74D: Fund for later yrs. (IRA); 75D: Irreverent NBC hit (SNL); 76D: Something to take in the afternoon (TEA); 82D: Wear a long face (MOPE); 84D: Climber's challenge (CRAG); 85D: Parade honoree (HERO); 87D: Get to (RILE); 89D: Parent/teen sticking point (AUTONOMY); 90D: Jellystone Park bear (YOGI); 92D: CRT part (TUBE); 96D: Tale starter, perhaps (LONG AGO); 98D: Scratch (MAR); 99D: Grab __: eat on the run (A BITE); 101D: Rupert of "The Reivers" (CROSSE); 102D: __ Oldest Rivalry: Virginia/North Carolina annual college football game (SOUTHS); 103D: Lays to rest (INTERS); 105D: Dietitian's forte (FOODS); 108D: "Piece o' cake!" ("NO PROB!"); 109D: Hankers (YEARNS); 111D: "Beavis and Butt-head" spin-off (DARIA); 113D: Elegance (STYLE); 116D: Go down a bit (DIP); 118D: Compos mentis (SANE); 120D: No, across the Bering Strait (NYET); 122D: Bring home (EARN); 123D: Put under (DRUG); 127D: NBA stats (FT'S); 128D: To boot (TOO).


Van55 said...

I thought this was a good, solid, Sunday puzzle whose theme didn't have a lot of pizazz. Struggled just a bit in the SoCal/Ariz area. Otherwise it fell with ease.


RAD (Robert A Doll) Puzzle!
Hard, but super good.
Something-to-something theme made it a little easier, but much of the cluing was difficult to decipher. ALL IN ALL it was quite entertaining.
Fun WOTD for me: DARIA and MCJOB
Fave clue for me: "Crueish" (MOTLEY)
Best part of today's puzzle: Doug's cool writeup and I agree about "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure"... a great guffaw movie. "Bogus Journey" was a lot of fun too.

Snowed in here today, so I think I'll just relax and do the other two Trib (Puzzle Island) puzzles and then do my Amazon.com buys.
Maybe the new Kindle. Anyone have any critiques on that gizmo?

v-man said...

I thought this was a little harder than the NYT puzzle despite the repeated answer. Top right quadrant was sticking point for me kind of depressing how McDonald's
has crept into our lexicon. It's down right McSad.

Anonymous said...

Thank you crossworddoug for a most excellent writeup! I agree about the gump movie and am also a big fan of MICHAEL!!! He is not human in his ability to hover in the air. The "Air Jordan" is aptly named.