01.23 Sun

S U N D A Y (syndicated)
January 23, 2011
Gail Grabowski

[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.]

[Note from PuzzleGirl: This is the one week out of the year where I'm going to just mention that there is a donation button over in the sidebar. Please read my pitch for donations at the beginning of Monday's write-up here. Because Doug has been so great about picking up the Sunday puzzle these last several months, I promise I will use any donations I get today to take Doug out to dinner at this year's ACPT. Thanks so much for being here and for all the kind notes I've received over this past week. You won't hear anything else from me about donations until next year. Thanks again!]
Theme: "Get In" —Nine phrases with the word "GET" hidden inside of them.
Theme Entries:
  • 23A: Compelling read (PAGE TURNER).
  • 28A: Oberlin, e.g. (COLLEGE TOWN).
  • 43A: Spa fixture (MASSAGE TABLE).
  • 66A: Refinery sight (STORAGE TANK).
  • 90A: Landscaping tool (HEDGE TRIMMER).
  • 106A: Travel agency offering (PACKAGE TOUR).
  • 115A: Airport freebie (LUGGAGE TAG).
  • 31D: Site of some trash talk (GARBAGE TRUCK).
  • 39D: Dairy Queen option (FUDGE TOPPING).
Hey, everybody. Doug here with you again on a Sunday. I need to catch up on some non-crossword work this weekend (ugh!), so today's write-up is going to be short and sweet. I hope none of the fonts/colors look weird. I'm still learning how to use the new & improved super-snazzy blog.

Simple theme with nine solid, in-the-language theme entries. Too bad the clue for 28A wasn't Iowa City, home of the Hawkeyes. Moving right along...

  • 36A: "But ___ a man in Reno": Johnny Cash lyric (I SHOT). "... just to watch him die." That's hardcore.
    • 48A: Colt 45 brewer (PABST). Lots of colts in the puzzle today.
    • 57A: Top in the 'hood (DO-RAG). It's a rag that protects your phat do, homie. I love when crosswords go into the 'hood.
    • 75A: Former Colt .45 (ASTRO). The Houston Astros were called the Houston Colt .45s during their first three years (1962-64). In 1965, they moved into the Astrodome and changed their name accordingly. Then in 2000, they started playing in Enron Field. D'oh! That name didn't last long.
    • 106A: Travel agency offering (PACKAGE TOUR). Do travel agencies still exist? If so, they're probably all in strip malls next to video stores and places that develop your film.
    • 115A: Airport freebie (LUGGAGE TAG). I was going to make a TSA groping joke, but I better just go to the next bullet.
    • 6D: Colt carrier (MARE). Another colt, and this time it's actually a horse.
    • 36D: Fertility goddess (ISIS). If you're around my age, you might have watched the Shazam/Isis Hour as a kid. I watched a few clips on YouTube recently, and it's about six-hundred times worse than I remembered. But Isis is gorgeous, so it wasn't all bad.
    • 46D: ___ Lee Bunton, a.k.a. Baby Spice (EMMA). I swear I'm not a Spice Girls fan, but I knew this one immediately. Weird.
    • 70D: Manhattan sch. (KSU). That'd be Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. There's also a Manhattan in Montana, population 1,396.
    • 97D: Parts of Alaska's Denali Highway are built on them (ESKERS). Esker is an old-school crosswordese word, usually clued as a "glacial ridge."
    • 116D: Diamond putout (TAG). Oops. This one crosses LUGGAGE TAG at the T.
      Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
      • 20A: U.S. Open stadium (ASHE).
      • 30A: Ancient market (AGORA).
      • 51A: Santa ___ winds (ANA).
      • 89A: Mythical flier (ROC).
      • 2D: Menu catchphrase (ALA).
      • 56D: Año part (MES).


      Golfballman said...

      @PG why don't you have a snail mail address like Rex? I would like to donate but refuse to use PayPal. Had a bad experience & said I would never use them again if I didn't have to. Hope you will ad one to your sidebar.


      JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

      I GET them all correct, but it took me far too long to solve.
      Gail G. is quickly becoming one of my favorite constructors. I like that she clues her theme words without a lot of cornball stuff and she uses a little literary content balanced with some pop culture things.

      I drove on a horrible dirt road in Helendale California just to visit the original Roy Rogers Double R Bar Ranch, but never knew that his birth name was SLYE.

      I got 84A, (ADULT) from the crosses, but I don't understand the "Stallion, for one" clue.

      Took me a while to figure out that Manhattan is in Kansas, ergo KSU.

      Two other names I was unfamiliar with: MOHR and ROLLE.

      Overall, this was a very enjoyable Sunday puzzle for me.

      Avg Joe said...

      I like Gail's puzzles too. Can't remember one since I've paid attention to constructors names that wasn't enjoyable. This one was perhaps a little easier than what you might expect on a Sunday, but after the syndicated NYT puzzle today, that's a good thing. Started out with full fill at the top, but began to slow down further along. I don't think the answers got all that much more obscure, but the cluing got trickier. The Roy Rogers name is one I'd seen before, but it sure didn't come easily. Others had alternate possibilities like Storage bins, Hedge Clipper and Package Deal. Since I didn't figure out the theme until I'd finished, that didn't help.

      Off the watch the Pack beat the Bears. Sorry John.

      Thank you Doug.

      mac said...

      This puzzle felt pretty smooth to me. Odd about the colt sub-theme, almost too much of it. What made her think of this theme? It's very consistent and it's dense because it's a big Sunday, but what's so special?

      Aside from the theme, the puzzle is very nice, with interesting words, some of which I had to really stare at!

      You're very nice about the tag/tag crossing, Doug!

      Anonymous said...

      Johnsneverhome, I think that for 84A, it's just that saying an animal is a stallion implies that it is a fully-grown, "adult" horse.

      Rube said...

      Did this while watching the Jets lose to the Steelers, (sob). Didn't even think about the theme until coming here. All in all, 9 theme answers is pretty awesome, even for a Sunday.

      My only screw-up was ST MARk for ST MARY giving kOKES which made no sense, but which may have been some new fad.

      Not a whole lot of pop stuff here, but all was gettable from crosses. I think I've seen SLYE in Xwords before, but don't remeber when. Obviously a bit of trivia to remember.

      Not sure about the relationship between NANO and Shuffle, but guess there's some toy out there with which I'm not familiar.

      Good puzzle for a Sunday afternoon. Thx GG.

      KJGooster said...

      @Rube: Both are iPods.

      Hayseed said...

      SLYE was in my wheelhouse -- Leonard Slye, before he became Roy Rogers, was a member of a country/cowboy group called "Sons of the Pioneers"; their version of "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" will be familiar to anyone who's a fan of "The Big Lebowski."

      Otherwise, found this puzzle a bit of a challenge. Never really tumbled to the theme, but managed to peck my way through while watching NFL playoff games, even if it took hours in elapsed time (during replays and commercials).

      Rube said...

      Thx @KJG, I'm not much of an Apple guy.

      Tuttle said...

      Only a few very minor grumbles. Always hate seeing Arabic (KORAN, Quran, Qur'an, Kuran and Coran are all acceptable transliterations of القرآن‎), PHAT is just a tad outdated and 37D's two foreign languages just plain irked me.

      JOHNSNEVERHOME said...

      If PHAT is outdated, I just heard Steven Tyler on American Idol use that word. I guess he's not hip in the pop scene. But who is?

      Ben Phelps said...

      can somebody please tell me why a "diamond putout" is a tag? I solved it, but for some reason I just can't wrap my mind around this clue.


      Ben Phelps said...

      Oh duh baseball. Of course when I post this it occurs to me. How embarrassing.