01.16 Sun

S U N D A Y (calendar)
January 16, 2011
Merl Reagle

[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: "Spoonerism Anthology" — Spoonerisms!

Theme answers:
  • 23A: Frustrated chess player's cry? (I COULD BITE A ROOK).
  • 32A: Reality show about a rich bachelor who pokes people in the eye? (MOE JILLIONAIRE).
  • 42A: Heavyset hayseeds? (STOCKY HICKS).
  • 50A: Easter egg hotline? (BUNNY PHONE).
  • 60A: Avoiding part of your workout? (this one's a triple) (SHIRKING THE WEIGHTLIFT).
  • 78A: Home-repair superhero who never caught on? (PLASTERMAN).
  • 84A/90A: Murphy's brainstorm? (HANG YOUR BED AGAINST THE WALL).
  • 104A: Extra-light tennis product made from mattresses? (SIMMONS WAFTBALL).
Everything Else—1A: Gordon of space (FLASH); 6A: Cross words? (SPAT); 10A: "Esq." user, briefly (ATTY.); 14A: Pennant quests (RACES); 19A: "I'll have a venti half-caff skinny peppermint mocha ___, please" (LATTE); 20A: Fiend's intro (ARCH); 21A: Muenster Mrs. (FRAU); 22A: Roundish (OVATE); 26A: The speed of sound (MACH I); 27A: End of a series (XYZ); 28A: With 59 Down, a kitchen assistant (SOUS); 29A: Like some personalities (DUAL); 30A: Boost the bulk of (FATTEN); 31A: Ivan's jet (MIG); 36A: Colorado city (DURANGO); 40A: Move along, as clouds (SCUD); 41A: "File not found," e.g. (ERROR); 44A: Coat on Santa's coat (SOOT); 45A: Bill's 1996 foe (BOB); 48A: Cattle raisers of Kenya (MASAI); 49A: "That ___ it should be" (IS AS); 53A: "Pygmalion" penner (SHAW); 54A: Evening, to Yves (SOIR); 55A: Sign of spring? (ARIES); 56A: Monday in Mexico (LUNES); 57A: 2010 film, "Black ___" (SWAN); 58A: Horse pace (TROT); 59A: Heart opening? (CARDIO-); 67A: "Pleased ___ you" (TO MEET); 68A: Steed shade (ROAN); 69A: Miss of psychic fame (CLEO); 70A: Paris pupil (ÉLÈVE); 71A: Bridge supports (PIERS); 73A: Music hall great (PIAF); 74A: Agreement (PACT); 80A: Pail pile (SAND); 81A: Country music guitar (DOBRO); 82A: A wd. from Roget (SYN.); 83A: Go hog-wild (RIOT); 86A: Charlize and Al's co-star in "The Devil's Advocate" (KEANU); 88A: "Stop dawdling!" (MOVE); 89A: Looked (at) scornfully (SNEERED); 95A: Not right (ODD); 96A: Get close, in a way (CUDDLE); 97A: Pt. of PTA (ASSN.); 98A: ___ Romeo (ALFA); 100A: Playbill paragraph (BIO); 103A: Palindromic Muslims (IMAMI); 108A: D'Artagnan's creator (DUMAS); 109A: Free, in a way (ON ME); 110A: Florence's river (ARNO); 111A: Slipped away (EBBED); 112A: Laid out (SPENT); 113A: Intro to -ene, or a Ukrainian river (STYR); 114A: Hefty TV son (HOSS); 115A: Fabric meas. (SQ. YDS.); 1D: Slangy movies (FLIX); 2D: Delicate, in a way (LACY); 3D: Completely (A TO Z); 4D: Name that's an alphabetic trio (STU); 5D: Cold capital (HELSINKI); 6D: "Elephant Boy" star (SABU); 7D: Light splitter (PRISM); 8D: Work in a studio (ACT); 9D: "Clear ___!" (THE DECKS); 10D: Frightened (AFRAID); 11D: Folklore creature (TROLL); 12D: Eastern ideal (TAO); 13D: Laugh (it up) (YUK); 14D: Big cheese on TV (ROMANO); 15D: James Cameron epic (AVATAR); 16D: Tucson sights (CACTI); 17D: Upper regions (ETHER); 18D: Paris divider (SEINE); 24D: Pet, affectionately (DOGGY); 25D: Served in its natural gravy (AU JUS); 30D: Thieves total (FORTY); 31D: Brilliant talker? (MACAW); 33D: 2010 honor for "Up" (OSCAR); 34D: Oater reinventor (LEONE); 35D: Leg shackles (IRONS); 36D: Mil. awards (DSM'S); 37D: Home of Labyrinth Canyon (UTAH); 38D: Sub ___ (secretly) (ROSA); 39D: Orville or Wilbur, e.g. (OHIOAN); 43D: "Of Thee" follower (I SING); 44D: Hotel upgrade (SUITE); 45D: Actress Beulah (BONDI); 46D: "___ by land ..." (ONE IF); 47D: Stupefy with drink (BESOT); 50D: Christmas song parson (BROWN); 51D: Academy founder (PLATO); 52D: Toss (HURL); 54D: "Hot Lips" portrayer (SWIT); 55D: Sectors (AREAS); 57D: Clay-pigeon sport (SKEET); 58D: Paw pain (THORN); 59D: See 28 Across (CHEF); 60D: Instruction list (STEPS); 61D: Wreath greenery (HOLLY); 62D: Clarifier's intro (I MEAN); 63D: Cranks up the V-8 (REVS); 64D: Unexpected pleasure (TREAT); 65D: Cake topper (ICING); 66D: Mary Pickford's real name (GLADYS); 71D: Computer command (PRINT); 72D: Poker player's last words (I'M OUT); 73D: Discussion group (PANEL); 74D: Studied, with "over" (PORED); 75D: Eng., e.g. (ABBR.); 76D: Canadian Indian (CREE); 77D: Sondheim character (TODD); 79D: Wipe out (ERASE); 80D: Treeless plain (SAVANNAH); 81D: Deadlines (DUE DATES); 84D: "In what way?" ("HOW SO?"); 85D: Switch positions (ON/OFF); 86D: "Cold Mountain" co-star (KIDMAN); 87D: Gather, as volunteers (ENLIST); 88D: Hypnotist Franz (MESMER); 90D: Tummy upsetters (ACIDS); 91D: Spoil, slangily (GUM UP); 92D: What "there is nothin' like" (A DAME); 93D: Like an emoter (HAMMY); 94D: Manicured expanses (LAWNS); 99D: Near-homophone of Seoul's anagram (LAOS); 100D: Pamper (BABY); 101D: "Where Is the Life That Late ___?" (I LED); 102D: Former GM make (OLDS); 104D: Cry for help (SOS); 105D: QB's mistake (INT.); 106D: Sellout sign (SRO); 107D: ___ beef (BBQ).


Anonymous said...

Could someone please tell me what a "swaftball" is? I thought I knew sports pretty well. And "Moe Jillionaire" is a real stretch edging into unacceptable street slang.

Eric said...

@Anon: it isn't anything. Parse it as SIMMONS WAFT BALL (as in, it wafts gently across the net, I suppose).

Loved I COULD BITE A ROOK and "Murphy's brainstorm?" -> HANG YOUR BED AGAINST THE WALL. Oh, that Murphy! For the longest time I thought that one was a reference to Murphy's Law.

Speaking of which, Murphy's Law wasn't originally what we're now familiar with. Here's the story. It was (approximately; there are conflicting tales) "If there’s more than one way to do a job, and one of those ways will result in disaster, then somebody will do it that way". That is, it's not really a fatalistic lament about the random perversity of the universe; rather, it's a trenchant observation about human fallibility. Which means, the divergence of our current "Murphy's Law" from what Murphy (or whichever of his colleagues) actually said, is a fitting demonstration of the original Murphy's Law :-/

There's a real, engineering lesson to be learned from the original version: design things such that there isn't more than one way to do them. Cable connectors that only go together one way (you can't plug them in backwards); safety interlocks on cars' shifter handles (you can't do things out of order); preflight checklists (you're not mechanically prevented from screwing up, but the ritual of the checklist is designed to minimize the possibility) -- all sorts of things people have come up with to make it hard to do it, whatever "it" might be, incorrectly.