March 6, 2011
[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: "Adducational TV" — Extra letters are added to the titles of TV shows, yielding wacky results.
- 25A: Documentary about a Ravi Shankar concert? (SITAR TREK).
- 27A: Sitcom about an endearing dimwit? (LOVE THAT BOOB).
- 43A: Show about a nonsensical grain grinder? (BLARNEY MILLER).
- 70A: Drama about an opinionated military? (JUDGING ARMY).
- 100A: Talk show about words like "zeppelin" and "dirigible"? (THE FLYING NOUN).
- 119A: Sitcom about a team of aromatherapists? (THE MOOD SQUAD).
- 122A: Financial show about the fermented honey market? (MEAD MONEY).
- 39D: Drama about an Asian virus? (KUNG FLU).
- 63D: Drama about an obnoxious superhero? (BRATMAN).
- 19A: Bellow's "The Adventures of ___ March" (AUGIE). I'm more familiar with Augie Doggie than Augie March. That might explain why I flamed out during February's "Literary Month" at Matt Gaffney's Weekly Crossword Contest.
- 27A: Sitcom about an endearing dimwit? (LOVE THAT BOOB). How many of you know or remember the show "Love That Bob"? Not me. Wikipedia tells me that "Love That Bob" was an alternate title for "The Bob Cummings Show," which ran from 1955 to 1959. Coulda fooled me. Bob Cummings later starred in a show called "My Living Doll" with Julie Newmar (best Catwoman ever!) who played a life-like android named Rhoda. Where do I get the DVDs?
- 64A: Symbol on the film poster for Eastwood's "Hang 'Em High" (NOOSE). I love this clue. Ordinarily NOOSE isn't the most pleasant word to see in the grid. Props to John & Rich for finding a way to make nooses interesting and non-gruesome.
- 92A: "Mayor" author (KOCH). If I remember correctly, PuzzleGirl used to live in the same apartment building as Ed Koch. And I know for sure that Jerry Orbach lived there too. So cool! I live in Southern California, but I don't run into too many celebrities. I once saw Lou Diamond Phillips at a Wienerschnitzel. Does that count?
- 111A: Attending USC, e.g. (IN L.A.) One of my least favorite recurring crossword entries. It used to be clued exclusively as part of the title of the 1985 movie "To Live and Die in L.A." Not a great entry, but acceptable. For some reason it's migrated away from the movie title to become a standalone entry. Wouldn't you wince at seeing INSF ("Riding the BART, say") or INNYC ("Watching a game at MSG, e.g.")? To me, those two are no worse than INLA.
- 1D: "Straight Up" singer Abdul (PAULA). Her career peaked when she did that fabulous duet with MC Skat Kat. It's been all downhill ever since.
- 16D: Inner tube shapes (TORI). Yeah, I suppose Tori Spelling looks a little bit like an inner tube.
- 53D: Old-timey words of emphasis (BY CRACKY). Awesome entry! And so much fun to say. "That was a dang fine puzzle in the paper today, by cracky."
- 74D: Last Olds made (ALERO). The last ALERO rolled off the assembly line in 2004, but it'll drive on in crossword grids forever.
- 91D: Gossip (SCHMOOZE). Another super entry. I wonder if anyone's ever used SCHMOOZE & BY CRACKY in the same sentence.
- 93D: Longtime New Yorker cartoonist Roz (CHAST). Ms. Chast will be appearing at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Brooklyn in a couple of weeks. She's going to be handing out trophies at the awards banquet and doing a few impromptu sketches of Dan Feyer, Tyler Hinman, etc. (I made up that last part.) I'll be at the ACPT and so will PuzzleGirl. In fact, you can rub elbows with many of your favorite crossword luminaries there. And they're all super-nice. Seriously. So I'll see you there!