March 13, 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: "I Before EE's" — The letter "I" is changed to "EE" in familiar phrases, yielding wacky, punny entries.
- 23A: Meek Jolly Roger crewmen? (PIRATE SHEEP).
- 42A: Polish protector? (SHEEN GUARD).
- 51A: Red-costumed actor in "Veggie Tales"? (BEET PLAYER).
- 59A: Take really short naps during a Henny Youngman routine? (SLEEP BETWEEN THE CRACKS).
- 76A: Tiny nestling's cry? (MICROCHEEP).
- 88A: Ownership dispute? (DEED BATTLE).
- 109A: Meryl as a coquette? (STREEP TEASE).
- 16D: Drug money? (EVIL GREEN).
- 74D: Fund for hammer parts? (PEEN MONEY).
OK, today's puzzle. I thought it was solid, and I liked seeing the 21-letter SLEEP BETWEEN THE CRACKS smack-dab in the middle of the grid. Time is short, so I'm jumping to bullets.
- 26A: Theater aisles, usually (RAMPS). Great clue.
- 42A: Polish protector? (SHEEN GUARD). Or the guy who protects Charlie's supply of tiger blood and jaguar tears.
- 45A: Spent the cold season (in) (WINTERED). I had a hard time parsing the clue, but it made sense eventually. I'm planning to winter in St. Jetersburg, Florida, next year.
- 48A: How some soccer games end (IN A TIE). Or...how most soccer games end? Are soccer fans really satisfied when the game ends in a tie? Maybe that's why they're always rioting and burning down their stadiums. #Tying!
- 51A: Red-costumed actor in "Veggie Tales"? (BEET PLAYER). There's a guy who writes "Veggie Tales" books named Doug Peterson (not me). Now when people Google for him, maybe they'll find this blog post.We're always looking for ways to increase traffic.
- 69A: Failed flier (EASTERN). My first thought was ICARUS. Eastern Air Lines ceased operations in 1991.
- 94A: Londonderry's river (FOYLE). This entry's "Y" was the last thing I put into the grid. It crossed DAYS (88D: Popular shift), and that was another tough clue for me. I need to work on my Irish geography.
- 100A: Mideastern pastry dough (FILO). I know this one from crosswords. I think it's the stuff they use to make baklava.
- 32D: NBC newsman Roger (O'NEIL). In crossworld, there are two O'NEILs you need to remember: newsman Roger O'Neil and Negro Leagues baseball player Buck O'Neil. Tatum, Ryan, and Shaq are all part of the O'NEAL clan. And then there's...
- 47D: Oscar winner Patricia (NEAL). Confusing, isn't it? I recently learned that she was married to crossword regular Roald Dahl for thirty years. A match made in cruciverbial heaven.
- 38D: Boston department store founder (FILENE). I went to Boston once, but I didn't stop at Filene's. Was it founded by Filo Foyle Filene? Seriously, did anyone outside of Boston know this one?
- 58D: Occuring before: Abbr. (PREC). Ouch. An abbreviation for "preceding," I presume. I can't be the only solver who tried PREV first.
- 61D: '60s Israeli prime minister (ESHKOL). Levi Eshkol. He served from 1963-1969.
- 67D: You can get down on one (KNEE). This reminds me of a kids' joke that it took me years to understand. "How do you get down off an elephant? You don't. You get down off a duck." It baffled me when I first heard it, and no one ever took the time to explain it to me. I swear, I didn't get it until I was in my 20's. I hate that joke.
- 84D: Orchestra members (CELLISTS). It's the Final Countdown.
- 97D: Wikipedia policy (NO ADS). That's also the policy of this blog and the reason PuzzleGirl won't let me sell my "Twilight" fan fiction here.
- 108D: Northwestern sch. where Cougar Gold cheese is made (WSU). Washington State University. Never heard of the cheese, but I know the Washington State teams are called the Cougars.