04.10 Sun

April 10, 2011
Susan Miskimins

[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: "Heavy Duty" — Theme entries in which each word can follow the word TAX (115-Down) to make a familiar word or phrase: tax year, tax books, tax service, tax break, etc.
Theme Entries:
  • 22A: *Memorabilia at a reunion (YEARBOOKS).
  • 33A: *Venus's undoing, perhaps (SERVICE BREAK).
  • 41A: *Reason to agree to a pact (TREATY BENEFIT).
  • 68A: *Political platform buzzword (PRO-LIFE).
  • 89A: *One profiting from bad debts (BILL COLLECTOR).
  • 98A: *Frequent health care event (RATE INCREASE).
  • 113A: *Contract seeker (FREE AGENT).
  • 25D: *Sales promotion component (REBATE FORM). 
  • 60D: *Many a bank record (CREDIT FILE). 
  • 1D: With 115-Down, make a required contribution (PAY). 
  • 115D: See 1-Down, and word that can precede both parts of the answers to the starred clues (TAX).
This is Doug, and I've been working all day (Saturday) on...taxes! Not my own tax return. I haven't even started that yet. I work at a small accounting firm, and we've got way too many returns left to file next week. I didn't need this puzzle to remind me that we're in Tax Season.

Some of the phrases work better than others. SERVICE BREAK leads to "tax service" and "tax break." Those are both fine. But PRO-LIFE gives us "tax pro" (OK) and "tax life" (huh?)

  • 21A: Sand's "which" (QUEL). George Sand was a French novelist. "Quel" is French for "which," I assume. Yikes.
  • 33A: *Venus's undoing, perhaps (SERVICE BREAK). "Venus" is Venus Williams and a service break is something that happens in tennis. Let me check. OK, it's "a tennis game won on the opponent's service." It seems like that could be a good thing or a bad thing for Venus, depending on whether or not she's serving. I'm confused. Can we get back to the baseball clues?
  • 11D: John P. Sousa, e.g. (U.S.M.C. VET). At first I thought this had something to do with McDonalds: U.S McVet. Yeah, I'm tired.
  • 16D: Move, as a restaurant patron (RESEAT).

Sorry, that's all I can do tonight. My posts will be longer after April 15th! Actually taxes are due on April 18th this year, but you get the idea.


Anonymous said...

You are great with puzzles, but you say you work at an accounting firm doing taxes? And you question "Tax Life"? Stick to puzzles.

This made perfect sense... The number of years over which an asset is depreciated for tax purposes (as opposed to Wall Street reporting) is the tax life of the asset.

Anonymous said...

confused on vw antecedents with "stu" athe answer????

Anonymous said...

Are you familiar with the English alphabet?

Anonymous said...

please post the merl reagle solution soon! thanx.

Doug P said...

Oh yeah, tax life. Sorry, my brain wasn't fully engaged when I was doing this writeup. Maybe my boss & PuzzleGirl will both fire me. (I could use the time off.)

Dave in Bend, Oregon said...

DNF as I had credit LINE which and could not get past it (Tax line sort of makes sense) so SW corner was a disaster....Rather see something about impatience with TOE TAP. It just doesn't strike me as a "dance step" but on the other hand I am not a tap dancer and it just might be considered a step?....Why is cinq clued with six (english)?

Found it actually a pretty fun/clever/timely puzzle USMCVET is one you won't see often..Also liked the decaf cluing.. I suppose prolife could be comsidered perj. in some circles - only because of the "it doesn't mean I am pro-death" argument.

Oh well back to filing my taxes (after the Masters of course...I DO have priorities after all)...Go Charl Schwartzel! Now that is a name I'd like to see in a puzzle! Is there another Charl of note?

Mary in Bend, OR said...

I liked the Marine Corp minitheme with "semper fi" and "USMC vet" as by husband IS one! The vets in the local Band of Brothers do great each other with "semper fi". This puzzle was fun and an easy romp for Sunday.

PurpleGuy said...

Hated this puzzle. Stopped partly through and just crossed it out. Didn't care.
A real slog.

Captcha: outch. How the costructor would feel if I was near.

Quaking said...

I really didn't understand 28 Down: Quaker at a ski resort? Aspen is a ski resort; how does Quaker fit in?

Dave in Bend, OR said...

aspen is a tree at a resort quaking.