May 1, 2011
Chris A. McGlothlin
[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: "Unfinished B Movies" — B's are changed to P's in movie titles to create funny entries.
- 23A: Film about an embarrassing fig leaf situation? (ADAM'S RIP).
- 25A: Film about winning the chicken breeder's trophy? (SILVER PULLET).
- 30A: Film about great cornbread? (THE LOVELY PONES).
- 51A: Film about where to put Melba sauce? (ON THE PEACH).
- 54A: Film about clashing egos? (PRIDE WARS).
- 66A: Film about swabbing drudgery? (MARRIED TO THE MOP).
- 85A: Film about Milo's pal Otis? (A PUG'S LIFE).
- 87A: Film about a tick at a kennel club? (PEST IN SHOW).
- 102A: Film set in a sty? (PIG MOMMA'S HOUSE).
- 114A: Film about a celebrity golf tournament? (STARS AND PARS).
- 116A: Film about V-chip users? (PORN FREE).
Today's puzzle is by Chris A. McGlothlin, and I believe it's his L.A. Times debut. He had a Sunday N.Y Times crossword published earlier this year. Nice work! I wonder if he only constructs Sunday puzzles. That's how you make the big bucks.
When I saw today's title, I figured we'd be dropping the final letters of movie titles that start with B. But it's more clever than that. It really is "Unfinished B's." When you're writing an uppercase B, you draw a vertical line and then two curved lines. If you only make one curved line (and leave it "unfinished"), you're left with a P. There ya go. And Mr. McGlothlin did a nice job of avoiding extraneous B's in the theme entries. For example, if he'd used THE BRADY PUNCH, there would have been one B that changed to a P and one that didn't. I appreciate the little details that make a theme more elegant. (Thanks to PuzzleGirl for the graphic.)
I thought ADAM'S RIP had the funniest clue. PIG MOMMA'S HOUSE & MARRIED TO THE MOP are great entries. PORN FREE was surprising.
- 8A: Novel digits (ISBN). International Standard Book Number. You'll find it above the UPC on any book you buy.
- 27A: Toast triangle topper (CAVIAR). I tried caviar once. Almost spit it back onto the cracker.
- 60D: Carbon-14, e.g. (ISOTOPE). An Isotope is also an Albuquerque baseball player.
- 40D: Friends, in slang (PEEPS). Love the clue.
- 83D: "__ Easy": Guns N' Roses song (IT'S SO). Not a remake of the Linda Ronstadt hit.