07.24 Sun

July 24, 2011
Caleb Rasmussen

[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: "An Author Thing Coming" — Punny phrases featuring authors' names.

Theme Entries:
  • 26A: People who recite "Jabberwocky" door-to-door during the holidays? (CHRISTMAS CARROLLERS).
  • 49A: Fictional tornado protection? (BAUM SHELTER).
  • 56A: Periods when Harry Potter books are unavailable? (ROWLING BLACKOUTS).
  • 67A: "A Room of One's Own" writer wearing a wool sweater? (WOOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING).
  • 84A: Medical procedure done while reading "The Outcasts of Poker Flat"? (OPEN HARTE SURGERY).
  • 95A: "Salomé" writer's pet? (WILDE ANIMAL).
  • 113A: Not as hard to pronounce at some 17th-century poetry? (EASIER SAID THAN DONNE).
Hey, crossword fans. Doug here on Sunday. Today's theme is literary puns. As with all pun themes, there are a couple great ones & a couple groaners. I like OPEN HARTE SURGERY and ROWLING BLACKOUTS best. OPEN HARTE SURGERY looks nonsensical in the grid, but the clue is perfect. And ROWLING BLACKOUTS is funny and topical. Much of the U.S. is suffering through a massive heat wave and that means rolling blackouts, at least in California. And then there's the new Harry Potter movie. I'm way behind on that series. I read part of the first book and saw the first movie. I've got a little catching up to do.

The weirdest theme entry is CHRISTMAS CARROLLERS. That's the only one in which the author's name is altered, and it doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense. But puns are generally fun, so I enjoyed the solve.

  • 22A: Eavesdropper, say (HEARER). Hearer? That's a word I've never actually heard. Or maybe I should say a word I've never been a hearer of.
  • 49A: Fictional tornado protection? (BAUM SHELTER). L. Frank Baum wrote "The Wizard of Oz" and lots of other "Oz" books. Does the punny clue make sense?
  • 90A: Them, with "the" (ENEMY). I was hoping this clue had something to do with giant ants. I saw a trailer for the new "Planet of the Apes" movie yesterday. Ugh! I'd rather live on a planet ruled by giant ants than intelligent monkeys.
  • 93A: Highlights segment (RECAP). For a moment, I thought this was referring to Highlights magazine. The only place I ever saw it was at the doctor's or dentist's office. Remember "Goofus and Gallant"? Wikipedia tells me that "Goofus and Gallant" first appeared in 1948 and they're still going strong. So Goofus has been acting like a little jerk for over 60 years. I'm surprised his parents haven't shipped him off to military school.
  • 107A: Better part of a loaf? (HALF). Half a loaf is better than none. Cute.
  • 12D: Excellent server (ACER). I know people are going to complain about this one. Don't bother. Like the dreaded ICE TEA, it's not going anywhere.
  • 36D: San Francisco mayor, 1968-'76 (ALIOTO). Joseph Alioto. I remember this entry was in a puzzle at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament the first year I attended. Toughie.
  • 68D: Rescuer of Odysseus (INO). I don't know how to pronounce her name, so I'm going to assume it has a long I and a long O. She's part of my new mythology-based comedy routine: "Who was the sea goddess who saved Odysseus?" "Ino." "If you know, then tell me! Who was it?" "Ino." Yeah, that's pretty much it. Needs work.
  • 83D: Bill of Right part: Abbr. (AMDT). That entry is ugly as sin, but it's a valid dictionary abbreviation. Still, it hurts a little.
  • 97D: Florida State player, familiarly (NOLE). Short for Seminole.
  • 116D: Wall St. traders (ARBS). Arb is short for arbitrageur, a type of market speculator.
If you saw yesterday's post, than you know that PuzzleGirl is under the weather. I hope she's well enough to do tomorrow's blog (so I don't have to.) Feel better soon!

Everything Else1A: Guadalajara gal pal (AMIGA); 6A: Determined by the stars, as time (SIDEREAL); 14A: Music box? (CD CASE); 20A: Indiana's senior senator (LUGAR); 21A: Pre-fight steps? (WAR DANCE); 23A: Reason for a market recall (ECOLI); 24A: Totaled, with "to" (AMOUNTED); 25A: Home of big-eared elephants (AFRICA); 29A: Name of 13 popes (LEO); 30A: Match part (SET); 31A: Disney lioness (NALA); 32A: Gp. jet-setters stand in line to see? (TSA); 35A: Miles per hour, e.g. (RATE); 38A: Stick in (ADD); 41A: Applies lightly (DABS); 44A: Betrays (RATS OUT); 46A: For K-12 use (EL-HI); 47A: Lows in a field (MOOS); 51A: One of a Vegas pair (DIE); 52A: Feverish fits (AGUES); 54A: Apt. units (RMS.); 55A: Stuffed grape-leaf dish (DOLMA); 62A: More than tear up (WEEP); 63A: Allen or Frome (ETHAN); 64A: Prepare for takeoff (TAXI); 65A: Helpful connections (INS); 77A: Lennon lover (ONO); 78A: Phillies catcher Carlos (RUIZ); 79A: Ear-related (AURAL); 80A: Russian car (LADA); 92A: Appomattox loser (LEE); 94A: Small belt (NIP); 99A: Closed (SHUT); 100A: Vital part (PITH); 101A: "Can we proceed?" ("IS IT A GO?"); 102A: Smell (ODOR); 104A: "No seats" sign (SRO); 105A: Victrolas, e.g. (RCA'S); 106A: D.C. VIP (SEN.); 109A: Guitar great Paul (LES); 111A: Super Mario Galaxy 2 console (WII); 122A: Dashingly? (AT A RUN); 124A: Broadly and happily (EAR TO EAR); 125A: Out on a limb (TREED); 126A: Steppes settlers (TATARS); 127A: Most suave (URBANEST); 128A: Square things (ATONE); 129A: Lace place (EYELET); 130A: Expresses opposition (DISSENTS); 131A: Lost cause (GONER); 1D: Smart fellow? (ALEC); 2D: Little's opposite (MUCH); 3D: Stereotypical lab assistant (IGOR); 4D: Name on Pisa's airport (GALILEI); 5D: Get up (ARISE); 6D: Stroked (SWAM); 7D: "__ Rock": 1966 hit (I AM A); 8D: Inferior material (DROSS); 9D: Brought out (EDUCED); 10D: Accumulated charges (RAN A TAB); 11D: __'acte (ENTR); 13D: Tricked (LED ON); 14D: Braided bread (CHALLAH); 15D: Vanquished (DEFEATED); 16D: Mystery writer John Dickson __ (CARR); 17D: Teacher of Alexander the Great (ARISTOTLE); 18D: You may be asked to hold on for one (SEC); 19D: Period (ERA); 27D: Without exception (TO A MAN); 28D: Metallica drummer Ulrich (LARS); 33D: Defiant challenge (SUE ME); 34D: "It's __!": warning shout (A TRAP); 35D: Sketched over (REDREW); 37D: "My Generation" band (THE WHO); 39D: Rapper Snoop __ (DOGG); 40D: Misgivings (DOUBTS); 42D: Dogwood cover, aptly (BARK); 43D: Contest in a dohyo (SUMO); 45D: Decelerate (SLOW); 48D: Repeated word in Psalms (SELAH); 50D: East Lansing sch. (MSU); 53D: __-Coburg: former Bavarian duchy (SAXE); 57D: Kobe's team, on scoreboards (LAL); 58D: Dope (INFO); 59D: 1980s-'90s Olds (CIERA); 60D: Up to, in ads (TIL); 61D: __-cone (SNO); 66D: Night sight (STAR); 69D: Queue before Q (N-O-P); 70D: Siamese sign of contentment (PURR); 71D: Places (SITES); 72D: Pole neighbors (CZECHS); 73D: Affectionate gesture (HUG); 74D: Peaceful (IRENIC); 75D: Japan Airlines hub (NARITA); 76D: Pictographs (GLYPHS); 80D: "Mere Christianity" author (LEWIS); 81D: Licorice-flavored seed (ANISE); 82D: Describe pictorially (DELINEATE); 85D: Samuel's teacher (ELI); 86D: Nautilus captain (NEMO); 87D: Move (toward) (HEAD); 88D: Dino's tail? (-SAUR); 89D: Like Harlem in Manhattan, say (UPTOWN); 91D: Sarcastic reply (YEAH SURE); 96D: Touching (AGAINST); 98D: Flirtatious adolescents (LOLITAS); 100D: Before (PRIOR TO); 103D: Fixed up (REDONE); 108D: Slip eponym (FREUD); 110D: Dutch painter Jan (STEEN); 112D: Collar accessory for Fido (I.D. TAG); 114D: Asian sea (ARAL); 115D: Indian wrap (SARI); 117D: "And __ thou slain the Jabberwock?" (HAST); 118D: Skills (ARTS); 119D: Sign gas (NEON); 120D: Hawaii's state bird (NENE); 121D: Linda of Broadway's "Jekyll & Hyde" (EDER); 122D: Consumed (ATE); 123D: Scotland's longest river (TAY).


imsdave said...

Thanks for the comedy routine bit - that made the puzzle for me. Good puzzle, not great - definitely agree that the BAUM clue/answer is a bit off.

All the same, an enjoyable diversion that kept my mind off the oppressive heat/humidity here in CT for a few minutes.

Kudos to Doug for the write-up. He's one of the most URBANEST (that's real?) people I know.

Best wishes to PG on a speedy recovery.

Vega said...

I'd like to add ELHI to the dreaded list. And yes, my first thought about the BAUM clue was that it didn't quite work. That said, I did like (and I'm so not a pun fan as a rule) that the puns were all pronounced the same as the authors' names. And EASIER SAID THAN DONNE is downright funny.

Thanks for the momentary trip down Highlights memory lane. Hard to believe it's still going.

Gareth Bain said...

What is the base phrase of BAUMSHELTER?

The ROWLING, WOLFE, HARTE, and DONNE answers were great!

Doug P said...

@Gareth - Bomb shelter

Gareth Bain said...

ahh... I feel a bit stupid now.

c.g.rasmussen said...

Thanks all for the encouraging comments.

To me, Rich's version of the BAUMSHELTER clue can be understood as "protection from fictional tornadoes." As in, one in a Baum shelter is protected from L. Frank Baum and his writing, which includes one of the more well-known tornadoes in fiction.

CoffeeLvr said...

@PG, keep resting, better yet, don't even read this!

@c.g.rasmussen, thanks for coming by the blog. Great idea, but you have to know the authors! I liked WOOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING best.

Loved EAR TO EAR, and I love DOLMAs. This puzzle challenged me, but on review it was all fair. I should have left it for the morning instead of pushing through it after midnight.

I learned IRENIC; had sIP before NIP. I also learned EDUCED, wanted ADDUCED which is just wrong. I relearned SIDERAL & TAY. That river belongs on the Crosswordese list.

Yeah, THE WHO! @Doug, where's my clip? Just kidding.

JaxInL.A. said...

Thanks for filling in, Doug! I hope that PG's ailment passes swiftly and uneventfully.

@CoffeeLvr, Here's a Who link for you. If I hadn't wanted to find this for you, I would not have learned that my husband (of 20 years next month) decided that Bargain was his anthem when he finally decided to pursue a relationship with me. (We had a very non-traditional beginning as a couple.) Thanks!

I have never encountered SIDEREAL, which looks to me like side real. Apparently it's from the Latin sider meaning star? New one on me. Pronounced sigh-DEER-ee-ahl.

mac said...

Good Sunday puzzle! Thank you Caleb and Doug. Just two writeovers in tam/fex and evoked/educed. Sidereal was a new word for me, it looks like a sidderaal, an electric eel in Dutch.