October 9, 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: "Seas the Day" — Nautical wordplay.
- 24A: Course for sailors? (ANCHOR MANAGEMENT).
- 40A: Measures to ensure restful sleep on-board? (BERTH CONTROL).
- 64A: The Red Baron, belowdecks? (ACE IN THE HULL).
- 72A: Results of eating French fries at the ship's wheel? (SLIPPERY HELM).
- 97A: Irrational weeping over a broken spar? (MAST HYSTERIA).
- 116A: Philosophical shrug about channel markers? (BUOYS WILL BE BUOYS).
- 3D: Positive report from a deck hand? (THE JIB IS UP).
- 77D: Bit of gear for a nuclear-powered dinghy? (URANIUM OAR).
I'd single out ANCHOR MANAGEMENT and BUOYS WILL BE BUOYS as my favorite theme entries, but none of them made me wince. If I have one complaint, it's that ACE IN THE HOLD sounds better to me than ACE IN THE HULL, and the clue makes sense either way. In fact, I liked HOLD so much, that I had a bit of trouble finishing up that section of the puzzle.
- 1A: Sax object? (ALTO). I don't really understand this clue. An "alto" isn't an object. Maybe the object of an alto sax is to make an alto sound. Any theories?
- 22A: South, in a north wind (ALEE). Another nautical reference. I wonder if John tried to come up an ALEE theme entry. "Poet Frost on the safe side?"
- 29A: "When I Take My Sugar to ___": 1931 hit (TEA). I was curious about this song, and I found an original 1931 recording on YouTube. Interesting and kinda catchy, but I thought it would sound more like Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me."
- 45A: "I'd like to buy ___" (AN I). I wonder how Joon would do on Wheel of Fortune. He wouldn't make much money, because he'd solve every puzzle before any letters were guessed.
- 54A: Five-O booking agent (DANO). "Book 'em, Dano!" There was some discussion among crossword constructors a while back about whether the name is spelled "Dano" or "Danno." Apparently the Hawaii Five-O writers weren't consistent with the spelling. So you'll see "Danno" in a puzzle every now and then.
- 115A: How many nightclubs are lit (DIMLY). My first thought: "All of them."
- 127A: Lane associate (OLSEN). Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen. Remember that time Superman made him marry an ape?
- 25D: Classical guitar family name (ROMERO). New to me. From Wikipedia: "Los Romeros is a guitar quartet, sometimes known as 'The Royal Family of the Guitar.' Their personnel consists entirely of members of the Romero family."
- 41D: Home, metonymically (HEARTH). Metonymy is a figure of speech in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with it. For example, "Hollywood" is used as a metonym for the movie industry, and "The White House" is a metonym for the Presidency.
- 72D: Toondom's Princess of Power (SHE-RA). He-Man's twin sister. Shouldn't she be called She-Woman? And which one do you think has the prettier hairstyle?
- 118D: Intoxicating letters? (BYO). As in BYOB, Bring Your Own Booze/Bottle. When I throw a party, I tell people to "BYO" food, booze, chairs, and entertainment. Why should I do all the work?
Everything — 1A: Sax object? (ALTO); 5A: Passing fancies (WHIMS); 10A: Hospital delivery (BIRTH); 15A: Dandelion's home, often (LAWN); 19A: Wonka's creator (DAHL); 20A: Like much floor tile (VINYL); 21A: In __: awaiting delivery (UTERO); 22A: South, in a north wind (ALEE); 23A: Suit to __ (A TEE); 24A: Course for sailors? (ANCHOR MANAGEMENT); 27A: Taking drive-thru orders, e.g. (MCJOB); 29A: "When I Take My Sugar to __": 1931 hit (TEA); 30A: Leaves out (OMITS); 31A: Outdoes (BESTS); 32A: Ones in concert with con artists (SHILLS); 34A: Pollen-bearing organ (STAMEN); 36A: Insurance gps. (HMO'S); 38A: Moistens overnight, perhaps (BEDEWS); 40A: Measures to ensure restful sleep on-board? (BERTH CONTROL); 45A: "I'd like to buy __" (AN I); 47A: Corny jokes (GROANERS); 49A: Corny picks (EARS); 50A: Audit trailer? (-ORY); 51A: Plane front (NOSE); 53A: 19th-century Mexican president Juárez (BENITO); 54A: Five-O booking agent (DANO); 55A: Sleeper's choice (TWIN); 56A: Suit that beats the other three (TRUMP); 58A: Addams family cousin (ITT); 59A: Dastard (CUR); 60A: Bug barrier (SCREEN); 62A: Bug killers (ZAPPERS); 64A: The Red Baron, belowdecks? (ACE IN THE HULL); 68A: Beat badly (TROMP); 70A: English sÌ, at sea (AYE); 71A: Noodle rings? (HALOS); 72A: Result of eating French fries at the ship's wheel? (SLIPPERY HELM); 76A: Sweats (GYM SUIT); 80A: Word spoken before a shot (CHEESE); 81A: Suffix with Caesar (-EAN); 82A: H.S. math course (ALG.); 84A: Political housecleaning (PURGE); 85A: Flag throwers (REFS); 86A: "Ring around the collar" detergent (WISK); 88A: Pesto herbs (BASILS); 91A: Try to find on the road, say (PAGE); 92A: Some busts (ART); 93A: Stable upstairs? (SANE); 94A: Stout, for one (DARK BEER); 96A: Citi Field team, on scoreboards (NYM); 97A: Irrational weeping over a broken spar? (MAST HYSTERIA); 100A: St. Clare's town (ASSISI); 102A: Drain stain (RUST); 103A: Barbizon School artist (MILLET); 105A: "Uncle!" ("ENOUGH!"); 108A: Sock synthetic (ORLON); 111A: Yeshiva leader (REBBE); 113A: Four times daily, in an Rx (QID); 115A: How many nightclubs are lit (DIMLY); 116A: Philosophical shrug about channel markers? (BUOYS WILL BE BUOYS); 120A: Gad about (ROAM); 121A: French fashion mag (ELLE); 122A: Quintessential flop (EDSEL); 123A: "__ in Words": New Ager's memoir (YANNI); 124A: Deservedly get (EARN); 125A: Copyright datum (YEAR); 126A: 1970s Big Apple mayor (BEAME); 127A: Lane associate (OLSEN); 128A: "__ Tu": 1974 hit (ERES); 1D: John in the White House (ADAMS); 2D: Closing mechanism (LATCH); 3D: Positive report from a deck hand? (THE JIB IS UP); 4D: Fútbol cheer (OLÉ OLÉ); 5D: Wheeling's st. (W. VA.); 6D: Clue or cue (HINT); 7D: Like the ocean's roar (INCESSANT); 8D: What I might eat in defeat? (MY HAT); 9D: __-mo (SLO); 10D: Downers (BUMMERS); 11D: "If __ broke ..." (IT AIN'T); 12D: Musical based on Puccini's "La Bohème" (RENT); 13D: Raccoon attractor (TRASHCAN); 14D: Refuse to share (HOG); 15D: Least believable (LAMEST); 16D: Stout alternatives (ALES); 17D: Headed out (WENT); 18D: Butterfly catchers (NETS); 25D: Classical guitar family name (ROMERO); 26D: Poetic blacks (EBONS); 28D: Campus unit: Abbr. (BLDG.); 33D: Balkan native (SERB); 35D: Be an accessory to (ABET); 37D: In a moody way (MOROSELY); 39D: "Alas!" ("WOE IS ME""); 41D: Home, metonymically (HEARTH); 42D: Wheel on a spur (ROWEL); 43D: Bay window (ORIEL); 44D: Singer Loretta (LYNN); 45D: Bug film in which Gene Hackman voices General Mandible (ANTZ); 46D: Ibsen's "doll" (NORA); 48D: Silents star Naldi (NITA); 52D: Frat bash refuse (EMPTIES); 54D: Bug for payment (DUN); 55D: Bind tightly (TRUSS UP); 57D: Heist participants, to cops (PERPS); 59D: Sky over Paris (CIEL); 61D: Bite (CHOMP); 63D: Ravine-crossing hauling systems (ROPEWAYS); 65D: "All the Way" lyricist (CAHN); 66D: See (EYE); 67D: Dickers (HAGGLES); 69D: Out-of-the-box feature (PRESET); 72D: Toondom's Princess of Power (SHE-RA); 73D: Johansson's jabs (LEFTS); 74D: Chew the fat (YAK); 75D: False front (MASK); 77D: Bit of gear for a nuclear-powered dinghy? (URANIUM OAR); 78D: Punk star __ Pop (IGGY); 79D: Be crawling (with) (TEEM); 80D: Jam-pack (CRAM); 83D: Celebratory drinks (LIBATIONS); 87D: Good way to take things (IN STRIDE); 88D: Security holder, in law (BAILEE); 89D: Asian sea (ARAL); 90D: Zairian dictator Mobutu __ Seko (SESE); 93D: Eschews (SHUNS); 94D: Court action (DRIBBLE); 95D: Coat to peel off (RIND); 98D: Verne __, Mini-Me portrayer in Austin Powers films (TROYER); 99D: Symbol (EMBLEM); 101D: Evening musicale (SOIREE); 104D: Tantamount (EQUAL); 106D: A polarizing filter reduces it (GLARE); 107D: Choral offerings (HYMNS); 108D: Follow (OBEY); 109D: Thing to follow (RULE); 110D: She gets what she wants (LOLA); 112D: "Lohengrin" heroine (ELSA); 114D: Force unit (DYNE); 117D: Bug catcher (WEB); 118D: Intoxicating letters? (BYO); 119D: Biblical no-no (SIN).