SUNDAY, September 20, 2009
Merl Reagle

Theme: "School Days" — Theme answers are familiar phrases turned into puns about school.

[Note: This is the puzzle that appears in the Sunday L.A. Times newspaper. If you don't get the paper, you can find the puzzle here. Scroll down to see the write-up of today's syndicated puzzle.]

Theme answers:
  • 23A: Part of a class about Carthage? (HANNIBAL LECTURE). Hannibal Lecter.
  • 34A: Like kids with a lot of after-school assignments? (HOMEWORK BOUND). Homeward bound.
  • 42A: Where the rubber meets the paper? (ERASER'S EDGE). The razor's edge.
  • 57A: Teacher who runs his class like a game show? (CHALK WOOLERY). Chuck Woolery.
  • 69A: Not exactly a good before-the-bell stat? (NINE TARDY IN THE MORNING). 9:30 in the morning.
  • 77A: Panic over an arithmetic test? (MATH HYSTERIA). Mass hysteria.
  • 93A: Smaller-than-usual school furniture? (COMPACT DESK). Compact disc.
  • 103A: Nickname for a history teacher who likes battles? (DADDY WARBOOKS). Daddy Warbucks.
  • 116A: School parking-lot sign? (THE BUS STOPS HERE). The buck stops here.
Couple other things:
  • 20A: Adrian portrayer (TALIA). I wonder how long it took before people stopped yelling "Adriaaaaan!" at her on the street. Or maybe they still do.
  • 29A: Like carrot juice (ORANGE). Shout-out to our girl!
  • 62A: Part of a Virgin Islands port (AMALIE). I wanna say the whole name is Charlotte Amalie. Hold on .... Sure enough! Learned it from crosswords!
  • 74A: Fidel crony, once (CHE). He of t-shirt fame.
  • 76A: 1940s Ann Sothern role (MAISIE). I don't know what this means, but I bet someone will explain it in the comments.
  • 89A: Preoccupy and then some (OBSESS). Something I never do.
  • 7D: Slangy money (KALE). Never heard this one before.
  • 11D: Cecil B. DeMille film of 1931, "The ___ Man" (SQUAW). With S??AW in place, of course I entered straw.
  • 15D: "Photograph" singer (RINGO). Once I got Jim Croce's "Photographs and Memories" in my head, it was hard to think of any other singer.

  • 49D: "Stand and Deliver" setting (EAST L.A.). Makes a nice pair with 66D: Shea grp. (N.Y. METS).
  • 51D: Final answer querier (REGIS). He's popular today.
  • 55D: "Sleeping Beauty" character (WITCH). I started trying to think of all the dwarves' names. Sigh.
Everything Else — 1A: Bewildered (AT SEA); 6A: Proficiency (SKILL); 11A: Oldies group, ___ Na Na (SHA); 14A: Oktoberfest toast (PROST); 19A: Pandemonium (CHAOS); 21A: Proof abbr. (QED); 22A: Bill attachment (RIDER); 26A: Derisive (SNIDE); 27A: Last stop (END); 28A: Victory goddess (NIKE); 31A: Continue (GO ON); 32A: Overused (TRITE); 37A: Free of worry (SERENE); 39A: Zingers (BARBS); 40A: Poet's contraction (E'ER); 41A: "Pardon me, but ..." ("SAY..."); 44A: Kong's world (APEDOM); 47A: Seat-belt sign illuminator, briefly (CAPT.); 48A: Abbr. on pen-pal envelopes (USA); 49A: Mr. Whitney (ELI); 50A: Fine pursuits, perhaps (ARTS); 54A: Bird of prey-to-be (OWLET); 65A: Agitation (UNREST); 67A: Meas. of interest (PCT.); 68A: Card game (GIN); 73A: Here, to Honoré (ICI); 75A: Haggard and Oberon (MERLES); 80A: Gradual increase, in mus. (CRESC.); 82A: Literary skipper (AHAB); 83A: Synonym (and anagram) of 79 Down (IT'S); 84A: Euclid's conclusion? (-EAN); 85A: Outback sights (EMUS); 97A: Gone by (AGO); 100A: Steve Case started it: abbr. (AOL); 101A: Having 107 Across (ALATE); 102A: "60 Minutes" name (ROONEY); 107A: Often spicy fast food (WINGS); 108A: Ye ___ Pie Shoppe (OLDE); 109A: Villainous looks (SNEERS); 110A: A little (SOME); 111A: Just painted (WET); 114A: Apples, e.g. (POMES); 120A: Business (TRADE); 121A: Squealer (RAT); 122A: Having a G, e.g. (RATED); 123A: Asian chain (URALS); 124A: Taste, for one (SENSE); 125A: Tummy muscles, briefly (ABS); 126A: Meaningless (EMPTY); 127A: Israel's Shimon (PERES); 1D: Balming target (ACHE); 2D: Word in comparisons (THAN); 3D: Hazard for Woods (SAND TRAP); 4D: Long time (EON); 5D: Knuckleheaded (ASININE); 6D: Plant support (STAKE); 8D: Sick and tired? (ILL); 9D: Recline (LIE); 10D: Louis Malle film of 1974, "___, Lucien" (LACOMBE); 12D: Top 10 hit of 1965, "Tell ___" (HER NO); 13D: To ___ (somewhat) (A DEGREE); 14D: 6 on older phones (PRS); 16D: Disgusting (ODIOUS); 17D: Arizona tourist spot (SEDONA); 18D: In (TRENDY); 24D: Mosquito, e.g. (BITER); 25D: Juan's 3 (TRES); 30D: ___ out a living (EKED); 33D: Lifted again, perhaps (RESTOLE); 34D: "... ___ great fall" (HAD A); 35D: Agcy. (ORG.); 36D: Mac's kin (BRO); 37D: "Just a ___!" (SEC); 38D: Pitching stat (ERA); 39D: Adorn, as with buttons (BESTUD); 43D: Take to court (SUE); 44D: ___ time (constantly) (ALL THE); 45D: Water-___ (shower item) (PIK); 46D: It means "badly" (MAL-); 52D: Lopez of "The Dirty Dozen" (TRINI); 53D: Irish dramatist (SYNGE); 56D: Vermont senator (LEAHY); 57D: Town shouters (CRIERS); 58D: Painter Rousseau (HENRI); 59D: Typing stat: abbr. (WPM); 60D: Carol start (O COME); 61D: Others, to José (OTRAS); 62D: Soul, to Nero (ANIMA); 63D: Bible book (MICAH); 64D: Writer Loos (ANITA); 70D: Home: abbr. (RES.); 71D: Getaway (ESCAPE); 72D: Calming words to Fido (NICE DOG); 78D: Showtime rival (HBO); 79D: "Angela's Ashes" sequel ('TIS); 81D: Basic makeup stuff (RNA); 84D: Paramedics, commonly (EMTS); 86D: Clothing section (MENSWEAR); 87D: "Mileage" (USE); 88D: Azure expanse (SKY); 90D: Tampa has one (BAY); 91D: Does a farm job (SOWS); 92D: Hyundai model (ELANTRA); 93D: Feeling that it's really over (CLOSURE); 94D: Acorn dropper (OAK); 95D: Make curly (CRIMP); 96D: Molds muscles (TONES UP); 97D: Votes to accept (ADOPTS); 98D: In abundance (GALORE); 99D: He's out (ODD MAN); 101D: Optical illusion question, "Which is longer, ___?" (A OR B); 104D: Important documents (DEEDS); 105D: Recovery program (REHAB); 106D: Borscht buys (BEETS); 107D: "Toy Story" cowboy (WOODY); 110D: Editing note (STET); 112D: Perry's creator (ERLE); 113D: Hardy heroine (TESS); 115D: "Get it?" ("SEE?"); 117D: Actor Neill (SAM); 118D: Auto additive (STP); 119D: Otto I's realm: abbr. (HRE).


Quentinc said...

I can't believe I'm the first comment (I'm usually at the end). Kind of feel like Merle phoned this one in. I liked Eraser's Edge, but even a lot of the theme answers -- which are Merle's forte -- sounded familiar.

Greene said...

I'm inclined to agree with @Quentinc. Not as much snap and bite in the puns as I expect from Mr. Reagle, although I did get a laugh from MATH HYSTERIA. Let's just say that particular creation struck very close to home. This is still the best of the Sunday puzzles I've worked so far today (four down and one to go).

Joon said...

the outdated shea clue for NY METS is kind of a downer, but otherwise this seems like par for the course for merl. zillions of theme answers, and they're fine if you like puns.

JIMMIE said...

I have a 1950's phone that has PRS as the number seven, not six, for 14D. I remember when they added back the Q, but I don't remember a shift. Working with MNO was frustrating and futile. Was the clue right?

So all but the NE corner was lots of fun. Keep it up, PG.

JN said...

Here it is after three and there are so few comments today. The clues were easy but I got stuck on several answers and didn't finish the puzzle until I looked here. I had a problem with the NE corner... I didn't get Ringo or the PRS or any of the downs. I was able to finish everything else.

Thanks for being here to give me closure!

JIMMIE said...

I still think that the 14D clue is wrong. It should be seven, not six.

PuzzleGirl said...

@joon: Good catch on the Shea clue. I didn't even notice that.

@JIMMIE: Until someone says different, I'm going to agree with you.

I think my favorite theme answer was THE BUS STOPS HERE. It has to be said forcefully. Perhaps while pounding one's desk.

Orange said...

Jimmie, all the photos of old phone dials I found via a Google image search have PRS on the 7. I forwarded your first comment about this to Merl so he can correct the clue, if he wants, before the puzzle's published in a book collection.

Anonymous said...

This is the most 5D puzzles I have ever tried to solve! His 26A attempts at humor is all 111A and his plays on words are over 122A.

shrub5 said...

I enjoyed solving this puzzle more than today's syndicated one. I guess I'm a sucker for corny puns. Had to look up a couple of things: the Virgin Islands port AMALIE and ICI (here in French.)

I had RN- for basic makeup stuff and couldn't fathom what it could be! I was thinking of the cosmetics type of makeup. I had a big d'oh moment when COMPACTDESK filled in the A for RNA.

I didn't know MAISIE for the Ann Sothern role (before my time!) but I remember her in "Private Secretary" and later "The Ann Sothern Show" on TV in the 50's. Irish dramatist SYNGE was unfamiliar to me as well.

I liked ODDMAN (He's out) but BESTUD and RESTOLE each got a big raspberry from me.

Unknown said...

Looks like Merl fixed the problem at 14-Down in his on-line puzzles. I corrected mine at http://mazerlm.home.att.net/pi090920.puz and also notified Merl - but looks like Amy already did. I bet the print versions are all wrong. I sent the LAT on-line the corrected version this morning.


Anonymous said...

why is the answer to 36D "Mac's kin" "bro?"

All other answrs make sense.