SUNDAY, November 8, 2009 (calendar)
Sylvia Bursztyn

Theme: "First State First" — Theme answers are familiar phrases with DE (the postal code for Delaware, the first state) attached to the beginning creating new wacky phrases clued "?"-style.

[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:
  • 22A: Rein on a tyrant? (DESPOT CHECK).
  • 38A: Give the meaning of fitness? (DEFINE FETTLE).
  • 60A: Mindset like James Randi's? (DEBUNKER MENTALITY).
  • 83A: Mocking while tripping? (DERIDING HIGH).
  • 104A: Merit attention? (DESERVE TIME).
  • 4D: Dreary dealings? (DEPRESSING BUSINESS).
  • 30D: Enterprise offering elation? (DELIGHTING INDUSTRY).

Everything Else — 1A: Haphazard (RANDOM); 7A: Pianist Gilels (EMIL); 11A: Dash abbr. (MPH); 14A: Heidi of fashion (KLUM); 18A: Tiny shape-shifter (AMOEBA); 19A: Sushi staple (TUNA); 20A: Potential pay dirt (ORE); 21A: Claudius' successor (NERO); 24A: Chest item (TOY); 25A: Running track (OVAL); 26A: Liquor in a fizz (GIN); 27A: Nerve network (RETE); 28A: Quire members (SHEETS); 30A: Reside (DWELL); 31A: Studies sentences (PARSES); 33A: Stitch's pal (LILO); 35A: Without a racket (NOISELESS); 37A: Strips in a chair (SLATS); 40A: Bette Davis had two (OSCARS); 42A: USO audience (GIS); 43A: Sphinx's poser (RIDDLE); 47A: Rehab goal (SOBRIETY); 50A: Duration (SPAN); 52A: More sultry (MUGGIER); 53A: "The Schnoz" (DURANTE); 54A: Twine (CORD); 55A: Carrot Top et al. (REDHEADS); 56A: Legendary football coach (STAGG); 57A: Cruise's "Cocktail" co-star (SHUE); 58A: Bob of "Full House" (SAGET); 59A: Delt neighbor (LAT); 65A: Ers' kin (UMS); 67A: Dark (UNLIT); 68A: Pupil's place (IRIS); 69A: Twangy (NASAL); 72A: Went over (REHASHED); 74A: Beef cut (RUMP); 75A: Aberdeen instrument (BAGPIPE); 77A: Global warming casualty (GLACIER); 78A: Cougar (PUMA); 79A: Some Hermitage hangings (MATISSES); 80A: Lady Mountbatten (EDWINA); 81A: Nice scream (CRI); 82A: Aglow (LUCENT); 87A: Longtime Louis Armstrong label (DECCA); 91A: Raised road markers (BOTTS' DOTS); 94A: Go for a spin? (REEL); 95A: Groove on the farm (FURROW); 96A: Remains by the fire (ASHES); 97A: Stir-fried noodle dish (LO MEIN); 99A: Corn servings (EARS); 101A: "--- Got a Crush on You" (I'VE); 102A: Like so (THUS); 103A: Cat's dog (PAW); 107A: Camp sight (TENT); 108A: The same partner (ONE); 109A: Severn joiner (AVON); 110A: Discus great Al (OERTER); 111A: Gabs (YAKS); 112A: D.W. Griffith, e.g. (DIR.); 113A: "... that try --- souls" (MENS); 114A: Most ironic (WRYEST); 1D: Tire type (RADIAL); 2D: Egyptian sun god (AMEN-RA); 3D: Figs. (NOS.); 5D: Clarinet cousins (OBOES); 6D: Damon or Dillon (MATT); 7D: Ordinal ending (-ETH); 8D: Granola cousin (MUESLI); 9D: 1950 MacArthur victory (INCHON); 10D: Winnebago, for one (LAKE); 11D: "Eureka" and "Excelsior" (MOTTOES); 12D: German toast (PROSIT); 13D: "You there!" ("HEY!"); 14D: Cognition (KNOWLEDGE); 15D: It was dry in "American Pie" (LEVEE); 16D: Eurasian range (URALS); 17D: Gangsters' gal pals (MOLLS); 23D: Bloody Mary veggie (CELERY); 26D: Driver's aid, in brief (GPS); 29D: Lastly, in Limoges (EN FIN); 32D: Bin use (STORAGE); 34D: Hypotheticals (IFS); 36D: Passau pastry (STRUDEL); 38D: See (DATE); 39D: "Zounds!" ("EGAD!"); 41D: This, to Anais (CET); 44D: Diffusion through a membrane (DIALYSIS); 45D: Castor's mother (LEDA); 46D: Once, long ago (ERST); 47D: Old protest org. (SDS); 48D: Lady Macbeth's order (OUT); 49D: Parker's "Sex and the City" role (BRADSHAW); 50D: Lemony (SOUR); 51D: Insurance outlay (PREMIUM); 52D: Bytes or bucks opener (MEGA-); 54D: Atkins of the Opry (CHET); 55D: "Phooey!" ("RATS!"); 57D: Lose traction (SKID); 58D: Use scissors (SNIP); 61D: Not listened to (UNHEARD); 62D: Card or Met (NLER); 63D: La Bombeck (ERMA); 64D: Tavern keeper (TAPSTER); 65D: Impulse (URGE); 66D: Blend (MELD); 70D: Big lug (APE); 71D: Guitar great Paul (LES); 73D: Crucial trials (ACID TESTS); 74D: Downfall (RUIN); 75D: Cantata composer (BACH); 76D: Did lunch (ATE); 78D: Rainbow creator (PRISM); 79D: Designer Thierry (MUGLER); 81D: Music store purchase (CD TOWER); 82D: Make stuff up (LIE); 84D: Honolulu palace (IOLANI); 85D: Lament (GRIEVE); 86D: Muppets creator (HENSON); 88D: "CSI" concerns (CRIMES); 89D: Clandestine (COVERT); 90D: Wonderment (AWE); 91D: Bonkers (BATTY); 92D: Screen's Tessie or Milo (O'SHEA); 93D: "Who'da --- it?" (THUNK); 95D: Less inhibited (FREER); 98D: Dutch cheese (EDAM); 100D: Swear (AVOW); 103D: Pea coat? (POD); 105D: USNA grad (ENS.); 106D: Brooklyn ending (-ITE).


Djinn said...

For the first time, I'm the first one to post. How appropriate considering the theme! I adored today's CW. Thanks, Sylvia B. I've got to jet now, but will add further comments later.

stombs said...

Is it just me, or is "La Bombeck" an error? We have "Irma La Duce" and "Erma Bombeck", but where is the "La" in the latter?

Carol said...

Nice challenging Sunday puzzle. Liked the theme - cute.

JIMMIE said...

Thanks again, PG, for posting this for those who actually read the LAT.

It was tougher, and I still have no KNOWLEDGE what a BOTTSDOT is, but fun.

stombs said...

Jimmy -

A Botts' dot is the round, slightly raised device that is used to separate highway lanes. It gives a bumping effect when you stray over it, so that the lane divisions can be sensed even in conditions such as heavy rain, where the painted lines are invisible. They were named after their inventor, Dr. Botts.

Contrary to popular opinion, they were not intended for the sake of blind drivers.

Djinn said...

This CW yielded after a struggle. It introduced me to many famous characters. I've been reading some of their bios this morning. Counting the clues and answers together, I found almost 40 proper names!

I learned some fascinating facts. For example, after he retired from sports, Al Oerter became an abstract painter. He would throw his discus into a pool of paint to create splashes of color on a canvas nearby. Amazing! He called it "impact" painting. Who knew?

Great theme with clever clues! The one I liked best was 28A) Quire members. The perfect clue for a Sunday!

*David* said...

Most sections of the puzzle fell easy had two trouble spots in N Dakota and in Louisiana. The theme was quite easy to figure out and made the puzzle all that much easier.

Whitney said...

Nobody mentioned the grid. What's up with it? I've never seen black squares abutting the edge like that in the NW and SE corners...I for one don't like it :)

Anonymous said...

These puzzles are becoming more nonsense - muggier for more sultry? What? Merl's are worse, but Sylvia's also seem more thrown together, esp with all the abbreviations. It's like they were stuck and had to come up with a clue that was a real reach. Come on - you can do better than this. I've seen it.