SUNDAY, December 20, 2009—Sylvia Bursztyn (calendar)

Theme: "Help Wanted Within" — The letter string SOS is hidden within each theme answer.

[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:
  • 28A: Body in a Jean Rhys title (SARGASSO SEA).
  • 55A: George Bailey does it for Mary Hatch (LASSOS THE MOON).
  • 65A: Nietzsche tome (ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA).
  • 78A: Kipling collection (JUST SO STORIES).
  • 106A: Wisconsin pageant title (MISS OSH KOSH).
  • 19D: Famous pre-cubism phase (PICASSO'S ROSE PERIOD).
  • 26D: Some geometry basics (ISOSCELES TRIANGLES).
Everything Else — 1A: Dandy (FOP); 4A: Night spots (BEDS); 8A: Party in jail? (PERP); 12A: Nile biter (ASP); 15A: Cadge (BUM); 18A: Madonna role (EVA PERÓN); 20A: Button below TUV (OPER); 21A: Hi-Q piece (PEG); 22A: Late start? (EMU); 23A: Pasta topper (MARINARA); 24A: As it happens (LIVE); 25A: Extols (PRAISES); 27A: He played Obi-Wan (ALEC); 31A: Munro's pen name (SAKI); 32A: "The Simpsons" storekeeper (APU); 34A: Cannes tender (EURO); 35A: Overjoyed (RHAPSODIC); 37A: Roof style (MANSARD); 41A: Beans and greens, e.g. (SIDE DISHES); 43A: Aeschylus trilogy (ORESTEIA); 45A: Poncho's cousin (SERAPE); 46A: Phoenix or Washington (ACTOR); 50A: Mother of Artemis (LETO); 51A: Approx. figure (EST.); 53A: PX patrons (GIS); 54A: Breastbones (STERNA); 60A: Kind of Web search (BOOLEAN); 61A: Genetic letters (RNA); 62A: Guitar accessory (CAPO); 63A: Darn things (SEW); 64A: Oklahoma city (ENID); 72A: --- van der Rohe (MIES); 73A: Witty bit (PUN); 74A: QED center (ERAT); 75A: Back on board (AFT); 76A: Two, for one (INTEGER); 84A: Bad daze (STUPOR); 85A: "Oh, brother!" ("MAN!"); 86A: Snoop (PRY); 87A: Death Valley county (INYO); 88A: Wired (HYPER); 89A: One of Phoebe's friends (MONICA); 92A: Out-of-sight light (INFRARED); 95A: Storehouse (REPOSITORY); 98A: Flirt's trait (COYNESS); 99A: Florida State team (SEMINOLES); 102A: Latin 101 word (AMAS); 104A: Order in the court? (GAG); 105A: Jazz singer Laine (CLEO); 109A: Endure (LAST); 113A: University environment (ACADEME); 115A: Kind of clef (ALTO); 116A: LaGuardia (FIORELLO); 118A: Scoundrel (RAT); 119A: Lux. neighbor (GER.); 120A: Lurch (REEL); 121A: Ran in (ARRESTED); 122A: Go for a wok? (FRY); 123A: José's huzzah (OLÉ); 124A: Yesteryear (YORE); 125A: Faxed (SENT); 126A: Contribute (ADD); 1D: Disaster aid org. (FEMA); 2D: Like Obama's office (OVAL); 3D: Trim (PARE); 4D: Franklin or Bernanke (BEN); 5D: End of an error? (ERASURE); 6D: Kidvid explorer (DORA); 7D: Capture (SNARE); 8D: Guiding light (POLARIS); 9D: Soap segment (EPISODE); 10D: Guns, in the driver's seat (REVS); 11D: Destine (PREORDAIN); 12D: Placate (APPEASE); 13D: First-order angel (SERAPH); 14D: Links letters (PGA); 15D: Billy Ocean's "There'll --- Songs" (BE SAD); 16D: "Sayonara"'s Miyoshi (UMEKI); 17D: Playing field? (MUSIC); 29D: Director Van Sant (GUS); 30D: Sailing or whaling vessels (SHIPS); 33D: Boone or Benatar (PAT); 36D: Bygone defense gp. (SEATO); 37D: Flanders of fiction (MOLL); 38D: Common code (AREA); 39D: Clears (NETS); 40D: Return to slender? (DIET); 42D: Therefore (ERGO); 44D: American realist school (ASHCAN); 47D: Rocker Reznor (TRENT); 48D: TV studio sign (ON AIR); 49D: Director Haines (RANDA); 52D: Big name in sound systems (TEAC); 54D: "Who cares?" ("SO WHAT?"); 56D: Switch settings (ONS); 57D: Military engineer (SAPPER); 58D: Dash abbr. (MPH); 59D: Seeps (OOZES); 60D: Ante matter (BET); 63D: Zen goal (SATORI); 65D: "Witness" folk (AMISH); 66D: Like dryer traps (LINTY); 67D: Arrange (SET UP); 68D: Play with automatons (RUR); 69D: "Wherefore --- thou ..." (ART); 70D: Grate (RASP); 71D: Close encounter craft (UFO); 77D: Bridge authority Charles (GOREN); 78D: Ottoman soldier (JANISSARY); 79D: Troop group (UNIT); 80D: Harmony, briefly (SYNC); 81D: Memo starter (IN RE); 82D: Seeing things (EYES); 83D: Covers ground? (SODS); 85D: Exodus hero (MOSES); 89D: "Tartuffe" playwright (MOLIÈRE); 90D: Item kept under glass? (COASTER); 91D: Tailor's opening (ARMHOLE); 93D: Warning from a bank? (FOGHORN); 94D: Rug variety (RYA); 96D: Saddle feature (POMMEL); 97D: Prattle (YAK); 99D: Muffler (SCARF); 100D: Dana of "MacGyver" (ELCAR); 101D: Substantial (MEATY); 103D: Settees (SOFAS); 107D: Stick in the fridge (OLEO); 108D: Father a foal (SIRE); 110D: Utah ski town (ALTA); 111D: "Citizen Kane" prop (SLED); 112D: Rock's Rundgren (TODD); 114D: The mind's I (EGO); 117D: Out of svc. (RET.).


Anonymous said...

Wow. I don't know about the rest of you, but this was one of the hardest Sunday L.A. Times puzzles I have ever done. Or didn't do, since for the first time that I can remember I could not complete it without Google.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy with all the clues but one:

"Late start?": EMU

Sorry, but I need help on this one; what's the connection?

CrossWise said...

It's the start to "emulate."

Djinn said...

Along with the first Anonymous poster, I found this puzzle to be impossible to finish without outside help. It was tough, but the adorable clues, such as BEDS for night spots and FOG HORN for bank warning, make it all worthwhile. Thanks for the workout, Sylvia Bursztyn!

I tried ENFlate before getting around to EMUlate even though I understood the start of late to be the first three letters, but can anyone explain why RYA is a type of rug?

Orange said...

A rya is a Scandinavian rug.

I do not at all care for the EMU/[Late start?] clue. It's one thing to clue a prefix that way, but EMU is not a prefix at all. The other crosswords I do would not, I don't think, allow that sort of fake breakdown of a word.

*David* said...

I also found this one difficult. I came pretty close to finishing it without help but needed help in the NW corner and in the SPRACT/ROSE area where I had a couple of mistakes. Looking at it afterwards it was all doable for me.

Wayne said...

This one was a real challenge, had to use my crossword dictionary and Google for help. But, I was surprised as to how many things I did get on my own.

Anonymous said...

Like the others - this was THE most difficult Sunday crossword I have attempted. Only got about half-way before having to resort to Google. Even then I have never even heard of most of the answers. Still having trouble with 21A - Hi-Q piece? (Peg)

Anonymous said...

I still didn't get "Foghorn" for "bank warning" until I read the posting twice...

And I had to use Google for Rya (rug), Saki, mansard, Inyo, Fiorello, Umeki, Be Sad, and sapper.

Thanks Google.

hogtowner said...


Thank you. Thank you ALL!

I stumbled across these comments by accident, having just googled EMU.

I did this following my weekly ritual of checking the answers to the Sunday Crossword, on either Sunday or Monday.

I started doing the LA Times Sunday (and occasionally a midweek or two, from both the LA and NY Times)Crossword exactly 1 year ago during the Holidays, and did a whole year's worth.

This was absolutely the HARDEST all year! I save them and mark how many letters I missed. I also log my time spent on them for fun.

I work on it all week, and keep coming back to it, but NEVER check an answer. I only check the final result the following Sunday.

This was the ONLY puzzle all year in which I NEVER understood how the THEME related to the words.

SOS??? Sheesh. Missed it.

This might've been due to my
holiDAZE. LOL.

But EMU. Arrrrgggghhh!

I thought maybe there was a new
time zone hadn't heard of!

Or perhaps that big Aussie bird has punctuality issues?

A few of the others I nailed by default as other words criss/crossed or backed into stuff
I didn't know.

But I am thrilled to have found
this little support group.

Oh, and as for RYA?

Perhaps they were being really cruel and punny with:

"a RYA rug"

Which in this country would be:

"area rug".

Okay, year end rant complete.

Abby Gnu Yer!