SUNDAY, December 27, 2009 — Barry C. Silk and Doug Peterson (syndicated)

Theme: "And Another Thing ..." — Each theme answer is a mash-up of a familiar two-word phrase and a three-word phrase that follows the pattern "[first word of the two-word phrase] and [X]."

[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 answers:
  • 23A: Result of a battle of bighorns? (BLACK AND BLUE SHEEP).
  • 38A: Fire alarm during kindergarten? (SHOW AND TELL STOPPER).
  • 56A: Attracting outdoorsy readers, say? (FIELD AND STREAM GOAL).
  • 77A: Crustacean with an electric guitar? (ROCK AND ROLL LOBSTER).
  • 94A: Web site security expert? (POINT AND CLICK GUARD).
  • 115A: Kids' puppet show script? (PUNCH AND JUDY LINES).
Wow. Did I wake up in an parallel universe where the L.A. Times crossword puzzle is awesome again? What a great Christmas present! Love this theme. I found it tricky enough to make me think, but basic enough that once I got it, I could use it to help me with the remaining theme answers. I also really appreciate that although the fill isn't what I would describe as overly sparkly, a lot of the clues are excellent and do a nice job of ratcheting up the difficulty level a bit.

  • 16A: Capital of Slovakia? (ESS). The word Slovakia starts with the letter ESS (*groan*).
  • 21A: Symphony originally dedicated to Napoleon (EROICA). I did not know that.
  • 26A: One of Rose's 4,256 (HIT). PuzzleSon had a school project recently where he had to come up with various ways of describing a random number. He was assigned the number 4,256, which turned out to be pretty cool!
  • 54A: Madagascar tree climber (LEMUR). Who doesn't love a good LEMUR reference? ...
  • 63A: "Baseball is 90% mental; the other half is physical" speaker (BERRA). ... or a good Yogi BERRA quote?
  • 69A: Ballroom that made the Lindy Hop famous (SAVOY). One of my favorite album names of all time is Rufus's "Stompin' at the Savoy."

  • 75A: Many a joke involves one (PUN). I tried bar.
  • 101A: Alien's course: Abbr. (ESL). Not, like, an extra-terrestrial but a person who moves here from another country.
  • 106A: Unfinished framework (CARCASS). Inspired cluing. I'm glad they didn't go the dead animal route. But I'm sure you appreciate me bringing it up.
  • 112A: "The Disrobing of Christ" painter (EL GRECO). Okay, someone tell me if it's just me, but with the disrobing, the groping, and the unclasping (44A: Search uncertainly / 4D: Open, as a large envelope), does this puzzle have a RATED X (33D: For adults only) vibe to it?
  • 120A: Gerald Ford, by birth (OMAHAN). So many interesting people from Omaha: Warren Buffett, Nick Nolte, Marlon Brando, Fred Astaire. Learned about them all from crosswords.
  • 123A: Places for organ repairs, briefly (ORS). Internal organs, that is.
  • 1D: "Aquí se __ español" (HABLA). Spanish!
  • 5D: Reggae star __-Mouse (EEK-A). Okay, that's the awesomest stage name I've ever seen.
  • 6D: Teller's spot (WINDOW). Me: "Next to Penn?"
  • 10D: Tryster's request (MEET ME). Can't decide if I like tryster. I think I don't. But it might just be because I kept mispronouncing it and couldn't figure out what the heck this clue was about.
  • 17D: Its 5/14/1998 final episode was seen by 76 million viewers (SEINFELD). I was one of them, were you?
  • 40D: D.C. ball team (NATS). When I moved away from the DC area, there was no baseball team here. When I came back I saw so many people walking around with W's on their hats I wondered why there were so many Wisconsin fans out here. Yes, that's how dumb I am.
  • 42D: Cozy (SNUG). PuzzleHusband wanted to buy the kids Snuggies for Christmas, but couldn't bear walking around the mall with them.
  • 66D: Minute Maid Park team (ASTROS). As you might know, I do not like the corporate named sports stadiums. But at least you can make some of them seem kind of touch, right? Not this one. Poor Astros.
  • 78D: Pet with green fur? (CHIA). The other day I said that I wanted to plant an herb garden and PuzzleDaughter got all excited because she had seen on TV this little pet thing that you poor water on and plants grow out of it! She said you can even get one that looks like President Obama!
  • 83D: "Ocean's Thirteen" actor (AL PACINO). Love this movie. Just for fun, I tried to see if I could come up with all thirteen actor's names, but by the time I got, I think, five of them, I realized that this clue was going for someone else.
  • 104D: Northeast express train (ACELA). PuzzleMom just told me about a bus that runs between Washington and New York and only costs $20. Have any of you tried it? I might have just found my transportation for the ACPT.
  • 118D: TNT alternative (USA). Television networks.
Crosswordese 101: I was going to do my usual CW round-up here, but I could only find one instance of crosswordese that we've already covered! (47A: Cross shapes (TAUS)). So today, I'll quickly explain that ABA stands for the American Bar Association which is, indeed, an 59D: Org. concerned with suits (lawsuits, that is). Every once in a while ABA will be clued as the American Basketball Association in which case the clue will reference Dr. J or one of the teams that participated in that league. But the vast majority of the time you'll see words that have something to do with the legal profession in the clue: attorneys, litigators, lawyers, defense, or cases.

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Everything Else — 1A: Escher Museum site, with "The" (HAGUE); 6A: Rolls (WADS); 10A: Like Mr. Magoo (MYOPIC); 19A: When many return from lunch (AT ONE); 20A: Vision (IDEA); 22A: Ball support (TEE); 27A: Province in northern Finland (LAPLAND); 28A: It's pitched (TENT); 29A: Holds on to (RETAINS); 31A: Fishing, maybe (ASEA); 32A: Negative link (NOR); 34A: Apple's G4, e.g. (IMAC); 37A: "See ya!" ("I'M OFF!"); 48A: Talked nonstop (RAN ON); 49A: Martinique, e.g. (ILE); 50A: Lever with a blade (OAR); 51A: Selling points (ASSETS); 55A: Commanded (BADE); 60A: Elided greeting ('ELLO); 61A: Car wash option (WAX); 62A: Roddick of tennis (ANDY); 67A: Hoarse (RASPING); 71A: Brimless caps (BEANIES); 73A: "The Avengers" guy (STEED); 74A: Stubborn beast (MULE); 76A: "__ go there!" (DON'T); 83A: Budget rival (AVIS); 86A: Hopper of gossip (HEDDA); 87A: Colorado county or its seat (PUEBLO); 88A: Psyche component (EGO); 89A: Top (LID); 90A: Yes or no follower (SIREE); 91A: Proceed (WEND); 92A: Surveyor's units (ACRES); 99A: Alleged Soviet spy Hiss (ALGER); 100A: Approved (OK'ED); 102A: Lackluster (DRAB); 109A: Office note (MEMO); 114A: Follower's suffix (-ITE); 119A: Rejections (NOS); 121A: Players (CAST); 122A: Racing paths (OVALS); 124A: Apartment restriction (NO PETS); 125A: "Ta ta!" ("CIAO!"); 126A: Secure, as a nautical rope (BELAY); 2D: Travel guide (ATLAS); 3D: Have a cow, so to speak (GO APE); 7D: Say "Furthermore ...," say (ADD); 8D: Collector's item? (DEBT); 9D: Discount event (SALE); 11D: Mos. and mos. (YRS.); 12D: "I'm impressed!" ("OOH!"); 13D: Disembarking site (PIER); 14D: Slush Puppie maker (ICEE); 15D: Something that may help you get the picture? (CAPTION); 16D: Kenya neighbor (ETHIOPIA); 18D: Liberates (SETS FREE); 24D: Monument word (ANNO); 25D: Army divisions (UNITS); 30D: Band piece (AMP); 35D: "So soon?" ("ALREADY?"); 36D: Cold and moist (CLAMMY); 39D: Spot for a band (HEAD); 41D: Bookshelf buildup (DUST); 43D: Company that acquired Lawn-Boy in 1989 (TORO); 44D: Errand runners (GOFERS); 45D: Bawl out (RAIL AT); 46D: Implicit warning (OR ELSE); 52D: Cut (SAWN); 53D: Glitch (SNAG); 54D: "Leading With My Chin" author (LENO); 55D: Mixes thoroughly (BLENDS); 57D: Horses running leisurely (LOPERS); 58D: Actress Kim of "24" (RAVER); 64D: Tear gas target (RIOTER); 65D: Weasel out (RENEGE); 68D: Part of a mating ritual (I DO); 69D: Basking locale (SUNDECK); 71D: Cluster of cloves (BULB); 72D: Organic compound (ENOL); 74D: Got by (MADE DO); 75D: 68-Down, for one (PLEDGE); 79D: "Ol' Man River" composer (KERN); 80D: Gp. that includes Iran and Ecuador (OPEC); 81D: Muttonhead (LUNK); 82D: Tusked animal (BOAR); 84D: Lawbreaker, e.g. (VIOLATOR); 85D: Acknowledgement of a deviation, usually after "but" (I DIGRESS); 91D: Dilate (WIDEN); 93D: PC component (CD DRIVE); 95D: Tokyo-based computer giant (NEC); 96D: 24 Hours of __: annual auto race (LEMANS); 97D: Comfortable with (USED TO); 98D: Confederate (ALLY); 103D: Of the kidneys (RENAL); 105D: Everycow (BOSSY); 107D: Sport for big grapplers (SUMO); 108D: Piece of cake (SNAP); 110D: L x XXXIV (MDCC); 111D: City near Santa Barbara (OJAI); 113D: Squishy lump (GLOB); 116D: Argentinian Marxist (CHE); 117D: It may be passed or tipped (HAT).



I liked this puzzle, but it took me over an hour to solve. Best of all was Puzzlegirl's creative writeup... her cute photos and that Rufus clip was a real treat.
Geez, it looks like I'm the only one who got up early this Sunday morn.
ELLO everyone!
The puzzle: Super fun theme.
I'm a Barry Silk-ITE, so I enjoy the puns and clever clues.
For (115a), I kept trying to force in HOWDY DOODY, but once I realized that all the themes had the word AND in them, I got it.

Snowed in here, so guess I just make some maple oatmeal and stay in.

imsdave said...

Astonished how fast I picked up this really great theme. BLACKA - and filled in the rest. I love puzzles like this, where you get the added pleasure of trying to fill in the theme answers with few or no letters in place.

Kudos to Doug and Barry.


How can we pass up Beethoven's EROICA this morning? Here's a great clip (and no, it's not my revered CSO).
Herbert Von Karajan Conducts Beethoven Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Major 'Eroica'


It's not just you who has a dirty mind this morning.
I had put SAC for (22a) instead of TEE.

Argyle said...

Don't forget 90D.

PuzzleGirl said...

And we have a winner! (I didn't mention 90D on purpose and wondered who would be brave(?) enough to do so.) :-)

Gareth Bain said...

Really appreciated this theme, had me completely mystified initially, except I was noticing lots of ANDS... Once I puzzled it out, wow! beautiful! Doug Peterson (solo) is also in Newsday today, it's tempting to compare the two... Suffice it to say that while not as innovative it was nonetheless a cute theme.

Went for MAN for the "Many a joke..." clue. Not sure why.

Hands up for TANZANIA at 16D!

90D was the only smutty word I noticed...

P.S.: The really old school way of clueing ABA is "Arab garment". Matt Ginsburg's database gives the last major crossword siting as 2006 (X2)...

docmoreau said...

This one took better than an hour to solve. Head scratchers: SAWN "cut"; BELAY "secure as a nautical rope" (Capt. Picard is always saying "Belay that order!" meaning cancel. what's the connection?); was also unfamiliar with the term "elided"; OJAI "city near Santa Barbara."
Okay, ahem, I'll be brave and mention that I sense that there are not a few ribald double entendres hidden in this puzzle. May I add, delicately, that if you add a T to
Beethoven's symphony (21 a) you get_______. My bad.

ddbmc said...

And if you added a "t" between the "o" and the "i" in 21A...Some women have greater "assets" than others. OOh, but I digress! Don't want to get a "Hedda" myself.

Like @JNH, took me a good long while to complete. Loved myopic, belay, carcass (took a long time on that), NEVER heard of Eek-A Mouse, but got a good laugh from that.

@PG, right there with ya on Seinfeld and Penn and Teller! Tried "gag" for 75A,-- we had that answer a few puzzles ago.

There was a quick segment about "Howdy Doody" on today's "Sunday Morning CBS" with Charles Osgood-so I started with that-then wanted Kukla, Fran, etc.
Nyet! Mom worked with Buffalo Bob on the "Howdy Doody Show" many years ago! Got to hear a lot of fun stories from behind the scenes, growing up! Got to be in the Peanut Gallery once, too! Sorry if I'm repeating myself!

Great write up and clips, @PG! Obama chia pet? Too hilarious!
Here's my shout out to Rock Lobster


Loved that B52 clip... great one to perk us all up.
But then it looks like everyone is horny today !!!
@PG et al
I just did my second Trib puzzle, by Charles Preston.
In it he uses "Minnesota plate phrase" for IOOOOLAKES (meaning ten thousand lakes). Is it legit for a constructor to use I's and O's for ones and zeroes? Just wondering.


Sorry, I just became a VIOLATOR of the code of ethics for CW blogs. I discussed another puzzle and may have spoiled it for someone.
Sorry about that.

jeff in chicago said...

Most excellent! A wonderful day in Puzzle-ville.

I had PUNCH...CARDS for a while, making the SE problematic. And I knew it had to be RENAL, but thought OVALS could be LANES, so I struggled there.

Loved the 3X8 blocks in the NE and SW.

mac said...

Very nice puzzle by these two pros, and very fun write-up by PuzzleGirl. Taking time out this busy day for the blog.

I'm right with you: I wanted a motel for the tryster....

After looking at that lobster roll I'm hungry again. Haven't eaten in at least 2 hours!

Joe said...

Nice puzzle...with 6" of snow falling, made for a nice afternoon's effort.

I'm an electrical engineer...I went to deep and called 93D CHIPSET. Nope...just a CDDRIVE.

The theme took me longer than others to get. Once I "saw" it, it worked well.

I messed up on 91A, putting in WENT. Which made the alternate ritual in 75D, for a while, to be I LET GO . Funny pledge, but maybe that's the way our culture goes :-)

Tougher than average puzzle.

shrub5 said...

@PG: "Stompin' at the Savoy" is a 1934 jazz standard composed by Edgar Sampson. Benny Goodman's hit recording was an instrumental. Lyrics were added later. This is waaaaay before my time :-) but I knew the song from the Broadway musical "Ain't Misbehavin'."

As for the puzzle: took me quite awhile but enjoyed it all! Excellent clues -- my favorites were 'Squishy lump' for GLOB and 'Unfinished framework' for CARCASS. Thank you Barry and Doug for the gift of fun.

*David* said...

Three Sunday puzzle for me today, very rare with my busy Sundays. My big head scratcher was by SAWN/WAX. I thought it would be RATED R, and SAWN sounds wronger then wrong. Anyway great theme that I moved at a pretty steady pace through.