SUNDAY, February 28, 2010 — Peter Wentz (syndicated)

Theme: "Gross Income" — Theme answers are familiar phrases with the letter string ICK added to them, creating wacky phrases which are clued "?"-style.

[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:
  • 22A: Martial artist's autobiography? (THE KICKING AND I).
  • 37A: Protest against fiery roadsters? (RED CAR PICKET).
  • 57A: Really cool security device? (WICKED LOCK).
  • 78A: Price tag in the meat department? (HAM STICKER).
  • 93A: Communication from perverts? (SICKO'S SIGNAL).
  • 113A: Competition for greased-up pooches? (SLICKED DOG RACE).
  • 16D: Preserved a liquor bottle? (PICKLED THE FIFTH).
  • 44D: Aggressive policy to increase box office sales? (TICKET OFFENSIVE).
I enjoyed this one as much as I can enjoy a Sunday puzzle. (They're just so big.) Solid theme, some great theme answers — I especially liked THE KICKING AND I and PICKLED THE FIFTH — and not a whole lot of crosswordese. Throw in some tricky cluing and overall, I'd call this one a good Sunday workout.

  • 20A: Bob Hope Airport city (BURBANK). Learn something new every day.
  • 24A: Combo wager (EXACTA). An exacta bet is when you predict the first- and second-place finishers in order.
  • 26A: 1973 Stones ballad (ANGIE). A personal favorite.
  • 29A: Short timetable? (SKED). I've been doing a lot of puzzles the last couple days, catching up on a bunch of puzzles from this past month. Seems like SKED is in all of them.
  • 32A: Foofaraw (ADO). Foofaraw is an awesome word.
  • 47A: Try to keep, as a title (DEFEND). Guess who will be defending a national champion title in a couple weeks. That's right! The Iowa Hawkeye wrestling team — can't wait!
  • 49A: Madden coached them in the '70s (RAIDERS). This is funny. I didn't know that Madden was a coach. I don't know where I thought he came from, or why he acted so much like a coach, but it just never occurred to me. Weird.
  • 69A: Boxing writer Fleischer (NAT). Never heard of this guy. Nat Turner, Nat King Cole, Nat Hentoff, sure. Nat Fleischer? No.
  • 81A: LL Cool J label (DEF JAM). Ladies Love Cool James.
  • 90A: That ship (HER). Anyone know why ships are female?
  • 107A: "__ the Boys": Katy Perry album (ONE OF). Eight-year-old PuzzleDaughter was running around the house singing a Katy Perry song the other day. Yes, that Katy Perry song. *sigh*
  • 2D: Doff a bowler (UNHAT). "Doff a bowler" sounds vaguely dirty.
  • 14D: Latin king (REX). All Hail the King!!
  • 18D: Hipster's accessory (SHADES).
  • 34D: Summer refresher (ICE TEA). Yes, yes, I know, I know, it should be iced, blah blah blah ….
  • 43D: Drink named for a football team (GATORADE). Another thing I did not know. The Florida Gators? Did you guys know that?
  • 72D: Convention booths (KIOSKS). Because of the theme there are an awful lot of Ks in this grid. And this is an awesome K-licious word.
  • 76D: Director Howard (RON). Weird to think of him as a grown-up person. I bet some peope can't get past Opie. He's stuck in his teens for me.
  • 82D: Bowie at the Alamo (JIM).
  • 95D: "Nothing Compares 2 U" singer O'Connor (SINEAD). Remake of a Prince song. Two other popular songs you might not know are Prince songs: Chaka Khan's "I Feel for You" and Cyndi Lauper's "When You Were Mine."
  • 108D: Flat beer's lack (FOAM). Ew.
  • 115D: "Take This Job and Shove It" songwriter David Allan __ (COE). (There's one bad word in this video around 2:45.)

I do want to spend some time talking about Merl's puzzle today, but I have to do a few things around the house first. I'll be back later!

Crosswordese 101: If you need to know one SNL alum for crossword puzzles it's not Jon Belushi or Chevy Chase or even Gilda Radner. No, you need to know Cheri OTERI. Look at that name. It's perfect for puzzles. If she's not familiar to you, the good news is pretty much all you need to know is that she was on Saturday Night Live, where she performed in the cheerleader skits with Will Ferrell, and she was in "Scary Movie." Easy, right?

Everything Else — 1A: Kept afloat (BUOYED); 7A: Big sizes (JUMBOS); 13A: Things drawn across windows (DRAPES); 19A: Like books for long-distance road trips (ON TAPE); 21A: Savor (RELISH); 25A: "Attention!" ("HARK!"); 27A: Columnist Bombeck (ERMA); 30A: Theater level (TIER); 33A: Formal orders (DICTUMS); 36A: "College GameDay" football analyst Corso (LEE); 40A: Neruda works (POEMS); 42A: ATF employee (AGT.); 45A: Like dried soil (CAKY); 46A: Emotional work (ODE); 51A: Pirate riches (BOOTY); 53A: When Hamlet feigns insanity (ACT TWO); 56A: Not marked up (AT COST); 60A: Mortar trough (HOD); 61A: "Classic" drinks (COKES); 62A: "The queen of sciences": Gauss (MATH); 63A: Thought-revealing drama techniques (ASIDES); 64A: Genre of the band Fall Out Boy (EMO); 65A: Charlemagne's reign: Abbr. (HRE); 66A: Come out with (SAY); 67A: Check for authenticity (VET); 68A: Sibs, uncs, etc. (FAM); 70A: Piercing cry (SHRIEK); 73A: Storage facility (SHED); 75A: Curing solution (BRINE); 77A: Vow after reading vows (I DO); 80A: Entrepreneur's goal (PROFIT); 83A: Actor Feldman or Haim (COREY); 84A: Jewish pancake (BLINTZE); 85A: Alarm setting for one with a paper route, maybe (FIVE AM); 88A: Strew seed (SOW); 89A: Globule (BEAD); 91A: __ brulée: custard dessert (CREME); 97A: Over there, back when (YON); 98A: Gear on the slopes (SKI MASK); 100A: Google had one in Aug. 2004 (IPO); 101A: W. Coast enforcer (LAPD); 104A: Letter sign-off (BEST); 106A: Organic compound (ENOL); 109A: Didn't hold, as dyes (BLED); 111A: It'll put you under (OPIATE); 117A: Energizes (REVS UP); 118A: Sky lights (AURORAS); 119A: "Knocked Up" director Judd (APATOW); 120A: Does an usher's job (GREETS); 121A: Football bettor's concern (SPREAD); 122A: Buds at sea (MATEYS); 1D: Inclusive choice (BOTH); 3D: Castmate of Gasteyer, Ferrell et al. (OTERI); 4D: Gas bag (YAKKER); 5D: Dermal opening (EPI-); 6D: Prefix with -gon (DECA); 7D: Son (JUNIOR); 8D: Impulse (URGE); 9D: W.'s degree (MBA); 10D: Blackball (BAN); 11D: Batting next (ON DECK); 12D: Got around (SKIRTED); 13D: Night vision? (DREAM); 15D: "Unfortunately ..." ("ALAS …"); 17D: High regard (ESTEEM); 20D: It may be circled on a calendar (BIG DAY); 23D: Special gifts (KNACKS); 28D: Remote control? (MUTE); 31D: Break (RECESS); 33D: Got a B-minus, say (DID OK); 35D: Traces (SPECKS); 38D: Tavern flier (DART); 39D: Hound (POOCH); 41D: Niagara Falls prov. (ONT.); 42D: Spider, e.g. (ARACHNID); 48D: Phase (FACET); 50D: John or Jane (DOE); 51D: Series of jokes (BIT); 52D: Football stat. (YDS.); 54D: Emulate Don Juan (WOMANIZE); 55D: Gas mileage calculating aid (ODOMETER); 57D: Can't tell which __ up (WAY IS); 58D: Onions partner (LIVER); 59D: Had too much (OD'ED); 62D: Old school add-on? (MARM); 66D: Humiliate (SHAME); 70D: They may be close (SHAVES); 71D: And so forth: Abbr. (ETC.); 73D: Misrepresents (SKEWS); 74D: "I'm talking to you!" ("HEY!"); 75D: Like some gowns (BRIDAL); 79D: Swindler (CROOK); 80D: Seating __ (PLAN); 84D: Parent's reminder (BE GOOD); 86D: J __ Juliet (AS IN); 87D: Brunch drinks (MIMOSAS); 89D: Humans and ostriches, e.g. (BIPEDS); 91D: Many a sci-fi villain (CYBORG); 92D: Former "At the Movies" co-host (ROEPER); 94D: Bring to the majors (CALL UP); 96D: Experimental runner (LAB RAT); 99D: Stays fresh (KEEPS); 102D: Fundraising dinner unit (PLATE); 103D: Plastic duck, e.g. (DECOY); 105D: Subdue by shocking (TASE); 107D: Fried Cajun veggie (OKRA); 110D: Mountain __: sodas (DEWS); 112D: King whose tomb was found in 1922 (TUT); 114D: Bargain bin abbr. (IRR.); 116D: College résumé fig. (GPA).



Pretty easy puzzle for a Sunday… very nice “get the ICK out” theme.
Good fill, nice clues… overall I enjoyed this one. Had a little struggle with the lower lefthand corner, but never had to Google anything, and that’s good.

Liked: EXACTA, ANGIE, AURORAS (I live in one of them), DEFJAM, APATOW, “Neruda works” (POEMS), ARACHNID, “They may be close” (SHAVES), MIMOSAS, POOCH (Hound), and ODOMETER.
Of course BLINTZE and CRÈME brulee made me happiest.

Didn’t like: JUNIOR (Son), CAKY (Like dried soil), FAM and SAY.

Thought PICKLED THE FIFTH was hilarious.

We even hold tribute to our very own Latin king, REX.

I'm always gladf when I can get the puzzle solved before I go to church!
See y'all later!

docmoreau said...

A bit of a strain for me. I'm not a great fan of the "add a triad and get a familiar phrase" puzzles. My wrong guesses were: "sportcar" for 42d "spider, eg" (ARACHNID); "latkes" for 84a "jewish pancake" (BLINTZE); but my best howler was "mate" for 28d "remote control?" (MUTE). Guess that shows you where my head was at.

@LEX BTW Thanks for setting me straight yesterday on that "golf" urban myth. I thought it was fishy.

Al said...

Why are ships called her or she? Because males think they have a sense of humo(u)r:

"A boat is called a she because there's always a great deal of bustle around her...because there's usually a gang of men around...because she has waist and stays...because she takes a lot of paint to keep her looking good...because it's not the initial expense that breaks you, it's the upkeep...because she is all decked out...because it takes a good man to handle her right...because she shows her topside, hides her bottom and, when coming into port, always heads for the buoys."
................George Moses in Falmouth, Massachusetts

Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz put it more succinctly in an address to the Society of Sponsors of the United States Navy: "A ship is always referred to as 'she' because it costs so much to keep one in paint and powder." ............Naval Ceremonies, Customs, and Traditions.

shrub5 said...

Got to love a puzzle that makes HAMSTICKER out of hamster.

@PG: There's a commercial on TV that I see frequently which has a football coach looking back to the time when his players' performance suffered during hot summer practices. He asked the team doctor for suggestions and this eventually led scientists at UF to develop a drink to rehydrate fluid, carbs and electrolytes. GATORADE is now owned by PepsiCo and UF receives royalties.

Very cute hipster puzzlekids with their SHADES!!

Liked "over there, back when" clue for YON and "old school add-on" for MARM.

Van55 said...

I came here expecting the usual FOOFARAW about ICETEA vice ICEDTEA.

Enjoyed the theme, personally. Not so much SSN, IRR, AGT.

Overall a B puzzle for me.

Joon said...

nice theme, great title (ICK incoming!). THE KICKING AND I, PICKLED THE FIFTH are both great. and WICKED LOCK is quite clever.

the fill was fine, too. it's patently unfair to complain about the worst short answers in a sunday-sized puzzle. they're just so big that you're going to have some entries that aren't great. and answers like SSN and IRR aren't even clunkers; they're perfectly acceptable, common, and eminently gettable from their clues. i don't even remember them after filling them in, as opposed to a really awful entry (of which this grid had none). highlights: YAKKER, DEF JAM, CYBORG, APATOW. i also liked the clues for DREAM, HEY, MATH, and AURORAS.

lit.doc said...

What an excellent Sunday for crossword fun! The NYT’s theme wasn’t as much fun as was this one, but this puzzle was much easier, which is to say more relaxing—though I do concur in Puzzle Girl’s gentle vexation with the fact that Sunday puzzles are “just so big”. And a big “attaboy” to Peter Wentz for this puzzle’s accessible fill and funny theme answers.

The online version smunched up the clue-hint title, but I could make out “Gross Inco…”, so I was guessing something like “gross incompletion” = “add letters to common words/phrases to create something wacky” (as Rex observed over on the NYT blog, “you know the drill”). Said guess proved sufficient unto the day, as I spotted the theme device at THE KICKING AND I, and went with ICK instead of KIC on the theory that “gross” ruled out anagrams of c, i, and k.

Done and still smiling at 33:21.


I loved this puzzle, but I loved your writeup even moreso.
Omigosh, those Puzzlekids with the SHADES are the cutest kids in the world...now I'm sure that's something that you and I can agree on.

Speaking of cute kids, that SNL clip on chess tournaments reminds me of this photo of mine---
Checkmate In Four Moves - Chicago Chess Pavilion 2004

Anonymous said...

Is there an xwordinfo site for LAT puzzles? I love that site but it only has NYT crosswords. Somebody must have one for LAT, right?


badspeller said...

Did anybody else try "pled the flute" for the liquor bottle?

I knew about Gatorade and John Madden.

Messed up on the director as I
thought Howard was the first name
and I seem to recall one name
Alk or Ard. Once I got the cross
letters I was kicking myself.

The theme clues were cute but pretty hard to get forme.

Nice to know the Stones hit after never having heard of Elton John's "Island Girl" yesterday.

xyz said...

Liked this puzzle, made a total mess of NW, that's always good for a laugh when you cannot get started in the first corner. (NOT)

Did not know OTERI and really could not get BUOYED, oh well. Rest was fun including the theme.

GATORADE (from a real UF Gator, Track&Field 1969-1972) was developed by Robert Cade, M.D., a Nephrologist*. *(a medical Kidney specialist) Never seen NEPHRO in a puzzle ... The idea is isotonicity of electrolytes to make absorption mre efficient. We used to drink tons of it and eat Glucose tablets to get going, I drew the line at steroids so I sucked at the Shot, never making 60 feet and discus never making 170 feet. Cade also advised on an isotonic alcoholic beverage called HOPPIN' GATOR which was an orange-hinted malt beverage that being isotonic was absorbed "more easily" and more efficiently, letting a Gator get Hoppin' faster. It was pretty tasty, too, but short-lived. Now there are lots of citrus hinted beers, just ahead of its time. He happened to die last year.

Cr*p, now I miss being 20. :-)

Anonymous said...

Anybody know the lead singer of Fall Out Boy?

Pete Wentz (not the same however)