SUNDAY, March 14, 2010 — Don Gagliardo (syndicated)

Theme: "Why Not" — Theme answers are familiar phrases with the final Y missing. Wackiness ensues.

[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: Attire at the UN? (WORLDWEAR).
  • 25A: Loaner policeman? (COURTESY COP).
  • 40A: Final step in a marksman's manual? (FIRE WHEN READ).
  • 53A: Fairway shot that goes in the hole? (DRAMATIC IRON).
  • 71A: Autograph candy for the Halloween visitor? (SIGN A TREAT).
  • 74A: Lawyer's sure thing? (MIGHTY CASE).
  • 87A: "Grey's Anatomy" leading man? (CLINICAL STUD).
  • 102A: Unexpected piece in a chicken order? (SURPRISE PART).
  • 119A: Russian rodent's approval? (GROUND HOG DA).
  • 122A: Dentistry expo? (TOOTH FAIR).
Crosswordese 101 Round-Up:
  • 1A: Heathrow landers until 2003, briefly (SSTS).
  • 27A: Ontario-born hockey legend (ORR).
  • 31A: River of Germany (EDER).
  • 49A: B'way sellout sign (SRO).
  • 78A: Sch. that had a Roger Williams Dining Center (URI).
  • 112A: Bird that probes mud for food (IBIS).
  • 114A: Scatter supreme (ELLA).
  • 44D: Kaffiyeh-clad ruler (EMIR).
  • 65D: Sigma follower (TAU).
Everything Else — 1A: Heathrow landers until 2003, briefly (SSTS); 5A: Cookbook meas. (TBSP.); 9A: Hunt down (TRACE); 14A: "All Day Strong" medication (ALEVE); 19A: Without __: riskily (A NET); 20A: Discipline (AREA); 21A: Tranquil disciplines (YOGAS); 22A: Pesto herb (BASIL); 27A: Ontario-born hockey legend (ORR); 28A: Suffix with Capri (-OTE); 29A: Film doctor with 7 faces (LAO); 31A: River of Germany (EDER); 32A: Scale sequence (SO LA); 33A: Tolkien ringbearer (FRODO); 35A: National park near Springdale, Utah (ZION); 37A: Blastoff follower (ASCENT); 39A: Abode: Abbr. (RES.); 43A: Liqueur in a godfather cocktail (AMARETTO); 45A: Rope loops (NOOSES); 46A: Hoot (RIOT); 48A: '60s-'70s hot spot (NAM); 49A: B'way sellout sign (SRO); 52A: Barre move (PLIE); 58A: Peerage member (EARL); 60A: Rajiv's mother (INDIRA); 62A: "Boola Boola" singer (ELI); 63A: Pull up stakes, slangily (RELO); 64A: Dolts (IDIOTS); 66A: Uncertain word (MAY); 67A: __ about: meddles (NOSES); 70A: Enero, e.g. (MES); 76A: Longtime Tom Petty label (MCA); 77A: Putting to work (USING); 78A: Sch. that had a Roger Williams Dining Center (URI); 79A: "Swan Lake" swan (ODETTE); 80A: Pet food brand (IAMS); 82A: 401, in old Rome (CDI); 83A: Five-time speed skating gold medalist Eric (HEIDEN); 86A: Neutral hue (ECRU); 91A: Rainbow goddess (IRIS); 93A: Sam-I-Am's meat (HAM); 94A: Digital comm. method (ASL); 95A: FEMA part: Abbr. (EMER.); 96A: Quixote's squire Panza (SANCHO); 98A: Some cigarette boxes (FLIPTOPS); 107A: Terhune dog (LAD); 108A: Quick court contest (ONE SET); 110A: Multi-talented Danny (KAYE); 111A: First name in fragrances (ESTÉE); 112A: Bird that probes mud for food (IBIS); 114A: Scatter supreme (ELLA); 115A: Scribble (down) (JOT); 116A: Followers of mis (FAS); 118A: Little amphibian (EFT); 125A: Corner (HEM IN); 126A: Hi-fi pioneer Fisher (AVERY); 127A: Mark's successor (EURO); 128A: Pres. Carter's alma mater (USNA); 129A: Flavor (TASTE); 130A: Frawley role (MERTZ); 131A: Tease (RIDE); 132A: English horn, e.g. (REED); 1D: Said "Bon voyage!" to (SAW OFF); 2D: "Edda" author __ Sturluson (SNORRI); 3D: Holy one? (TERROR); 4D: N.L. cap letters (STL); 5D: Verb for Tweety (TAWT); 6D: Arrives casually (BREEZES IN); 7D: Vast expanse (SEA); 8D: Settee settings (PARLORS); 9D: Big name in little trains (TYCO); 10D: Milne baby (ROO); 11D: Fits of fever (AGUES); 12D: Bygone library feature (CARD CATALOG); 13D: Admiration (ESTEEM); 14D: Toning targets (ABS); 15D: Chip brand (LAYS); 16D: Arm offerer (ESCORT); 17D: Bath salts scent (VIOLET); 18D: City near Ciudad Juárez (EL PASO); 24D: Street corner genre (DOO-WOP); 26D: Elvira's lover, in a Verdi opera (ERNANI); 30D: Hydrocarbon suffix (-ANE); 34D: Place for a La-Z-Boy (DEN); 36D: "__ a vacation!" (I NEED); 37D: 1998 Sarah McLachlan song (ADIA); 38D: __ II razor (TRAC); 41D: New Age gurus (HOLISTS); 42D: It may be imposing (ARRAY); 44D: Kaffiyeh-clad ruler (EMIR); 47D: "__: The Final Conflict": 1981 horror sequel (OMEN III); 49D: Groundbreaking? (SEISMIC); 50D: Groundbreaking (RADICAL); 51D: Paper tiger, perhaps (ORIGAMI); 53D: "Fiddlesticks!" ("DRAT!"); 54D: Gomez's wife, affectionately (TISH); 55D: Chance to get even (REMATCH); 56D: Fat substitute (OLESTRA); 57D: Tiny gnat (NO-SEE-UM); 59D: Chaney of horror (LON); 61D: Poetry movement promoted by Amy Lowell (IMAGISM); 65D: Sigma follower (TAU); 68D: Some athletic shoes (ETONICS); 69D: Chaplin's half brother (SYD); 72D: Costa __ (RICA); 73D: 1981 Ross/Richie duet (ENDLESS LOVE); 74D: Wilbur's horse (MR. ED); 75D: 2.0 (CEE); 78D: Freedom, in Swahili (UHURU); 81D: Cinch (SNAP); 84D: Book with a key (DIARY); 85D: "Sixteen Tons" singer (ERNIE FORD); 88D: "This __ certify ..." (IS TO); 89D: Duplicated (CLONED); 90D: Driving need? (TEST); 92D: "Jeepers!" ("SHEESH!"); 96D: Frying pan mishap (SPATTER); 97D: Word after photo (OPS); 98D: Standby's desire (FLIGHT); 99D: Tar pits locale (LABREA); 100D: Language learner's challenges (IDIOMS); 101D: The "P" in P.G. Wodehouse (PELHAM); 103D: Studio that made nine of the ten Astaire/Rogers films (RKO); 104D: Feeling no stress (AT EASE); 105D: Make genteel (REFINE); 106D: Monopoly's railroads, e.g. (TETRAD); 109D: Psyched up (EAGER); 113D: Exec (SUIT); 115D: Rapper who co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records (JAY-Z); 117D: Stub __ (A TOE); 120D: 22.5 deg. (NNE); 121D: "__ & the Women": 2000 Gere film (DR. T); 123D: Non's opposite (OUI); 124D: It may fly in a fight (FUR).


lit.doc said...

@Puzzle Girl, where’s your signature flower this morning?

Thank you, Don Gagliardo, for a very pleasant thirty-some minutes of solving. The theme was clever, all the theme answers were fun(ny), and the theme density was impressive.

Unless I’m missing something, there’s an error at 32A—the solfege scale is Do Re Mi Fa SOL LA Ti Do. And I wonder if anyone will call “natick” on the ORR/SNORRI (who?!) cross. Glad I knew of Bobby Orr.

Hadn’t gotten bitten by a NO SEE ‘EM for quite a while. Laugh every time I see the word.

Orange said...

@lit.doc, you're gonna have to take that up with "The Sound of Music," which taught the non-musically minded that the note's name sounds like "sew." The dictionaries generally say "also 'so'" at the entries for sol.

hazel said...

@PG -it seems as if real life has completely overtaken you. talk about a get er done write-up. here's to your getting a bit of time to yourself today. or time with your family waiting on you, whichever you prefer....

the puzzle - harumph. not impressed. of course, it absolutely paled in comparison to the NYT, but on its own legs, it just seemed a bit bedraggled. I'm generally not a fan of wackiness, but this was sort of the antithesis to that - and I think I may like the anti-wack even less.

Jalmar said...

So or Sol.

Tinbeni said...

Along with the mosquito, the No-SEE-UM, is the unofficial Fla. State Bird.

After Saturdays Ass Kicking, this one got my self-ESTEEM back.
Got the theme quickly, groaned at practically each one.
IAMS, Today I knew the pet food.
ASL, Digital Comm. was good.
AMARETTO in a Godfather, better.
But what is in a Scotch, neat?

SNORRI who? WTH. Never heard of the book EDDA either.

Costa RICA, watch out, Rush is coming.

Van55 said...

Starting with SSTS and TBSP put me off this puzzle at first. I did warm to it a bit. Theme was OK. Loved TAWT for some reason. Guess I am a Tweety fan.

lit.doc said...

@Orange, right you are. Checked my American Heritage, and, indeed, sol/so it is. Much as I hate being wrong, in a case like this I’d much rather it be me than the constructor (hence my “unless I’m missing something” qualifier). Thanks.

@Hazel the no longer evil, your comparison of this and the NYT puzzled raises an interesting issue regarding evaluative discourse (and please rest assured that none of what follows is intended as criticism of your comments).

I’ll certainly grant that Caleb’s puzzle is, technically, a good deal more ambitious (and successfully so), while maintaining that Don’s puzzle is about as immaculate a construction as one could hope for from a 31x (with none of the glitches in Caleb’s puzzle commented on in several NYT posts).

The difference lies, I think, not in the relative merits or deficit thereof of the respective puzzles, but in the solving experience that we want and expect on any given day of the week. I really do want my brain to smoke on Thursday and Saturday (and Friday’s ok too, if it’s not quite so evil as Thursday). But on Sunday, I really want to relax, drink coffee, while away some pleasant minutes working through the big grid, and experience a comfortable sense of accomplishment.

The same issue comes up in discussions of music, literature, movies, and so on. The discourse would be much improved if we all were more careful to distinguish when we’re actually critiquing aspects of the puzzle itself from when we’re actually reporting our own personal reactions, colored as they are by each our own desires and expectations.

lit.doc said...

@Tinbeni, LOL re the Florida state birds. And I’m here to scotch any rumors that civilized individuals in this great country of ours would deign to dishonor the word “neat” by adding anything to The Real Thing (be it scotch or whiskey, I hasten to add) with anything but more of The Real Thing.

Lit-geek TMI alert. Snorri Sturlson (no, I’d never heard of him either) was a 13th c. Icelandic poet who wrote the Prose Edda (which I have heard of), an historically important narrative of Norse mythology (cf. Poetic Edda).

shrub5 said...

@Tinbeni: same as you re: SNORRI/Edda.

Funniest: Russian rodent's approval GROUNDHOG DA.

Had some trouble with this puz, googles ensued. ERNANI, ETONICS, SYD Chaplin, UHURU.

Love DOO-WOP music -- kinda forgot about its street corner origins. Stared at HEMIN (for 125A Corner) a long time until I realized it was HEM IN. D'oh. Haven't seen HOLISTS (noun) before.

Very nice Sunday treat -- thanks Don G.

Eddie Q said...

I would like to personally thank my pack of FLIP-TOP Marlboros for giving me the answer to 98A.

JaJaJoe said...

While I have some to go yet on this puzzle today, here's a duo-by-one hoot to see/hear mouthing 73Down: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3b4lKhvaeU

Ps: 'Wonder whether Amy embedded in any of her blogs the 'Word-A-Day for Smarties Duet' video-link as e-shared recently with her Orangeness.

hazel said...

@lit doc - I try not to compare puzzles (consciously, at least) when commenting because the LAT & NYT are just apples and oranges and I do both a disservice by making comparisons.

So, I'm actually sorry I mentioned the NYT puzzle - which I can't escape - did have a big WOW factor for me. I know without a doubt it colored my opinion when I did this puzzle. But, even when I look back at the grid now, it still seems just ho hum, so that the solve just wasn't that pleasant for me. Instead of the relaxing hot bath that was yesterday's LAT puzzle, this one was more like a tepid (really coldish) shower at a state park campground.

I understand yr pt. re distinguishing between the attributes of the puzzle itself and my own rxn to it - and recognize that I have a tendency to report my rxn. I don't know enough about the technical aspects of puzzlemaking to be a critic in that regard. Rather, I just know what I like and don't like - thanks in part to the education I've gotten at these blogs!

Good point. Thank you for bringing it up!

Tinbeni said...

Lit.doc. & Hazel
I think all comparisons are an individual thing.
What is easy or fun for one, may be tough or yuck for another, and visa versa.
Tomorrow has a ONE SET REMATCH that MAY catch my fancy or not. No biggie either way.

Here at the LAT comments, it has come down to a personal Blues Brothers moment.
I'm "On a mission from God."
Ales, Beers, Champagne, Wines, Bourbon, Gin, Rum, Tequila, Vodka, Whiskey (Irish or otherwise) Mixed Cocktails, Cordials, Liqueurs (like todays AMARETTO) even Alcopops all come out to play.
And with them the constructors play dirty.

AT least my TASTE in Scotch is NEAT.

CrazyCat said...

Much less angst today after yesterday's butt whacker. Nice big,easy puzzle and I thought the theme was fun. My favorites were SURPRISE PART and GROUNDHOG DA. Unknowns were SNORRI and UHURU. Thought Tranquil disciplines, YOGAS was a little sketchy. There are different styles of YOGA, and you can have the plural YOGIS, but YOGAS seems to be a far reach. Just a nit pick. Other than that all was fine.
Now on to the Calendar section Merle Reagle puzzle.

I now do the the Monday through Thursday NYT puzzle, if time allows. They feel, to me, like the LAT did about a year ago when I first started doing CWs. I don't even look at the Friday to Sunday puzzles - way too scary.
@Hazel I'm glad you've gone from evil back to friendly. What's a Tutter?

Tinbeni said...

@To all
I only had my earlier rant because
the Avatar gets "no respect!"

Godfather: 1.5 oz Scotch, 0.5 oz AMARETTO
75% GOOD Stuff yet 25% gets the clue/answer. WTF!

There are over 100 Scotch Mixed Drinks. Rusty Nail, Rob Roy, hell there is one called the Dirty Duck. Yuck!!!
(Good thing I found that 'Y' ...)

All you need is a glass (snifter is best) a bottle of Scotch and pour (No jigger measure required).

'nough said.

hazel said...

@ SLDG - good question!!

a tutter is someone who likes crossword puzzles and the goodwill they can create in a community.

And a tut is a means for rating a puzzle. Today's puzzle only earned one tut.

CrazyCat said...

@Tinbeni - Oh Mother of God take a chill pill. Just so you know, I had a neat, single malt scotch last night. Actually, I can't remember anything that happened after that. It tasted good going down though.

Tinbeni said...

@Senora Loca del Gato

Oy Vey & SHEESH!
Okh, this shikken un perro only thinks Yogis is a Yankee great and and a hungry OSO.

I'm finally sipping something ...
Had to wait an extra hour for Happy Hours

CrazyCat said...

@Hazel - oh yes, the tuts from Friday.
@Tinbeni - I'm glad you sprang/sprung ahead. It's a PITA when you lose an hour of sleep.

lit.doc said...

@La Señora de la gata lo mas loca, not knowing the UHURU thingy speaks well of your youth. Uhuru was a character on the original Star Trek series (I can see her yet, back in the bong-blurred early '70s) played, appropriately vis-a-vis the name's etymology, by a black woman. Rhymes with "mnemonic".

@Tinbeni, my position is that if a distilled liquor is suitable for mixing into a drink, it's time to get better liquor. "Neat" is the way and the light.

CrazyCat said...

@lit.doc I missed out on early Star Trek because I was going to college and participating in extracurricular activities.


Very cute clues and a nice theme. Ten theme words in a 21 x 21, now I'm impressed. Don, did a nice job with this one even though I found a couple of naticks and had to use Google. But I sure don't mind being stumped by a bunch of fresh new words like UHURU, IMAGISM, Edda & SNORRI, ENDLESS LOVE, SANCHO, ODETTE, and SYD Chaplin.

Maybe 87A should be better clued as "sperm donor" (CLINICAL STUD).

When I was in California in 2008, I was very impressed by the LA BREA TAR PITS
The locals said that I was weird.

Loved FRODO and the whole set of Tolkein allegories. Fave ones were the Silmarillion and the Hobbit.

We had ADIA a few weeks ago, but I still like the way Sarah McLachlan sings that.

I'd really like to be cooking with this kind of BASIL.

Time for some AMARETTO-flavored coffee! I NEED a vacation!