SUNDAY, May 2, 2010 — Jared Banta (syndicated)

Theme: "Schwalterations" — The schwa sound in familiar phrases is changed to the word of 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 today's syndicated puzzle.]

Theme answers:
  • 23A: Passion for Ferris wheels and funnel cakes? (TORRID LOVE OF FAIRS).
  • 40A: Bozeman native named after a "Star Wars" character? (HAN OF MONTANA).
  • 66A: Mom's bearing? (AIR OF PARENT).
  • 74A: Mary Poppins outburst? (HOOT OF NANNY).
  • 98A: Math class curse? (HEX OF DECIMAL).
  • 117A: Occasion to hang up the fangs? (RETIREMENT OF COUNT).
  • 3D: Country's military organization? (CORPS OF NATION).
  • 61D: Describe a trip to work? (TELL OF COMMUTE).
Crosswordese 101 Round-Up:
  • 44A: Schrödinger equation symbols (PSIS).
  • 48A: Grass bristle (AWN).
  • 122A: Muse of poetry (ERATO).
  • 12D: Literary collections (ANAS).
  • 72D: New Age superstar (ENYA).
Everything Else — 1A: Start of a kids' learning song (ABCDE); 6A: It may be spiked (PUNCH); 11A: Prof's pointer (LASER); 16A: Disposed (APT); 19A: Mid-ninth century pope (LEO IV); 20A: Italian town NW of Venice (ASOLO); 21A: Get used (to) (INURE); 22A: Former CNN anchor Dobbs (LOU); 26A: Is for all of us? (ARE); 27A: iPhone add-on (APP); 28A: "Eureka!" ("AHA!"); 29A: Least scarce (AMPLEST); 30A: Runs (COSTS); 32A: Strikes a chord (RESONATES); 35A: One may be yellow or chocolate (LAB); 36A: Ignited (SPARKED); 38A: Affected type (SNOB); 39A: Spot playmate (REX); 42A: Mattress spec (FIRM); 46A: Ray, Jay or A (ALER); 47A: Super Bowl XLIV runner-up, briefly (INDY); 50A: Built from (MADE OF); 52A: Amt. (QTY.); 53A: AM frequency meas. (KHZ); 55A: Uses a sickle, say (REAPS); 57A: Taking the place (of) (IN LIEU); 59A: Diggs of "Rent" (TAYE); 61A: How-__: instruction books (TOS); 64A: Grub (EATS); 65A: One-named Nigerian singer (SADE); 69A: Isolde's lover (TRISTAN); 71A: Carmen, e.g. (MEZZO); 73A: Silent film star who played Carmen in "Blood and Sand" (1922) (LILA LEE); 76A: Start of a run (SNAG); 78A: Like molasses in January (SLOW); 79A: "King Kong" heroine (ANN); 80A: "Wow!" ("GEEZ!"); 81A: Affirmative reply (YES I AM); 83A: Was brilliant (SHONE); 84A: Coldcocks, briefly (KOS); 85A: __ Maria: liqueur (TIA); 87A: Resulting from this (HEREBY); 89A: G-man (FED); 90A: It stops at la estación (TREN); 93A: "__ Three Lives": '50s TV drama (I LED); 95A: Swiss capital (BERN); 96A: "South Park" kid (ERIC); 101A: Book end? (-ISH); 103A: Tip respectfully (DOFF); 106A: Red Sea nation (ERITREA); 107A: "Whether __ nobler ...": Hamlet ('TIS); 108A: Cookie nut (MACADAMIA); 110A: Social order (CASTE); 111A: Sugar pill, say (PLACEBO); 114A: Land in l'océan (ILE); 115A: Half a cocktail (MAI); 116A: Ignited (LIT); 121A: Consume (USE); 123A: Be hospitable to (ASK IN); 124A: Haitian capital? (AITCH); 125A: Place to turn in (BED); 126A: Full at the table (SATED); 127A: Wine characteristics (NOSES); 128A: Turns tail (FLEES); 1D: Wedding settings (ALTARS); 2D: Show willingness to listen (BE OPEN); 4D: Compass pt. (DIR.); 5D: Dasani competitor (EVIAN); 6D: Taste (PALATE); 7D: GI support gp. (USO); 8D: Celestial phenomena (NOVAS); 9D: Pitcher Labine of the '50s Dodgers (CLEM); 10D: To-dos (HOOPLAS); 11D: One of 20 on the Titanic (LIFEBOAT); 13D: "I'm down with that" ("SUITS ME"); 14D: Get knocked out of the spelling bee (ERR); 15D: Checkout correction, perhaps (RESCAN); 16D: Sarah Palin, e.g. (ALASKAN); 17D: Forebode (PORTEND); 18D: Third in a sequence (TUESDAY); 24D: Greg's TV partner (DHARMA); 25D: Spanish dessert (FLAN); 31D: David __, baseball's "Big Papi" (ORTIZ); 33D: Geisha's band (OBI); 34D: Consume (EXPEND); 37D: Last speaker in many an old cartoon (PORKY PIG); 40D: LP player (HI-FI); 41D: Reach via jet (FLY TO); 43D: Hotel units: Abbr. (RMS.); 45D: Grave (SOLEMN); 48D: Big name in soul (ARETHA); 49D: Become annoying to (WEAR ON); 51D: Senator Feinstein (DIANNE); 52D: Surprise in class (QUIZ); 54D: Make good as new (HEAL); 56D: Sibilant "Ahem!" ("PSST!"); 58D: Rapper who feuded with Dr. Dre (EAZY-E); 60D: Ignited (AFLAME); 62D: Common soccer score (ONE-ONE); 63D: Worried (STEWED); 65D: Good place to err (SAFE SIDE); 67D: More promising (ROSIER); 68D: Foolhardy (RASH); 70D: Like some orders (TO GO); 75D: San Diego State athlete (AZTEC); 77D: Aslan's land (NARNIA); 82D: "Where the Sidewalk Ends" poet Silverstein (SHEL); 83D: Six-Day War country: Abbr. (SYR.); 84D: California berry farm founder (KNOTT); 86D: Mushers' race (IDITAROD); 88D: Interest (BEHALF); 90D: Auto security device hawked in infomercials (THE CLUB); 91D: Poker ploy (RERAISE); 92D: Was once there (EXISTED); 94D: Grabbed, as an opportunity (LEAPT AT); 95D: One playing near a bag? (BASEMAN); 97D: Mrs. McKinley (IDA); 99D: Bordeaux brothers (FRÈRES); 100D: They rest on pads (MICE); 102D: Progeny (SCIONS); 104D: Groom-to-be (FIANCÉ); 105D: Belief systems (FAITHS); 108D: Frock wearers (MONKS); 109D: Regular alternative (DECAF); 112D: Dieter's word (LITE); 113D: "I should __ lucky" (BE SO); 118D: Important period (ERA); 119D: 62-Down game, e.g. (TIE); 120D: Manet, maybe (OIL).


Van55 said...

I got more "annoyment" than enjoyment out of this puzzle that was just way too full of crappy fill for me. It started with 1A -- ABCDE -- and went downhill.

I also thought the theme was pretty strained.

Not my cup of tea today.

Anonymous said...

I get the actual LA Times and it has today's date (May 2 2010), but the puzzle by Sylvia Bursztyn is a repeat of her Sunday, April 18 puzzle titled "Last Dance".

Do you usually get the puzzle on-line?

lit.doc said...

Clever theme. Got the “of” device, so far as I needed it for solving, with 3D. But it wasn’t till I was looking over my notes on the printed grid that I finally got it. I’d been trying to make sense of “‘schw’ alterations” the whole time, instead of “scwha”. Now I like the theme twice as much.

The fill was good too. The only CW101 word that leapt out at me was 48A AWN. The WTFs here and there, like 59A “Diggs of “Rent” (why oh why can’t a big-city newspaper editor put titles in italics?!) were gettable from the crosses. Nary a natick I could spot.

Also enjoyed the mini-theme triptics. “Runs”: 1A ABCDE, 18D [Sunday, Monday,] TUESDAY, and 76A SNAG (nice misdirection). “Fire”: 36A “Ignited = SPARKED”, 60D “Ignited” (again!) = AFLAME, and 116A “Ignited” (yet again!) = LIT.

Evidence of CW101clue-type progress here: got 124A “Haitian capital” from the initial A.

Only clue cavil was 115A. Seems to me that clues of the form “Doubled, a…” or, as here, “Half a…” should be repeating words or syllables, as in the ever-popular TSE-TSE.

@Anon 9:51, I always solve online, and the dead-tree and online puzzles are always different. Normally, there's at least a brief write-up of both here, but I imagine RP, PG, and Orange are busy getting home from the LA CW tournament.

Orange said...

Anon, Sylvia reported on the Cruciverb mailing list that there was a mix-up, and her 4/18 puzzle was printed in today's paper. The mistake was discovered too late to be fixed, alas. If you want to do the puzzle she intended to have in today's paper, it's online here.

@litdoc, I didn't go to L.A.!

PurpleGuy said...

I will be terse and succinct :
This puzzle sucked. Found no enjoyment at all.
Wasn't worth my time.

CrazyCat said...

I am in agreement with @Van55 and @ Purple Guy. This puzzle made me really cranky. I was thinking that maybe it was from attempting to solve all five puzzles yesterday at Crosswords LA which almost caused my poor, simple brain to explode. But, no, it's this puzzle.

The tournament was so much fun! I'll write more tomorrow.

Tinbeni said...

@Van55, PurpleGuy & CCL
I usually make a few notes of stuff I liked (circle the clue #) or dislike (cram in notes about answers that were obscure, or stupid IMO, etc.).

I did like the PORKY PIG clue. Well, that covers the
"liked part."

Welcome to my all time Sunday, I disliked this puzzle, worksheet. I have no extra room around the edges of my newspaper grid.

Surfice to say EAZYE, the rapper, ASOLO, the town, INDY, the team really known briefly as "the Colts," LILA LEE, a 20's silent actor, TAYE, Diggs in Rent, AITCH, is a spelled out H?, WTF, I could go on and on, believe me. Then throw in "THE THEME" which I politely say, Sucked! Well, you get the idea.

Not my Sunday's "snifter of scotch!"

@ORANGE: Thanks for Eric's report at your "Diary of a Crossword Fiend" and I am glad to know that over the next two weeks we will be doing the puzzles.

Anonymous said...

The Sunday crossword for us, too, was a repeat of an older puzzle entitled "Last Dance" By the way, Sylvia's puzzles are vastly superior to those of the alternate week's puzzle maker.

Maestro said...

Unfortunately, I "got it" way early on with the 'schwa' deal. Learned nothing, felt nothing. Now I understand the meaning of the word peevish, which is the way I felt during and after.......

livingston2 said...

Wondering if you caught this?

Sundays Crossword is a Repeat by mistake??

Susan Whishaw said...

Could someone please explain, in a very simple way, what the "schwa" thing is all about. I finished the puzzle, which I didn't like at all, but did it with no help from the clue!!

Orange said...

Susan, here's how I explained it at Diary of a Crossword Fiend:

Eight phrases or words that contain a schwa (unstressed and vague vowel sound). Phrases with “of” often elide the “f” so the word sounds like a schwa all by itself, as in “a real piece of work” sounding like “a real piece-uh work.” In this puzzle, those phrases get the supposed-to-be-there schwa replaced with “of,” with the surrounding words’ spelling changed as needed to make a plausible {__ of __} phrase. Not the shortest theme explanation, is it?


Sorry for the late postings of my comments... I'm back on the road again.

Got the schwa thing and did solve the puzzle totally correct and with no help from Google. But it took me hours (yes, hours), much agony, and I agree with others... it was just plain annoying.
Probably the worst puzzle of the year!
The theme clues were just plain corny (not punny or funny at all).
Some of the entries and clues were a total stretch of proper crosswording. AITCH for "H"? Yuck!
"Coldcocks" for knockout (KO)... I could think of a much better word for this, but I won't go there.
And who the heck remembers LILA LEE?
I thought of many words for Sarah Palin before I came up with ALASKAN.
Still can't figure out 46A (ALER). Anyone, anyone?

The only good part of this puzzle was SADE.

Oh yeah, and of course, PORKY PIG, created by Mel Blanc. Just to say---
(BTW, I put that Porky Pig figure on Mel's gravesite... cool, huh?)

Susan Whishaw said...

Orange, thank you for your kind explanation! I think I get it now. :) Good on ya!

shrub5 said...

ALER is AL-er or American League -er (baseball).

brainylagirl said...

Was disappointed that the Sunday puzzle in the print version of the paper was a repeat from a couple of weeks ago. Lame error, LAT!! The crossword is about the only reason I still subscribe to the paper.

Anonymous said...

I don't "like" or "dislike" any LAT Sunday puzzles' content. I only like or dislike the ease or lack of it of solving them! And this one took me all week!