SUNDAY, May 30, 2010 — Harvey Estes

Theme: "Divided Countries" — Country names can be found hidden in the theme answers.

[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:
  • 27A: Weather unit (DEGREE CELSIUS).
  • 100A: Country divided in 27-Across (GREECE).

  • 45A: "I'm outa here" ("TIME TO GO HOME").
  • 22A: Country divided in 45-Across (TOGO).

  • 58A: Like always (AS PER USUAL).
  • 79D: Country divided in 58-Across (PERU).

  • 77A: Makes a special effort (TAKES PAINS).
  • 68D: Country divided in 77-Across (SPAIN).

  • 89A: FleetCenter predecessor (BOSTON GARDEN).
  • 3D: Country divided in 89-Across (TONGA).

  • 111A: Without breaking the rules (FAIR AND SQUARE).
  • 122A: Country divided in 111-Across (IRAN).

  • 16D: Donne words before "entire of itself" (NO MAN IS AN ISLAND).
  • 48D: Country divided in 16-Down (OMAN).

  • 44D: Words sung before placing hand to hip (I'M A LITTLE TEAPOT).
  • 56A: Country divided in 44-Down (MALI).
Everything Else — 1A: __-mouth (MOTOR); 6A: Bethlehem visitors (MAGI); 10A: Ennui (BLAHS); 15A: Piece of cake (SNAP); 19A: Superior to (ABOVE); 20A: Like a dust bowl (ARID); 21A: Bug (EAT AT); 23A: Established districts (ZONED); 24A: Shade of blue (NILE); 25A: On the move (ASTIR); 26A: Ed who played Mingo on "Daniel Boone" (AMES); 30A: Like a good knight (GALLANT); 32A: Flat-pancake filler (AS A); 33A: Silents star Jannings (EMIL); 34A: Power source (ATOM); 36A: Puts in a bad light (TAINTS); 37A: Deposed '70s despot (AMIN); 38A: Request to Fido (BEG); 40A: Fund-raising targets (ALUMNI); 42A: Punxsutawney prophet (PHIL); 49A: Sunblock letters (SPF); 52A: Word with strip or relief (COMIC); 54A: "Is it soup __?" (YET); 55A: Tyler Perry's "Diary of __ Black Woman" (A MAD); 57A: Cruising locale (SEA); 62A: "Star Wars Episode II" attack force (CLONES); 64A: More 47-Down (LANKER); 66A: Rural room renter (INN); 67A: Cattle drive need (LARIAT); 68A: Bashes (SHINDIGS); 70A: Colony resident (ANT); 71A: Strikes, e.g. (PROTESTS); 73A: General nicknamed "Old Blood and Guts" (PATTON); 74A: Start of a simple game (TIC); 75A: Poet Amy (LOWELL); 76A: Lets out, say (ALTERS); 80A: Fearful reverence (AWE); 83A: Troubles (ILLS); 84A: Went lickety-split (TORE); 85A: Canadian prov. whose capital is Charlottetown (PEI); 86A: Cartridge contents (TONER); 88A: Wedding notice word (NÉE); 94A: Says further (ADDS); 95A: "Growing Pains" star Alan (THICKE); 97A: Sch. with a Lima campus (OSU); 98A: Three-piece suit piece (VEST); 102A: Swedish import (SAAB); 105A: West Wing adjunct (AIDE); 106A: One not acting well (HAM); 109A: Cracks up over (ROARS AT); 115A: Rover's bowlful (ALPO); 116A: Polite turndown (NO SIR); 118A: Bad marks in high school? (ACNE); 119A: Racing family name (UNSER); 120A: Dark purple fruit (SLOE); 121A: Emcee's task (INTRO); 123A: Lapel attachment (ID TAG); 124A: Strokes (PETS); 125A: Colorado ski mecca (ASPEN); 126A: Bit of progress, figuratively (DENT); 127A: 11-Down feature (NOOSE); 1D: Publisher of Zoom-Zoom magazine (MAZDA); 2D: English horn relatives (OBOES); 4D: Superior to (OVER); 5D: Turn in for money (REDEEM); 6D: "The Pink Panther Theme" composer (MANCINI); 7D: Disney mermaid (ARIEL); 8D: Breathing organ (GILL); 9D: Caesar's big date (IDES); 10D: Humdinger (BEAUT); 11D: Will Rogers prop (LASSO); 12D: Communications co. (ATT); 13D: Nixon chief of staff (HAIG); 14D: Bedrock, e.g. (STRATUM); 15D: Big Red (STALIN); 17D: Bond, for one (AGENT); 18D: Newsgroup messages (POSTS); 28D: Send out (EMIT); 29D: He did a Moor good, then harm (IAGO); 31D: Rich fabric (LAMÉ); 35D: Taj __ (MAHAL); 37D: Ring icon (ALI); 38D: Cold draft (BEER); 39D: Brute's rebuke? (ET TU); 41D: City served by Ben-Gurion airport (LOD); 42D: IBM products (PCS); 43D: Tilling tool (HOE); 46D: Mike of "54" (MYERS); 47D: Very thin (GAUNT); 50D: Fabric fold (PLEAT); 51D: Weapons of the unarmed (FISTS); 53D: Straight shooting, so to speak (CANDOR); 56D: Gourmet mushroom (MOREL); 59D: Hides (SKINS); 60D: Hanging convenience (PEG); 61D: "__ you asked ..." (SINCE); 62D: Circus employee (CLOWN); 63D: Hot gossip, with "the" (LATEST); 65D: Forks over, with "up" (ANTES); 69D: Berry of "Monster's Ball" (HALLE); 70D: Pulitzer-winning poet Conrad __ (AIKEN); 71D: Flannel shirt pattern (PLAID); 72D: Lyon king (ROI); 74D: Island starch source (TARO); 77D: Shopping aids (TOTES); 78D: Bathroom luxuries (SPAS); 81D: United (WED); 82D: "Grey's Anatomy" settings, briefly (ERS); 84D: "For shame!" ("TSK!"); 87D: Granola bar bit (OAT); 89D: Ecolutions pens (BICS); 90D: "1984" setting (OCEANIA); 91D: Asian expanse (GOBI); 92D: Easy to get (EVIDENT); 93D: Rorem and Beatty (NEDS); 96D: Sci-fi series about people with special powers (HEROES); 99D: Costume sparkler (SEQUIN); 100D: Understanding (GRASP); 101D: Actress Esther (ROLLE); 103D: Flaming (AFIRE); 104D: Composer Copland (AARON); 105D: Former UN leader Kofi (ANNAN); 106D: Can't help but (HAS TO); 107D: Fields of study (AREAS); 108D: On-ramp sign (MERGE); 110D: A whole lot (TONS); 112D: Fridge foray (RAID); 113D: Lot, maybe (ACRE); 114D: Nullify (UNDO); 117D: "The racer's edge" (STP).


Tinbeni said...

For a Sunday, this was a SNAP.

Mixed feelings about the theme countries being separate answers but WTF, its a big grid.

Fave was the Donne quote "NO MAN IS AN ISLAND."
This weekend reminds me that we are all in this together.

Superior to, OVER and ABOVE crossing was cute.

Also liked the ACNE, Bad marks in High School and SPF, sunblock got me the FISTS, unarmed weapon.

Only snafu, had void before UNDO, for nullify.

Today being the Indy 500, is the only day of the year I admit I was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I guess it makes it National Hoosiers Day.

And a Salute to all our Veteran's past and present.

lit.doc said...

Good morning @PuzzleGirl and @Tinbeni! Came in under half an hour on this one, so easy Sunday for me (especially as I began my solving-crosswords-with-beer training regimen when the NBA playoffs pre-game show started in CST, and the LAT doesn’t post here till midnight).

Yes, the Donne quotation was nice, especially so because the clue provided the elegant phrase ending which is rarely heard. It made me think “Wouldn’t a big-grid puzzle with theme answers made from unfinished famous phrases be cool?” But, alas, it turned out to be another poster child for “Why Even Bother?” I didn’t even look for the country names in the theme answers when I got donne. Fun puzzle, despite a yawner of a theme.

Rube said...

Have to agree with @Tinbeni, this was pretty easy. Actually, more of a slog, but enjoyable. Very little worn out fill, EXCEPT for one of my most detested, EATAT... I really don't like this expression. Someday I'll tell you how I feel about this.

Very few write-overs -- BLAse for BLAHS, oRS for ERS, LeanER for LANKER, puisANT for GALLANT, etc. Had to laugh at IMALITTLETEAPOT, which can only be described as cute. I really thought Taj MAHAL was spelled with a J. (In fact, I still think so.)

Remember Memorial Day for what it is.

Rube said...

Upon futher investigation, it appears that Taj MAHAL is the preferred spelling... after all these years... (sigh).

Tinbeni said...

Had that I'M A LITTLE TEAPOT song rolling through my brain for the whole grid.

Finally the NYT bumped it with Itsy Bitsy TEENIE Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.

Ahhh, the classic's!

KJGooster said...

I too thought this was rather easy once I figured out the theme, though I hate having to jump around the grid to find the theme pairs, especially solving online.

Also, I was looking for the countries to be divided a bit differently, i.e. TONSOFCARGO (TO GO physically split up) rather than TIMETOGOHOME (TOGO together but split across words. If that makes sense. Haven't had caffeine yet.

chefbea said...

Fun easy puzzle which I did while Indy 500 was on. And voila...there was STP and Unser. Don't we have a word for that?

Tinbeni said...

Spliting the countries as you showed probably would have made the puzzle more interesting.
Don't know if that is a goal.

Wild Ass Perfundity?

Eric said...

I so so wanted 44D to be "a step to the right" :-) Kept trying to make it fit, but it just wouldn't, even though it has the right number of letters... Plugging in MALI from 56A, into the one place the crosses would let it go, finally put me straight.

But then he more than made up for it by putting a shoutout to HEROES right next door at 96D. \o/

64A: The clue "More 47-Down" strikes me as dubious. I don't think LANK(er) connotes the level of emaciation that GAUNT does, which would make it less thin than the latter.

Amusing that LASSO and LARIAT both appear.

@Rube: Would you be OK with EATAT if it were clued as "-- Joe's"? :-)

Off now to play my (possibly MALIan) djembe in the sun.

JaJaJoe said...

Coincident with 41D LOD as 'City served by Ben Gurion airport', per the Wikipedia main page On this day...May 30 includes: Lod Massacre Remembrance Day (1972) in Puerto Rico
- because the victims included 16 Christian pilgrims therefrom in the attack using "violin cases containing Czech Vz 58 assault-rifles with the butt-stocks"...

To paraphrase KJGooster above, I thought this puzzle's "Divided Countries" theme would be literal
e.g., TONSOFCARGO for TOGO; and finally, ala lit.doc above: I'm 'donne'.

chefbea said...

I don't understand??? why is there another puzzle???

CrazyCat said...

@chefbea If you get the actual LA Times paper like I do because I live in the greater Los Angeles area, you only get the Calendar section puzzle which alternates between Sylvia Bursztyn or Merl Reagle. The puzzle that all other papers publish is a syndicated puzzle. That one I can only print out or do online. Puzzle Girl never discusses either puzzle on Sunday. I assume its because it's her day of rest, but she does put the grid answers and theme answers for both puzzles on the LACC blog.
Just tackled this puzzle after a long, hot day in the garden. If all goes as planned, I should be able to supply the entire neighborhood with vegetables by the end of the summer. Already, the tomatoes are the biggest I've ever grown. The squash blossoms are ABLOOM. Lovely (?) scented organic amendments seem to be doing the trick.

I found the puzzle to be easy and pleasant after the last couple days. I liked the theme and the countries *were* divided in that the whole name was divided into two separate words.

Thought it was interesting to have LASSO, LARIAT and NOOSE in the same puzzle??

Thinking of all veterans, current troops, moms, dads, husbands, wives, parents kids and sibs on this Memorial Day.

shrub5 said...

Finished this puzzle easily this morning but no time to comment until now. Loved a couple of the clues/answers: Lyon king (ROI) and Bad marks in high school? (ACNE).

Agree with @Eric about GAUNT and LANKER. (LANKIER?) Thinner than gaunt must be emaciated or skeletal.

CrazyCat said...

@Eric and Shub5 Agree about LANKER/Lankier. LANKY is not gaunt. Just slim and tall. LANK has to do with thin, straight hair. I wanted ANOREXIC, but obviously didn't fit.

lit.doc said...

@Eric, LOL at your RHPS ref. Doubt that too many in this crowd would go for the pelvic thrust.

Captcha is "vegima". I assume it has something to do with propagating plants, but I'll defer to the several gardners here.

Anonymous said...

@Rube, RE: Remember Memorial Day for what it is.

Back in the day, Memorial Day was Rememberance Day. Also, Veterans Day was Armistice Day.

These day were made holidays after "the war to end all wars" (WWI) then we had to change them as we found out that no war will end all wars (see WWII). Armegeddon is the only way to end war, and I think no even then it's a bit iffy. Rams and bucks will rut, cocks will fight... it's not just Human nature - it's nature.

Anonymous said...

I liked this puzzle (only just got it today) and am relatively new to crosswords, but it wasn't too bad. I thought the couuntries would be split among the words, but perhaps it's saying these countries are divided? Iran between the Shi'ites and Sunnis, and didn't Greece have a Civil War recently? Maybe I'm just thinking I know more than I do.

For some reason, I thought Swedish import was IKEA and then SPAS (until that was 78D)... that threw me off for a while. And there was the confusion with vaLiANT and GALLANT that took a while to figure out.

I agree, not a fan of LANKER or EATAT.

cheezguyty said...

Glad to finally have the opportunity to do an Estes creation. I had high expectations and they were easily met!

This theme was old hat to me because coincidentally I had recently created a similar quiz for the trivia website Sporcle. I even had about half of the theme entries as answers in my quiz. Here's the link if you are interested in trying it out:


You can click on my screen name to play any of my other quizzes. Please leave a comment to let me know what you think!

(To our beloved bloggers: I apologize if you don't like external links in your comments. I just thought some of your readers would enjoy some of my word and trivia puzzles.)