T U E S D A Y   August 31, 2010
Robert A. Doll

Theme: Trip Planner — First words of the theme answers describe the progression of a round-trip.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Have significant influence (PACK A PUNCH).
  • 26A: "Enough on this subject" ("LEAVE IT AT THAT").
  • 46A: Persevere (STAY THE COURSE).
  • 61A: Respond at the front (RETURN FIRE).
  • 63A: "Round" thing suggested by the first words of 17-, 26-, 46- and 61-Across (TRIP).

This wasn't a smooth puzzle for me and I therefore didn't love it. I cringed a little when I got to the really awful plural BAMS (10A: Shouts from Emeril) and actually groaned when I saw EEE (48A: Ample shoe width). Those are two things you just don't want to see in your grid. The rest of the fill was fine, but nothing exciting enough to make up for those two clunkers. Then there's the theme. Actually, the theme itself is fine but the clue is … weird. Was the "round" aspect emphasized just to make it difficult? Well, it succeeded in making it difficult but in a way that I found more irritating than clever. Yes, I realize that some trips are one-way and the theme answers specifically describe a "round"-trip. But I guess I see "round"-trip as the default. If you say to someone "How was your trip?" they're not going to be confused and ask which trip you mean, the way out or the way back. They're going to know you mean the whole trip. Also the STAY kind of bugged me. I would have been more comfortable with VISIT, I think. STAY seems so permanent and obviously if the next thing you do is RETURN, well you didn't really STAY, did you?

All of my confusion was, of course, exacerbated by the fact that I read 51D: Prime rib order as simply "rib order" and, because I had the RA in place already, entered RACK without thinking twice about it. That made the reveal answer "tcip" which I was pretty sure wasn't right. It all worked itself out eventually.

Crosswordese 101: 10D: Boxer Max BAER was a heavyweight champion of the 1930s. BAER defeated Primo Carnera to win the world title in 1934. In 1935, he lost the title to James J. Braddock. After his boxing career ended, BAER appeared in several movies but was never as successful in acting as his son, Max BAER, Jr. who played Jethro Bodine on "The Beverly Hillbillies."

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 19A: Sight from the Sicilian village of Taormina (ETNA). Just yesterday!
  • 2D: Algerian seaport (ORAN).
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Everything Else — 1A: __ d'état (COUP); 5A: Winger of "Shadowlands" (DEBRA); 14A: Guesstimate phrase (OR SO); 15A: Fiat (EDICT); 16A: From the top (ANEW); 20A: Ali trainer Dundee (ANGELO); 21A: Sunroom (SOLARIUM); 23A: Doctrinal suffix (-ISM); 25A: Rent (LET); 33A: Starbucks order (ESPRESSO); 34A: Charm (ENAMOR); 36A: Show worry, in a way (PACE); 37A: Former California fort (ORD); 39A: Disease cause (GERM); 40A: Makes amends (ATONES); 43A: Puts in a new pot, say (REPLANTS); 49A: According to (ALA); 50A: Belgian capital (BRUSSELS); 55A: Aleve alternative (ANACIN); 60A: Superboy's girlfriend Lang (LANA); 64A: Mushrooms used in Asian cuisine (ENOKI); 65A: Elemental unit (ATOM); 66A: Places for props (SETS); 67A: Coolidge's vice president (DAWES); 68A: City NNE of Lake Tahoe (RENO); 1D: Historic NYC club, with "The" (COPA); 3D: SOS responder, often (USCG); 4D: Creep (along) (POKE); 5D: Kicks out of office (DEPOSES); 6D: Coll. dot follower (EDU); 7D: Storage containers (BINS); 8D: Pepsi competitor (RC COLA); 9D: Wheaties box picture (ATHLETE); 11D: Hostile to (ANTI); 12D: Computer list (MENU); 13D: Showed off one's butterfly? (SWAM); 18D: Kicking partner (ALIVE); 22D: Business letter abbr. (ATTN.); 24D: Sushi bar soup (MISO); 26D: Exams for future attys. (LSAT'S); 27D: Florida theme park acronym (EPCOT); 28D: Place to play (ARENA); 29D: Dodgers manager Joe (TORRE); 30D: Viking in the comics (HAGAR); 31D: Chorus from the pews (AMENS); 32D: Flourless cake (TORTE); 33D: Ecol. watchdog (EPA); 35D: Apt. parts (RMS.); 38D: Ten: Pref. (DECA-); 41D: Looks over warily (EYES); 42D: Took the wheel (STEERED); 44D: North Star (POLARIS); 45D: Greg Evans comic strip (LUANN); 47D: Treasure State capital (HELENA); 50D: Popular diner orders, for short (BLT'S); 52D: Part of ICU (UNIT); 53D: Easy marks (SAPS); 54D: Put away (STOW); 56D: A long way off (AFAR); 57D: Name as a source (CITE); 58D: Boxing's "__ Mike" Tyson (IRON); 59D: Nautilus captain (NEMO); 62D: Tiny Tim played one (UKE).


M O N D A Y   August 30, 2010
James Sajdak

Theme: The Kennedy Boys — Theme answers are familiar phrases that start with the names of the political Kennedy brothers.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Mister Fixit (JACK OF ALL TRADES).
  • 30A: Footwear often turned down at the ankle (BOBBY SOCKS).
  • 41A: Tots' furry sleeping companions (TEDDY BEARS).
  • 54A: Hyannis Port site where the starts of 20-, 30- and 41-Across were often found (KENNEDY COMPOUND).
Simple theme that I haven't seen before, straightforward clues, no clunkers, and a couple of stumbling blocks that didn't take long to work themselves out. Yep, it's an enjoyable Monday puzzle alright.

  • 1A: Stringed instrument that may be taller than its player (HARP). Started with BASS.
  • 46A: Jazz combo rhythm providers (DRUMS). I don't know why, but that clue cracks me up. I think because it's so specific.
  • 60A: Hippo ending (-DROME). Because -POTAMUS wouldn't fit.
  • 63A: Loudness units (SONES). I can never remember this word. I always want it to be "decibels" and it never is.
  • 1D: Pilgrim to Mecca (HADJI). We've covered HADJ in CW101, so maybe that helped you here.
  • 4D: Gdansk dance (POLKA). When I was 15 I danced a rollicking polka with the governor of North Dakota, Art Link. I've never danced a polka since. And I don't need to because that one time was awesome.
  • 18D: Hungarian dessert wines (TOKAYS). Never heard of this. Got it totally through crosses.
  • 51D: David of the PGA (DUVAL). We haven't heard much from DUVAL in the last several years, but I'm still hoping he gets his mojo back sometime soon.
Crosswordese 101: Mt. ETNA is Europe's largest and highest active volcano. It's in Sicily, near both Taormina and Catania. "Volcano words" you can look for in clues for ETNA include erupter, spewer, smoker, and spouter. Or, the clue might just come right out and say it's a volcano, like today's 6D: Italian volcano.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 15A: Native Nebraskan (OTOE).
  • 37A: Qatari chieftains (EMIRS).
  • 65A: Israeli airline (EL AL).
  • 12D: Fencing sword (ÉPÉE).
  • 27D: Bear, to Brutus (URSA).
  • 31D: Sharif of "Doctor Zhivago" (OMAR).
  • 55D: River through Spain (EBRO).
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Everything Else — 5A: Left the room (WENT); 9A: Defame in print (LIBEL); 14A: Chevy subcompact since 2004 (AVEO); 16A: Slip away to tie the knot (ELOPE); 17A: Phone sounds (DIAL TONES); 19A: "Manhattan" director Woody (ALLEN); 22A: What you eat, to a dietitian (INTAKE); 23A: Canonized person (SAINT); 24A: Gallery fare (ART); 26A: Prefix with intellectual (PSEUDO-); 36A: Vicinity (AREA); 38A: __ kwon do (TAE); 39A: Valued possession (ASSET); 40A: It means nothing to a Nicaraguan (NADA); 43A: Totally soak (DRENCH); 45A: Sun. church delivery (SER.); 49A: Ice cream treat (SUNDAE); 58A: Skyscraper girder (I-BEAM); 59A: Clan members (RELATIVES); 61A: Shave-haircut link (AND A); 62A: Like valuable stamps (RARE); 64A: Appear to be (SEEM); 2D: Birdlike (AVIAN); 3D: Jerk or frown, e.g. (REACT); 5D: Low-frequency speakers (WOOFERS); 7D: Carols (NOELS); 8D: Onetime Edison rival Nikola (TESLA); 9D: Absorbs the lesson (LEARNS); 10D: Anxious (ILL AT EASE); 11D: Like headline typefaces (BOLD); 13D: Camera's focusing device (LENS); 21D: Pointers (TIPS); 25D: Shopper's carryall (TOTE); 28D: Bambi and kin (DEER); 29D: Cheerios grain (OATS); 30D: Give a little (BEND); 32D: Wait (BIDE); 33D: Nongeneric, as a drug (BRAND NAME); 34D: Gentleman's opposite (CAD); 35D: Sneakers since 1916 (KEDS); 39D: Discourteously curt (ABRUPT); 41D: Dull impact sound (THUD); 42D: Polite response to Mother (YES MA'AM); 44D: Heavy liqueurs (CREMES); 47D: Breckinridge and Hess (MYRAS); 48D: Act division (SCENE); 50D: Bête __ (NOIRE); 52D: End of __ (AN ERA); 53D: Memorable '50s lemon (EDSEL); 54D: Jokes with (KIDS); 56D: Strip lighting (NEON); 57D: Quaint shoppe word (OLDE).


S U N D A Y   August 29, 2010
Merl Reagle (calendar)

Theme: Fast Company — Theme answers are familiar phrases/names/titles transformed into puns about motorcycles.

[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:
  • 22A: Motorcycle club for women? (HARLEY'S ANGELS).
  • 26A: Biker club for beer distributors? (LITERS OF THE PACK).
  • 35A: Motorcycle club for dairy farmers? (CHEESY RIDERS).
  • 43A: Biker club for shrinks? (CYCLE ANALYSTS).
  • 60A: Motorcycle club for martial artists? (KARATE CHOPPERS).
  • 69A: Biker club for Jewish guys? (This one's real — their shirts say, "This hog is kosher") (STAR OF DAVIDSON).
  • 94A: Motorcycle club for astronomers? (STARRY KNIGHTS).
  • 96A: Biker club for press agents? (FLACK JACKETS).
  • 106A: Motorcycle club for Marilyn Monroe fans? (NORMA JEAN BIKERS).
  • 120A: Club for guys who like really big bikes? (MALES ON WHALES).
Everything Else — 1A: It's often smoked (HAM); 4A: Honeymoon sour note (SPAT); 8A: Stuka stunt (LOOP); 12A: Saying (ADAGE); 17A: Actor Sim (ALASTAIR); 19A: Film director's early role (OPIE); 20A: Produce place (GROCERY); 24A: Tuscany, once (ETRURIA); 25A: Acronym on a CD (ASCAP); 28A: Gear parts (TEETH); 30A: "You're ___!" (line from "Rocky") (A BUM); 31A: Dazed and confused (IN A FOG); 47A: Skip over (OMIT); 48A: Quartet voice (ALTO); 49A: Wrecks (DEVASTATES); 52A: Mosey (AMBLE); 53A: Jersey reply (MOO); 54A: Computer-data format (ASCII); 55A: October birthstones (OPALS); 57A: It might have blight (ELM); 58A: Sign up, variantly (ENROL); 65A: Mormon letters (LDS); 67A: Veep before Al (DAN); 68A: Ugliness exemplar (SIN); 77A: Snorkeling areas (REEFS); 81A: Beret-wearing rebel (CHE); 82A: Testifier's bombshell (I LIED); 83A: Select few (ELITE); 85A: A/C setting (LOW); 86A: "Arabesque" actress (LOREN); 88A: Environmental watchdog (GREENPEACE); 92A: Pint-sized (MINI); 93A: Wall features? (EARS); 101A: Stampede (ONRUSH); 102A: Soaks, as flax (RETS); 103A: Ben Stiller's mom Anne (MEARA); 114A: Foul-up (SNAFU); 119A: Dutch humanist (ERASMUS); 122A: Digression (TANGENT); 123A: Artist Nadelman (ELIE); 124A: Set off (DETONATE); 125A: Saltpeter, to a Brit (NITRE); 126A: Marvel superheroes (X-MEN); 127A: Language that gave us "bard" (ERSE); 128A: Homer's neighbor (NED); 1D: Gloater's taunt (HAHA); 2D: Prelude to bad news (ALAS); 3D: Antony of antiquity (MARC); 4D: "___ & Son" (British series that inspired "Sanford and Son") (STEPTOE); 5D: Piper's take? (PAY); 6D: Seat choice (AISLE); 7D: Blue eyes, e.g. (TRAIT); 8D: Balcony section (LOGE); 9D: Phone co. employee (OPER.); 10D: Cottonseed et al. (OILS); 11D: Bit of Cuban bread? (PESO); 12D: Sherlock's creator (ARTHUR); 13D: Slangy money (DO-RE-MI); 14D: "We'll tak ___ o' kindness yet" (line from "Auld Lang Syne") (A CUP); 15D: City SSW of Leipzig (anagram of RAGE) (GERA); 16D: Holder in Obama's Cabinet (ERIC); 18D: It grabbed Patty H. (SLA); 20D: Manage (GET BY); 21D: Talk a lot (YAK); 23D: Highest (degree) (NTH); 27D: Music notes (FAS); 29D: "Tarnation!" ("EGADS!"); 31D: Veni (I CAME); 32D: Windbreaker fabric (NYLON); 33D: Company member? (ACTOR); 34D: Olympic nickname, ___-Jo (FLO); 35D: Coleman, Young, et al. (CYS); 36D: Fair Deal pres. (HST); 37D: Greek letter (ETA); 38D: Old French sword (ESTOC); 39D: Perignon was one (DOM); 40D: Fire sign? (EMBER); 41D: Little brooks (RILLS); 42D: Arise (from) (STEM); 44D: Violin section? (NECK); 45D: Sports-shoe brand (AVIA); 46D: Hide-out (LAIR); 50D: Bk. after Galatians (EPH.); 51D: ___ Miguel (largest of the Azores) (SÃO); 52D: Be ambitious (ASPIRE); 54D: Buzz in space (ALDRIN); 56D: Recordings in sleeves (LP'S); 59D: Schnozz extension (-OLA); 61D: "Basically," basically: abbr. (ADV.); 62D: Mai ___ (TAI); 63D: Finish (END); 64D: TNT's finish (-ENE); 66D: Aero or para finish (-SOL); 69D: Sailing hazard (SHOAL); 70D: Nero's earth (TERRA); 71D: Newton's tree? (FIG); 72D: Das kin (DER); 73D: Sit behind ___ (A DESK); 74D: Over or sight follower (-SEER); 75D: Oil of ___ (OLAY); 76D: Shaving mishap (NICK); 78D: Yale's Mr. Yale (ELIHU); 79D: Type choices (FONTS); 80D: Nothing-but-net sound (SWISH); 81D: Staff leader? (CLEF); 84D: Quartet voice (TENOR); 87D: Bailout key on a PC (ESC); 89D: When France is bakin' (ÉTÉ); 90D: D.C. player (NAT); 91D: 7 on old phones (PRS); 92D: Apt. VIP (MGR.); 95D: "... who lived ___" (IN A SHOE); 97D: Oscar role for Streep (KRAMER); 98D: Uninteresting (JEJUNE); 99D: Alamogordo trial, briefly (A-TEST); 100D: Lee's side: abbr. (CSA); 103D: My, to Mimi (MES); 104D: Wear away (ERODE); 105D: Moore/Knight co-star (ASNER); 106D: Take-home pay (NET); 107D: Algerian port (ORAN); 108D: Sari-clad royal (RANI); 109D: Certain NCO (MSGT); 110D: Roswell's st. (N. MEX.); 111D: Soothing stuff (BALM); 112D: Netter Nastase (ILIE); 113D: Sharp (KEEN); 115D: Actress Grey or Martin (NAN); 116D: Playwright Ayckbourn (ALAN); 117D: Lavish party (FETE); 118D: Played for a sap (USED); 121D: Oz. and others (WTS.).

S U N D A Y   August 29, 2010 — Doug Peterson (syndicated)

Theme: "El Week" — F is changed to FL in familiar phrases.

[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: Automatic whipper? (FLOG MACHINE).
  • 29A: Early-week occasion for wearing sensible footwear? (FLAT TUESDAY).
  • 43A: Country with the tastiest cuisine? (MOST FLAVORED NATION).
  • 67A: Some food fighters? (CHICKEN FLINGERS).
  • 95A: Line in an admiral's pep talk? (FLEET DON'T FAIL ME NOW).
  • 111A: Where legendary firefighters are honored? (HALL OF FLAME).
  • 119A: Quartet of couch potatoes? (THE FLAB FOUR).
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:

  • 25A: Gas brand in Canada (ESSO).
  • 48A: Showy lily (SEGO).
  • 90A: Polynesian paste (POI).
  • 118A: Lena of Tinseltown (OLIN).
  • 126A: "Only Time" singer (ENYA).
  • 127A: Units of work (ERGS).
  • 14D: Jesus of '60s-'70s baseball (ALOU).
  • 70D: "It's dandy for your teeth" toothpaste (IPANA).
  • 113D: Blues legend James (ETTA).
Everything Else — 1A: Kids' game for car trips (I SPY); 5A: River through British Columbia (FRASER); 11A: Michael of "Juno" (CERA); 15A: Hebrew prophet (AMOS); 19A: Big Apple neighborhood near Greenwich Village (NOHO); 20A: Gun, to a hood (ROSCOE); 21A: Truck (HAUL); 22A: Actress Gershon (GINA); 26A: Shangri-la (EDEN); 27A: Iconic WWII riveter (ROSIE); 28A: "Rock and Roll, Hoochie __": 1974 hit (KOO); 32A: Slithery Egyptian (ASP); 33A: Tack on (APPEND); 36A: Colorado natives (UTES); 37A: __ Cup: chocolate candy (MALLO); 38A: Language of India (HINDI); 40A: Yard neatener (EDGER); 42A: Sources of wisdom (SAGES); 47A: Where the source of the Amazon is (PERU); 49A: Words before a kiss (I DO); 50A: Opposite of bien (MAL); 51A: Level just below the majors (AAA); 54A: Political surprise (U-TURN); 56A: Subway barrier (STILE); 58A: It's a gas (NEON); 60A: Home bodies? (UMPS); 61A: Euro predecessor (PESETA); 63A: No-goodniks (CADS); 65A: Business mag (INC.); 66A: Go after (SEEK); 72A: Sixth Greek letter (ZETA); 75A: Louis XIV, par exemple (ROI); 76A: Golf clinic subject (GRIP); 77A: Shrubs with small, reddish fruit (SUMACS); 81A: Dietary need (IRON); 82A: A8 automaker (AUDI); 84A: Amherst sch. (U. MASS.); 87A: Tiny South Pacific nation (NAURU); 88A: Jenna's "The Office" role (PAM); 89A: TiVo precursor (VCR); 92A: Final Four letters (NCAA); 94A: News squib (ITEM); 100A: Increases sharply (SOARS); 101A: Viz. relative (ID EST); 102A: NFL Network sportscaster Rich (EISEN); 103A: Fowl quarters (COOPS); 104A: Grandmotherly nickname (NANA); 105A: Room for brooms (CLOSET); 108A: Photo __ (OPS); 114A: 1040EZ issuer (IRS); 115A: Set one's sights on (AIM AT); 117A: Maker of Karlstad living room furniture (IKEA); 122A: Motocross surface (DIRT); 123A: City with many pits (RENO); 124A: Set the dial to (TUNE IN); 125A: Toni Morrison novel (SULA); 128A: __ Fables (AESOP'S); 129A: Anthem opener (O SAY); 1D: Red leader? (INFRA-); 2D: Individual efforts (SOLOS); 3D: Matchmaker's supply (PHOSPHORUS); 4D: Teammate of Mickey and Whitey (YOGI); 5D: Monastic title (FRA); 6D: Heaps at a quarry (ROCK PILES); 7D: "... who lived in __" (A SHOE); 8D: Descendant (SCION); 9D: Long, long time (EON); 10D: Yachting hazard (REEF); 11D: Was unfaithful to (CHEATED ON); 12D: Ohio's time zone (EASTERN); 13D: Autumn colors (RUSTS); 15D: In olden days (AGES AGO); 16D: Hussein in the White House? (MIDDLE NAME); 17D: "Paper Moon" co-stars (O'NEALS); 18D: 2009 Panasonic acquisition (SANYO); 24D: Had in mind (MEANT); 30D: Competed on a sled (LUGED); 31D: Send with a click (EMAIL); 34D: Some 31-Down attachments (PDF'S); 35D: __ volente: God willing (DEO); 39D: Confident words (I SURE CAN); 41D: Trail mix tidbits (DRIED FRUITS); 42D: Golf clinic subjects (STANCES); 43D: Apportion (METE); 44D: Maxwell Smart's occ. (AGT.); 45D: Mel Blanc's meal ticket (VOICE); 46D: Together with (AMONG); 47D: Small seal (PUP); 52D: Goon (APE); 53D: Say "What?" (ASK); 55D: Ultimate (NTH); 57D: "Metropolis" director Fritz (LANG); 59D: Augsburg article (EIN); 60D: 1898 sinker (U.S.S. MAINE); 62D: Stars in the sky? (AIR ACES); 64D: Like some chances (SLIM); 68D: Squash venue (COURT); 69D: Poke fun at (KID); 71D: Be on the ticket (RUN); 72D: USPS acronym (ZIP); 73D: Time in history (ERA); 74D: Shenanigans (TOMFOOLERY); 78D: Self-directed (AUTONOMOUS); 79D: Rowers (CREW); 80D: Adder's target (SUM); 83D: Portable music players (IPOD NANOS); 85D: Course with a fair: Abbr. (SCI.); 86D: Register printout (SALES SLIP); 89D: Left-hand page (VERSO); 91D: Graveyard shift hr. (ONE A.M.); 93D: Lille lady friend (AMIE); 96D: Capital of Buenos Aires Province (LA PLATA); 97D: Ringing up, old-style (DIALING); 98D: Consumer protection agcy. (FTC); 99D: Pub sign abbr. (ESTAB.); 100D: Absorb deeply (SOAK IN); 103D: Wag a finger at (CHIDE); 104D: Panther, Jaguar, or Lion, briefly (NFL'ER); 106D: Debt securities (LIENS); 107D: Monteverdi title character (ORFEO); 109D: Longtime "Idol" name (PAULA); 110D: Dogcatcher's pickup (STRAY); 112D: Duck call? (FORE); 116D: In that case (IF SO); 120D: Coloration (HUE); 121D: Ques. response (ANS.).


S A T U R D A Y   August 28, 2010
Joe DiPietro

Theme: None

Wow. This one really felt like a CROSSword to me today. That is, there were very few gimmes and most of the answers magically appeared only after a few crosses brought them into focus. I enjoy that type of solve. And I tell you what, I needed an enjoyable solve after the day I had yesterday. It was crappy, crappy, crappy. And I mean CRAPPY. The details are way too boring to go into here, but I was in a Foul Mood the whole day. On the bright side, that makes it even better that I'm going to spend some time with my bestie in Philadelphia this weekend. Yay! But before I hit the road, let's break this puzzle down.

There's a lot to talk about:
  • 1A: Cable initials (TMC). I'm sure I've talked about this before. I can never get this. There are just too many cable channels and they don't distinguish themselves enough for me to keep them straight in my brain.
  • 15A: Joey in Milne stories (ROO). My first gimme. A joey is, of course, a baby kangaroo. In A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh stories, Kanga is the mama kangaroo and Roo is the baby.
  • 17A: The Cyclones of the Big 12 Conf. (ISU). Poor Iowa State. When Nebraska leaves the Big 12 next year, the conference will only have four wrestling schools. It's gonna be hard to give the Big 12 Wrestling Champions a lot of respect. Not that I give Iowa State much respect anyway. Go Hawks!
  • 19A: Mystery author whose work has been translated into more than 100 languages (CHRISTIE). This was a total guess on my part and I was delighted that it seemed to fit.
  • 23A: 1940s-'70s bandleader Edmundo (ROS). On the other hand, I needed every cross for this guy.
  • 31A: LAX posting (ETD). I tried ARR first. I think it was EDOMITE (13D: Early inhabitant along the Dead Sea) that straightened that out.
  • 32A: Scattered (STREWED). I think this is the only clunker in the grid. Sure it's legitimate, but it's still ugly.
  • 36A: Carefree state (EASE). Me: "There's a U.S. state nicknamed 'The Carefree State'?"
  • 37A: Chain with links (IHOP). Sausage links, that is.
  • 38A: Multiple-ride ticket (BUS PASS). I tried DAY PASS first but the DAY part wasn't doing anything right for me down there.
  • 41A: Terry of Monty Python (GILLIAM). I'm embarrassed to say I don't know my Monty Python guys. I mean, when I hear their names I recognize them as Monty Python guys, but I couldn't come up with them on my own. Except for Eric Idle. And one of them is named Palin, right?
  • 51A: Called with chips (SAW). Another tricky poker reference to go with our tricky poker reference from yesterday.
  • 58A: Sought some shelter? (OPENED AN IRA). Wow. This one was a long time coming. It took me a long time to figure out what the question mark was doing on this clue. (And IRA is a type of tax shelter.)
  • 3D: Express service employee (COURIER). I would have preferred a font clue here, but I'm kind of a fanatic when it comes to fonts so that's not surprising.
  • 4D: "Imagine, Zeke ..." (S'POSE). Oops, I guess there is one more clunker in the grid. I have no idea if this is right, but the way I read this is that Zeke is a "hillbilly" name and S'POSE is "hillbilly" dialect for SUPPOSE? There's not much about this that doesn't rub me the wrong way.
  • 7D: What a hider shouldn't say to a seeker (IN HERE). I tried "I'm here" first but, obviously IN HERE is much better. Plus, ya know, it's correct too.
  • 14D: Carb-up days, to low-carb dieters (REFEEDS). This sounds vaagguuely familiar to me.
  • 29D: Greek regional capital (EDESSA). Ouch. I had the DESSA in there and immediately plunked an O on the front of it. Then I'm all, "Wait. Odessa is in Greece? That sure doesn't sound right."
  • 38D: Detroit Red Wings coach Mike (BABCOCK). Not a hockey fan, so this clue might as well have been "A person's last name." Got it through crosses.
  • 43D: One of the Fates (ATROPOS). Looks like ATROPOS has only appeared in the L.A. Times puzzle once before and that was seven years ago. Okay, this is weird though. It was exactly seven years ago! August 28, 2003!
  • 44D: See Tears for Fears? (MISREAD). I can't decide if I love this or hate it. I think I'm leaning toward loving it.
  • 57D: Save for later, in a way (TIVO). I rarely watch TV any more since we got rid of the TiVo. It's just too hard.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 26A: Tahari of fashion (ELIE).
  • 63A: Mauna __ (LOA).
  • 10D: Uzbekistan border sea (ARAL).
  • 11D: Rocky debris (SCREE).
  • 55D: Old Royale 8's, e.g. (REO'S).

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Everything Else — 4A: Workout apparatus (STAIRMASTER); 16A: Old fortune-telling site (PENNY ARCADE); 18A: Carried out by (ON THE PART OF); 21A: "I can do that" ("LET ME"); 22A: Made one's view known (OPINED); 27A: Heading to overtime (TIED); 28A: Exude (REEK OF); 34A: Union members? (SPOUSES); 45A: Adder's kin (ASP); 46A: Aircraft company since 1927 (CESSNA); 48A: When Eliza sings "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" (ACT I); 49A: Tough test (BEAR); 52A: Liquor store buys (LITERS); 54A: Doctor, ideally (CURER); 56A: Expiate (ATONE FOR); 61A: Dramatic way to go? (APE); 62A: Balance in the end (COME OUT EVEN); 64A: Had an in (KNEW SOMEONE); 65A: You'll trip if you drop it (LSD); 1D: Warp-knit fabrics (TRICOTS); 2D: Slam-dancing area (MOSH PIT); 5D: Garments lacking waistlines (TENT DRESSES); 6D: Nonpro? (ANTI); 8D: Bar order (RYE); 9D: It may include highs and lows (MAP); 12D: Snitches (TATTLES); (EDOMITE); 20D: Committed and then some (IN DEEP); 24D: Circular signal (OK SIGN); 25D: "El Cid" co-star (SOPHIA LOREN); 30D: Trick (FOOL); 33D: WWII enlistee (WAAC); 35D: Burning the midnight oil (UP LATE); 39D: Consume with regard to (USE UPON); 40D: "Puh-leeze!" ("SPARE ME!"); 42D: Irregular glacial mass (ICEFALL); 47D: Gershwin's first hit (SWANEE); 50D: Agree to more issues (RENEW); 53D: Harebrained (INANE); 59D: Comedy team, usually (DUO); 60D: Pharmacy convenience, often (ATM).


F R I D A Y   August 27, 2010
Mike Peluso

Theme: It(t)y Bitty — Familiar phrases have the letters ‑ITY tacked onto the end. Wackiness ensues.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Oil company's penchant for employee transfers? (EXXON MOBILITY).
  • 29A: Measure of neighborhood drug traffic? (OPIUM DENSITY).
  • 46A: Egotism that brings you to tears? (MOVING VANITY).
  • 56A: Pigmentation variations? (SKIN DIVERSITY).
I was distracted while I solved this puzzle, so I'm not really sure how hard it is. I know I had some self-inflicted trouble in the Mid-Atlantic area due to how quickly I entered OLÉ where RAH was supposed to go (26A: Arena cheer). I thought, "But shouldn't 27D: Make restitution be ATONE and 28D: Service songs be HYMNS?" Why yes. Yes, they should.

I have to admit I'm a little disappointed in the theme in that two of the phrases are plural, which kind of seems like cheating to me. I actually thought for a quick second that the theme might be adding ‑SITY to the ends of the phrases instead of just ‑ITY. Sometimes a theme's inconsistency doesn't really bother me until I'm done with the puzzle and am reviewing it again. But today, it actually bothered me during the solve. For what it's worth.

  • 1A: W.E.B. Du Bois was among its founders (NAACP). I do so love it when 1 Across is a bit, fat gimme.
  • 6A: Coot's cousin (RAIL). Are these some type of animal? … Yes, birds. Apparently, a coot looks (and acts) rather like a duck.
  • 19A: Far Hills, N.J.-based sports org. (USGA). United States Golf Association.
  • 23A: Pennzoil letters (SAE). According to Wikipedia, this refers to the Society of Automotive Engineers' "numerical code system for grading motor oils to their viscosity characteristics."
  • 24A: Carrier with a hub at LAX (UAL). Why did I try UAW first? Anybody know? No? Okay.
  • 35A: Where Charlie was trapped, in a Kingston Trio hit (MTA).

  • 41A: "Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story" star Sherilyn (FENN). This is the first entry of the mini-theme of Actresses Who Look Like Other Actresses. Here's Sherilynn FENN and Julianna Margulies.

    See also 9D: LEELEE Sobieski of "Joy Ride" (2001) and Helen Hunt.

    I looked through Sobieski's past work on IMDb but don't think I've seen a single one of her movies or television shows. Which is weird, because I absolutely know her as "that actress who looks like Helen Hunt."
  • 44A: "__ Woman": 1975 hit (I'M A). Raise your hand if you tried "I AM Woman" first. Only off by a couple years.
  • 66A: Like many a motel air conditioner (NOISY). Ain't that the truth.
  • 69A: One who's generally bottled up? (GENIE).
  • 4D: Puccini's "O mio babbino __" (CARO). I totally guessed on this one. It just sounded right. I would translate this is "Oh my sweet baby." How'd I do? … Darn. "Babbino" is actually "papa," and "caro" is "dear."
  • 31D: Hardly the drill sergeant type (SOFTY).
  • 33D: Fowl on a menu (CAPON). Again with the birds. What is this, a duck? I sure don't know much today. A CAPON is actually a castrated rooster.
  • 39D: Man, e.g. (OMNIVORE). I'm not a big fan of the word "man" used as a substitute "human."
  • 40D: See, and then some (RAISE). Poker reference.
  • 48D: Family gathering staples (VIDEOS). Me: "Why would a family be gathering staples?"
  • 57D: F and G, but not H (KEYS). This is a music reference. Notes of the scale only go from A to G. So you might hear a song in the key of F or G, but you'll never hear a song in the key of H.
  • 60D: Sportscaster Costas (BOB). Love him.

Crosswordese 101 Round-up:

  • 10A: Barcelona-born muralist (SERT).
  • 15A: Coastal predator (ERNE).
  • 62A: Like Erté's art (DECO).
  • 29D: '90s "SNL" regular Cheri (OTERI).
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Everything Else — 14A: Of an arm bone (ULNAR); 16A: Hawaii neighbor (MAUI); 17A: "The Wreck of the Mary __" (DEARE); 18A: Benefit (SAKE); 25A: Con opening (NEO-); 32A: Part of CPA: Abbr. (ACCT.); 36A: Doomed city (SODOM); 37A: Red (RARE); 38A: Peruvian address (SEÑOR); 42A: Puccini offering (OPERA); 45A: Muy, across the Pyrenees (TRÈS); 50A: "Wheel of Fortune" buy (AN A); 51A: Half a cocktail (TAI); 52A: "Kinda" suffix (-ISH); 53A: Half-witted (DIM); 60A: Pedestal (BASE); 63A: Any Frankie Avalon song (OLDIE); 64A: Follow (OBEY); 65A: Gardener, at times (HOER); 67A: Crown's girl, in a 1935 opera (BESS); 68A: "Gotcha" ("I SEE"); 1D: Sculptors' subjects (NUDES); 2D: Billy Joel's daughter (ALEXA); 3D: Has __ to grind (AN AXE); 5D: Asset protection plan, briefly (PRE-NUP); 6D: Determined (RESOLUTE); 7D: __-Israeli War (ARAB); 8D: Equitable way to pay (IN KIND); 10D: Blue books? (SMUT); 11D: 1969 road movie (EASY RIDER); 12D: Toupee (RUG); 13D: Madre's hermana (TIA); 21D: Injures badly (MAIMS); 22D: They're not free of charge (IONS); 30D: Frenzy (MANIA); 32D: Coffee asset (AROMA); 34D: Climbers' obstacles (CREVASSES); 43D: Fighting (ANTI); 47D: Kingsley role (GANDHI); 49D: Crowd (THRONG); 53D: Slew (DID IN); 54D: Formal doorstep response (IT IS I); 55D: "Yeah, right!!" ("MY EYE!"); 58D: Slurpee alternative (ICEE); 59D: __ gin (SLOE); 61D: Harlem Globetrotters founder Saperstein (ABE).


T H U R S D A Y   August 26, 2010
Don Gagliardo

Theme: Hitting the Nail on the Head — Twelve words in the grid can be described as something that's hit in an idiomatic phrase.

Theme answers:
  • 1A: *Bag (SACK).
  • 5A: *Pump output (GAS).
  • 8A: *Follow (TRAIL).
  • 16A: *Road surface (PAVEMENT).
  • 18A: *Holdup causes? (BRAKES).
  • 28A: *Rain protection (ROOF).
  • 44A: *Grilling site (DECK).
  • 59A: *Cola holder (BOTTLE).
  • 60A: *Range target (BULL'S-EYE).
  • 64A: *Warehouse aids (SKIDS).
  • 65A: *Guinea pig food (HAY).
  • 66A: *Location (SPOT).
  • 22D/42K: Words that can precede the answers to starred clues (HIT / THE).
I enjoyed this theme a lot. Not too flashy, and there sure was a lot of it! Every single "hit the …" phrase is solid, which is a real plus. There is definitely some questionable fill, but I think the crosses are all good. Let us know in the comments if/where you had trouble today. Wait. "Hit the trail"? Is that good? I would prefer "Hit the road." I bet "trail" is fine though.

  • 20A: Morrie Turner comic strip about ethnically diverse kids (WEE PALS). I'd never heard of this comic strip before. A cursory look through the Internet Machine makes me think it's sort of a multicultural Family Circus (humor about mundane family situations, often about the funny things children say) but with a little bit of straight-up talk about race, and an occasionaly Black History moment. Trying to do too much? Maybe if I actually followed it it would feel more coherent (duh).
  • 32A: Southern stretch? (DRAWL). Last year I had the pleasure of meeting a girlfriend I had only known online. She's from North Carolina and it was pretty funny how genuinely surprised I was to hear her accent. Well she doesn't type with an accent so how would I know?!
  • 36A: Like many cameras (DIGITAL). Spent all day yesterday researching various digital cameras for the office. Good times.
  • 45A: Musical satirist Tom (LEHRER). I feel like I've posted "The Vatican Rag" a couple times already, so how about some "New Math":

  • 3D: Batman's hideout (CAVE). Nice spicy clue for a not-very-exciting word.
  • 11D: Eyjafjallajökull's country: Abbr. (ICEL.). When that volcano blew, media people all over the world were thanking God for cut-and-paste.
  • 17D: Shaker on the kids' show "Blue's Clues" (MR. SALT). Hah! Gimme! I knew having children would come in handy one day!
  • 18D: Convicted Ponzi schemer Madoff (BERNIE). I didn't realize for quite a while that his last name is actually pronounced "made off." I mean, that's pretty funny, right?
  • 29D: Dental restoration (ONLAY). I wanted "inlay" here for the simple reason that it's a word I've heard before.
  • 31D: Many business letters (FAXES). Um … no. Very, very few business letters are faxes these days. I have no hard data to back up that claim, but I'm sticking to it.
  • 37D: Siren quality (ALLURE). This is the mermaid-type siren (are they mermaids?) not the ambulance-type siren.
  • 53D: Hun king, in Scandinavian legend (ATLI). This is Crosswordese 301.
  • 55D: "__ lid on it!" (PUT A). HAha! I got this one totally through crosses before I saw the clue and thought "PUTA is in the puzzle? That's ... odd."
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 21A: D-Day carrier (LST).
  • 34A: Yours, in Tours (À TOI).
  • 10D: "My Way" lyricist (ANKA).
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Everything Else — 13A: Longtime portrait studio __ Mills (OLAN); 14A: Strasbourg street (RUE); 15A: For this reason (HENCE); 19A: More than frown on (SNEER AT); 22A: "__ Tonic": 1945 Bugs Bunny title (HARE); 23A: Green source, briefly (ATM); 26A: Give as a task (ASSIGN); 35A: On Vine St., say (IN L.A.); 38A: Retailer offering video streaming (NETFLIX); 40A: Legendary work, often (EPIC); 41A: Miller __ (LITE); 43A: Emit, as a sigh (HEAVE); 47A: "Indubitably!" ("YES!"); 48A: D-Day month (JUNE); 49A: Pep (VIM); 51A: To some degree (OF A SORT); 55A: Bridge supports (PILINGS); 61A: __ ease (ILL AT); 62A: Braves, on scoreboards (ATL); 63A: 1998 skating gold medalist Lipinski (TARA); 1D: Cleans (up) using Bounty (SOPS); 2D: Greenspan concerned with green (ALAN); 4D: Get down to earth? (KNEEL); 5D: Immortals (GREATS); 6D: Patty or Selma, to Lisa Simpson (AUNT); 7D: Combo's group of numbers (SET); 8D: Number in a combo, maybe (THREE); 9D: Collect (REAP); 10D: "My Way" lyricist (ANKA); 12D: More, some say (LESS); 20D: Western driver (WAGONER); 23D: Said further (ADDED); 24D: Rubbish (TRIPE); 25D: Orlando cagers (MAGIC); 27D: Conspicuous (SALIENT); 28D: All over (RIFE); 30D: Martini garnish (OLIVE); 33D: Oil lamp feature (WICK); 39D: It might be cheap (THRILL); 46D: How villains laugh (EVILLY); 48D: Throws for a loop (JOLTS); 50D: Waters gently (MISTS); 51D: Asian sashes (OBIS); 52D: Acoustic guitar genre (FOLK); 54D: Dutch town (STAD); 56D: Minimum-range tide (NEAP); 57D: Lamb sandwich (GYRO); 58D: Usher's find (SEAT); 60D: Part of a legendary Christmas complaint (BAH).


W E D N E S D A Y   August 25, 2010
Michael J. Doran

Theme: Down in the valley — Theme answers begin with synonyms of "valley."

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Apple hater's purchase? (DELL COMPUTER).
  • 37A: 2004 Daytona 500 winner (DALE EARNHARDT, JR.).
  • 56A: "Wichita Lineman" singer (GLEN CAMPBELL).
  • 49D: Geological depression, and what the first word of 20-, 37- and 56-Across is (VALLEY).

Although I do like the way DALE EARNHARDT, JR. looks in the grid, I have to say this theme left me a little chilly. Not totally cold, but definitely on the chilly side. Two of the theme answers sound alike but the third one … doesn't. Two are names of people and the other … isn't. It's this kind of inconsistency that nags at me. And then there was the crosswordese. Yikes! that's a lot of crosswordese.

There were a couple of entries that made me smile. HAYMAKER is awesome (6D: Powerful punch) and I'm always happy to see TOQUE (9A: Chef's topper). Unfortunately, for me, both those entries put together just don't make up for UDINE (36A: City of NE Italy). Come on! That doesn't even look Italian. And please don't get me started on MANURE (8D: Farm fertilizer). Hello! Breakfast test!

Crosswordese 101: EERO Saarinen (34D: Dulles Airport terminal designer Saarinen) was a Finnish American architect and designer. He is sometimes clued in relation to his father, Eliel Saarinen, also an architect. He is often clued as "First name in design" or "First name in architecture," and if one of his works appears in the clue, it's almost always the Gateway Arch.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 17A: Pins and needles holder (ÉTUI).
  • 42A: Gaming pioneer (ATARI).
  • 48A: Eggs in labs (OVA).
  • 5D: Normandy town decimated in WWII (ST.-LÔ).
  • 12D: Ocean State sch. (URI).
  • 30D: JVC competitor (RCA).
  • 41D: Shapiro of NPR (ARI).
  • 45D: Before, before (ERE).
  • 50D: "What's My Line?" panelist Francis (ARLENE).
  • 60D: 1921 sci-fi play (RUR).
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Everything Else — 1A: Urge (SPUR); 5A: It's not what it pretends to be (SHAM); 14A: Vesuvius flow (LAVA); 15A: O'Hara home (TARA); 16A: Prevent (AVERT); 18A: Capital of Rhône department (LYON); 19A: Military lifesaver (MEDIC); 23A: Grind, as teeth (GNASH); 24A: Prefix with -naut (AERO); 25A: Bygone French coin (ECU); 28A: Aliens, for short (ET'S); 29A: Drive up the wall (IRK); 31A: Guerrero y Oaxaca (ESTADOS); 34A: Run the show (EMCEE); 43A: Mends, as socks (DARNS); 44A: Divided differently, as city land (REZONED); 47A: 10 mi. on a clear day, e.g. (VIS.); 51A: Principal tonality, as of a concerto (KEY); 52A: Ploy (RUSE); 54A: __ artery: forearm blood vessel (ULNAR); 59A: Bordeaux brother (FRÈRE); 62A: Biblical physician (LUKE); 63A: Qualified (ABLE); 64A: Mystiques (AURAS); 65A: Life sentences? (OBIT); 66A: Nothing, in Normandy (RIEN); 67A: Takes a look inside? (X-RAYS); 68A: Homes, colloquially (PADS); 69A: Ocular malady (STYE); 1D: Heavy hammer (SLEDGE); 2D: It may be pending (PATENT); 3D: Tonsil neighbors (UVULAS); 4D: Vagabonds might ride them (RAILS); 7D: Soap-on-__ (A-ROPE); 9D: Bring under control (TAME); 10D: No longer hung up on (OVER); 11D: Logical abbr. (QED); 13D: Mail Boxes __ (ETC.); 21D: Give one's two cents (CHIME IN); 22D: How-__: instruction books (TOS); 25D: Change text (EDIT); 26D: Because, e.g.: Abbr. (CONJ.); 27D: One at a keyboard, often (USER); 32D: Uncovers, as evidence (TURNS UP); 33D: Inserts (ADDS); 35D: Stop (END); 37D: Nyctophobe's fear (DARK); 38D: Suit to __ (A TEE); 39D: Like a couch potato (LAZY); 40D: Give birth (HAVE A KID); 46D: Longtime tire brand (DUNLOP); 48D: At all (ONE BIT); 53D: Explore reefs, in a way (SCUBA); 55D: Construction pieces (L-BARS); 56D: Confederate color (GRAY); 57D: Take away (LESS); 58D: Beneficiaries of Bill Buckner's famous World Series error (METS); 59D: Phoned document (FAX); 61D: Nostalgic period (ERA).


T U E S D A Y   August 24, 2010
Dave Mackey

Theme: Play ball! — Theme answers are familiar phrases that end with a word that can be related to baseball.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: Quilter's layer (COTTON BATTING).
  • 28A: Camper's activity (TENT PITCHING).
  • 49A: Not out of contention (IN THE RUNNING).
  • 59A: "Tom Jones" author (HENRY FIELDING).
A very nice Tuesday offering today. I wonder how many baseball themes constructors are going to be able to come up with. Seems like I've seen a lot of them and I haven't been doing puzzles obsessively for all that long. This one is just fine on a summer Tuesday. I wasn't crazy about TENT PITCHING. Sure, it's descriptive and wasn't hard to figure out, but it's not a stand-alone phrase and typically you want your theme answers to be stand-alone phrases.

I like that a few bonus non-theme theme answers are included in the grid:
  • 52D: Smack a homer, in baseball lingo (GO DEEP).
  • 65D: Squeeze bunt stat (RBI).
Plus a few non-baseball sports answers for good measure:
  • 18A: Defunct Atlanta arena (OMNI).
  • 36A: Hockey score (GOAL).
Other than that:
  • 5A: Start of a childhood learning song (ABCD). Now here's something that's never pleasant to see. Especially right up there in the top row.
  • 23A: Comedian/actor Robert (KLEIN).

  • 38A: Graceland middle name (ARON). Elvis Aron Presley.
  • 53A: Mario Brothers letters (NES). I believe NES is a game system, like X Box or Playstation or Wii, and that the first Mario Brothers games were created specifically for that system. If there are any gamers out there, please feel free to correct me on this.
  • 70A: Tiger's 2004 bride (ELIN). Eerie timing! No way Dave or Rich could have known that Tiger and Elin's divorce would be final yesterday. I guess Elin finally said "BEAT IT" (4D: "Amscray!").
  • 71A: Petrol purchase (LITRE). The British word "petrol" in the clue hints at the British spelling of the answer.
  • 7D: Where Jesus turned water to wine (CANA). It's a town in Galilee.
  • 8D: Composer Shostakovich (DMITRI). He doesn't show up often, but it will be a good idea for you to put this bit of knowledge in your back pocket for later.
  • 9D: Cast a spell over (BEWITCH).
  • 11D: World's second largest island (NEW GUINEA). I did not know that.
  • 21D: 10 C-notes (ONE G). A C-note is a $100 bill; $1,000 is known as a "grand" or a "G."
  • 51D: Break up a team? (UNYOKE). Talking about a team of oxen here.
Crosswordese 101: DUN means exactly what today's clue says it means — 54A: Demand payment from. I recall being surprised once that more people didn't know this word. I spent most of my professional career working for lawyers (I know!) and the "dunning letter" was a regular thing. But I guess it's not that way in every workplace. The only other way you're likely to see DUN clued is as a dull grayish brown color (sometimes in relation to a horse).

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
  • 33A: Onetime Leno announcer Hall (EDD).
  • 68A: Some woodwinds (OBOES).
  • 72A: French summers (ÉTÉS).
  • 12D: Rap's Dr. __ (DRE).
  • 47D: Indigo dye source (ANIL).
  • 50D: Capek play about automatons (RUR).
  • 63D: Marine shockers (EELS).
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Everything Else — 1A: Strikebreaker (SCAB); 9A: Music groups (BANDS); 14A: Movie director's unit (TAKE); 15A: Linguist Chomsky (NOAM); 16A: Each (EVERY); 17A: Song with a cadenza, perhaps (ARIA); 19A: Floored (WOWED); 24A: Wagon wheel depression (RUT); 25A: Country with borders on three diff. oceans (USA); 37A: Capital west of Haiphong (HANOI); 40A: Agile mountain animals (GOATS); 43A: Earth 42-Down (GEOL.); 44A: Copy room powder (TONER); 46A: Ancient Andean (INCA); 48A: Zoo swinger (APE); 55A: Ancient Greek region (IONIA); 64A: TV spot (PROMO); 66A: Shoppe adjective (OLDE); 67A: Actress/artist Sommer (ELKE); 69A: Pass unprofitably, as time (KILL); 73A: Huff and puff (PANT); 1D: Pile neatly (STACK); 2D: Holiday tune (CAROL); 3D: "Go fly __!" (A KITE); 5D: In a short time, old-style (ANON); 6D: Box office disaster (BOMB); 10D: Bell-ringing fragrance giant (AVON); 13D: Guitarist Barrett (SYD); 22D: Syllable of rebuke (TUT); 26D: Prying sort (SNOOP); 27D: Like a contortionist (AGILE); 29D: Eggy seasonal drink (NOG); 30D: Lao-tzu principle (TAO); 31D: Like the nose on your face? (PLAIN); 32D: Broom rider (HAG); 33D: Skip the bistro (EAT IN); 34D: Monotonous sound (DRONE); 35D: Plea made with one's hands up (DON'T SHOOT); 39D: Bk. after Ezra (NEH.); 41D: Former Opry network (TNN); 42D: Chem. or phys. (SCI.); 45D: Rudolph tip-off (RED NOSE); 56D: Nabisco wafer brand (NILLA); 57D: Finish, as a comic strip (INK IN); 58D: Rep (AGENT); 60D: Part of EMT: Abbr. (EMER.); 61D: Move like a butterfly (FLIT); 62D: Not working (IDLE); 64D: D.C. deal maker (POL).


M O N D A Y   August 23, 2010
David W. Cromer

Theme: Seeing Eye to Eye — Theme answers are familiar phrases that follow the pattern "[body part] to [same body part]."

[Note: If you're curious about the purple entry, check the FAQ!]

Theme answers:
  • 18A: How rivals compete (HEAD TO HEAD).
  • 28A: How lovers dance (CHEEK TO CHEEK).
  • 49A: How close friends talk (HEART TO HEART).
  • 64A: How pistol duelers stand (BACK TO BACK)
Wow. Awesome Monday puzzle today. I'm talking smoooooooth.

The only thing that slowed me down at all was the clue for SOX (48A: White or Red team). PuzzleHusband works for a government contractor and when they're working on a proposal they do several reviews throughout the process. Each one is a color and has a team associated with it. So he talks about "doing the red team" or "having the white team" and I couldn't get my brain to shift gears to anything else. Other than that, it was totally smooth sailing with a few delightful moments thrown in — for example, when I got to CHIRP (41A: Car alarm acknowledgment) and OODLES (60A: Lots and lots). Both of those words look awesome in the grid.

  • 24A: Short race, for short (ONE K). I solved the puzzle on paper today and I got this answer right. Then when I was going through to fill out the grid to post here, I typed in "TEN K" and thought to myself "Some people probably don't think that's a terrible short race!"
  • 46A: Año starter (ENERO). Spanish! ENERO = January. Año = YEAR. Año without the tilde means … something else.
  • 52A: Arrive dressed up like (COME AS). With a different clue, this answer could have really sucked, but this one is perfect.
  • 68A: Longtime Hydrox competitor (OREO). Hydrox does not sound like it should be the name of a cookie. It sounds more like it contains poison.
  • 72A: "It's somebody __ problem" (ELSE'S). The only clunker in the grid, as far as I'm concerned.
  • 5D: Good at sports (ATHLETIC). This is a great word to know, particularly when you're talking about girls. Several years ago I thought about having a t-shirt made that said "I'm not a TOMBOY, I'm an ATHLETE."
  • 25D: Okay to consume, as for Passover (KOSHER). Isn't there more to it than that? Pretty sure Passover is the time of year observant Jews do major kitchen cleaning because there are some very specific foods that aren't allowed.
  • 31D: Black of country music (CLINT).

  • 52D: Explorer Sebastian (CABOT). I swear I didn't know there was another Sebastian CABOT besides the guy who played Mr. French on "Family Affair" until a couple years ago when I learned it in a crossword puzzle. That's pretty sad.
  • 59D: Dallas NBA team (MAVS). Should there be a hint in the clue that the answer will be a short form? On a Monday, I would say yes.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 1A: Poet Khayyám (OMAR).
  • 17A: Rara __ (AVIS).
  • 70A: Actor Morales (ESAI).
  • 21D: "Diana" singer Paul (ANKA).
  • 30D: Islamic ruler (EMIR).
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Everything Else — 5A: Stroll (AMBLE); 10A: Retail mecca (MALL); 14A: Repetitious learning technique (ROTE); 15A: Eagle's weapon (TALON); 16A: Subject of a court bargain (PLEA); 20A: Deadly (LETHAL); 22A: Icy North Atlantic hazard (BERG); 23A: Exploit (USE); 26A: Upper crust groups (ELITES); 33A: Outer edge (RIM); 34A: Path between supermarket shelves (AISLE); 35A: Transportation station (DEPOT); 39A: "Carmen" highlight (ARIA); 43A: Assistant (AIDE); 44A: What a lenient judge may show (MERCY); 55A: Exiled Roman poet (OVID); 56A: "Eureka!" ("AHA!"); 57A: Fraud (SHAM); 67A: Kappa preceder, alphabetically (IOTA); 69A: Show with varied acts (REVUE); 71A: "Bill & __ Excellent Adventure" (TED'S); 73A: eBay command (SELL); 1D: Like some graduate tests (ORAL); 2D: Find new digs (MOVE); 3D: Working hard (AT IT); 4D: Do a blacksmith's job (RESHOE); 6D: West in old movies (MAE); 7D: Spill the beans (BLAB); 8D: Miner's bonanza (LODE); 9D: Course between salad and dessert (ENTRÉE); 10D: Dashboard abbr. (MPH); 11D: Indigenous Alaskan (ALEUT); 12D: Landlord's contract (LEASE); 13D: Packs in a hold (LADES); 19D: More than glanced at (OGLED); 27D: Swedish furniture retailer (IKEA); 28D: Study feverishly (CRAM); 29D: Add to the staff (HIRE); 32D: Annexed __: attached as part of this document (HERETO); 36D: Leaning tower city (PISA); 37D: Olfactory offense (ODOR); 38D: Manuscript passage (TEXT); 40D: Tylenol target (ACHE); 42D: Tries to get a rise out of (PROVOKES); 45D: Bakers get a rise out of it (YEAST); 47D: West Virginia neighbor (OHIO); 50D: "Michael, Row the Boat __" (ASHORE); 51D: Whirlpools (EDDIES); 53D: Chicago hub (O'HARE); 54D: Sprayed with tear gas (MACED); 58D: Cain's victim (ABEL); 61D: Be defeated (LOSE); 62D: Lat. list ender (ET AL.); 63D: Regatta flapper (SAIL); 65D: WBA stats (KO'S); 66D: Pool tool (CUE).


S U N D A Y   August 22, 2010
Sylvia Bursztyn (calendar)

[Note: The L.A. Times mistakenly posted the syndicated puzzle in the calendar section today. Because I don't get the actual paper, I won't have access to Sylvia's puzzle until it's available online. Last time this happened, the puzzle was online the following day. As soon as it's available, I'll post it.]

Theme: Poetry Puns — Poetry puns!

[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:
  • 21A: Taking a remedial poetry course? (IN COUPLET'S THERAPY).
  • 39A: Promising young poet? (GOOD ODE BOY).
  • 55A: Poetry course? (VERSE CLASS).
  • 83A: Prosperous period for poems? (SONNET BOOM).
  • 98A: Virtually any line from Shakespeare? (IAMB LEGEND).
  • 120A: Baseball poem figure? (CATCHER IN THE RHYME).
  • 1D: Exhibit of poetic feet? (DACTYL GALLERY).
  • 59D: Homegrown poem? (AMERICAN IDYLL).
Everything Else — 1A: Poetic profundities (DEEPS); 6A: Word with wheel or deal (BIG); 9A: Dig bit (SHARD); 14A: MoMA's home (NYC); 17A: Zippy clip (GALLOP); 18A: Oscar role for Ingrid (ANASTASIA); 20A: Battery size (AAA); 23A: CD earnings (INT.); 24A: Witticism (MOT); 25A: Screen's Neeson (LIAM); 26A: Sultry (TORRID); 27A: Pound sounds (BARKS); 29A: --- nitrate (AMYL); 31A: Serpico's org. (NYPD); 33A: Good name for a litigator? (SUE); 34A: Unlikely (REMOTE); 35A: Tennis champ Monica (SELES); 37A: Dele retractor (STET); 42A: Horse's stride (GAIT); 44A: "Time --- My Side" (IS ON); 46A: Muriel Spark or Robert Burns (SCOT); 47A: Turned six? (NINE); 48A: James of "Boston Legal" (SPADER); 50A: Derby town (EPSOM); 52A: "Feed ---, starve ..." (A COLD); 54A: www address (URL); 58A: Inn name (RAMADA); 62A: Ease (RELIEVE); 64A: Grace's prince (RAINIER); 66A: Fiend (DEMON); 67A: Pitcher (EWER); 68A: Ibiza, "por ejemplo" (ISLA); 70A: Went platinum? (DYED); 72A: Guitar part (NECK); 73A: It's a wrap (SARAN); 75A: Add water to (HYDRATE); 79A: Hole in the head (NOSTRIL); 81A: Assignations (TRYSTS); 85A: Tahiti, "par exemple" (ILE); 86A: Kind of dog (CHILI); 88A: Gawk (STARE); 89A: Sister's daughters (NIECES); 91A: Three, in Seehausen (DREI); 94A: Novelist Jaffe (RONA); 96A: This land is Ur land (IRAQ); 97A: Memorable Bombeck (ERMA); 101A: Atlantic fish (SCUP); 103A: "Roots" role (KINTE); 106A: Arthurian paradise (AVALON); 107A: "I like!" ("OOH!"); 109A: Sharp (KEEN); 111A: Evened the score (TIED); 112A: Pay for more People (RENEW); 113A: Old Persian potentate (SATRAP); 116A: Hang in a low place? (SLUM); 118A: U came after him (DAG); 119A: Pier gp. (ILA); 124A: Tippler (SOT); 125A: Cognizance (AWARENESS); 126A: Benefits (AVAILS); 127A: Driver's doodad (TEE); 128A: Cubist Fernand (LEGER); 129A: Pasture call (MAA); 130A: "--- "tov"!" (MAZEL); 2D: "Telephone Line" gp. (ELO); 3D: Month after Av (ELUL); 4D: Drop by (POP IN); 5D: Spreads out (SPLAYS); 6D: Be up (BAT); 7D: "Meet Me --- Louis" (IN ST.); 8D: Felipe's felines (GATOS); 9D: Music setups (STEREOS); 10D: Last name in spydom (HARI); 11D: "Take --- song and make it ..." (A SAD); 12D: Make the rent? (RIP); 13D: Spare room item (DAY BED); 14D: Kenya's capital (NAIROBI); 15D: South Dakota city (YANKTON); 16D: Playing marble (CAT'S EYE); 17D: Folklore fellow (GNOME); 19D: "Beats me," in body language (SHRUG); 21D: "--- corny ..." (IM AS); 22D: Drains (EMPTIES); 28D: Constitutional add-on (AMENDMENT); 30D: Show the way (LEAD); 32D: Eagles classic (DESPERADO); 34D: Helicopter feature (ROTOR); 36D: Colander kin (SIEVE); 38D: Puccini classic (TOSCA); 40D: "Juno and the Paycock" playwright (O'CASEY); 41D: Elmer, to Bugs (DOC); 43D: Coin-filled fountain (TREVI); 45D: --- "me tangere" (NOLI); 48D: Most reliable (SUREST); 49D: Antebellum (PREWAR); 51D: "Whew!" ("MAN!"); 53D: Stripling (LAD); 56D: Hebrew letter (RESH); 57D: Distract (SIDETRACK); 60D: Tractable (DOCILE); 61D: Departs, per Variety (ANKLES); 63D: Cantankerous (IRASCIBLE); 65D: City near Sparks (RENO); 69D: Essential amino acid (LYSINE); 71D: Literature's Lorna (DOONE); 74D: Extreme degree (NTH); 76D: Hosp. personnel (RN'S); 77D: No voter (ANTI); 78D: Drops from ducts (TEARS); 80D: Smug smile (SMIRK); 82D: Rock singer? (SIREN); 84D: Will power? (BEQUEST); 87D: Campfire fuel (LOG); 90D: Give off (EMIT); 91D: Pepys, famously (DIARIST); 92D: Silas Marner's village (RAVELOE); 93D: Send forth (EMANATE); 95D: One more (ANOTHER); 99D: Lite (LOW-CAL); 100D: Quiz scandal's Charles Van --- (DOREN); 102D: "The Taking of --- 1 2 3" (PELHAM); 104D: Cowboys and Spurs (TEAMS); 105D: Advantage (EDGE); 108D: Seraglio (HAREM); 110D: New, in Quintana Roo (NUEVA); 113D: Just for guys (STAG); 114D: Plot part (ACRE); 115D: City on the Arno (PISA); 117D: "I'm Yours" singer Jason (MRAZ); 121D: Dazzle (AWE); 122D: Hush-hush org. (NSA); 123D: Get moving (HIE).

S U N D A Y   August 22, 2010 — Pamela Amick Klawitter (syndicated)

Theme: "An Earlier Flight" — The letter string SST is hidden in 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:
  • 23A: Military overstock seller (ARMY SURPLUS STORE).
  • 33A: 21-Across are taken on it (WITNESS STAND).
  • 38A: Nickname at the Derby (BLUEGRASS STATE).
  • 65A: "No verdict yet" ("THE JURY IS STILL OUT").
  • 92A: Applying to all (ACROSS THE BOARD).
  • 101A: Exerts influence (PULLS STRINGS).
  • 116A: 1952 Jane Russell film (THE LAS VEGAS STORY).
  • 118D: Earlier flight hidden in the seven longest puzzle answers (SST).
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:

  • 53A: New Balance competitor (AVIA).
  • 1D: Ice cream thickeners (AGARS).
  • 15D: Arp contemporary (ERNST).
Everything Else — 1A: Ed of "Lou Grant" (ASNER); 6A: Lou Grant's ex (EDIE); 10A: Cuts the crop (REAPS); 15A: Even start? (EQUI-); 19A: Dutch big wheel? (GOUDA); 20A: Falana of "Golden Boy" (LOLA); 21A: Formal promises (OATHS); 22A: Arrivals at home, perhaps (RUNS); 26A: "Sorry, can't" ("NOPE"); 27A: Stonewall Jackson et al. (REBS); 28A: Sales chart metaphors (PIES); 29A: R&B singer __ Marie (TEENA); 30A: Sean of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy (ASTIN); 31A: Jun. grads (SRS.); 32A: Corp. moneymen (CFO'S); 35A: Yoo-__: beverage (HOO); 36A: 50-Across wrong? (AIN'T); 37A: Deli array (MEAT); 44A: Often critical innings (NINTHS); 49A: Turner on the screen (LANA); 50A: 36-Across right? (ISN'T); 51A: Pro foe (ANTI); 54A: All worked up (IN A LATHER); 56A: List of rounds (BAR TAB); 58A: Stock holder? (BARN); 59A: Skins (PELTS); 60A: Chair designer Charles (EAMES); 62A: Reason for a court replay (LET); 64A: Born (NÉE); 71A: "Ginger __": 1952 Newbery Medal-winning book (PYE); 73A: Big rig compartment (CAB); 74A: Pitch-related (TONAL); 75A: "A Paper Life" autobiographer (O'NEAL); 78A: Spanish bread (EURO); 80A: Places under siege (BESETS); 83A: San Bernardino suburb (LOMA LINDA); 86A: Draft choices (ALES); 87A: A TV Maverick (BRET); 88A: Notice (ESPY); 89A: Go off the deep end (SNAP); 90A: Play the siren (SEDUCE); 97A: Ray Stevens's "Ahab the __" (ARAB); 99A: Skin soother (ALOE); 100A: River to the Rhone (AIN); 106A: Bribes, with "off" (PAYS); 108A: Pepper, e.g.: Abbr. (SGT.); 111A: Novelist Nin (ANAÏS); 112A: Engineer Nikola (TESLA); 113A: Ball role (MAME); 114A: Restaurateur Toots (SHOR); 115A: Devils' playground? (RINK); 119A: Old Venetian elder (DOGE); 120A: Brings down the house? (RAZES); 121A: Start of an Andy Capp toast ('ERE'S); 122A: Backs up (SAVES); 123A: Tens neighbor (ONES); 124A: Controversial explosion (A-TEST); 125A: Unschooled signers (X'ERS); 126A: Lott of Mississippi (TRENT); 2D: More put out (SORER); 3D: Uses an icepack on (NUMBS); 4D: Slow Churned ice cream brand (EDY'S); 5D: Dorm bosses, briefly (RA'S); 6D: Ventura County town who name means "the river" (EL RIO); 7D: Chowderheads (DOPES); 8D: Afflictions (ILLS); 9D: Mer filler (EAU); 10D: Nile home of an historic stone (ROSETTA); 11D: Moth tail? (EATEN); 12D: Satisfaction of a sort (ATONEMENT); 13D: It's elegant when turned (PHRASE); 14D: Opposite of NNW (SSE); 16D: Limit of a kind (QUOTA); 17D: Let down, as hair (UNPIN); 18D: "Children, Go Where __ Thee": spiritual (I SEND); 24D: Raring to go (UP FOR IT); 25D: Hitch (STINT); 30D: Italian wine city (ASTI); 32D: ___ railway (COG); 33D: Badger's st. (WIS.); 34D: Florida resort island (SANIBEL); 35D: A "4-H" H (HEALTH); 36D: Bad way to be led (ASTRAY); 38D: Radar signal (BLIP); 39D: Spot for a strike (LANE); 40D: The same as always (UNALTERED); 41D: Reminder of an old flame? (ASH); 42D: Disdainful glance (SNEER); 43D: Road topper (TAR); 45D: Collar (NAB); 46D: Dish alternative (TV ANTENNA); 47D: Bring aboard (HIRE); 48D: Having no screws loose? (SANE); 52D: Like a hard-to-fill order (TALL); 55D: "Hang on __" (A SEC); 56D: Córdoba kisses (BESOS); 57D: AAA part: Abbr. (ASSN.); 61D: You might have a hand in it (MITT); 63D: Shop item (TOOL); 66D: Goes on and on (JABBERS); 67D: It's over for Hans (ÜBER); 68D: "Unto the Sons" novelist (TALESE); 69D: Postgame recap? (I LOST); 70D: A choir may sing in it (UNISON); 71D: Pod fillers (PEAS); 72D: Time for carols (YULE); 76D: Purim's month (ADAR); 77D: "Dragnet" gp. (LAPD); 79D: The Beavers of the Pac-10 (OSU); 81D: Boardwalk cooler (SEA BREEZE); 82D: More of the same, briefly (ETC.); 84D: NASCAR stat (MPH); 85D: Madagascan lemurs (AYEAYES); 91D: Mama of pop (CASS); 93D: Didn't outrace anyone (RAN LAST); 94D: Gymnast Korbut et al. (OLGAS); 95D: "Mamma Mia" number (SOS); 96D: Grafton's "__ for Burglar" (B IS); 98D: In addition (AT THAT); 101D: "SNL" announcer (PARDO); 102D: Group for people in labor? (UNION); 103D: "Tootsie" role winner (LANGE); 104D: eHarmony category (LIKES); 105D: Archipelago units (ISLES); 106D: Sales rep's gadget (PAGER); 107D: Get a load of (AMASS); 108D: Sail, with "off" (SHOVE); 109D: Bridge immortal (GOREN); 110D: Risky rendezvous (TRYST); 113D: It often precedes technicalities (MERE); 114D: Bronze __ (STAR); 116D: Part of a chorus line? (TRA); 117D: Bug (VEX).