S U N D A Y   September 19, 2010
Jeff Chen (syndicated)

Theme: "Location, Location, Location" — Theme answers are familiar phrases with the initials U.R.

[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:
  • 21A: Alternative media magazine since 1984 (UTNE READER).
  • 26A: City improvement program (URBAN RENEWAL).
  • 43A: Moving option (UHAUL RENTAL).
  • 50A: "Song of the South" storyteller (UNCLE REMUS).
  • 63A: Den controller (UNIVERSAL REMOTE).
  • 77A: Consumer Reports feature (USER REVIEW).
  • 85A: Score after a 22-Down, usually (UNEARNED RUN).
  • 98A: Rot (UTTER RUBBISH).
  • 109A: Mall map phrase, and a homophonic hint to this puzzle's theme (YOU ARE HERE).
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 31A: Napa prefix (OENO-).
  • 53A: Food scrap (ORT).
  • 73A: Indian dignitary (RANEE).
  • 108A: Like a stadium full of cheering fans (AROAR).
  • 55D: Gelling agents (AGARS).
  • 72D: British guns (STENS).
  • 100D: __ Minor (URSA).
Everything Else — 1A: Game with triples and doubles (DARTS); 6A: Strike out (OMIT); 10A: Rogen of "Knocked Up" (SETH); 14A: Singer's syllable (TRA); 17A: On the ball (ALERT); 18A: Composer of the "Brandenburg" concertos (BACH); 19A: Virile (MACHO); 20A: Scold, with "out" (CHEW); 23A: Woolf's "__ of One's Own" (A ROOM); 24A: Overhaul (REDO); 25A: Consequence of selfish acts, some say (BAD KARMA); 29A: Pulitzer category (DRAMA); 32A: Old commercial prefix with mat (FOTO-); 33A: Tabasco, por ejemplo (ESTADO); 37A: Sully (SOIL); 39A: Gazed amazedly (MARVELED); 46A: Place (SITE); 47A: One way to swing (FRO); 48A: Driving __ (RANGE); 49A: Swimming cap brand (VOIT); 54A: Secure in a harbor (MOOR); 55A: Monopoly buys: Abbr. (AVES.); 56A: Go with the flow (ADAPT); 57A: They're often not on the menu (SPECIALS); 60A: Fluish feeling (AGUE); 61A: Terse negation (IT ISN'T); 66A: Coke collectible (BOTTLE); 68A: Cajun vegetable (OKRA); 69A: Desert menaces (RATTLERS); 74A: Calendar col. (TUES.); 75A: Short smokes? (CIGS); 76A: Droid (BOT); 80A: School in Durham (DUKE); 81A: Feudal lord (LIEGE); 83A: Rose-rose-rose-rose connector (IS A); 84A: Distillery vessels (VATS); 87A: "No prob!" ("NOT AT ALL!"); 90A: Herr's partner (FRAU); 91A: Patterned marbles (AGATES); 92A: __ League (ARAB); 93A: Bibliographic abbr. (ET AL.); 95A: It eats shoots and leaves (PANDA); 102A: Recites effortlessly (REELS OFF); 107A: Quarter, e.g. (COIN); 111A: Capital NNW of Santiago (LIMA); 112A: Illegal lending tactic (USURY); 113A: Chapter 11 issue (DEBT); 114A: Allied (with) (SIDED); 115A: Black and tan half (ALE); 116A: D.C. team (NATS); 117A: Memorable periods (ERAS); 118A: League divisions (EASTS); 1D: Smear (DAUB); 2D: Resort near Snowbird (ALTA); 3D: Tear to pieces (REND); 4D: Tough journey (TREK); 5D: Equivocate (STRADDLE); 6D: He bested Clinton in 2008 (OBAMA); 7D: Speaker's title, perhaps (MADAM); 8D: Curling surface (ICE); 9D: Unlike a dead end, briefly (THRU); 10D: Kitchen wrap (SARAN); 11D: Field involving scarcity and elasticity (ECONOMICS); 12D: Superhero based on a god (THOR); 13D: "Smooth sailing from here!" ("HOME FREE!"); 14D: Chaney title role (THE WOLFMAN); 15D: Unwanted letter of fiction (RED A); 16D: MP's quarry (AWOL); 19D: Silents actress Normand (MABEL); 20D: Minotaur's island (CRETE); 22D: Diamond flaw? (ERROR); 27D: Agitate (ROIL); 28D: Calendar pg. (NOV.); 30D: Moving about (ASTIR); 33D: Continental money (EUROS); 34D: Astute (SHARP); 35D: Oncle's spouse (TANTE); 36D: What "8" may represent: Abbr. (AUG.); 38D: Feedbag morsel (OAT); 40D: View from Nantucket: Abbr. (ATL.); 41D: Burst (ERUPT); 42D: "__ thou know who made thee?": Blake (DOST); 44D: Develop slowly (EVOLVE); 45D: Rope loop (NOOSE); 46D: Look of disdain (SNEER); 50D: Throat projection (UVULA); 51D: "Something to Talk About" Grammy winner (RAITT); 52D: Comet brand before it was reassigned to Mercury (EDSEL); 54D: "You've got __" (MAIL); 58D: More adorable (CUTER); 59D: Lay to rest (INTER); 60D: Cockeyed (ASKEW); 61D: Diagnostic machine (IMAGER); 62D: Rug rats (TOTS); 64D: Lecherous sorts (ROUES); 65D: Eleniak of "Baywatch" (ERIKA); 66D: Low man (BASSO); 67D: Revolving door recommendation (ONE AT A TIME); 70D: Film critic Roger (EBERT); 71D: Scoundrel (ROGUE); 73D: Bankrupt (RUIN); 74D: Boxer's dream (TITLE BOUT); 75D: Get ready to play, as a CD track (CUE UP); 78D: Noted WWII bride (EVA BRAUN); 79D: Kilmer of "The Saint" (VAL); 80D: Chromosome component (DNA); 81D: Language involving fine print? (LEGALESE); 82D: Wash. neighbor (IDA.); 85D: www addresses (URL'S); 86D: Four-time presidential candidate (NADER); 88D: Combat zone (ARENA); 89D: Sailor (TAR); 90D: Godmother, at times (FAIRY); 94D: Uphill pullers (T-BARS); 96D: Curaĉao neighbor (ARUBA); 97D: __-foot oil (NEATS); 98D: Winner of seven straight NCAA hoops championships (UCLA); 99D: Labor (TOIL); 101D: Fictional alter ego (HYDE); 103D: Sunni relative (SHIA); 104D: Weighty refs. (OED'S); 105D: Stew (FRET); 106D: Some raiders (FEDS); 110D: Anthem preposition (O'ER).


Van55 said...

The theme didn't do a thing for me.

On the other hand, the puzzle was crisp, fresh, fun and fine. Well done.

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Far far too easy for a Sunday puzzle. Is the LAT slipping back into their old habit of dumbing down the weekend puzzles? Here’s a clear case of sacrificing fill quality for developing a complex theme. Jeff Chen has done just that and I’m very disappointed with his overall puzzle quality. Anyway, let me focus on some good stuff: UTNE READER, MABEL Normand, THE WOLFMAN, EVA BRAUN, and of course our own Michael “Astute” SHARP. Sorry REX, I didn’t mean to lump you in with these other characters.

UNCLE REMUS has been deemed the most "politically incorrect" children’s stories ever written” by liberal book reviewers. UTTER RUBBISH! In my opinion, they're amongst the most delightful and moral stories ever written. How the heck could anyone call Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah racist? How about a book USER REVIEW?

I hate seeing the term “Knocked Up” as a clue (10A), or anywhere for that matter.

Time to watch “Meet the Press” and get ready for the big Chicago/Dallas game.
Have a terrific day y’all!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the puzzle and found the theme rather clever. The calendar sub-theme was okay too. After filling in "roue" and "rogue" I was expecting the ubiquitous "cad" to make his appearance.

Nice job, Mister Chen.

PurpleGuy said...

The puzzle was fun and fresh and crisp.

The theme, on the other hand, was stupid and
quite honestly sucked.

EP123 said...

Puzzle was definitely easier this week. The theme was somewhat lame as well. Some good clues however with equally good answers. Out of 10 a good 7.


Somehow a Sunday 21x21 grid with 139 clues should be twice as hard as a Saturday 15x15 grid with 70 clues, but I actually did today's in half the time of yesterday's... something's wrong with that. Jeff put in a lot of real crappy fill just for the sake of creating 9 themes. That's just not how a good puzzle should be. You quickly fill in all the @#$%& crosswordese and there you have all the themes done.
Huh? There were 18 U's and not a single Q?
I think on Sundays I'm going to switch over to the NY Times from now on.

Anonymous said...

JNH; You are incorrect as to the correct difficulty level for a Sunday! If a 21x21 had the level of cluing a Saturday did 75% of solvers would not finish it, some people have lives besides xword puzzles and won't waste an hour and a half doing one. Sunday also needs to be accessable to newcomers for some it's the only puzzle they do all week. Quit being such a snob.

Anonymous said...

@JNH; Furthermore, if you are such an expert on crossword construction why don't you submit a puzzle to Rich? It appears that he has so few submissions that he had to construct Mondays puzzle (Samantha Wine = whats in a name) himself! If you're such an expert, craft a Monday LAT puzzle! Man up, or shut up!

Ghostrider said...
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Orange said...

Sheesh, (some of) you people are negative!

First off, this puzzle was on the easy side, but there are other easier Sunday puzzles out there. Frank Longo's excellent-but-easy Premier King puzzle and the Newsday Sunday puzzle are likely to both be easier, week after week, than Jeff's puzzle. I have seen zero evidence that the Sunday LAT puzzles are getting markedly easier—this was one outlier.

Yes, the theme was dry and straightforward, no tricky wordplay or inherent humor. You can't say that? You go with "sucked" and "lame"? C'mon, people, you're smarter than that. Describe what you didn't care for rather than taking the name-calling shortcut.

JNH, I honestly don't know what words you think are subpar fill or crosswordese. I thought the fill was fine, with some sparkle.

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Well, I sure didn't think I'd be attacked (again) by those @Anon people just for expressing my opinion. Again I say, "are we here to critique a puzzle construction, or are we here to critique each other's honest comments?"

I appreciate your level-headed comments about non-descriptive commenters. I myself try to give honest reasons why I don't like a puzzle. I'm seeing more and more name-calling in this blog and that really disappoints me in the maturity and intelligence of the blogees here.

Tuttle said...

How the heck could anyone call Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah racist?

That song was written in 1946 for the film Song of the South. It's not part of the original Uncle Remus stories.

That said, the actual stories transmitted through the Uncle Remus books are classic southern black folklore and are not, aside from some hackneyed stereotyping, particularly distasteful. It's the defense of slavery in the author's introduction of the first volume that's simply unacceptable to modern readers.