S U N D A Y   September 26, 2010
Damien Peterson (syndicated)

Theme: "Mal de Mer" — Theme answers are familiar phrase with the letter string MER added to them, creating new wacky phrases clued "?"-style.

[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: Response to "What's a six-letter answer for 'Silent performer'?"? (MUMMER'S THE WORD).
  • 50A: Seaside vacation disappointment? (BEACH BUMMER).
  • 60A: Prison performer? (SLAMMER DANCER).
  • 75A: Team in an agricultural all-star game? (THE FARMER SIDE).
  • 84A: Station that exclusively plays rapper MC's hits? (HAMMER RADIO).
  • 118A: Like steak cooked by an enchanting chef? (CHARMER BROILED).
  • 32D: Sugary complaint? (CANDIED YAMMER).
  • 34D: More cordial old-timer? (WARMER VETERAN).
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 52A: Sub in a tub (OLEO).
  • 55A: Being, to Augustus (ESSE).
  • 72A: Palindromic "before" (ERE).
  • 79A: Rhein tributary (AARE).
  • 101A: Flightless bird, nowadays? (SST).
  • 109A: Repentant one (RUER).
  • 15D: River inlets (RIAS).
  • 74D: Grape soda brand (NEHI).
  • 76D: P-like letter (RHO).
  • 85D: Dada co-founder (ARP).
  • 119D: Thames islet (AIT).
  • 120D: Sch. in Troy, NY (RPI).
Everything Else — 1A: Railroad foundation (ROADBED); 8A: Short chat? (CONFAB); 14A: Destroys (WRECKS); 20A: Philosopher's term (A PRIORI); 21A: Portugal's second-largest city (OPORTO); 22A: __ reason (WITHIN); 25A: Superficiality (FACADE); 26A: Memo opener (AS PER); 27A: Spots for seaside strolls (PIERS); 28A: Professor's end? (-IAL); 30A: Spot for seaside strolls (SHORE); 31A: Agnus __: Mass prayers (DEIS); 32A: Poolroom array (CUES); 33A: Loud bird (MACAW); 35A: The whole shebang (A TO Z); 36A: Bermuda hrs. (AST); 37A: Five-time NBA championship-winning coach (PAT RILEY); 40A: Shah's land, once (IRAN); 42A: Manhattan cooler? (ICE); 43A: Siskel or Shalit (GENE); 44A: Sleeveless garment (VEST); 45A: Dinghy pair (OARLOCKS); 47A: Mountainous region in Genesis (GILEAD); 53A: Actress Lupino (IDA); 56A: Corn remnants (COBS); 66A: Full of team spirit (RAH-RAH); 68A: Different (ODD); 69A: Picture cards? (ID'S); 70A: Capital of Nord, France (LILLE); 71A: Super Bowl honoree (MVP); 73A: Agitated state (FRENZY); 78A: Roller on a Rolls (TYRE); 82A: Worked (up) (HET); 83A: Pair at the altar (I DOS); 90A: Sci-fi psychic (EMPATH); 92A: Declared (AFFIRMED); 95A: Powerful energy-market gp. (OPEC); 96A: Abbey titles (FRAS.); 97A: Mex. title (SRA.); 98A: Bench-presser's pride (PECS); 99A: "Risky Business" co-star (DEMORNAY); 104A: Idée source (TÊTE); 106A: French wine region (RHONE); 108A: Heads or tails, e.g. (NOUN); 110A: Wrap-up (RECAP); 112A: Program file suffix (EXE); 113A: Relief agcy. founded in the U.K. in 1942 (OXFAM); 115A: NFL ref, in slang (ZEBRA); 116A: Sacred birds (IBISES); 121A: Bistro, informally (NITERY); 122A: Comes up (ARISES); 123A: Unisex (EPICENE); 124A: Yellowstone attraction (GEYSER); 125A: "Candid Camera" bits (PUT-ONS); 126A: Name of earthshaking importance? (RICHTER); 1D: Inn crowd option (RAMADA); 2D: Musical works (OPUSES); 3D: It's exposed many times during the singing of "YMCA" (ARMPIT); 4D: 40% of quarters? (DIMES); 5D: Transvaal settler (BOER); 6D: Make a misstep (ERR); 7D: Argument (DISPUTE); 8D: Like good arguments (COHESIVE); 9D: Phone abbr. (OPER); 10D: "__ the time!" (NOW'S); 11D: Not to (FRO); 12D: Hotel courts (ATRIA); 13D: Amazing, in dialect (BODACIOUS); 14D: Hulk Hogan's '80s-'90s org. (WWF); 16D: __ Sketch (ETCH-A-); 17D: Hardly orderly (CHAOTIC); 18D: "All Summer Long" singer, 2008 (KID ROCK); 19D: Cold signs (SNEEZES); 24D: Theater section (TIER); 29D: '40s-'70s Coliseum team (LA RAMS); 33D: It's not true (MYTH); 37D: Stew veggie (PEA); 38D: Cow country (LEA); 39D: Part of many a mtge. payment (ESC.); 41D: Marlins' div. (NLE); 43D: Trig. prerequisite (GEOM.); 46D: Mus. ensemble (ORCH.); 47D: Become lenient, as on crime (GO SOFT); 48D: Offer to a dishwasher (I'LL DRY); 49D: Boss (LEADER); 50D: Counterfeit (BAD); 51D: Kentucky college or its city (BEREA); 54D: Operations mgrs. (DRS.); 57D: Food company named for two states (ORE-IDA); 58D: 1956 star of Vadim's "And God Created Woman" (BARDOT); 59D: "Yikes!" ("SHEESH!"); 61D: "Les __" (MIZ); 62D: Modify (ALTER); 63D: Bethesda-based research org. (NIH); 64D: Largest OH airport (CLE); 65D: Santa staffer (ELF); 67D: Car loan abbr. (APR); 71D: M.'s partner (MME.); 77D: Makes a drink last (SIPS); 80D: "Cocoon" Oscar winner (AMECHE); 81D: Fenway souvenir (RED SOX CAP); 86D: Used taxis (RODE); 87D: Big klutz (APE); 88D: JFK, but not LAX (DEM); 89D: Case-breaking words (I CONFESS); 91D: When moms are honored (MAY); 92D: Guitar's second-lowest (A STRING); 93D: Hotel soap, say (FREEBIE); 94D: Easy Street's metropolis? (FAT CITY); 96D: Stop in photography? (F NUMBER); 100D: Engine sound (ROAR); 101D: Lease prohibition (SUBLET); 102D: Unruffled (SERENE); 103D: Wall Street worker (TRADER); 105D: Facilitates (EASES); 107D: India's prime minister before Shastri (NEHRU); 109D: Wealthy, in Weimar (REICH); 111D: Fille's father (PÈRE); 113D: Roughly (OR SO); 114D: Marvel Comics heroes (X-MEN); 115D: Suffix with Paleo- (ZOIC); 117D: Half of the UAR (SYR.).


Van55 said...

From SSTS to the many abbreviations there was just to much in this one for me to enjoy. Not a good Sunday here or at the NY Times.

Van55 said...

"not too much" for me to enjoy.

PurpleGuy said...

I agree with @Van55. Did not enjoy.
Seemed like a real slog to get through.

SNEERY ?????????? Bah. That was the last straw.

Tinbeni said...

Now I remember why I rarely do the Sunday puzzle (unless it's a rainy day).

First off, though "I get the theme" add 'MER' to a familiar phrase, get new wacky phrase. This BEACH BUM found this puzzle to be a BUMMER.

(Ed.Note: I circle the number of a clue I question as to being:
(a) Too obscure
(b) Too misleading
(c) Too lousy of a clue (IMHO)
Monday thru Thursday, I'm surprised if I have one clue # circled. Friday and Saturday, maybe 2 or 3.

Today, when I finished I had 18 circles with the word "boo" next to four of them.

My least fave was at 121A, Bristro, informally = NITERY. Never heard them called that before.

66A, Full of team spirit = RAH RAH. Not equivocal.

I wanted SNEERY to be back for an encore.

ddbmc said...

Hi, @PG. I think the screen shot of today's Damien Peterson puzzle is incorrect on the blog.

Also, @Purple Guy and @Tin, I don't see SNEERY anywhere. Am I blind? If I filled it in, it must have been via crosses! For 35A, did you put 'AT-OR?" Instead of "A TO Z" and at 42A-ICY instead of ICE? Because I got 19D-Cold signs as SNEEZES. Just wondering!

Although there was a fair amount of cw fill, I laughed out loud with
3D's YMCA clue. Also loved BODACIOUS (ta tas?)

Loved seeing my REDSOX(cap) mentioned. Hope they beat the Yankees tonight!

Tinbeni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tinbeni said...

SNEERY was in the Saturday LAT clued as "Derisive."

Now about that RED SOX CAP ... low point of the puzzle (JMHO).

OK, they are being complete pests (stronger word intended) to my 1-A team, the 27 time World Series Champions, New York Yankees, aka Murder's Row. Who have a Magic Number of 3 to make the playoffs.

Hope your Sox like playing golf in October.

As to the YMCA clue, well I can't remember when I was dancing to the song that the thing I noticed from the ladies in the crowd (also dancing) was ARMPIT. (And shouldn't that be plural?)

ddbmc said...

@Tin! Sorry my Red Sox are giving your Yankees such a hard time! (kinda like no-see-ums!) Can't believe you're not a Tampa Bay fan! Wonder if the NYY-TOR game will be rained out tonight.

Sox will be playing golf in Ft. Meyers shortly, I imagine. Like my Devils did after the NHL 2010 season! Sigh!

Yes, ARMPITS would have been correct. And you are also correct, doing the YMCA dance, you gents would be more likely to notice a jiggle of another sort.

Didn't get to do Saturday's puzzle--too busy--so I missed SNEERY. Glad I did!

Tuttle said...

Only the Brits refer to the city of Porto as OPORTO (and rarely then, they certainly refer to the local soccer team as "FC Porto"). Then again, only the Brits call a tire a TYRE.

OPUSES/opera. Atriums/ATRIA. Now, I don't mind affected Latin plurals (if they're correct) but a little consistency would be nice.