S U N D A Y   October 31, 2010
Sylvia Bursztyn (calendar)

Theme: "31st Holiday" Halloween 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:
  • 22A: Halloween permit? (HAUNTING LICENSE).
  • 36A: Halloween VIPs? (GHOSTS OF HONOR).
  • 56A: Halloween savvy? (TREAT SMARTS).
  • 80A: This or that Halloween spell? (ANY WITCH WAY).
  • 97A: Halloween math? (TRICKONOMETRY).
  • 116A: Standard Halloween outfitter? (REGULAR COSTUMER).
  • 15D: Take flight on Halloween? (BOLT FROM THE BOO).
  • 49D: Halloween spuds? (MASKED POTATOES).
Everything Else — 1A: Surrender (CEDE); 5A: One, to Juan (UNO); 8A: Sink (BASIN); 13A: Room at sea (CABIN); 18A: Hungarian-born philanthropist George (SOROS); 19A: Complicated baloney (RIGMAROLE); 21A: Emerged (AROSE); 24A: Esther of "Good Times" (ROLLE); 25A: Kind of duty (EXPORT); 26A: "Darn!" ("HECK!"); 27A: Gave the go-ahead (ASSENTED); 29A: Get engaged (BETROTH); 31A: Oscar winner Guinness (ALEC); 34A: "--- by land ..." (ONE IF); 35A: Spots (ADS); 40A: Rodeo and Tobacco, briefly (RDS.); 43A: Pricy wheels, slangily (BEEMER); 44A: Power network (GRID); 45A: "Chill!" ("BE COOL!"); 47A: Glenn Close and Glenne Headly (WOMEN); 50A: Nobelist Wiesel (ELIE); 52A: Harrow rival (ETON); 54A: "Philadelphia" director (DEMME); 55A: Persia, today (IRAN); 59A: Fret (STEW); 60A: Deliverance (RESCUE); 62A: Deli side (SLAW); 63A: Scabbard (SHEATH); 65A: South Bend neighbor (ELKHART); 67A: --- mickey (SLIP A); 70A: Most musty (STALEST); 73A: Chef Lagasse (EMERIL); 75A: Commotion (FUSS); 77A: Sheepish comment? (BAA BAA); 78A: Emmy winner Alan (ALDA); 84A: Promises (VOWS); 85A: Dupe (REPRO); 87A: Word before go bragh or "Brockovich" (ERIN); 88A: AmfAR founder Mathilde (KRIM); 89A: Mall stall (KIOSK); 90A: Google, say (LOOK UP); 92A: "Picnic" Pulitzer playwright (INGE); 94A: High point (APOGEE); 96A: Ottawa's prov. (ONT.); 100A: "Either he goes, --- do!" (OR I); 103A: Dined at home (ATE IN); 105A: MD's "Immediately!" (STAT); 106A: Manages (HANDLES); 108A: Super Soaker, e.g. (WATERGUN); 111A: Tar, to César (BREA); 114A: Marginal writing? (DOODLE); 115A: Word with the line or the law (ABOVE); 120A: Norse love deity (FREYA); 121A: Verbalized (EXPRESSED); 122A: Delight (ELATE); 123A: Stunning device (TASER); 124A: No-nonsense (STAID); 125A: "Grease"'s Byrnes (EDD); 126A: Without (SANS); 1D: Cajoled (COAXED); 2D: Goes off (ERUPTS); 3D: Supportive sort (DONOR); 4D: Ovary output (ESTROGEN); 5D: Samovar (URN); 6D: Close by (NIGH); 7D: Gawk at (OGLE); 8D: Unfilled orders (BACKLOG); 9D: "--- we there yet?" (ARE); 10D: Abel, to Adam (SON); 11D: She walks into Rick's gin joint (ILSA); 12D: He played Schindler (NEESON); 13D: Tore headlong (CAREERED); 14D: Rice- --- (A-RONI); 16D: Man or Wight (ISLE); 17D: Requirement (NEED); 18D: Yemen, in Solomon's time (SHEBA); 20D: Flaky minerals (MICAS); 23D: Give --- old college try (IT THE); 28D: Elitist (SNOB); 30D: "Odyssey" author (HOMER); 32D: Stephanie Zimbalist's father (EFREM); 33D: Broadway's Rivera (CHITA); 37D: Tennis champ Monica (SELES); 38D: Experiments (TRIALS); 39D: Scents (ODORS); 41D: Taj Mahal topper (DOME); 42D: Did in dragons (SLEW); 43D: Yardstick (BENCHMARK); 46D: "Oh well," in Sainte-Chapelle (C'EST LA VIE); 47D: Tightrope (WIRE); 48D: Baseball's Hershiser (OREL); 51D: Citation abbr. (ET AL.); 53D: Extreme degrees (NTHS); 56D: Earth, to Caesar (TERRA); 57D: Gulliver's creator (SWIFT); 58D: Save for future use (SET BY); 61D: Persian Gulf fed. (UAE); 64D: Battery buy (AAA); 66D: Fork part (TINE); 68D: Hockey prop (PUCK); 69D: Hindu retreat (ASHRAM); 71D: Maxims (SAWS); 72D: Piece of work (TASK); 74D: Songlike (LYRIC); 76D: Filch (SWIPE); 78D: He sang of Alice's (ARLO); 79D: "Delta Lady" writer Russell (LEON); 81D: Flirty signals (WINKS); 82D: Gold brick (INGOT); 83D: Like --- to a flame (A MOTH); 86D: Canal locale (OUTER EAR); 89D: Main ideas (KEYNOTES); 91D: Bluenose (PRIG); 93D: Made possible (ENABLED); 95D: Alums (GRADS); 98D: Toughens (INURES); 99D: Other "mujeres" (OTRAS); 100D: Hemingway title character (OLD MAN); 101D: Leases anew (RELETS); 102D: Grenoble's river (ISERE); 104D: "Tradition" singer (TEVYE); 107D: Birth day party? (DOULA); 108D: Float on the breeze (WAFT); 109D: Julie's "East of Eden" role (ABRA); 110D: Queue cue (NEXT); 112D: Celtic tongue (ERSE); 113D: Served them right? (ACED); 117D: Transcript fig. (GPA); 118D: William Tell's canton (URI); 119D: Unmatched (ODD).

S U N D A Y   October 31, 2010
Don Gagliardo (syndicated)

Theme: "No More Boos" — Familiar phrases contain the letters G-H-O-S-T in order.

[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: One with all the answers—or in one case, questions (GAMESHOW HOST).
  • 32A: Global warming factor (GREENHOUSE EFFECT).
  • 41A: Boom box (GHETTO BLASTER).
  • 53A: Prepare for lean times (TIGHTEN ONE'S BELT).
  • 66A: Movie with the tagline "Sleep kills" (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET).
  • 76A: HDL, familiarly (GOOD CHOLESTEROL).
  • 89A: Haunted house creaker (FLIGHT OF STEPS).
  • 101A: Medical school affiliate (TEACHING HOSPITAL).
  • 112A: Movie good guys responsible for the circled squares in eight long puzzle answers (GHOSTBUSTERS).
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
    Everything Else — 1A: '90s sci-fi series "seaQuest __" (DSV); 8A: Honest prez (ABE); 11A: Parks for rights (ROSA); 15A: Imogene's partner (SID); 18A: "Isn't __ pity?" (IT A); 19A: Greek king tormented by fruit and water he could never quite reach (TANTALUS); 21A: __ minérales (EAUX); 22A: "A long time __ in a galaxy ..." (AGO); 25A: October porch swinger (SKELETON); 27A: Aquarium fish (GUPPY); 28A: __-jongg (MAH); 29A: Like "egad," oathwise (MILD); 30A: Ford whose debut album was "Out for Blood" (LITA); 31A: Vying (IN IT); 37A: ATM maker (NCR); 38A: When to get well? (SOON); 39A: Friendship (AMITY); 40A: Limber (LITHE); 45A: Female "Mortal Kombat" agent __ Blade (SONYA); 46A: Two-legged zebra (REF); 47A: Pitch path (ARC); 48A: Pooh __: pompous officials (BAHS); 50A: Blemish (STAIN); 61A: 1962 Phantom portrayer Herbert (LOM); 62A: AFL affiliate (CIO); 64A: Good Witch of the North portrayer Burke (BILLIE); 72A: Ship with a tilde (NIÑA); 73A: Memory lane walk (STROLL); 74A: "So that's it!" ("AHA!"); 81A: They may be taken with a raised hand (OATHS); 83A: Quarterback Tony (ROMO); 84A: Milk, on an Rx (LAC); 85A: You can bet on it (TIP); 86A: Affect, as heartstrings (TUG AT); 96A: Maître d's stack (MENUS); 97A: Didn't miss __ (A BEAT); 99A: Oater actor Jack (ELAM); 100A: Wine holder (VAT); 105A: __ monster (GILA); 106A: Diet suffix (-ETIC); 107A: Kind of crazy? (STIR); 108A: Matterhorn, e.g. (ALP); 109A: Student of Graham (AILEY); 110A: Hitchcock genre (THRILLER); 117A: Pulitzer winner Bellow (SAUL); 118A: Like much Halloween candy (BITE-SIZE); 119A: Vote for (YEA); 120A: Put in (ADD); 121A: World Series sextet (UMPS); 122A: New Eng. sextet (STS); 123A: Cast-of-thousands movie (EPIC); 124A: Ohio summer hrs. (EDT); 1D: Working at night for Dr. Frankenstein? (DIGGING); 2D: Steadfast (STAUNCH); 3D: Twilight Saga character (VAMPIRE); 4D: __-bitsy (ITSY); 5D: Relaxed reaction (AAH); 6D: LP filler? (MNO); 7D: Texter's "incidentally" (BTW); 8D: Float __ (A LOAN); 9D: Outback topper (BUSH HAT); 10D: Car repair fig. (EST.); 11D: Make a stand (RESIST); 12D: Buffalo Bill associate (OAKLEY); 13D: Glove material (SUEDE); 14D: Rose of Guns N' Roses (AXL); 15D: Fullness (SATIETY); 16D: "Tricked you!" ("I GOTCHA!"); 17D: Campaign Web site option (DONATE); 20D: Words of woe (AH ME); 24D: Skillful, kiddingly (EPT); 26D: Like Puck (ELFIN); 29D: Conservationist John (MUIR); 32D: Blockhead (GOOF); 33D: Director Reiner (ROB); 35D: 'Abitation? ('OME); 36D: Brush partner (FLOSS); 38D: Malodor (STENCH); 42D: Start to fold? (TRI-); 43D: Uru. neighbor (ARG.); 44D: SAT-taking venue (SCH.); 45D: "Jeepers!" ("SHEESH!"); 48D: Cotton capsule (BOLL); 49D: Wolfman, some nights (ANIMAL); 50D: "A poor man's poetry": Moore (SLANG); 51D: "Pagliacci" clown (TONIO); 52D: __ acid (AMINO); 53D: Source of an oater long-distance call? (TOM TOM); 54D: Hose clamp tightener (T-BOLT); 55D: German article (EIN); 56D: Pirates' former div. (NLE); 57D: Rough case? (BUR); 58D: Chris on the court (EVERT); 59D: Parasite (LEECH); 60D: Brit's bye-byes (TATAS); 63D: Sweater words? (IT'S HOT); 67D: Roam (about) (GAD); 71D: Eastern philosophy (TAOISM); 77D: Rubbernecking cause (CRASH); 78D: Taina of "Les Girls" (ELG); 79D: By itself, not much of a cheer (RAH); 80D: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, say (OCTET); 82D: Liable (APT); 85D: Nonstick cookware brand (TFAL); 86D: Grew choppers (TEETHED); 87D: Like a repressed grievance (UNAIRED); 88D: Big name in leather goods (GUCCI); 89D: Baseball players' union chief before Weiner (FEHR); 90D: __-tzu, founder of 71-Down (LAO); 91D: Sellout reaction, in headlines (IT'S A HIT); 92D: Plug extension? (-OLA); 93D: Wicked looker (EVIL EYE); 94D: Pink, e.g. (PALE RED); 95D: Patronizes, as a motel (STAYS AT); 96D: Ital. volcano (MT. ETNA); 97D: Dealer's demand (ANTE UP); 98D: Nightclub circulators (B GIRLS); 102D: Koran religion (ISLAM); 103D: Graveyard divisions (PLOTS); 104D: __ dixit (IPSE); 105D: Yosemite Sam's "Scram!" ("GIT!"); 109D: "Just __!" (A SEC); 111D: The NCAA's Fightin' Tigers (LSU); 113D: Half a scary fly (TSE); 114D: Marceau alter ego (BIP); 115D: Compact submachine gun (UZI).


    S A T U R D A Y   October 30, 2010
    Neville Fogarty

    Theme: None

    A very nice Saturday offering today from Neville Fogarty. If I'm not mistaken, this is Neville's debut puzzle. No, wait. He had a puzzle in the Chronicle of Higher Education earlier this month, and I remember enjoying that one too. And I guess while we're spending some time talking about Neville, I should let you know that he has an entertaining blog, if you're interested in that sort of thing.

    So, the puzzle. Lots of good stuff! I do just want to say right up front (to get it out of the way), that EXCITERS (3D: They'll get you going) is hideous. But you knew that. COOERS (56A: Doves and loves) is a little better, but not much. But if I start whining too much just give me two words: MONEY SHOT (6A: Angle on the Titanic sinking, to filmmakers). How awesome is that?! Now there's no doubt it would have been clued differently in, say, a BEQ puzzle, but even with this G-rated clue it's a great entry.

    • 15A: Gwen's "Chicago" role, 1975 (ROXIE). Well, I knew one of them was named ROXIE. Oh, I just noticed this clue refers to the 1975 musical, not the 2002 movie. Gwen Verdon played ROXIE Hart in the 1975 version. Renée Zellweger was ROXIE in the movie.
    • 19A: Vulnerable spot (BLIND SIDE). Speaking of movies, I never did see this one. I really want to read the book first. I heard the book is really good and it was written by Michael Lewis, the same guy who wrote Moneyball, which is one of my favorite books of all time.
    • 22A: Takeout throw-in (CATSUP). This is one of those words that makes me cringe. I don't know why, but it really bugs me.
    • 36A: Mess up, as power cords (ENSNARL). I am so looking forward to the day when everything is wireless so there won't be any ENSNARLments in my house!
    • 54A: Letters seen near a tilde (ESC). The ESCape key is near the tilde key on a typical computer keyboard.
    • 61A: TV show set at the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company (THE OFFICE).

    • 1D: Traditional food at the Preakness (CRAB CAKE). The Preakness is always run at Pimlico in Maryland, so I guess that makes sense. They do like their CRAB CAKEs in Maryland.
    • 4D: Team with a mascot named Roary (LIONS). Rex Parker's favorite team.
    • 13D: Dan Aykroyd's birthplace (OTTAWA). I always forget he's Canadian.
    Crosswordese 101: The only real crosswordese I see in the puzzle is SNEE, and we've already covered it.

    [Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

    Everything Else — 1A: Small power source (C CELL); 16A: "Be right there!" ("IN A MINUTE!"); 17A: Big name in wrap (ALCOA); 18A: Out-of-court testifiers (DEPONENTS); 21A: Suggest (GET AT); 23A: 1942 FDR creation (OSS); 25A: Lea lady (EWE); 26A: Golden __ (AGE); 27A: It leads the way (PROW); 29A: Words in an infomercial disclaimer (PAID AD); 32A: Russell of "Felicity" (KERI); 34A: Actually (IN FACT); 39A: Came out with (UTTERED); 43A: Unstable situation (CRISIS); 45A: '70s attire making a comeback (MAXI); 46A: They can be rare (STEAKS); 49A: Charlie Brown never became one (TEEN); 52A: Decks, briefly (KOS); 53A: Many a startup ender, these days (COM); 58A: Make up (for) (ATONE); 63A: Ticketing agent? (METER MAID); 65A: Top level (ATTIC); 66A: Opened (PREMIERED); 67A: Drink garnish (TWIST); 68A: Words you may hear after being hurt (I'M SO SORRY); 69A: Measures of volume (SONES); 2D: Lip enhancer (COLLAGEN); 5D: Help cause, with "to" (LEAD UP); 6D: It's shorter than a 45-Across (MIDI); 7D: Barely losing (ONE DOWN); 8D: Barbers may shave them (NAPES); 9D: Genre of the 1997 album "Nothing Feels Good" (EMO); 10D: Qin dynasty family name (YING); 12D: Tried to trap (HUNTED); 14D: Stuck a toe in (TESTED); 20D: Three-mo. period (SPR.); 24D: Old footwear accessory (SPAT); 28D: Works on canvas (OILS); 30D: Routine (ACT); 31D: It may follow a bullet (ITEM); 33D: Old empire builder (INCA); 35D: Solder, say (FUSE); 37D: Old animal shelter (ARK); 38D: Get ready for a pledge (RISE); 40D: Win big (RAKE IT IN); 41D: Dispossess? (EXORCISE); 42D: Takes apart (DISSECTS); 44D: More fidgety (ITCHIER); 46D: Garlicky entrée (SCAMPI); 47D: Common way to carry a child? (TO TERM); 48D: Works on stage (EMOTES); 50D: Friendly start? (ECO-); 51D: Music to a dieter's ears (NO FATS); 55D: Name on a controversial 1998 report (STARR); 57D: Lesser __ evils (OF TWO); 59D: Marlin's son, in a 2003 film (NEMO); 60D: Greek goddess of discord (ERIS); 62D: Kayaker's obstacle (EDDY); 64D: __ periculo: at my own risk (MEO).


    F R I D A Y   October 29, 2010
    Jonathan Porat

    Theme: Hold the Mayo — Four familiar phrases are transformed into wacky phrases by adding a letter at the beginning. The added letters spell out MAYO.

    Theme answers:
    • 19A: Designed for ancient sorcerers? (MAGE-SPECIFIC).
    • 27A: Pranks at the Bohr Institute? (ATOM FOOLERY).
    • 46A: Genesis baking ingredient? (YEAST OF EDEN).
    • 54A: Banning CFC production, e.g.? (OZONE DEFENSE).
    • 35A: Sandwich request, and a literal hint to how the answers at 19-, 27-, 46- and 54-Across are formed (EXTRA MAYO).
    Holy crap, how did it get to be Friday already?!? I still have a ton of things to do to get ready for my weekend guests, the Parkers. We'll be down at the National Mall tomorrow doing our part to restore sanity and/or fear. If you're interested in the event, I'm pretty sure we'll both be tweeting about it, so follow us! [Follow Rex Parker] [Follow PuzzleGirl]

    Oh, and one more thing before we get to the puzzle. Patrick Blindauer, who I'm sure some of you know as one of the most creative puzzle constructors in the business, has put together a puzzle contest that's sure to be a ton of fun. The contest consists of a suite of 10 puzzles that you'll solve in order to come up with a "final answer." Patrick says the puzzles will have a difficulty level of about a Tuesday/Wednesday New York Times, which certainly makes them accessible to readers of this blog! The puzzle entry fee is only $9.99 and you can find all the details at Patrick's website. I've already ordered my puzzles and can't wait for them to be delivered on Monday. I hope you all will check it out too.

    So. Today's puzzle. The theme was pretty tricky. I solved a little more deliberately than I usually do, not trying to fly through it as fast as possible, but instead plugging away section by section and trying to grok the theme. When I read the reveal clue, I assumed the theme had something to do with MAYO because the first theme answer started with MA. So, even though it didn't fit, "hold the mayo" came to mind and I thought maybe the phrases all started with MA and ended with YO. Of course, that doesn't really make sense because that wouldn't be holding the mayo, that would be the mayo holding it, but I was just thinking it through is what I'm saying. When I got the second theme answer — ATOM FOOLERY — it all clicked into place.

    • 16A: Blanket-toting toon (LINUS). I put this in, took it out, put it back in.
    • 17A: Met notable (OPERA STAR). Tricky cluing during the World Series. I know I was thinking baseball's New York Mets and not "The Met."
    • 23A: Sonoma prefix (OEN-). I guess Sonoma is in wine country. We usually see this prefix as OENO-.
    • 42A: "C'mon, man!" ("DUDE!"). Anyone see Jon Stewart call President Obama "dude" the other night? Classic.
    • 64A: George of "Cheers" (WENDT). Noooorm!
    • 12D: It helps prevent stumbling (CUE CARD). Also a teleprompter. Unless there's a typo.

    • 28D: Rubble creator (TNT). You wanted this to be about the Flintstones, didn't you?
    • 35D: What can turn one into many? (ESS). The letter S (ESS) added to the word "one" makes the word "ones," which can mean "many."
    • 41D: Rookie's initiation (RAZZING). Have you all heard about this rookie golfer who's doing his own RAZZING? On December 10, Jon Gidney will play a round of golf in a skirt to raise money for breast cancer research. Seems like he's having a lot of fun with this. And for a good cause.
    • 48D: Single (ONE). I was very surprised to see this answer after thinking so much about the word "one" in a previous clue (35D).
    • 63D: Amer. capital (USD). The old capital = money trick. In this case, U.S. Dollars.
    Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
    • 1A: Type of pigment used in artists' paints (AZO).
    • 26A: Western treaty gp. (OAS).
    • 52A: Co-producer of U2's "Achtung Baby" (ENO).
    • 29D: First NHL defenseman to score 40 goals in a season (ORR).
    • 37D: Product at a stand (ADE).
    • 44D: Scary magazine holder (UZI).
    • 56D: Atlantic flier (ERNE).
    • 59D: It's a loch (NESS).
    [Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

    Everything Else — 4A: Cul-__ (DE-SAC); 9A: Panic button (EJECT); 14A: 1989 Peace Prize winner (DALAI LAMA); 18A: One often working on Sun. (NFL'ER); 21A: Digs (CRIB); 24A: Batman after Michael (VAL); 32A: Late party attire (PJ'S); 33A: Dealing with (IN RE); 34A: "The Neverending Story" author (ENDE); 39A: USN officers (CDRS.); 43A: Do a little math (SUM); 50A: Soda bottle meas. (OZS.); 51A: Former Vietnam area mostly S. of the 17th parallel (DMZ); 53A: Exile of 1979 (AMIN); 60A: Stadium entrance (STILE); 61A: Like some windows (DRIVE-THRU); 65A: Foresees (ENVISIONS); 66A: Beats 1-0, say (EDGES); 67A: Film holders (REELS); 68A: Mess of dough (WAD); 1D: Trouble (ADO); 2D: Cook with waves (ZAP); 3D: Oxford campus (OLE MISS); 4D: TV screen meas. (DIAG.); 5D: Ultimatum end (ELSE); 6D: Concerns for jrs. and srs. (SAT'S); 7D: "... draw you __?" (A MAP); 8D: Package directive (CARE OF); 9D: Sea change with far-reaching effects (EL NIÑO); 10D: Two shakes, with "a" (JIFF); 11D: Pep up (ENLIVEN); 13D: Original Dungeons & Dragons co. (TSR); 15D: Kaffiyeh wearer (ARAB); 20D: Corp. boss (CEO); 21D: One on a beat (COP); 22D: "The Big Bang Theory" character from India (RAJ); 25D: Soap component (LYE); 27D: __-en-Provence (AIX); 30D: Maryland's Fort __ (MEADE); 31D: Sign of summer (LEO); 36D: Campaign weaponry? (MUD); 38D: Nikkei 225 unit (YEN); 39D: Actress Charisse (CYD); 40D: Taken down a notch (DEMOTED); 43D: By doing whatever it takes (SOMEHOW); 45D: Explorer initials (MSN).
  • 47D: Beliefs (TENETS); 49D: Raw material (FODDER); 53D: Piedmont product (ASTI); 55D: Merrie __ England (OLDE); 57D: What musicians take between sets? (FIVE); 58D: Austin Powers' nemesis Dr. __ (EVIL); 60D: Northern Eur. land (SWE.); 62D: Cellular messenger (RNA).
  • 10.28.2010

    T H U R S D A Y   October 28, 2010
    Jascha Smilack

    Theme: Switch the Flip — Familiar phrases with the pattern "[verb] the [noun]" are flipped so that the noun is the verb and the verb is the noun.

    Theme answers:
    • 18A: Libertarian slogan? (FIRE THE FED).
    • 24A: Finish an ascent? (SCALE THE TIP).
    • 35A: Tidy up in a wood shop? (DUST THE BIT).
    • 43A: Floor an oppressive boss? (DECK THE MAN).
    • 51A: Value one's vision? (PRIZE THE EYE).
    • 62A: Send a star pitcher for an MRI? (TEST THE ACE).
    I really didn't understand the theme on this one until I was almost done. I think the past tense on FIRE THE FED really threw me. I mean, I guess "fed the fire" is a phrase, but I usually think of it in present tense. PRIZE THE EYE also seems a little off to me. I want the phrase to be "keep your eye on the prize," not just "eye the prize." DUST THE BIT, on the other hand, is clever and made me chuckle. My verdict? Uneven execution of an okay theme. I wonder how many possible theme answers ended up on the cutting room floor. There must be a lot of them, right?

    Other than the theme, the fill is very light on crosswordese, which is nice, but pretty heavy on abbreviations, some of which are pretty awkward. I guess I don't love this puzzle. But I also don't hate it. For what it's worth. Which I'm sure is not much.

    • 17A: Poet who wrote, about children, "And if they are popular / The phone they monopular" (NASH). We have two telephone handsets in our house and whenever I can't find one, chances are very good they're both in PuzzleDaughter's room. Chances are also good that they are both completely dead.
    • 20A: Rich sponge cake (GATEAU). That G was the last letter I put in the grid. The clue for LUNGS — 1D: Airway termini — was not making a bit of sense to me and I don't know the word GATEAU. But the G seemed like a reasonable guess for some reason.
    • 28A: Cones and prisms (SOLIDS). I tried "shapes" first.
    • 47A: It's often served with lemon (ICE TEA). I tried "hot tea" here.
    • 60A: It merged with AT&T in 2005 (SBC). Whoa. This is HARSH (44D: Caustic). I thought CrossWorld's merged telecom company was always MCI. But MCI merged with Verizon, SBC Communications (formerly Southwestern Bell Corporation) merged with AT&T.
    • 66A: D.C. underground (METRO). Have any of you watched that new show "The Event"? Its sixth episode just aired this week and I was getting into it but I don't think I can watch it any more. At the beginning of this week's episode a character is supposedly on the D.C. Metro and it's … obviously not the D.C. Metro. Spend some money, people! How hard can it be?! Once that started bothering me, I noticed that the show isn't really very good. I'm going to read the recaps on Television Without Pity and if they're entertaining I might keep watching the show just so I can make fun of it, but otherwise … it's a non-event.
    • 68A: Concerning (AS TO). Never sure if this is going to be AS TO or "in re." I tried "in re" first today.
    • 3D: Noodle topper (PASTA SAUCE). I really wanted this answer to be a type of hat.
    • 32D: Charon's river (STYX). Yesterday Pat Benatar, today Styx.

    • 53D: Many Nissan autos (Z-CARS). I was in a cab the other day and saw what looked like a brand-spankin-new Nissan sports car. Bot the cab driver and I couldn't help but stare at it. I've never really been that into sports car, but that one was striking.
    • 57D: Wrangler, for one (JEEP). With the JE in place, I wanted this to be JEAN but it didn't really seem right. (Probably because it wasn't.)
    Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
    • 9D: Günter's gripe (ACH).
    • 54D: Busybody (YENTA).
    [Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

    Everything Else — 1A: Fat job? (LIPO); 5A: Interstate exit (RAMP); 9A: See 12-Down (AFTER); 14A: Pararescue gp. (USAF); 15A: Organic compound (ENOL); 16A: Hanker for (CRAVE); 22A: Pithy saying (SAW); 23A: NFL game foursome (QTRS.); 27A: Buying outing (SPREE); 33A: Farm expanse (LEA); 38A: Grads (ALUMS); 41A: Sandwich request (RYE); 42A: Untrusting (LEERY); 46A: __ scripta: written law (LEX); 48A: It can be rolled, pressed or stuffed (SUSHI); 56A: Warrior trained by the centaur Chiron (AJAX); 61A: Be amazed (at) (MARVEL); 65A: Like pretzels (BENT); 67A: "Rigoletto" highlight (ARIA); 69A: Dust crops, e.g. (SPRAY); 70A: Certain NCO (MSGT); 71A: A library book may be on it (LOAN); 2D: Stern with a Strad (ISAAC); 4D: Useful (OF HELP); 5D: Proved false (REFUTED); 6D: "Star Wars" saga nickname (ANI); 7D: Code creator (MORSE); 8D: Fabric fold (PLEAT); 10D: Radio abbr. (FREQ.); 11D: 300-pound president (TAFT); 12D: With 9-Across, fairy tale ender (EVER); 13D: Great American Ball Park team (REDS); 19D: Checker's dance (TWIST); 21D: Flying prefix (AER-); 25D: One of 24 in un jour (HEURE); 26D: Sci-fi writer Frederik (POHL); 29D: Sheltered side (LEE); 30D: "That's my take" ("I BELIEVE SO"); 31D: Desperate (DIRE); 33D: __-da: pretentious (LA-DI); 34D: Juice: Abbr. (ELEC.); 36D: Orch. work (SYM.); 37D: Flirt (TEASE); 39D: NYSE, e.g. (MKT.); 40D: Stride (STEP); 45D: Edible part of a pecan (NUT MEAT); 49D: Doo-wop syllable (SHA); 50D: Like some supplements (HERBAL); 52D: Building girder (I-BEAM); 55D: John with Grammys (ELTON); 56D: Green dispensers (ATMS); 58D: Copernicus's sci. (ASTR.); 59D: Bonus, in adspeak (XTRA); 63D: Peke, e.g. (TOY); 64D: One might be bummed, briefly (CIG).


    W E D N E S D A Y   October 27, 2010
    Dan Naddor

    Theme: Tools of the Trade--Each theme entry begins with a tool. Cool.

    Theme answers:
    • 17A: Track and field event (HAMMER THROW).
    • 23A: Agreed (SAW EYE TO EYE).
    • 39A: Lou Gossett Jr. played one in "An Officer and a Gentleman" (DRILL INSTRUCTOR).
    • 49A: Air traveler's need (PLANE TICKET).
    • 61A: Folder holder (FILE CABINET).
    Howdy, folks. PuzzleGirl asked me (Doug) to fill in again today. I think she needed a little extra time to finish her Halloween costume. It's a combination of a crossword puzzle grid and the state of Iowa. I hope she posts some pictures!

    I was pretty excited to see that we were getting a Dan Naddor puzzle today, and he didn't disappoint. Solid theme and plenty of cool words throughout the grid. I always pay attention to the long Down answers, and they don't get much cooler than PAT BENATAR and ADIOS, AMIGO. I thought this one was fun from top to bottom. One thing I've noticed after doing a few of these blogs is that I tend to look at the puzzle as a whole rather than a bunch of separate words and clues. If I'm enjoying solving the puzzle, I barely notice clunky entries like CDE and LTR. Every grid's going to have a few clunkers, but a skilled constructor will make sure that the good stuff drowns out the bad stuff.

    • 1A One of a "Sesame Street" duo (BERT). When we were kids, my sister had an Ernie puppet and I had a Bert puppet. Sorry, that's the only Bert story I have, but I really wanted to post this freaky picture.
    • 19A Double standard? (TWO). Hmmm, not sure I buy this one. Yeah, two is the "standard" number for a double. It's a stretch. 
    • 32A Baby Arp's first word? (DADA). OK, I bagged on the TWO clue, but I love this one. It refers to Jean Arp, one of the originators of the Dada art movement. We usually get a "Father of Dada" or "Dada pioneer" clue, so this was a nice change of pace. If you want to brush up on your Arp, read this excellent Crosswordese 101 entry: ARP. (I hope I don't get fired for linking to old CW101 entries and never creating any new ones!)
    • 42A Ketel One alternative, familiarly (STOLI). Ketel One and Stolichnaya ("Stoli") are brands of vodka. Do people actually call it "Stoli" or is that just a crossword thing? The other crossword vodka you need to know is Skyy. That one shows up in grids every now and then. I'm going to try to use Pyatizvyozdnaya in my next themeless puzzle.
    • 6D Miró on the wall (ART). I love this clue too. Joan Miró, Spanish artist who, according to Wikipedia, was influenced by Dada.
    • 11D "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" singer (PAT BENATAR). Fire away! Back in my high school days, my friend and I got the idea to create a "Weird" Al Yankovic-style parody of the Pat Benatar hit "Love is a Battlefield." Ours was going to be "Love is a Cattle Field." We never got around to writing any lyrics, but I know it would have been awesome.
    • 57D How some NFL games are resolved (IN OT). Short for "in overtime." Pretty ugly. I wanted to mention this one for the non-sports folks, but let's not dwell on it.
    • 59D Prince William's school (ETON). If the clue mentions an English guy and his school, it's going to be Eton. Or maybe Hogwarts.
    [Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]


    T U E S D A Y   October 26, 2010
    Jeff Chen

    Theme: Here! — First words of the theme answers can precede the word "roll" in a familiar phrase.

    Theme answers:
    • 17A: *"That's a certainty!" ("BANK ON IT!").
    • 22A: *Say "Well done," say (PAY A COMPLIMENT).
    • 34A: *Cover the night's check (SPRING FOR DINNER).
    • 46A: *Generate sales leads (DRUM UP BUSINESS).
    • 54A: Attendance check, and a hint to the puzzle theme in the first words of the starred answers (ROLL CALL).
    What we have today is a perfectly serviceable Tuesday. It's got a fine theme, with fine theme answers. The fill, most of which is short, is fine. Other than the theme, the longest answers in the grid are NO OUTLET and HELSINKI, which are ... fine. Unfortunately, it's just really hard to get excited about Tuesdays. If I show up here on a Tuesday and I'm not complaining about a weak theme and griping about a bunch of answers that I don't like, then I think we can call it a success.

    • 1A: Homey (COZY). Wanted this answer to be "bro" or "buddy" or something like that.
    • 21A: Mousse user (SALON). HAha! Misread this as "Mouse user," which I'm sure is exactly what I was supposed to do!
    • 30A: Bozo (JERK). I think of a bozo as more of a dummy than a JERK, but either way "bozo" is an excellent put-down.
    • 31A: Remark from Rex (ARF). I don't get why dogs are so often named Rex in CrossWorld. Is that really a typical dog name? Spot, Fido, Rover? Sure. Rex? Not so much.
    • 42A: "Brave New World" drug (SOMA). We'll cover this in Crosswordese 301.
    • 51A: Nae sayer (SCOT). "Nae" is how they say the word "no" in Scotland.
    • 1D: Chard alternative (CAB) and 3D: Chard alternative (ZIN). Is chard a leafy green vegetable? Hold on .... Yes. Yes it is. Was anyone else tricked by this or was it just me because I'm not a wine drinker?
    • 5D: Chandler's "Friends" ex-girlfriend with an annoying laugh (JANICE). Great clue! By far my favorite thing in the whole puzzle.
    • 56D: Poetic pugilist (ALI). I thought I was looking for a boxer that appeared in a poem, not a boxer who himself was prone to lapsing into poetry.
    Crosswordese 101: Q.E.D., which you'll often see at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument, stands for the Latin quod erat demonstrandum ("that which was to be demonstrated"). When you see Q.E.D. in a crossword clue it's almost always prompting you for the answer ERAT. Clues are generally straightforward: "Q.E.D. part," "Part of Q.E.D.," or 29A: Q.E.D. word.

    Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
    • 14A: Converse competitor (AVIA).
    • 41A: Long-tongued cartoon dog (ODIE).
    • 60A: Doctor of music? (DRE).
    • 62A: Some dadaist paintings (ERNSTS).
    • 2D: Egg cells (OVA).
    • 8D: No more seats, on a sign (SRO).
    • 24D: Rumored Himalayan beast (YETI).
    [Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

    Everything Else — 5A: Boeing product (JET); 8A: Shoulder wraps (SHAWLS); 15A: Fuss (ADO); 16A: Immensely popular (RED HOT); 19A: "Ripe" part of life (OLD AGE); 20A: Ceremonial act (RITE); 27A: Rock examiner? (JEWELER); 28A: A seeming eternity (EONS); 39A: Function (USE); 40A: Suave to a fault (OILY); 43A: Obvious (EVIDENT); 50A: Knock one's knuckles against (RAP AT); 52A: To excess (OVERLY); 59A: Blew off steam (VENTED); 61A: Skin lotion additive (ALOE); 63A: Verizon rival (AT&T); 64A: Coquette (MINX); 4D: Himalayan beast (YAK); 6D: Magazine VIP (EDITOR); 7D: Carved pole (TOTEM); 9D: Capital east of Oslo (HELSINKI); 10D: "Mysterious and spooky" TV family name (ADDAMS); 11D: Ahab's quarry (WHALE); 12D: Start one's work day, maybe (LOG ON); 13D: Angioplasty implant (STENT); 18D: Like much family history (ORAL); 22D: Offenders, in copspeak (PERPS); 23D: Enlightened (AWARE); 25D: Word with group or pressure (PEER); 26D: British nobleman (LORD); 27D: Son of God, in a Bach cantata (JESU); 30D: Elation (JOY); 31D: Bolivian range (ANDES); 32D: Stagecoach controls (REINS); 33D: Fuss (FRET); 35D: Sign at a cul-de-sac (NO OUTLET); 36D: Hobbling gait (GIMP); 37D: Love handles, so to speak (FLAB); 38D: Botanical branch point (NODE); 42D: Stings (SMARTS); 43D: Companion (ESCORT); 44D: Purple shade (VIOLET); 45D: Worldwide: Abbr. (INTL.); 46D: Took the wheel (DROVE); 47D: Ecstatic film critic, e.g. (RAVER); 48D: Sch. founded by Franklin (U. PENN.); 49D: Dietary standard often measured in mg. (USRDA); 53D: NFL rushing nos. (YDS.); 55D: "Overhead" engine part (CAM); 57D: "Man of a Thousand Faces" Chaney (LON); 58D: Archvillain Luthor (LEX).


    M O N D A Y   October 25, 2010
    Robert A. Doll

    Theme: Every Tom, Dick, and Harry — Theme answer are familiar phrases that begin with words that can be men's names.

    Theme answers:
    • 17A: Wealthy relative (RICH UNCLE).
    • 24A: Emulate Muhammad Ali (BOB AND WEAVE).
    • 39A: Father-son talk, e.g. (FRANK DISCUSSION).
    • 50A: Assembled in a makeshift manner (JERRY RIGGED).
    • 64A: Get-together for the starts of 17-, 24-, 39- and 50-Across? (STAG PARTY).
    The only thing that really jumped out at me with this theme was remembering that we just had jury-rigged in a puzzle recently. (Didn't we?) I guess both jury and jerry are legitimate in this phrase. Who knew. Other than that, well, I just really don't have a lot of time today, so we're gonna go straight to bullets and you all can flesh it out in the comments.

    • 1A: Eve's youngest (SETH). I first tried ABEL. Why I thought Adam and Eve would somehow be able to populate the world by having only two children is beyond me.
    • 15A: "The __": placekicker Lou Groza's nickname (TOE). That's an awesome nickname.
    • 33A: Older but __ (WISER). I've always thought of it as older and WISER.
    • 44A: Annually (A YEAR). Never been a fan of "a" being used in place of "per." Just one of my pet peeves. We all have 'em, right?
    • 66A: Used a prie dieu (KNELT). A prie dieu is that little bench thing that comes down at the bottom of a pew so you can kneel down. I learned that in a puzzle once.
    • 71A: Rockwell or Gothic (TYPE). Okay, I went and found this really bad blast from the past for you, but I was watching it I realized that I totally forgot that Michael Jackson sings back-up in this song! How in the world did the King of Pop get himself mixed up in this lame song?

    • 25D: Alamo hero (BOWIE). Never sure how to pronounce James Bowie's name. Is it like David Bowie (boe-ee)? Or like Bowie, Maryland (boo-ee)?
    • 35D: Scrawny one (SCRAG). Whoa. Is this a word? I've heard of scraggly but I don't think I've heard of SCRAG.
    • 37D: Walt Kelly's possum (POGO). Me: "Who the hell is Walt Kelly and why the hell does he have a possum?"
    Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
    • 21A: Rio automaker (KIA).
    • 45A: Jason's vessel (ARGO).
    • 55A: North Carolina university (ELON).
    • 2D: Nobelist Wiesel (ELIE).
    • 29D: Arabian sultanate (OMAN).
    • 38D: Soon, poetically (ANON).
    • 51D: Kagan who replaced Stevens on the Supreme Court (ELENA).
    • 63D: RR depot (STA.).
    • 65D: Literary collection (ANA).
    [Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

    Everything Else — 5A: Special __: military force (OPS); 8A: Priest's place (ALTAR); 13A: Trojan War epic (ILIAD); 16A: Dog (POOCH); 19A: Sidekick who rode Scout (TONTO); 20A: Bagel flavoring (SESAME); 23A: Bones partner (SKIN); 27A: Free, as legal work (PRO BONO); 31A: Author Fleming (IAN); 32A: Titled woman (DAME); 36A: Dean's list factor: Abbr. (GPA); 43A: D.C. bigwig (SEN.).
  • 46A: Had some grub (ATE); 47A: Leave high and dry (ABANDON); 56A: Fed. loan guarantor (SBA); 57A: Take turns (ROTATE); 62A: Bank takebacks, briefly (REPOS); 67A: Many, many moons (EON); 68A: Coach : athlete :: __ : student (TUTOR); 69A: When tripled, and so on (YADDA); 70A: Gun lobby org. (NRA); 1D: 32-Acrosses' spouses (SIRS); 3D: Nervous spasms (TICS); 4D: "Very funny!" ("HA HA!"); 5D: Non-Rx (OTC); 6D: Oktoberfest dance (POLKA); 7D: Make welcome (SEE IN); 8D: On-target (APT); 9D: Let out a few notches in (LOOSEN); 10D: Toy truck brand (TONKA); 11D: When Ophelia drowns (ACT IV); 12D: River at Arles (RHONE); 14D: Disney pachyderm (DUMBO); 18D: One of the noble gases (NEON); 22D: French farewell (ADIEU); 26D: Part of V.F.W. (WARS); 27D: Commonly e-mailed files, for short (PDFS); 28D: Porterhouse order (RARE); 30D: Golfer Hogan (BEN); 34D: "This __ ripoff!" (IS A); 36D: Prepare, as for action (GIRD); 40D: "K-K-K-__": 1918 song (KATY); 41D: Batik artisans (DYERS); 42D: __ Francisco (SAN); 46D: Composer Schoenberg (ARNOLD); 48D: Arctic floater (BERG); 49D: Take in from a pet shelter (ADOPT); 50D: Beef __: dried meat (JERKY); 52D: Enticed, with "in" (ROPED); 53D: "Peer Gynt" dramatist (IBSEN); 54D: Croc's cousin (GATOR); 58D: Drawn tight (TAUT); 59D: Culturally pretentious (ARTY); 60D: 'Vette roof option (T-TOP); 61D: Brontë's "Jane __" (EYRE).
  • 10.24.2010

    S U N D A Y   October 24, 2010
    Merl Reagle (calendar)

    Theme: "Plays I'd Like to See" Movie 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:
    • 22A: Play about a woman who gets her "just desserts"? (HEDDA COBBLER).
    • 28A: Play whose title character won't eat anything unless it's fried? (ANNA CRISPY).
    • 31A: Play about a woman who dances with short people? (SHE STOOPS TO CONGA).
    • 44A: Play about a diner patron whose food never arrives? (WAITING ON GODOT).
    • 55A: Play about a guy and his sloppy little pal from Mars? (PIG ALIEN).
    • 66A: Play about an actress trying to unload some real estate? (GLENGARRY GLENN CLOSE).
    • 78A: Play about an over-the-hill boxer? (OLDEN BOY).
    • 90A: Play about some girls who were raised by orangutans? (THE TREE SISTERS).
    • 100A: Play in which a college kid's football prayers are answered? (THE HEISMAN COMETH).
    • 108A/114A: Play about a couple with a cloth allergy? (WHO'S AFRAID / OF VIRGIN WOOL).
    Everything Else — 1A: In the least (AT ALL); 6A: Arizona neckties (BOLOS); 11A: Lively dance (JIG); 14A: Replacement part? (HIP); 17A: Detect, as danger (SENSE); 18A: Yucatan's capital (MÉRIDA); 19A: Smell (ODOR); 21A: "___ Mo' Time" (ONE); 24A: Westernmost Aleutian (ATTU); 25A: Theater co. (REP.); 26A: Sudan neighbor: abbr. (ETH.); 27A: Off-limits item (NO-NO); 36A: Cockatoos, sometimes (PETS); 37A: Hunky-dory (AOK); 38A: "Check," in poker (NO BET); 39A: It's N of Mex. (USA); 41A: Humped oxen (ZEBUS); 50A: Bates or Cumming (ALAN); 51A: ___ the city (KEY TO); 52A: Looked high and low for (SOUGHT); 53A: Recorded intro? (PRE-); 57A: Peek-a-boo player (TOT); 58A: Enthusiasm (ZEAL); 59A: Roadside retreat (INN); 60A: Chevy model (CAMARO); 65A: Emotional attachments (BONDS); 72A: "The ___ Page" (FRONT); 73A: Hitmaker Don or Phil (EVERLY); 74A: Promising letters (IOU); 75A: Kaput, as a battery (DEAD); 76A: Lacking color (WAN); 83A: "Brother ___" (RAT); 84A: Lose one's hearing (GO DEAF); 87A: Fencing weapons (ÉPÉES); 89A: Subtle glow (AURA); 93A: Animated ogre (SHREK); 94A: Ring finishes (KOS); 95A: Let out ___ (bellow) (AROAR); 96A: Clerk on "The Simpsons" (APU); 97A: Zenith (ACME); 110A: Foe of Caesar (CATO); 111A: Bygone bird (MOA); 112A: Foam alternative for shavers (GEL); 113A: Some are tell-all (BIOS); 119A: Snake in the sea grass (EEL); 120A: Something ___ (ELSE); 121A: Wheaties, e.g. (FLAKES); 122A: "... could ___ lean ..." (EAT NO); 123A: Trick ending? (-ERY); 124A: Auth. submissions (MSS.); 125A: Mythological trio (FATES); 126A: Edith Head creation (DRESS); 1D: Word in a McCourt title (ASHES); 2D: "The Skin of Our ___" (TEETH); 3D: "___ walks with me ..." (AND HE); 4D: Grain-fungus drug (LSD); 5D: Simple shelters (LEAN-TOS); 6D: Dizzy's music style (BEBOP); 7D: Sun or moon, to bards (ORB); 8D: Small, in rapper names (LIL); 9D: Paean-type poem (ODE); 10D: Crusaders' foes (SARACENS); 11D: Actress Pflug who played Lt. Dish in "M*A*S*H" (1970) (JOANN); 12D: Patient's wristwear (I.D. TAG); 13D: Failed as a sneak (GOT CAUGHT); 14D: "Three Men on a ___" (HORSE); 15D: Bumbling (INEPT); 16D: Diarist Samuel (PEPYS); 18D: Pre-stereo sound (MONO); 20D: Play with robots (RUR); 23D: Boil, broil, or bake (COOK); 29D: "Do ___ Gentle ..." (NOT GO); 30D: Apple release of 2010 (IPAD); 32D: Hot room's analogy (SAUNA); 33D: Cranky mood (SNIT); 34D: Oz visitor (TOTO); 35D: Kimono sash (OBI); 40D: Falling-down drunk? (SOT); 41D: Kill electrically, as bugs (ZAP); 42D: Brother of Peyton (ELI); 43D: Carry-on (BAG); 44D: Girl in "The Time Machine" (WEENA); 45D: Objectivist's first name (AYN); 46D: ___ a limb (OUT ON); 47D: Vietnamese name that anagrams into an egg drink (NGO); 48D: Parts, as a curtain (OPENS); 49D: Embargo target (TRADE); 51D: "___ Lear" (KING); 54D: Subway cousins (ELS); 56D: Navel buildup (LINT); 58D: "The ___ Story" (ZOO); 60D: Honda SUV since 1996 (CRV); 61D: "Yes, captain" ("AYE"); 62D: Apt. or dept. VIP (MGR.); 63D: "___ My Sons" (ALL); 64D: 51 Down, to Carlos (REY); 65D: "The House of ___ Leaves" (BLUE); 66D: "The ___ White Hope" (GREAT); 67D: Really reluctant (LOATH); 68D: Word before result (END); 69D: Name meaning "born again" (RENEE); 70D: The other Dr. Crane (NILES); 71D: Some UPS deliveries (CODS); 72D: Signer of the Glass-Steagall Act (FDR); 76D: Golden Turkey Award recipient (WORST FILM); 77D: Lemon/lime addition (-ADE); 78D: Not 'neath (O'ER); 79D: Book after Micah (NAHUM); 80D: Forest sticker (BUR); 81D: Iron in the raw (ORE); 82D: Be a chatterbox (YAK); 84D: Classic muscle car (GTO); 85D: Japanese beer brand (ASAHI); 86D: Wrote and sent quickly, as an angry letter (FIRED OFF); 87D: Airport data (ETAS); 88D: Make waves? (PERM); 91D: ___ out a living (EKES); 92D: "___ gather" (SO I); 93D: Used a utensil (SPOONED); 96D: Start of the play (ACT I); 97D: "You shouldn't have!" ("AW GEE!"); 98D: Root for the team (CHEER); 99D: Actress Ringwald (MOLLY); 101D: Mr. Perot (H. ROSS); 102D: Decreases, as pain (EASES); 103D: Ranch units (ACRES); 104D: Pesters constantly (NAGS); 105D: Ham it up (EMOTE); 106D: Wimpy and Stimpy (TOONS); 107D: Street-lamp effects (HALOS); 109D: Rushmore guy (ABE); 115D: Snowbirds' Dec. home (FLA.); 116D: Big container (VAT); 117D: Mamie's mate (IKE); 118D: "Oh! What A Lovely ___" (WAR).

    S U N D A Y   October 24, 2010
    John Lampkin (syndicated)

    Theme: "Country Kitchen" — Three-letter country codes are hidden inside theme answers, which are all food items.

    [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: Lunch box item (BOLOGNA SANDWICH). [Bolivia / Andorra]
    • 41A: Sautéed fish entrée (PAN-FRIED TROUT). [Panama / Romania]
    • 48A: Cup-shaped breakfast fare (BRAN MUFFIN). [Brazil / Finland]
    • 77A: Basil-based topper (PESTO SAUCE). [Estonia / Saudi Arabia]
    • 85A: Honey-coated dish (GLAZED CHICKEN). [Azerbaijan / Kenya]
    • 103A: Tangy confection (PEPPERMINT CANDY). [Peru / Canada]
    • 16D: It's milder than yellowfin (ALBACORE TUNA). [Albania / Tunisia]
    • 58D: Some links (SWEET SAUSAGE). [Sweden / United States]
    • 54D: Country __: used by the org. in 65-Across, there are 16 circled in this puzzle (CODES).
    • 65A: Oct. 24, every year (U.N. DAY).
    Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
    • 28A: One-named Irish singer (ENYA).
    • 47A: Tech sch. near Albany (RPI).
    • 71A: Take-out order? (DELE).
    • 81A: Gp. from which Cuba was suspended from 1962 to 2009 (OAS).
    • 113A: "Puppy Love" singer (ANKA).
    • 24D: First hair remover to be marketed in cream form (NEET).
    • 65D: River to the Caspian (URAL).
    • 97D: Racketeer busters (G-MEN).
    • 99D: Slobbering comics dog (ODIE).
    Everything Else — 1A: Breakfast-on-the-run choice (BAGEL); 6A: On the way (SENT); 10A: Competed in a triathlon (SWAM); 14A: Moves with the music (SWAYS); 19A: Building on a 1936 centennial stamp (ALAMO); 20A: Speed (PACE); 21A: Plane starter? (AERO-); 22A: Plane starter (PILOT); 26A: Ready to bloom (IN BUD); 27A: Shout (YELL); 29A: Its formula includes a plus or minus (ION); 30A: Mattress giant (SERTA); 32A: Archimedes' shout (EUREKA); 34A: They may be behind pictures (SAFES); 36A: People in trees, perhaps (NIECES); 39A: So-called autobiographer of "Before You Leap" (KERMIT); 43A: Dvorák contemporary (GRIEG); 44A: Aegean region where an architectural order began (IONIA); 46A: False-sounding soap components (LYES); 50A: Prying tool (LEVER); 52A: Glassmaker's oven (LEHR); 53A: Holes a gimme (TAPS IN); 54A: Made 7 into 343, say (CUBED); 55A: __-Rooter (ROTO); 56A: Rm. coolers (ACS); 59A: One of two in a Frost poem (ROAD); 60A: Ping maker (SONAR); 61A: Bolt down (SECURE); 63A: Herder's equine (COWPONY); 66A: Waxy-flowered plant (BEGONIA); 67A: Louisiana language (CREOLE); 68A: Bygone news medium (CRIER); 69A: Lewd look (LEER); 70A: Do one's part (ACT); 72A: Crabber and cutter (BOATS); 73A: Court clown (JESTER); 75A: Partner of starts (FITS); 76A: Heavy hammers (MAULS); 82A: Phone call (RING); 83A: __ clown (CLASS); 84A: Cranial recess (SINUS); 89A: Streetcar name? (DESIRE); 90A: Rocketeer gear (G-SUITS); 91A: Netlike hair wear (SNOOD); 92A: Tiny sandwich (SLIDER); 94A: Ill will (SPITE); 96A: Early riser? (SUN); 97A: Jubilance (GLEE); 98A: Hip (COOL); 101A: Jumped (LEAPT); 107A: Heavenly body? (ANGEL); 108A: One with many fans (IDOL); 109A: Say no to (DENY); 110A: '60s protest (LIE-IN); 111A: Name on a mower (DEERE); 112A: Puppylike (CUTE); 114A: List in the back (INDEX); 1D: Labor day output? (BABY); 2D: Soothing balm (ALOE); 3D: Shopping mecca (GALLERIA); 4D: Compensation for labor (EMOLUMENT); 5D: Turtle's basking spot (LOG); 6D: Punish, in a way (SPANK); 7D: Hardly a tough course (EASY A); 8D: Sweet Sixteen org. (NCAA); 9D: Pin in the back (TEN); 10D: Prune (SAW OFF); 11D: "Mad Men" creator Matthew (WEINER); 12D: Episodic story line (ARC); 13D: Mineralogist with a scale (MOHS); 14D: Apparitions (SPIRITS); 15D: Concerto in Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" (WINTER); 17D: Word said while pointing (YOU); 18D: Not irr. (STD.); 25D: Roman goddess of the hunt (DIANA); 31D: Rear-__ (ENDER); 33D: Tediously detailed process (RIGMAROLE); 34D: Three-time All-Star pitcher Johnny who threw the first major league pitch to Jackie Robinson (SAIN); 35D: Dinnerware (SILVER); 37D: Deliriously happy (EUPHORIC); 38D: Recipe instruction (STIR); 39D: CIA rival, once (KGB); 40D: Lose money on "Jeopardy!" (ERR); 41D: Nabokov novel (PNIN); 42D: Looked at (EYED); 44D: "Suppose ..." ("IF, SAY ..."); 45D: "The Wizard __" (OF ID); 49D: Barely winning (UP ONE); 50D: Like some eclipses (LUNAR); 51D: 24/7 auction site (EBAY); 52D: Crackers (LOCO); 55D: Backslid (REGRESSED); 56D: Blue Devils' gp. (ACC); 57D: Liqueurs (CORDIALS); 60D: Piques (SNITS); 61D: Take care of (SEE TO); 62D: Bolt down (EAT); 64D: D.C. insiders (POLS); 66D: Defeats (BESTS); 68D: Hacks (COUGHS); 69D: On sale, say (LESS); 72D: Judicial seat (BANC); 73D: Author Auel (JEAN); 74D: Run riot (RAISE CAIN); 75D: Verne's traveler (FOGG); 76D: Heart (MIDST); 77D: Appealed (PLED); 78D: Having a pressing need? (UNIRONED); 79D: Contemptible one (CUR); 80D: Peking add-on (-ESE); 82D: Do an editor's task, perhaps (RETITLE); 83D: Unisex designer cologne (CK ONE); 86D: It may be under a fly (ZIPPER); 87D: Hip location? (IN SPOT); 88D: Link (COUPLE); 89D: You probably need a scale to tell if it's working (DIET); 92D: Move furtively (SLINK); 93D: Singer of many Weill songs (LENYA); 95D: "Paradise Lost," e.g. (EPIC); 100D: Forest cat (LYNX); 101D: Little shaver (LAD); 102D: 67.5 deg. (ENE); 104D: Campus URL ending (EDU); 105D: Old vitamin bottle abbr. (RDA); 106D: Caesar's 151 (CLI).


    S A T U R D A Y   October 23, 2010
    R. M. (Bob) Peoples

    Theme: None

    [If the significance of the highlighted entry
    has you scratching your head, you're not alone.
    It's the number one most Frequently Asked Question.]

    This puzzle put up a little big of a fight, but not too much. I'm not going to rag on its level of difficulty though because I'm too distracted by the awesome long entries. In the downs we've got GREASY SPOON (11D: Hardly a Michelin three-star eatery) and CATCH A FEW Z'S (23D: Catnap). That last one was a little tricky because I was reading the clue as a noun, not a verb. Then in the acrosses we've got the fresh and colloquial "OK I GET IT ALREADY!" (17A: "You've made your point!") and the almost-too-good-to-be-true OLD WHAT'S-HIS-NAME (60A: Reference to a long-forgotten acquaintance). That's really a fabulous entry. It took a while to decode it because I reflexively entered ILL. instead of NEB. for 62D: Lincoln's st. — can't believe I'm the only one who made that mistake — so it looked like the long phrase was going to end with the word ME somehow. Had no idea on 64A: Truman secretary of state Dean ACHESON but it all finally came together when THE BEST (66A: Number one) came into focus.

    Stuff I just flat-out didn't know:
    • 22A: Starfleet registry prefix (NCC). Did any of you hear George Takei on "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!" recently? He was pretty funny.
    • 5D: Grieg's "__ Death" (ASE'S). This is the title of one movement of Edvard Grieg's incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's "Peer Gynt."
    • 49D: Birthplace of Merle Oberon (INDIA). Wikipedia says she was an Indian-born British actress whose best-known role was Cathy in "Wuthering Heights" (1939). (I tried to read Wuthering Heights once. It was really zzzzzzzz.....)
    • 51D: __ Maria Remarque, author of "All Quiet on the Western Front" (ERICH). Obviously, I've heard of this title, but I've never known the author.
    • 8A: Small hounds (BEAGLES). PuzzleHusband often threatens to get our family a "coupla hounds." If he ever does, I'll be blogging from ... somewhere else.
    • 20A: Atomic number of nitrogen (SEVEN). Also the prospective name of George Costanza's prospective child (for a while anyway).
    • 27A: Turn left (HAW). GEE, on the other hand, means "turn right." Good to know if you ever find yourself riding a mule.
    • 34A: One who draws exceptionally well? (MEGASTAR). This isn't a reference to someone's ability to draw, like, with a pen, but to draw a crowd.
    • 40A: Surfer's destination (WEB PAGE). I tried WEB SITE first.
    • 47A: Beehive, say (COIF). I knew right away the clue was referring to a hairstyle, but I needed a cross before I could come up with the right four-letter word.
    • 58A: One sold at Sotheby's in 1989 for more than $50,000 (CEL). This clue refers to an animation cel from the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" If you're interested in learning some background information about CELs, this page is pretty interesting.
    • 63A: Taking by force (SEIZURE). Is this a mistake or am I just reading the clue wrong? Sees to me that the clue is a verb and the answer is a noun. Are the two substitutable? I am probably just missing something.
    • 7D: Destination in a poetic riddle (ST. IVES).
    • As I was going to St Ives
      I met a man with seven wives
      Each wife had seven sacks
      Each sack had seven cats
      Each cat had seven kits
      Kits, cats, sacks, wives
      How many were going to St Ives?
    • 12D: Plain in the Southwest (LLANO).

    • [BoDeans: Kurt Neumann and Sam Llanas]

    • 18D: When Sunday NFL action starts on the West Coast (TEN A.M.). Have I mentioned how much I hate living on the East Coast during the post-season?
    • 31D: Equal opening (ISO-). I've seen this prefix pop up a lot in the puzzles I've been solving recently, so I think it's finally cemented in my brain.
    • 48D: Smashed (OILED). As in ... sozzled.
    • 59D: Fast time (LENT). It's the time of year that some religions encouraging fasting (i.e., not eating).
    • 61D: Art today? (ARE). While in the past you might have heard someone use the phrase "thou art," today you're more likely to hear "you are."
    Crosswordese 101: The biggest problem you have when you see a clue like 32D: Place to buy tkts., where know the clue is looking for an abbrevation for station? You don't know if the answer will be STA or STN. They're both used in CrossWorld. STA is much more common, but it wouldn't have been a good guess today. Unfortunately, there's just no way to know for sure until you check the cross.

    Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
    • 46A: Preschool group? (ROE).
    • 56A: Tank swimmer (TETRA).
    • 9D: Fish often smoked (EEL).
    • 57D: "Off the Court" autobiographer (ASHE).
    [Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

    Everything Else — 1A: Sources of inside info? (CT SCANS); 15A: Question at a wine tasting (HOW IS IT?); 16A: Like some glass display cases (REAR-LIT); 19A: Stroke (PET); 21A: Place for controls (PANEL); 24A: E-mails (SENDS); 26A: Hurting (SORE); 29A: In a level-headed way (SANELY); 31A: 1987 Beatty bomb (ISHTAR); 38A: Insert casually (STICK IN); 41A: Precisely (ON THE DOT); 43A: Short-changed (ROOKED); 44A: Energy problem (ANEMIA); 50A: Health, in Le Havre (SANTE); 52A: "Coming Home" subject (NAM); 54A: Wrinkles (LINES); 65A: He played Captain Davies on "Roots" (ED ASNER); 1D: Do some food prep (CHOP); 2D: Keepsake (TOKEN); 3D: Swing both ways (SWITCH HIT); 4D: Smoke, briefly (CIG); 6D: Evenings in the classifieds (NITES); 8D: Cherry, so to speak (BRAND NEW); 10D: Seniors' PAC (AARP); 13D: It might get you down (EIDER); 14D: Pizazz (STYLE); 25D: "Against the Wind" singer (SEGER); 28D: Rise, and maybe shine (WAKEN); 30D: Cabinet department since 1913 (LABOR); 33D: Teases (RIDES); 35D: Decide to defend someone, say (TAKE A CASE); 36D: Wine selection concern (AGE); 37D: Wine selection (RED); 39D: Irrespective of (NO MATTER); 42D: Some silverware parts (TINES); 45D: In addition (AT THAT); 47D: Nip and tuck (CLOSE); 53D: Notes (MEMOS); 55D: Steer clear of (SHUN).


    F R I D A Y   October 22, 2010
    Clive Probert

    Theme: Art Puns!— Puns on the names of famous artists.

    Theme answers:
    • 20A: Baroque painter's study of a snack? (RUBENS SANDWICH).
    • 36A: Surrealist's portrait of a president? (DALI MADISON).
    • 42A: Synthetist's picture of a French author? (GAUGUIN ZOLA).
    • 57A: Impressionist's study of a washerwoman? (MONET LAUNDERER).
    Pretty decent puns, I think, as far as puns go. I'm glad I didn't get the RUBENS and GAUGUIN answers first because I probably would have been looking for more food-related answers, which I wouldn't have found. But I'm just not going to waste my time whining about something that might have happened but didn't. Instead, I'll tell you that the first time I saw this constructor's name (which I'm pretty sure was not that long ago and it was his debut puzzle in the New York Times), I thought for sure it was a pseudonym. I mean, Clive Probert? That name is too awesome to be real. Then I saw a tweet from his daughter-in-law expressing how excited she was about his puzzle and I realized it was, indeed, his actual name. Congratulations to your parents, sir! They did an excellent job naming you!

    I liked the two answer pairs: First HEAR HEAR paired with YADA YADA YADA (64A: When repeated, "I agree" / 7D: When repeated twice, "and so on"). And then YURI Gagarin paired with NEIL Armstrong (10D: First first name in space / 59D: First first name on the moon). I actually tried ALAN for YURI before I remembered that the Russians beat us! And then I found 26D: Country singer ALAN Jackson elsewhere in the grid.

    • 5A: __ ed (PHYS). My first thought? CRAZY. Because I once knew a guy called "Crazy Ed."
    • 18A: Karachi language (URDU). The PuzzleKids had a Pakistani babysitter for several years when they were little and knew how to count to ten in URDU.
    • 28A: Employees with a lot of keys (VALETS). Hmmm. Will VALETS help you with your VALISES? (That's a reference to yesterday's puzzle.)
    • 38A: Spanish pronoun (ELLA). It means she.
    • 41A: Org. co-founded by Babe Zaharias (LPGA). I did a lot of writing in, erasing, and re-writing in this section. My first thought here was LPGA but then I wanted SWEE' pea instead of 32D: SNAP pea and TEA instead of NAP for 47A: Afternoon break. It was a mess for a while.
    • 48A: Radiances (SHEENS). Not a fan of the random pluralization.
    • 49A: Mars candy bar (TWIX). On the other hand, I'm a huge fan of TWIX.
    • 50A: Pol. platform-promoting org. (DNC). Democratic National Committee.
    • 63A: Sheryl Crow's "__ Wanna Do" (ALL I). If you like Sheryl Crow and have never seen her live, I strongly suggest that you see her as soon as you can. I've always kind of liked her, but I found her to be much more impressive in person. See? I also provide concert-going tips. It's just another service I offer.
    • 66A: Land of 10,000 Lakes: Abbr. (MINN.). Or, as it's sometimes known, Land of 10,000 Rehab Centers.
    • 30D: "NBA on __" (ESPN). I can't get used to "NBA on ESPN." How many years has it been since the NBA was on CBS? "... When you watch the NBA on C-B-EEEESSS (C-BEE-ESS) ...." That was me singing. My point is that I still have that stupid song in my head however many years later.
    • 45D: Representing in drawing (LIMNING). Very strange word.
    • 56D: Oversight (ERROR). I kept thinking I was looking for a synonym of "monitoring" or "supervising" here.
    Crosswordese 101: In early-week puzzles a clue for RIAL will, like today's 25A: Muscat money, have the word money right in it. Other choices for the modifier include Iranian, Middle Eastern, or Omani. Later in the week, you're likely to see the word capital in the clue instead of money because it's trickier. You see "Yemeni capital" and you try to remember the name of the capital city in Yemen, right? Also be on the lookout for the word bread. The clue "Iranian bread" is trying to trick you into thinking about Middle East cuisine when you need to be remembering that the word bread can be slang for money.

    Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
    • 14A: Hyalite, e.g. (OPAL).
    • 33D: Noodle tests? (EEGS).
    • 61D: Humerus neighbor ULNA).
    [Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

    Everything Else — 1A: Bulletin board material (CORK); 9A: Human-powered Eastern cab (CYCLO); 15A: Realize (REAP); 16A: Arcadian (RURAL); 17A: Actress Andersson (BIBI); 19A: Popped up (AROSE); 23A: 1986 movie title trio (AMIGOS); 24A: Rib (KID); 33A: Go back (EBB); 40A: Suffix with polymer (-ASE); 52A: Après-dinner confection (MENTHE); 62A: Intense excitement (FEVER); 65A: Newmark with an online list (CRAIG); 67A: Delinquent's fear (REPO); 68A: Ma's forte (CELLO); 69A: Pre-wedding party (STAG); 70A: Pres. Reagan's "evil empire" (USSR); 1D: G.I. Joe foe (COBRA); 2D: Subject of Great Britain/China wars (OPIUM); 3D: Religious teacher (RABBI); 4D: Filmmaker's __ light (KLIEG); 5D: Berlin was its last capital (PRUSSIA); 6D: Bathrobe word (HERS); 8D: Mettle (SPUNK); 9D: Freshwater crustacean (CRAWDAD); 11D: Popular foam shoe (CROC); 12D: Mascara target (LASH); 13D: Shout of support (OLÉ); 21D: Gare du __: Paris railway station (NORD); 22D: Aria singer, often (DIVA); 27D: Symphonic poem pioneer (LISZT); 29D: Word in many a rap name (LIL); 31D: Frat party wear (TOGA); 34D: Yawn-inducing (BLAH); 35D: Sad (BLUE); 37D: "Please open a can for me"? (MEOW); 39D: Improve, perhaps (AGE); 43D: Have, as an operation (UNDERGO); 44D: Stevie Wonder's "__ She Lovely" (ISN'T); 46D: Let go (AXED); 51D: Quahogs (CLAMS); 53D: Type of jacket the Beatles helped make fashionable (NEHRU); 54D: Windbreak, often (TREES); 55D: Lots (HEAPS); 57D: Like mortals? (MERE); 58D: Track (OVAL); 60D: Landed (ALIT); 62D: Govt. broadband regulator (FCC).