T U E S D A Y   November 30, 2010
Mark Feldman

Theme: Workin' at the Graveyard (whoa-oo whoa-oo whoa-oo whoa) — The first word of each theme answer evokes a cemetery.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: One debating the unpopular side (DEVIL'S ADVOCATE).
  • 31A: Healer using magic (WITCH DOCTOR).
  • 41A: Uncredited author (GHOST WRITER).
  • 55A: Wee-hours work period for 20-, 31- and 41-Across? (GRAVEYARD SHIFT).
Very smooth Tuesday fare today. I got the theme answers in order and after the first two thought "A Halloween puzzle?!?" I suppose it could be, but people work the GRAVEYARD SHIFT all year, so I guess it's okay. Speaking of the GRAVEYARD SHIFT … have you all ever worked at that time of night? I never have, but I used to work a second shift and when we'd get off at midnight, the late shift would be rolling in and I tell you what. Those were some strange people. Not sure how to explain it except to say they all just seemed a little … off. Maybe that's what it takes to be productive when you should be sleeping.

  • 15A: Little suckers (LICE). Um, breakfast test!
  • 23A: Washing aid for pupils (EYE CUP). I assume this is something used at an eye doctor's office? I'm not familiar with any sort of eye health stuff. I actually never wore glasses until I turned 40! Of course now I need three different pair and feel like a total old lady.
  • 25A: "Hold on __!" (A SEC). Because "to your hat" wouldn't fit.
  • 39A: About 1,609 meters (MILE). Just last night I was helping PuzzleDaughter study for a test on the metric system. Isn't it about time the U.S. just converts to the metric system and get it over with?
  • 40A: Game system played with gestures (WII). We just got the Xbox 360 with Kinect. Have you seen the commercials??? It's amazing to think that someday people will look back on it and go "Can you believe how we thought that was so amazing?"
  • 48A: Pitching miscues (BALKS). I recently did some research on BALKS (and by "did some research" I of course mean "read the Wikipedia article"). I pretty much can't remember anything I learned (did I mention the old lady thing?) but at the time I thought it was pretty interesting. Worth a look if you're a baseball fan and don't understand how the BALK rule works.
  • 51A: Where AMZN stock is traded (NASDAQ). I plopped this answer in without even thinking, but I already had the T in place on 55A so that QT mash-up looked all kindsa wrong. (54D: Wax removers (Q-TIPS).)
  • 1D: Fine porcelain (SPODE). This word looks vaguely familiar to me. I'm sure I've seen it in a puzzle before but today I needed every single cross.
  • 3D: Naproxen, commercially (ALEVE). I know way too much about pain relievers.
  • 5D: Held firmly (CLASPED). I tried "clamped" first.
  • 31D: Guitar effect (WAWA). Yes, that's the technical term for it.
  • 41D: Covers, as a driveway (GRAVELS). I guess I've been a city slicker too long — GRAVEL didn't even occur to me.
Crosswordese 101: GNAR is kind of a weird word, isn't it? I don't recall ever using it, or hearing it, or reading it. Of course, now that I say that, I should find it on the next page of the book I'm reading. Isn't that how it goes? Anyway, it's almost always clued straightforwardly as 55D: Growl, snarl, or "imitate an angry dog." The only way the clue is tricked out sometimes is by referring to a type of dog, e.g., "Grown like a boxer," or "Pointer's warning."

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:

  • 17A: Turow memoir subtitled "The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School" (ONE-L).
  • 59A: Oklahoma tribe (OTOE).
  • 6D: Turkish bread? (LIRA).
  • 30D: Pretty pitcher (EWER).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else — 1A: Roe source (SHAD); 5A: Scrape, cat-style (CLAW); 9A: 100 kopeks (RUBLE); 14A: Geographical extremity (POLE); 16A: Matriculate (ENROL); 18A: The "Habanera" from "Carmen," e.g. (ARIA); 19A: Blunt, as reality (STARK); 24A: Blood bank fluid (SERUM); 27A: Stew (SEETHE); 36A: "Man oh man!" ("WOW!"); 37A: Out of kilter (AWRY); 38A: Dove murmur (COO); 45A: Long-haired cat (ANGORA); 47A: Part of a family business title (SONS); 58A: Japanese cartoon genre (ANIME); 60A: Naysayer (ANTI); 61A: Deadly (FATAL); 62A: Zip (along) (TEAR); 63A: Chick's sound (PEEP); 64A: Head lock (TRESS); 65A: At __: arguing (ODDS); 66A: Messes up (ERRS); 2D: Sweetheart (HONEY); 4D: Epicurean delight (DELICACY); 7D: Fatty __ (ACIDS); 8D: Make, as baskets (WEAVE); 9D: Fireman, sometimes (RESCUER); 10D: Wild (UNTAME); 11D: Sassy kid (BRAT); 12D: Folk tales and such (LORE); 13D: "Benevolent" fraternal member (ELK); 21D: Having abundant vegetation (LUSH); 22D: Thereabouts (OR SO); 26D: Chanel of fashion (COCO); 28D: Nincompoop (TWIT); 29D: Burrow indicator (HOLE); 32D: Triumphant cry (I WIN); 33D: Math course (TRIG); 34D: Business orgs. (COS.); 35D: Little ones (TOTS); 39D: Form incorrectly (MISSHAPE); 42D: Robust (HALE); 43D: Worldly seven (WONDERS); 44D: Messenger molecules (RNAS); 46D: White House family (OBAMAS); 49D: Onetime capital of Japan (KYOTO); 50D: Filled up (SATED); 52D: Restaurant patron (DINER); 53D: Following (AFTER); 56D: Ceremony (RITE); 57D: Country way (ROAD); 58D: Toward the rudder (AFT).


M O N D A Y   November 29, 2010
Jeff Chen

Theme: Takin' It Easy — Theme answers are three-word phrases with the pattern "R-word and R-word."

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Music genre that evolved in the '50s (ROCK AND ROLL).
  • 28A: How the wheels on the bus go (ROUND AND ROUND).
  • 47A: "Old" nickname for Zachary Taylor (ROUGH AND READY).
  • 63A: Complain hysterically (RANT AND RAVE).
  • 39A: Time off, briefly, and this puzzle's theme (R AND R).
Very nice Monday theme today. Simple concept, well-known phrases — that's all we're looking for on Monday, right?

  • 10A: W.W. Jacobs short story "The Monkey's __" (PAW). Again with the monkeys.
  • 67A: Like the night in a classic Van Gogh work (STARRY).
  • 7D: Hindu religious instructor (GURU). I actually entered "yogi" first. Now that's just dumb.
  • 8D: Chevy Volt or Ford Fusion (ECO-CAR). Tried "hybrid" here. The only reason I know anything about these cars is because (a) Motor Trend recently named the Chevy Volt its Car of the Year and Rush Limbaugh [edited to delete political statements that may be offensive to some — Google it if you're interested] and (b) the Ford Fusion was constantly pushed last year during "American Idol" (yes, I know that's sad).
  • 15D: First-rate, in Rugby (SLAP-UP). I'm not really an expert on the British slang. I like a lot of it when I hear it, but then I can never remember it.
  • 31D: "Who's the Boss?" star Tony (DANZA). Okay, here's something that's bothered me for a long time and I've never told anyone about it. One night many, many years ago (late-'80s, I'd say), I was watching Letterman and the show was done with voice-overs. I mean, Letterman came out and did his monologue, but they had obviously stripped out the audio and had someone else basically saying Letterman's part. Obviously, I thought it was bizarre. Imagine my surprise when they continued it through the whole show! Have any of you ever seen anything like that??? Oh, and the point is that Tony Danza was the guest that night. In case you thought I was just blurting out random nonsense for no reason (as opposed to my usual habit of blurting out random sense for a very good reason).
  • 38D: Sock ending (-EROO). I much prefer my -EROO at the end of "switch."
  • 50D: Longtime Nevada senator Harry (REID). Just recently squeaked out a victory over Sharron Angle, who [edited to delete political statements that may be offensive to some].
Crosswordese 101: There are three NYEs you should know for puzzles. Did you know NYE is the name of the largest county in Nevada? I didn't think so. That one doesn't come up very often. Then there's Louis NYE, a comedian from the '50s–'60s known for his appearances on "The Steve Allen Show," especially the show's weekly "Man on the Street" sketches. But the most popular NYE in CrossWorld is 65D: PBS science guy Bill. All you need to know about him for crossword purposes is that in 2005 he had a television show called called "The Eyes of NYE." His previous show, "Bill Nye the Science Guy," aired in the 1990s and won seven Emmy Awards.

Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:

  • 13A: Etonic competitor (AVIA).
  • 43A: Hägar the Horrible's dog (SNERT).
  • 45A: Zippy start? (ZEE).
  • 66A: Work unit (ERG).
  • 27D: Nephew of Cain (ENOS).
  • 28D: Big birds of lore (ROCS).
  • 60D: Eye part containing the iris (UVEA).
  • 64D: "Taking Heat" memoirist Fleischer (ARI).
[Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything Else — 1A: Toad feature (WART); 5A: Cravings (URGES); 14A: Hollandaise and barbecue (SAUCES); 16A: Genetic molecule: Abbr. (RNA); 19A: "__ complicated" (IT'S); 20A: Evil smile (SNEER); 21A: Pac-10 hoops powerhouse (UCLA); 22A: Cambridge sch. (MIT); 23A: Letter before kappa (IOTA); 26A: Tranquil (AT PEACE); 32A: Possess (OWN); 33A: Italian "a" (UNA); 34A: Tide creations (POOLS); 37A: Formally relinquish (CEDE); 42A: Winter fall (SNOW); 46A: Well-armed org. (NRA); 52A: Nonsense (BALONEY); 54A: The ten in "hang ten" (TOES); 55A: Batter's stat (RBI); 56A: Power co. product (ELEC.); 58A: Freeze, as a plane's wings (ICE UP); 62A: + molecule, e.g. (ION); 68A: All done (OVER); 69A: Knox and McHenry: Abbr. (FTS.); 70A: "Do the Right Thing" actor Davis (OSSIE); 71A: Wimpy (WEAK); 1D: Serious conflicts (WARS); 2D: Cosmetic caller (AVON); 3D: Paddy grain (RICE); 4D: Adopt, as a puppy (TAKE IN); 5D: "Top Gun" org. (USN); 6D: "Groovy!" ("RAD!"); 9D: Do business with (SELL TO); 10D: Temperamental diva, e.g. (PRIMA DONNA); 11D: Shenanigan (ANTIC); 12D: Trash (WASTE); 18D: Yankee with 613 career homers, familiarly (A-ROD); 24D: Bull: Pref. (TAUR-); 25D: Oscar winner Paquin (ANNA); 29D: Wilson of "Marley & Me" (OWEN); 30D: Subordinates (UNDERLINGS); 35D: Manor master (LORD); 36D: Oscillate (SWAY); 40D: Car scar (DENT); 41D: Overhaul, as a Web site (REDO); 44D: Workers with an ear for music? (TUNERS); 48D: Italian ice cream (GELATO); 49D: "Laughing" critters (HYENAS); 51D: Money for taxes and insurance may be held in it (ESCROW); 52D: Lawyer's filing (BRIEF); 53D: NASA "Stop!" (ABORT); 57D: NBA's Shaq and Yao, e.g. (CTRS.); 59D: A gutter is often under it (EAVE); 61D: Exec's extra (PERK).


S U N D A Y   November 28, 2010
Sylvia Bursztyn (calendar)

Theme: "Trial Run" Legal 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:
  • 20A: Movie about an unruly judge? (THE WILD BENCH).
  • 37A: Certain board member's memoir? (THAT'S HOW I PAROLE).
  • 56A: Slippery plea to a higher court? (BANANA APPEAL).
  • 72A: Acquittal for Adam and Eve? (PARDON OF EDEN).
  • 85A: Docket clerk's dilemma? (WHICH CLAIM FIRST).
  • 109A: Taking candy from a baby? (NURSERY CRIME).
  • 1D: Request for an attorney's argument? (WHERE'S THE BRIEF).
  • 52D: Shoring up the accused's case? (DEFENSE MENDING).
Everything Else — 1A: Finish filming (WRAP); 5A: Pianist Rubinstein (ARTUR); 10A: Goodies (TREATS); 16A: SeaWorld symbol (SHAMU); 17A: Portland's state (MAINE); 18A: Rules often in red (RUBRICS); 22A: Longing (for) (YEARNING); 24A: Hospital unit (WARD); 25A: Measly amount (SOU); 26A: Carrier to Tel Aviv (EL AL); 28A: Stir-fry veggie (SNOWPEA); 29A: Concept (IDEA); 30A: Ultimatum's end (ELSE); 32A: --- were (AS IT); 34A: With glee (GAILY); 35A: Settles in (NESTS); 41A: Skin pics (TATS); 43A: Upset (TIP); 44A: Mindless (INANE); 45A: Dash fig. (MPH); 47A: Rouse (AWAKEN); 50A: Naturally bright (SUNLIT); 52A: Indian lentil dish (DAL); 55A: Forty-niner's find (ORE); 58A: Stubbs of the Four Tops (LEVI); 59A: Power to progress (MOBILITY); 61A: Twosomes (DUOS); 62A: Bistros (CAFES); 63A: Overloads (BURDENS); 64A: Fleeced (SHORN); 66A: Top lines (HEADERS); 68A: Chihuahua "ciao" (ADIOS); 69A: Subpar (POOR); 70A: Campania town (SORRENTO); 71A: Witnesses (SEES); 76A: Divinity sch. (SEM,); 77A: Strip bark (ARF); 78A: Most chilly, as weather (RAWEST); 79A: Threat (MENACE); 80A: Arnhem neighbor (EDE); 81A: Asian antelope (SEROW); 82A: Based --- true story (ON A); 83A: Coal porter (TRAM); 92A: Old Olds (ALERO); 95A: Memorable skater Sonja (HENIE); 96A: Coral line (REEF); 97A: Polish partner (SPIT); 99A: Smooch, in Surrey (SNOG); 100A: Trials (ORDEALS); 103A: Streak (RACE); 105A: Profit add-on (-EER); 106A: Nose tickler (ODOR); 107A: More tapered at the tip (POINTIER); 112A: Respectable behavior (DECENCY); 113A: "Have --- You Lately" (I TOLD); 114A: Crosses over (SPANS); 115A: Unruffled (SEDATE); 116A: Prose piece (ESSAY); 117A: Piquancy (TANG); 2D: Grist for analysis (RAW DATA); 3D: "--- Blue?" (AM I); 4D: Heart throb (PULSE); 5D: Sneak attack (AMBUSH); 6D: "Norma" --- (RAE); 7D: Fork feature (TINE); 8D: Remove, as a bracelet (UNCLASP); 9D: Work over (REHASH); 10D: Adjudicate (TRY); 11D: Nice streets (RUES); 12D: Abba of Israel (EBAN); 13D: Haughty (ARROGANT); 14D: Some metalwork (TINWARE); 15D: Victor over Hannibal (SCIPIO); 16D: Lamp cover (SHADE); 19D: Fishhook holder (SNELL); 20D: Romulus or Remus (TWIN); 21D: Nitwit (DOLT); 23D: Marvin of Motown (GAYE); 27D: Mark Tatulli's comic strip (LIO); 31D: Consumed (EATEN); 33D: Winds like ivy (TWINES); 36D: Livestock stalls (STABLES); 38D: Fey of "30 Rock" (TINA); 39D: "To Live and Die ---" (IN L.A.); 40D: Prop for Jack and Jill (PAIL); 42D: Beau (SWAIN); 45D: Kenyan port city (MOMBASA); 46D: More self-satisfied (PROUDER); 48D: Tiny hill dwellers (ANTS); 49D: Zales' competitor (KAY); 50D: Side track (SPUR); 51D: Drifters' "--- the Roof" (UPON); 53D: Staved off (AVERTED); 54D: Supple (LISSOME); 57D: Deck out (ADORN); 58D: Stow on board (LADE); 60D: Altar vows (I DO'S); 62D: Heavyweight champ Primo (CARNERA); 64D: Lays down the lawn (SODS); 65D: Laugh riot (HOOT); 66D: NBC's Kotb (HODA); 67D: Put up (ERECT); 69D: Antebellum (PREWAR); 70D: DC VIP (SEN.); 72D: Green spot in Grenoble (PARC); 73D: Mil. truant (AWOL); 74D: Potent opener (OMNI-); 75D: Phobias (FEARS); 78D: Warmed in the 'wave (REHEATED); 81D: Word with rocket or earth (SCIENCE); 82D: Paper or fabric remnants (OFFCUTS); 84D: Nonwinner (ALSO-RAN); 85D: Smack hard (WHOP); 86D: Judean king (HEROD); 87D: Nonstudio movies (INDIES); 88D: Court add-on (-IER); 89D: No-goodnik (MEANIE); 90D: Sixth Amendment adjective (SPEEDY); 91D: Arena level (TIER); 93D: Chambers (ROOMS); 94D: Grimm baddie (OGRE); 98D: Assignation (TRYST); 101D: Director Wertmüller (LINA); 102D: Breakaway group (SECT); 104D: Psyche's love (EROS); 108D: Loaf in a deli (RYE); 110D: Hearst kidnap gp. (SLA); 111D: Tax pro (CPA).

S U N D A Y   Novemember 28, 2010
John Lampkin (syndicated)

Theme: "Stuffed" — Five Thanksgiving dishes that are short a few "leftover" letters.

[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: Thursday meat (TURKEY WINGS AND DRUMSTIcks).
  • 35A: Thursday veggie (MASHED POTATOES WITH GRAvy).
  • 55A: Thursday condiment (HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCe).
  • 77A: Thursday veggie (CANDIED YAMS WITH MARSHMallow).
  • 91A: Thursday dessert (PUMPKIN PECAN PIE A LA MODe).
  • 111A: This weekend's fridge contents, probably, and what's missing from five long puzzle answers? (THANKSGIVING LEFTOVERS).
    Hey, folks. Doug here again. OK, I thought the theme was a bit confusing today. I was having trouble figuring out the "leftovers" concept. My theory is that the missing letters from each theme entry are "leftover" for another day, just like most families have some leftover turkey, stuffing, pie, etc., after the big Thursday dinner. (The CANDIED YAMS must not have been very popular, since that one has 5 uneaten letters.) Hey, maybe you can look for all the leftover letters in Monday's grid.
      • 14A: Monkees' jacket type (NEHRU). I'm glad this referred to the musical Monkees and not actual monkeys. I hate to see monkeys wearing clothes. Well, the little organ grinder monkeys are kind of cute, but clothed chimpanzees creep me out. "Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp" gave me nightmares.
      • 28A: Net weight factors (TARES). One of those crossword words you just have to memorize. Please see this delightful Crosswordese 101 entry: TARE.
      • 67A: Secretary of state under Reagan (SHULTZ). That would be George Shultz. Also Secretary of the Treasury under Nixon. He's been around forever. And he's certainly not my favorite S(c)hultz.
      • 106A: More's allegorical island (UTOPIA). The titular island in "Utopia" by Sir Thomas More. The full title of the book is "Libellus vere aureus, nec minus salutaris quam festivus, de optimo rei publicae statu deque nova insula Utopia" or "A Truly Golden Little Book, No Less Beneficial Than Entertaining, of the Best State of a Republic, and of the New Island Utopia." Now that's catchy.
      • 10D: In order that (SOASTO). One of those entries that looks bizarre in the grid until you realize it's "so as to."
      • 12D: Sly Foxx (REDD). I used to watch "Sanford and Son" all the time with my grandfather. He loved Redd Foxx and had quite a few of his LPs, but I was never allowed to listen to them. Then I heard a few of his routines when I was older. Some of the dirtiest, funniest stuff you'll ever hear.
      • 16D: "__ Hers": 1994 Pulp album (HISN). Pulp is a band? My knowledge of '90s popular music is pretty much nonexistent. 
      • 36D: Certain Dwarf's periodic outburst (ACHOO). I love this Sneezy clue for ACHOO.
      • 42D: The sun, e.g. (G STAR). Apparently stars are classified using the letters O, B, A, F, G, K and M. And G stars are "yellow." OK, unless you're an astrophysicist, my advice is to write STAR in the grid and wait for the crossing answer to give you the first letter.
      • 57D: Like Steven Wright's humor (DRY). Classic.
      • 68D: Narrowly defined verse (HAIKU). My all-time favorite crossword clue for HAIKU was written by Bob Klahn: "A poem like this / Of 17 syllables / Split 5-7-5."
      • 108D: Ale brewer Slosberg (PETE). This guy's the Pete behind Pete's Wicked Ale.
      Thanks for hanging out with me on a Sunday. PuzzleGirl will be back in the driver's seat tomorrow.

      Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
      • 8D: Flamboyant Dame (EDNA). (Edna's been showing up a lot lately.)
        Everything Else — 1A: Insect catchers (WEBS); 5A: Something blown before a fight? (FUSE); 9A: Seize by force (USURP); 19A: Marine hue (AQUA); 20A: Exalt (LAUD); 21A: Long time follower? (NOSEE); 22A: Allium plant (ONION); 27A: Singing hindrance (TINEAR); 29A: Early Greek Cynic (DIOGENES); 30A: Sweeping matter (SOOT); 32A: Curse (OATH); 34A: __-relief (BAS); 45A: Bruins' sch. (UCLA); 46A: Lays eggs in water (SPAWNS); 47A: Jalisco hundred (CIEN); 48A: Fleur de __: sea salt (SEL); 49A: They're raised at bars (SHOTS); 51A: Connecting symbol between musical notes (TIE); 52A: Auto for Otto, maybe (AUDI); 53A: Arch opening? (MATRI); 60A: Half an attention-getter (YOO); 61A: Concur (AGREE); 62A: Decipher, as music (READ); 63A: Everlasting, to the bard (ETERNE); 64A: Jenny's sound (BRAY); 65A: Vise feature (JAW); 66A: Certain fed (NARC);70A: Try (STAB); 72A: Jacket line (TITLE); 74A: Lyricist Gershwin (IRA); 81A: Mountain spine (RIDGE); 82A: Postnatal bed (CRIB); 83A: AQI monitor (EPA); 84A: "... __ down in green pastures" (TOLIE); 85A: Alias (AKA); 86A: __-garou: werewolf (LOUP); 87A: Flaws (FAULTS); 90A: "Death in Venice" author (MANN); 96A: Lip (RIM); 97A: Neil Diamond's "__ Said" (IAMI); 98A: King of rhyme (COLE); 99A: Remain calm (STAYCOOL); 104A: Succeed in (WINAT); 114A: Azerbaijani neighbor (IRANI); 115A: Gas that both protects and pollutes (OZONE); 116A: Hot rod rod (AXLE); 117A: Mounted on (ATOP); 118A: "Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon" author Robert (ROSEN); 119A: Georgia gridders, familiarly (DAWGS); 120A: Macho guy (STUD); 121A: Peephole feature, often (LENS); 1D: One with his name in lights? (WATT); 2D: Same: Pref. (EQUI); 3D: Blow a 5-Across (BURN); 4D: Sushi bar drink (SAKE); 5D: Trout fishing gear (FLYRODS); 6D: Detroit labor gp. (UAW); 7D: Fit perfectly (SUITTOATEE); 9D: Dethrones (UNSEATS); 11D: JFK served in it (USN); 13D: Foot at the head? (PEDI); 14D: Chewy candy (NOUGAT); 15D: Catch, as in a net (ENMESH); 17D: Learning style (ROTE); 18D: Colleges, Down Under (UNIS); 24D: Lighten up (EASE); 25D: Pun, usually (GROANER); 26D: The American one is in the thrush family (ROBIN); 31D: Like an ant. (OPP); 33D: Mother of Hector in the "Iliad" (HECUBA); 35D: Oozing schmaltz (MUSHY); 37D: NFL ref's aid (SLOMO); 38D: Detest (HATE); 39D: Doubly (TWICE); 40D: Took up (with) (SIDED); 41D: Stream blocker (WEIR); 43D: Show over (RERUN); 44D: Pulitzer winner Walker (ALICE); 50D: Smug sort (SMARTIE); 52D: Again (ANEW); 53D: "It's on me" (MYTREAT); 54D: "Be there in __" (ASEC); 56D: Riveted (AGAZE); 58D: Lawrence's men (ARABS); 59D: King's domain (REALM); 64D: Sch. campus unit (BLDG); 65D: Doorway part (JAMB); 66D: Ultimate (NTH); 67D: Morsel (SCRAP); 69D: Allow to flow (UNDAM); 70D: Waffle topper (SYRUP); 71D: Southeast Asian island metropolis (TAIPEI); 72D: Tilt skywards (TIPUP); 73D: It's used for emphasis (ITALICTEXT); 74D: Faith of more than one billion (ISLAM); 75D: African lumberer (RHINO); 76D: Alter, as an agreement (AMEND); 78D: Pest control brand (DCON); 79D: Making independent (from) (WEANING); 80D: "Arrivederci __" (ROMA); 86D: Stretches on the road (LIMOS); 87D: Biblical hardships (FAMINES); 88D: Columbia Records jazz producer Macero (TEO); 89D: Toasted (SALUTED); 92D: Hawthorne's "A" wearer (PRYNNE); 93D: Begin to take effect (KICKIN); 94D: Cornfield chatter (CAWING); 95D: Mother of Apollo (LETO); 99D: Arouse (STIR); 100D: Via, old-style (THRO); 101D: Small batteries (AAAS); 102D: Prayer start (OGOD); 103D: Gershwin title girl who can make "all the clouds ... roll away" (LIZA); 105D: Sadly (ALAS); 107D: __ Office (OVAL); 109D: Fe, in chemistry (IRON); 110D: Deadly slitherers (ASPS); 112D: Altar agreement (VOW);113D: H1N1 virus, e.g. (FLU).


        S A T U R D A Y   November 27, 2010
        Victor Fleming

        Theme: None

        Doug here, filling for PuzzleGirl, who's taking a much-deserved Saturday vacation.

        Nice themeless puzzle by Vic "The Gavel" Fleming today. A little easier than recent LA Times Saturday puzzles. Perhaps Rich Norris figured we'd all be recovering from our Thanksgiving food comas today.

        Vic started off with a bang at 1-Across: One is in the Guinness Book for its 1728-word vocabulary is the clue for PARAKEET. That is so awesome and so weird. I was thinking it was some kind of ape or gorilla, or maybe a dolphin. How did Guinness verify this record? Did someone sit by the cage for days, recording every word the parakeet squawked? Maybe they just took the bird's word for it.

        • 18A: Like "The Hurt Locker," e.g. (R-RATED). One of PuzzleGirl's crack assistants, SethG, pointed out to me that there's a sort of mini-theme running through the puzzle. You've got this entry, R-RATED, along with 30A: G-STRING (find your own picture), 34A: E STREET, and 47A: I-BAR. Cool.
        • 19A: Iteration opening (I SAID). Part of our "first letters" mini-theme? Probably not. Sort of a tricky clue though. When you iterate, or repeat, something, you might start off with "I said..."
        • 27A: Elbows on the table, say (FAUX PAS). I overthought this one. I figured the "elbows" were referring to MACARONI. I wasn't expecting a completely straightforward clue on Saturday.
        • 6D: Hot time to see Nancy? (ÉTÉ). Nancy's a city in France, and été is French for summer. When I see this word in a puzzle, I pronounce it like "eat." And why does it have two accents? (Note to commenters: I really don't want to know.) I'm glad I took Spanish in high school. Spanish makes sense. One accent mark per word.
        • 9D: Lith., once: (SSR). We've got a little Soviet/Communist mini-theme in this section of the puzzle: SSR (Soviet Socialist Republic), 11D: Source of some Russian copper (URALS), and 14D: RED STATES. (Thanks to SethG for that one too.) I thought about including a Yakov Smirnoff video here, but only for about two seconds.
        • 25D: 1981 Wolfgang Petersen film (DAS BOOT). I've always wanted to see this movie. From Wikipedia: "To make the appearance of the actors as realistic as possible, scenes were filmed in sequence over the course of the year. This ensured natural growth of beards and hair, increasing skin pallor, and signs of strain on the actors, who had, just like real U-boat men, spent many months in a cramped, unhealthy atmosphere." And you thought actors were all a bunch of wimps.
        • 28D: Short ___ (STORY). I like this clue because it reminds me of the "Match Game" bonus round.
        • 32D: Track fixture (TOTE BOARD). During college, I worked summers at different racetracks, so I've seen the inside of many a toteboard. It's not as exciting as it sounds.
        • 52D: Jazz organist Saunders (MERL). For crossword fans, there's only one Merl to remember.
        Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
        • 41A: Drink suffix (ADE).
        • 6D: Hot time to see Nancy? (ETE).
        • 9D: Lith., once (SSR).
        • 54D: Give out (EMIT).
        [Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]


        F R I D A Y   November 26, 2010
        Samuel A. Donaldson

        Theme: Kapow! — Theme answers are familiar phrases with a type of "punch" added to the front end.

        Theme answers:
        • 17A: Flight from a heated argument? (CROSSFIRE ESCAPE).
        • 27A: Talkative "King of Country"? (JABBERING STRAIT).
        • 44A: Gene carrier responsible for truancy? (HOOKY CHROMOSOME).
        • 59A: Liven up, with "to" (and a hint to how 17-, 27- and 44-Across were created) (ADD A LITTLE PUNCH).
        I'm having a little trouble with this theme. I get it, and I think it's a cute idea, but I guess I just don't like the answers. I got the first theme answer — CROSSFIRE ESCAPE — and thought this would be some kind of word chain theme because both CROSSFIRE and FIRE ESCAPE are things and, more importantly I guess, compound words. I thought maybe the next theme answer would start with, I don't know … "hatch"? The other two theme answers change the pronunciation from the base phrase to the resulting phrase and they're not compound words and, yeah, just seems inconsistent and not quite up to par. The only other problem I have with the puzzle is FUSEE. Um, what? FUSEE? Who knew a 42A: Signal flare could be called a FUSEE?

        After all that, I do want to say that I appreciate the grid's Scrabbliness and like quite a few of the medium-length down answers like LOSES BIG, WISEGUYS, KAYAKS, POP-UP, and even BANJO. Even though I'm not crazy about the theme, there's some good stuff in here.

        • 1A: Knack (FEEL).
        • 14A: Othello's confidant (IAGO). Shakespeare has a lot of characters with great names, but IAGO is the best of the best as far as I'm concerned. For some reason, I just love that name.
        • 25A: Jack succeeded him (IKE). John F. Kennedy (Jack) succeded Dwight D. Eisenhower (IKE) to the U.S. presidency. (On a related note, JFK Jr. would have been 50 years old yesterday. Sniff.)
        • 35A: Allegheny, as of 1979 (USAIR). I had forgotten that USAIR used to have a different name. I thought "A river changed its name? I wonder why!"
        • 37A: A.L. Central team, on scoreboards (CLE). For the sporst-challenged, that's CLEveland.
        • 39A: Word on the Great Seal of the U.S. (NOVUS). The front of the seal says E pluribus unum ("out of many, one"). The reverse has two phrases: Annuit coeptis (basically, "Providence has approved of our undertakings") and NOVUS ordo seclorum ("a new order of the ages").
        • 41A: Gram. topic (ADJ.). You might discuss ADJectives in the context of GRAMmer.
        • 62A: Idaho flower (SNAKE). If you're wondering why you've never heard of a SNAKE flower, that's because (like me) you were pronouncing that word wrong. This clue is actually asking for something that flows through Idaho. And that would be the SNAKE River.
        • 63A: Cat's-paw (TOOL). I have never heard of this tool. I continue to amaze myself with the stuff I don't know.
        • 8D: Company in Germany? (ZWEI). Playing on the phrase "Two's company, three's a crowd." ZWEI is German for "two."
        • 9D: Signal callers: Abbr. (QB'S). Even the sports-challenged know this one means quarterbacks, right?
        • 10D: Sportscaster Bob dubbed "Mr. Baseball" (UECKER). I actually knew who this clue was talking about, but I can enver remember how to spell his name.
        • 26D: Chess jumpers: Abbr. (KTS.). Abbreviation of "knights."
        • 50D: Bart Simpson's teacher __ Krabappel (EDNA). You're welcome.
        • 56D: Pop's pal, at breakfast? (SNAP). Took me a while to decipher this clue. It's a reference to the Rice Krispies … what are they, elves? SNAP, Crackle, and Pop.
        • 57D: 2006 NSA suer (ACLU). I assume this has something to do with wire-tapping, but I'm not going to look it up right now. There's much more family togetherness to be had today!! Enjoy your Friday. I hope you don't have to go shopping.
        [Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

        Everything Else — 5A: Big name in crackers (RITZ); 9A: Earthshaking news? (QUAKE); 15A: Not many (A FEW); 16A: Where to look out? (BELOW); 20A: Thumbs-up (ASSENT); 21A: Baking shortcut (MIX); 22A: Flamboyant band since the '70s (KISS); 23A: Ask for (SEEK); 36A: Karate skill symbols (BELTS); 38A: Minor damage (DING); 40A: Propeller sound (WHIR); 43A: Devout (PIOUS); 47A: Run a fever, perhaps (AIL); 48A: Informal rejection (NOPE); 49A: Big bunch (BEVY); 52A: Absorb, as a loss (EAT); 55A: Affects, as one's heartstrings (TUGS AT); 64A: Cole Porter's alma mater (YALE); 65A: Boss's privilege (SAY-SO); 66A: Office suites, e.g. (APPS); 67A: Like yarn (SPUN); 1D: Pay stub abbr. (FICA); 2D: "I'm all __" (EARS); 3D: Obstacles to quiet on the set? (EGOS); 4D: Takes a real beating (LOSES BIG); 5D: Roof support (RAFTER); 6D: "__ Had $1000000": Barenaked Ladies hit (IF I); 7D: Six years, for a senator (TERM); 11D: Kyrgyzstan range (ALAI); 12D: Keystone krew? (KOPS); 13D: Meadow mamas (EWES); 18D: Contemptuous look (SNEER); 19D: Isn't fiction (EXISTS); 24D: Put the __ on: end (KIBOSH); 27D: David's kingdom (JUDAH); 28D: "... say, not __" (AS I DO); 29D: Bela Fleck's instrument (BANJO); 30D: "Fat chance!" (NEVER); 31D: Fasten, in a way (GLUE ON); 32D: Blessing evoker (ACHOO); 33D: Pelvic bone (ILIUM); 34D: Like Coolidge, famously (TERSE); 39D: Proton sites (NUCLEI); 40D: Crackers? (WISE GUYS); 42D: "Thought you should know," on a memo (FYI); 43D: Like some children's books (POP-UP); 45D: Whitewater craft (KAYAKS); 46D: Sites of many affairs (MOTELS); 49D: Largemouth __ (BASS); 51D: End of the war (V-DAY); 53D: "__ girl!" (ATTA); 54D: Sporty car roof (T-TOP); 58D: Afterwards (THEN); 60D: MGM mascot (LEO); 61D: Cut (LOP).


        T H U R S D A Y   November 25, 2010
        Don Gagliardo

        Theme: Electric Circuit — All words around the outside perimeter of the grid can come after the word "electric" in a familiar phrase.

        Theme answers:
        • 1A: Racer's privilege (POLE).
        • 5A: Group of contestants (FIELD).
        • 10A: Heart, basically (PUMP).
        • 13D: Kind of nap or tie (POWER).
        • 39D: Common observer (EYE).
        • 58D: Bach's instrument (ORGAN).
        • 73A: Make it official (SIGN).
        • 72A: Rhythmic element (METER).
        • 71A: Spelunker's aid (LAMP).
        • 52D: Machine with bits (DRILL).
        • 32D: Summer cooler (FAN).
        • 1D: Brahms's instrument (PIANO).
        • 7D: What the perimeter answers in this puzzle literally create (ELECTRIC CIRCUIT).
        Happy Turkey Day, everybody! I'm grateful to all of you for hanging out with me and indulging me in my crossword ramblings. So far I'm still having fun. I hope you're getting a little something out of it too.

        I'm not going to say too much today — like you I'm sure, I have a lot of family togetherness to get to. Also football. And food. So let's start off with the couple of things I didn't know at all:
        • 36A: Three-time U.S. Women's Open champ Berning (SUSIE). Never heard of her. But I haven't paid close attention to tennis in a while. Is she a current player? HAha! She's a golfer. So I guess my inattention to tennis is irrelevant.
        • 62D: German fantasy author Michael (ENDE). I feel like I've seen this name before, but it must not have made much of an impression on me.
        • 18A: "Camelot" composer (LOEWE) / 19A: "Camelot," e.g. (SHOW). I like the consecutive "Camelot" clues with rhyming answers. Seems appropriate somehow.
        • 21A: Prog. discontinued at some campuses during the Vietnam War (ROTC). Apparently it wasn't discontinued at PuzzleDad's college. Legend has it that Dad once beat a guy at pool who, because he didn't have the money on him (!!!), offered to mark my dad "present" in his required ROTC class for the semester. It was only after the semester ended that Dad discovered the guy had moved away. Ouch.
        • 48A: Martini's partner (ROSSI). I guess I was thinking of tennis because of that golf clue I mentioned (sheesh!) and misread this as "Martina's partner."
        • 52A: Baseball SS's stats (DP'S). I guess this means Double Plays. If I had been forced to come up with it, I probably would have, but I just got it through crosses.
        • 69A: Take for __: fool (A RIDE). I had the problem here that SethG talked about yesterday. I read the clue and thought the answer would be "take for … a fool."
        • 3D: Scofflaw of a sort (LITTERBUG). I tried "loiterer" but came up short on letters.
        • 60D: "Your time __!" (IS UP). Yes, indeed, it is.
        Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
        • 15A: China's Zhou __ (ENLAI).
        • 47A: Perry's creator (ERLE).
        • 55A: Copycat (APER).
        • 70A: Agora portico (STOA).
        • 4D: Dinner duo? (ENS).
        [Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

        Everything Else — 14A: Victor's claim (I WIN); 16A: "Bug off!" ("SHOO!"); 17A: Tiny colonists (ANTS); 20A: The Wallendas don't use one (NET); 22A: Insensitive (OBTUSE); 24A: Had too much of (OD'ED ON); 26A: Adjust, as wheels (TRUE); 28A: Sailor's pronoun (HER); 29A: Designer Gernreich (RUDI); 30A: Church observances (RITES); 32A: Watch pockets (FOBS); 34A: "Hulk" star Bana (ERIC); 40A: Lie alongside (ABUT); 41A: Ali G portrayer __ Baron Cohen (SACHA); 43A: Depend (RELY); 44A: Bruce who played Dr. Watson (NIGEL); 46A: Bakery curlicue maker (ICER); 50A: Unlike Miss Manners (RUDE); 56A: Former NBAer Mourning (ALONZO); 59A: Sanction (RATIFY); 61A: Red amount? (CENT); 63A: Like BMWs: Abbr. (GER.); 64A: March time (IDES); 65A: Connie of "Weekends With Maury and Connie" (CHUNG); 67A: Cold water hazard (BERG); 68A: Party with ukes (LUAU); 2D: Finished paying off (OWNED); 5D: Serious crimes (FELONIES); 6D: Trying to settle a score, for short? (IN O.T.); 8D: __ of averages (LAW); 9D: Fade to nothing (DIE OUT); 10D: Sound made with a cupped hand (PSST); 11D: Compliant sound (UH-HUH); 12D: Bullwinkle J. __ (MOOSE); 21D: Fishing tool (ROD); 23D: Queen's offspring (BEES); 25D: Sporty '70s Plymouth (DUSTER); 27D: Nouveau __ (RICHE); 31D: "And how!" ("SURE DO!"); 33D: __-Wan Kenobi (OBI); 35D: Bring up (RAISE); 37D: Tanzania wildlife reserve (SERENGETI); 38D: Bad (ILL); 42D: Orchestrator, perhaps (ARRANGER); 45D: Rye buy (LOAF); 49D: Cloak-and-dagger gadget (SPYCAM); 51D: Nth: Abbr. (ULT.); 53D: "The Taming of the Shrew" setting (PADUA); 54D: Locomotive propeller (STEAM); 57D: Cause of some floating, briefly (ZERO G); 66D: Charlemagne's realm: Abbr. (HRE); 67D: Undergrad degs. (BS'S).


        W E D N E S D A Y   November 24, 2010
        Gareth Bain

        Theme: Book 'em, Danno — Theme answers end with words that can be synonyms for "jail."

        Theme answers:
        • 17A: Song involving body parts (HOKEY POKEY).
        • 25A: Driveshaft component (UNIVERSAL JOINT).
        • 41A: Gulped-down Mexican cocktail (TEQUILA SLAMMER).
        • 55A: Marker (FELT-TIP PEN).
        • 48D: Synonym for the ends of 17-, 25-, 41- and 55-Across (JAIL).
        I wish there were more themes that could be built around HOKEY POKEY. That's one fabulous grid entry.

        • 6A: Blue (GLUM). I was thinking more along the lines of R-rated than sad.
        • 22A: Particular (FUSSY). Wednesday is when the cluing starts to get a little tricky. One-word clues can be so misleading!
        • 31A: McQueen or Martin (STEVE). I've been following Steve Martin on Twitter lately. He's pretty funny (obviously). And I really was just thinking about this SNL skit this morning:
        • 35A: __ light: moviemaker's tool (KLIEG). I don't know why I have such a hard time remembering that it's I-before-E. For some reason I always think this word is an exception.
        • 37A: Hardy's "obscure" stonemason (JUDE). Whoa. No idea. Probably from a book I should have read.
        • 3D: Golfer's need, at times (RAKE). And sometimes the golfer himself is a RAKE! Thank you very much, I'll be here all week, don't forget to tip your waitress.
        • 24D: Standard (FLAG). I'm not sure how this works. I think I had it figured out yesterday while I was solving, but now I can't remember.
        • 26D: Avoiding off-topic posting, say (NETIQUETTE). What a concept.
        • 53D: Breakfast tip components, usually (ONES). I thought I was looking for some type of food here. Wednesday is when I start overthinking the clues.
        Crosswordese 101: 47D: "Show Boat" author EDNA Ferber shows up quite a bit in puzzles. She's almost always clued as a novelist, author, or writer. Other than "Show Boat," the title you're most likely likely to see in a clue is "Giant." Here are the other EDNAs you need to know for crosswords.
        • Dame EDNA Everage, a Barry Humphries character. Words to look out for: flamboyant, cross-dressing, and down under.
        • Actress EDNA Best. Look for the words movies, author, and theater.
        • Poet EDNA St. Vincent Millay.
        • EDNA Turnblad. She's the mom in "Hairspray." In the recent remake of the movie, she was played by John Travolta.
        • EDNA Krabappel is a teacher on "The Simpsons."
        • Mystery author EDNA Buchanan.
        • EDNA Garrett. That's Mrs. Garrett on "The Facts of Life" (who knew she had a first name??).
        Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
        • 16A: Actress Perlman (RHEA).
        • 40A: "Gymnopédies" composer (SATIE).
        • 46A: Spoonbill's kin (IBIS).
        • 60A: Sheltered, on a ship (ALEE).
        • 4D: Poetic preposition (ERE).
        • 50D: "The Good Earth" heroine (O-LAN).
        [Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.] Everything Else — 1A: Lots of plots (ACRES); 10A: Memo abbr. (ATTN.); 14A: Lewis's partner (CLARK); 15A: "Mona __ Smile": 2003 film (LISA); 19A: One of two on some wedding cakes (TIER); 20A: View (EYE); 21A: English Channel port (DOVER); 23A: Staff addition (HIRE); 24A: Business (FIRM); 32A: "The Bridge on the River __": 1957 Best Picture (KWAI); 33A: "Rather not!" ("NAH!"); 34A: Quote (CITE); 38A: Husband of Fatima (ALI); 39A: Mottled (PIED); 45A: "For __ us a child is born" (UNTO); 47A: Leave the cockpit suddenly (EJECT); 49A: Fawlty Towers, for one (HOTEL); 51A: Tabloid craft, briefly (UFO); 54A: Sports page info, e.g. (DATA); 57A: Quibbles (NITS); 58A: Like some hygiene (ORAL); 59A: Lasso feature (NOOSE); 61A: Hereditary unit (GENE); 62A: Ladies' men (GENTS); 1D: Dull pain (ACHE); 2D: Be overly sweet (CLOY); 5D: Execute a high jump? (SKYDIVE); 6D: "Lethal Weapon" co-star (GLOVER); 7D: Valley girl word (LIKE); 8D: Microsoft customer (USER); 9D: Kentucky Derby time (MAY); 10D: Maestro Toscanini (ARTURO); 11D: "Now!" ("THIS MINUTE!"); 12D: Pro shop bagful (TEES); 13D: __ a soul (NARY); 18D: Small opening (PORE); 22D: Island country since 1970 (FIJI); 23D: Swarm's home (HIVE); 25D: Functional (UTILE); 27D: Path to ruin, with "the" (SKIDS); 28D: Dazzle (AWE); 29D: Low point (NADIR); 30D: You, in a classic E.B. Browning poem (THEE); 31D: Sing like Satchmo (SCAT); 35D: Metric weight, for short (KILO); 36D: Grazing field (LEA); 37D: Jazz sessions (JAMS); 39D: Aniston's ex (PITT); 40D: Like the Cheshire Cat (SMILING); 42D: Remove from its box (UNCASE); 43D: Chicken __ (LITTLE); 44D: Help to perpetrate (ABET); 49D: __ and now (HERE); 51D: Shortly following (UPON); 52D: Suffix with slug (-FEST); 55D: Brit's pea-souper (FOG); 56D: "Lenore" poet (POE).


        T U E S D A Y   November 23, 2010
        Dan Naddor

        Theme: Friques and Giques — Theme answers are two-word phrases where both words end in IQUE.

        Theme answers:
        • 17A: Outside-the-box method (UNIQUE TECHNIQUE).
        • 37A: Exclusive group seeking old collectibles (ANTIQUE CLIQUE).
        • 59A: Indirect evaluation (OBLIQUE CRITIQUE).
        This is a very cute, simple theme and the only gripe I have about it is that two of the entries are really fun to say out loud and the middle one … isn't. But maybe I just need to start pronouncing CLIQUE as I assume the French do. And then … ta-da! Problem solved.

        It's a shame that the so many of the Qs turned out to be in short down answers. The two long dows with Qs — EXQUISITE and SQUISING — are pretty cool. It also felt like there were too many foreign words in the grid that were a notch above what we usually expect from a Tuesday:
        • 55A: Euro predecessor, in Portugal (ESCUDO).
        • 12D: Nicht alt (NEU).
        • 24D: Calf meat, in Calais (VEAU).
        • 5A: Tony winner Judith (IVEY). I'm actually more familiar with the poker player Phil IVEY.
        • 14A: Any of five O-ending brothers (MARX). No idea what this clue was going for until I had the X in place. D'oh!
        • 41A: Henner who played Elaine on "Taxi" (MARILU). I saw her on Letterman once many years ago and apparently she has this bizarre sort of photographic memory where she can remember everything she's done every day of her life. (Presumably, not every day of her life, but you get my drift.)
        • 53A: Opt for a career without the band (GO SOLO). Not always a good idea. I'm looking at you, David Lee Roth.
        • 3D: Son of Poseidon (TRITON). PuzzleSon will be so disappointed to learn that it's not him.
        • 38D: "Just do it" sloganeer (NIKE). Many many years ago I remember seeing a television ad for NIKE (or possibly Reebok) that was hilarious. It just showed a couple second of people involved in various strenuous exercises and the voice-over said things like "Push it," "Burn it," and "Go for it." Then at the very end, the guy goes "And it wouldn't hurt for you to stop eating like such a pig." I thought that was probably the funniest ad I'd ever seen but I assume they got some complaints about it because I don't remember ever seeing it again.
        • 45D: Rotation-causing force (TORQUE). Can't see this word without thinking about Marisa Tomei in "My Cousin Vinny."
        • 52D: Sheep fats (SUETS). I had no idea. Ew.
        Crosswordese 101:I only see one crosswordese word in the grid that we've already covered (54D: Polo Grounds legend Mel OTT), so today I'm gonna give you a two-fer so you don't feel shortchanged. Have you ever noticed that there's an awful lot of crosswordese that begins with the letter E? Well today we'll talk about two E-names you need to know.

        First is 22D: "ER" actor ERIQ La Salle. There's not much to say about him crossword-wise, except that I'm sure constructors rejoiced when Dr. Benton turned out to be a character worth having around for eight seasons.

        Then there's ELOISE, the 21A: Plaza Hotel pixie. She's the six-year-old girl who lives in the "room on the tippy-top floor" of the Plana Hotel in a children's book series by Kay Thompson.

          [Follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

          Everything Else — 1A: Entr'__ (ACTE); 9A: Stories of questionable veracity (YARNS); 15A: Visibly embarrassed (RED AS A BEET); 19A: Seated yoga position (LOTUS); 20A: In inventory (ON HAND); 23A: Ones who take things the wrong way? (THIEVES); 27A: Catches some rays (TANS); 28A: Johannesburg's land: Abbr. (RSA); 31A: College e-mail address ending (EDU); 32A: Water frozen in mid-drip (ICICLE); 35A: Missouri tributary (OSAGE); 40A: Cooked in 35-Down (FRIED); 42A: "Gross!" ("ICK!"); 43A: "Whirled peas" is one (PUN); 44A: Slanted type: Abbr. (ITAL.); 48A: Capone catchers, familiarly (THE FEDS); 58A: Hurled (THREW); 63A: Agreement before marriage (PRENUPTIAL); 64A: Wacky (NUTS); 65A: Small sample (TASTE); 66A: Fancy tie material (SILK); 67A: Heroic deed (GEST); 1D: Lucky charm (AMULET); 2D: With 35-Down, healthful cooking liquid (CANOLA); 4D: Especially elegant (EXQUISITE); 5D: Hot temper (IRE); 6D: White House no (VETO); 7D: Heaven on Earth (EDEN); 8D: Marina craft (YACHT); 9D: One-named New Age keyboardist (YANNI); 10D: Put up with (ABIDE); 11D: Mil. supply order (REQ.); 13D: Sault __ Marie (STE.); 16D: 1979 Iranian exile (SHAH); 18D: Battleship letters (USS); 25D: Brink (EDGE); 26D: Go after in court (SUE); 29D: Lowlife (SCUM); 30D: __ of faith (A LEAP); 33D: Spain's El __ (CID); 34D: Light brown color (ECRU); 35D: See 2-Down (OIL); 36D: Making a walking-in-mud sound (SQUISHING); 37D: St. Louis landmark (ARCH); 39D: Suffix with weak (-LING); 40D: Emotional outburst (FIT); 46D: Native Alaskans (ALEUTS); 47D: Most shameful (LOWEST); 49D: Boxer's maneuver (FEINT); 50D: Roman ending (-ESQUE); 51D: 60-Down spec (D-CUP); 56D: Twice CCCI (DCII); 57D: Word-of-mouth (ORAL); 59D: Choose (OPT); 60D: Victoria's Secret staple (BRA); 61D: "__ Misérables" (LES); 62D: Class (ILK).


          M O N D A Y   November 22, 2010
          Donna S. Levin

          Theme: Want! — Theme answers are familiar phrases that end with words synonymous with desire.

          Theme answers:
          • 21A: Tokyo monetary unit (JAPANESE YEN).
          • 26A: 1983 Lionel Richie #1 song (ALL NIGHT LONG).
          • 43A: Desolate title tree in a 1936 Fonda/MacMurray western (LONESOME PINE).
          • 50A: TUMS target (STOMACHACHE).
          • 65A: Hanker, and a synonym for the ends of 21-, 26-, 43- and 50-Across (YEARN).
          Well this is just what we need on a Monday, right? A super smooth solve — not too hard but not boring either. This grid is filled with words that I think of as one level above the typical Monday: BAD EGG, CONJOIN, LAMENT, TENACITY, QUOI. Nothing particularly awesome about those words, but they add a little pizzazz to an easy puzzle. We're off to a good start this week.

          • 31A: French city where Joan of Arc died (ROUEN). This was probably the trickiest thing in the grid. I didn't know it off the top of my head, but with a few crosses it came back to me.
          • 33A: Milk units: Abbr. (QTS.). I tried "pts." first.
          • 46A: It's north of the border (CANADA). Can't wait to hear from our Canadian friends about this one.
          • 49A: Cle. hoopsters (CAVS). I was flying through this puzzle pretty fast and wrote in "Mavs" thinking "Somehow that doesn't seem quite right."
          • 7D: "March Madness" org. (NCAA). Seems like "March Madness" is right around the corner. How the hell did it get to be Thanksgiving week already?!?
          Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
          • 10A: Narrow-necked pear (BOSC).
          • 16A: Figure skating jump (AXEL).
          • 36A: Old Italian money (LIRE).
          • 1D: Copied (APED).
          • 26D: Woody's son (ARLO).
          • 29D: Ivan the Terrible et al. (TSARS).
          • 59D: Abu Dhabi's fed. (UAE).
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          Everything Else — 1A: Like some short-term committees (AD HOC); 6A: How a lot of music is recorded (ON CD); 14A: Museum with many Spanish masterpieces (PRADO); 15A: Eight, in Spain (OCHO); 17A: Consumed (EATEN); 18A: Postal delivery (MAIL); 19A: Knish seller (DELI); 20A: Henna, for one (DYE); 24A: Hawaii's coffee capital (KONA); 25A: Reader's __: magazine (DIGEST); 32A: Wooden nickel, e.g. (SLUG); 37A: Parcel of land (TRACT); 39A: New Age-y emanation (AURA); 40A: Single (ONE); 41A: Wine vintage (YEAR); 42A: Thread holder (SPOOL); 53A: Long sandwich (SUB); 56A: Vaulter's need (POLE); 57A: "Today __ man": stereotypical bar mitzvah announcement (I AM A); 58A: Hospital staffer (NURSE); 60A: __ even keel (ON AN); 61A: Shoemaker McAn (THOM); 62A: Spud (TATER); 63A: Camping shelter (TENT); 64A: Talks and talks (YAKS); 2D: Open-sided cart (DRAY); 3D: Loathe (HATE); 4D: "__ on a Grecian Urn" (ODE); 5D: Unite (CONJOIN); 6D: Tuba sound (OOMPAH); 8D: Facial feature with a cleft, perhaps (CHIN); 9D: Distributed sparingly (DOLED OUT); 10D: No-goodnik (BAD EGG); 11D: Daisy variety (OXEYE); 12D: Tennis great Monica (SELES); 13D: Eastwood of Dirty Harry films (CLINT); 22D: Namibia neighbor: Abbr. (ANG.); 23D: Perform with the choir (SING); 24D: Kid's scrape site (KNEE); 27D: Butcher's cut (LOIN); 28D: Entice (LURE); 30D: Partners' legal entity: Abbr. (LLC); 33D: "Je ne sais __" (QUOI); 34D: Cyclo- ending (TRON); 35D: Shopper's delight (SALE); 37D: Persistence (TENACITY); 38D: "Norma __" (RAE); 39D: iPhone downloads (APPS); 41D: Wizened "Star Wars" guru (YODA); 42D: Interstate speed limit, often (SEVENTY); 43D: Bemoan (LAMENT); 44D: __ razor: logical simplicity rule (OCCAM'S); 45D: __-jongg (MAH); 46D: A hundred bucks (C-SPOT); 47D: Make amends (for) (ATONE); 48D: Texas Rangers president Ryan (NOLAN); 51D: Often sarcastic joke response (HA HA); 52D: In a frenzy (AMOK); 53D: Mlle., in Madrid (SRTA.); 54D: Exploitative type (USER); 55D: Swiss capital (BERN).


          S U N D A Y   November 21, 2010
          Merl Reagle (calendar)

          Theme: "Reinterpreting History" History puns! (Note from Merl: No, this puzzle has nothing to do with Oliver Stone.)

          [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:
          • 15A: What two weeks of "Soy-Boy Doggie Yummies" resulted in? (THE BOXER REBELLION).
          • 19A: Answer to the question, "Which part of your sinuses hurts the most"? (THE NORTHWEST PASSAGE).
          • 38A: Crater Lake, to the locals? (THE GREAT DEPRESSION).
          • 59A: Plagiarizing of one of Irving's melodies? (THE BERLIN AIRLIFT).
          • 68A: Store that's right next to Sofa King? (THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE).
          • 85A: "Carmen, you have the right to wear fruit on your head ..." (THE MIRANDA DECISION).
          • 112A: Huge display of dishes? (THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA).
          • 116A: "There's no such thing as a dress that's too small" (THE MONROE DOCTRINE).
          Everything Else — 1A: Paris landmark (ARCH); 5A: Intro to long or now (ERE); 8A: Intro to eared or sided (LOP); 11A: Sharpness (EDGE); 21A: "Room ___" (TO LET); 22A: Promotional link (TIE-IN); 23A: Roller coaster, e.g. (RIDE); 24A: Slangy culprit (PERP); 26A: With 115 Down, a clamorous pair (HUE); 27A: A Bobbsey twin (NAN); 28A: Operate (RUN); 29A: Ma's instrument (CELLO); 30A: When Jaques says, "All the world's a stage" in "As You Like It" (ACT II); 33A: Old show-saver (VCR); 34A: Heavy ref. work (OED); 35A: The Red Baron, e.g. (ACE); 37A: Scandal subject, often (SEX); 43A: U.A.E. neighbor (OMAN); 44A: Despite the fact that, briefly (THO); 45A: Mastodon preserver (TAR); 46A: Ambience (AURA); 50A: Down Under flier (QANTAS); 53A: Ali fight, "the ___ in Manila" (THRILLA); 56A: Destroy, to Descartes (RUINEZ); 58A: Nod ending (-ULE); 62A: Periodic chart data: abbr. (AT. WTS.); 65A: Excavated resource (ORE); 66A: Pennsylvania Ave. address, to Julius (MDC); 67A: Debate topic (ISSUE); 74A: Time-saving abbr. (ETC.); 75A: Type of value (RESALE); 76A: Poet like Pound or Lowell (IMAGIST); 77A: Persian king (XERXES); 80A: Grub (EATS); 81A: Carmelite, for one (NUN); 83A: Opry goer, perhaps (GAL); 84A: Star warrior (JEDI); 93A: Course number (PAR); 96A: Actress Hagen (UTA); 97A: Mr. Pulver, for ex. (ENS.); 98A: Grinder (SUB); 99A: Not relaxed (TENSE); 100A: "The Heiress" co-star (CLIFT); 102A: Summer sign (LEO); 103A: Languid, as a smile (WAN); 104A: Beachgoer's goal (TAN); 105A: Kelly's possum (POGO); 106A: In a bit (ANON); 108A: Stephen King's home (MAINE); 110A: Fire sign (SMOKE); 117A: Just (ONLY); 118A: Ant. ant. (SYN.); 119A: Sitcom planet (ORK); 120A: Actor Montand (YVES); 1D: Thorpe was one (ATHLETE); 2D: Korea's Syngman (RHEE); 3D: Lincoln portrait site (CENT); 4D: Home of "Boardwalk Empire" (HBO); 5D: Like the moa (EXTINCT); 6D: Judged anew (REHEARD); 7D: Field Marshal Rommel (ERWIN); 8D: French article (LES); 9D: Force one's opinions on others (OBTRUDE); 10D: Charlemagne's dad (PEPIN); 11D: In addition (ELSE); 12D: Cousin of un (DIS); 13D: Flip out (GO APE); 14D: Pal of Marx (ENGELS); 16D: Table scrap (ORT); 17D: Utterer of "Stimpy, you ee-diot" (REN); 18D: Youngster (LAD); 19D: One of the senses (TOUCH); 20D: Perry's creator (ERLE); 21D: "Fancy ___!" (THAT); 25D: Curse (POX); 28D: Make over, as a cigar (REROLL); 29D: Corp. VIP (CEO); 31D: "___ Rhythm" (I GOT); 32D: "My Friend" of film (IRMA); 33D: It might give you a moving experience (VAN); 34D: Gold region of the Old Testament (OPHIR); 35D: Simile center (ASA); 36D: Wispy clouds (CIRRI); 39D: "... the ___, and Juliet is the sun!" (EAST); 40D: To be, to Beauvoir (ÊTRE); 41D: "I can't ___!" (STAND IT); 42D: Toughness exemplar (NAILS); 47D: Like some salons (UNISEX); 48D: Disprove (REFUTE); 49D: Cortés conquerees (AZTECS); 50D: Trois follower (QUATRE); 51D: Gibson of tennis (ALTHEA); 52D: Most up-to-date (NEWEST); 53D: End points (TERMINI); 54D: Girder (H-BEAM); 55D: Halting walks (LIMPS); 57D: William Tell's canton (URI); 60D: Boo follower (HOO); 61D: Horizontal, on a puzzle: abbr. (ACR.); 63D: Drinker's proposal (TOAST); 64D: Letters on Cardinals (STL); 69D: Belief (TENET); 70D: 1998 Winter Olympics site (NAGANO); 71D: Actor Richard et al. (EGANS); 72D: Pleasant, as weather (MILD); 73D: See 29 Down (EXEC.); 78D: Do paper work (EDIT); 79D: Ascent (RISE); 82D: Actress Thurman (UMA); 84D: One of the Bushes (JEB); 86D: Island home (HUT); 87D: Shuttle ordeal (REENTRY); 88D: Swear like ___ (A SAILOR); 89D: Actress Mildred of "Death of a Salesman" (1951) (DUNNOCK); 90D: Chants (INTONES); 91D: Bullet train city (OSAKA); 92D: Rare bird (NENE); 93D: Angel dust (PCP); 94D: Immensely (A LOT); 95D: "Okey-doke!" ("RIGHTO!"); 101D: Warm alpine wind (FOEHN); 102D: Some student needs (LOANS); 103D: Hard-to-see hiker (WALDO); 106D: ___ brat (ARMY); 107D: Modern opening (NEO); 108D: Fannie follower (MAE); 109D: Salamander (EFT); 110D: Film noir knife (SHIV); 111D: Gold source (MINE); 113D: Hair goo (GEL); 114D: Hit the jackpot (WON); 115D: See 26 Across (CRY).

          S U N D A Y   November 21, 2010
          Gail Grabowski (syndicated)

          Theme: Tell Me No More — Theme entries all contain the three-letter abbreviation TMI (Too Much Information).

          [Note: This is the syndicated L.A. Times puzzle. It does not appear in the actual newspaper, but is available for free at cruciverb.com.]

          Theme Answers:
          • 27A: 1929 song co-written by Fats Waller ("AIN'T MISBEHAVIN'").
          • 44A: Tenderloin cut (FILET MIGNON).
          • 59A: Eleventh hour (LAST MINUTE).
          • 82A: "Just passing through" ("DON'T MIND ME").
          • 92A: Construction site sight (CEMENT MIXER)
          • 113A: Gulf War defense weapon (PATRIOT MISSILE).
          • 15D: Well-meaning error (HONEST MISTAKE).
          • 58D: Wartime operation (COMBAT MISSION).
          • 118D: Brief version of this puzzle's title hidden in eight long puzzle answers (TMI).
          Hey, folks. Doug here again, back with you for another Sunday extravaganza. Very enjoyable puzzle today. All eight long theme entries are great. My favorite is HONEST MISTAKE or maybe "DON'T MIND ME." Good stuff. And TMI is fun too. If you're not familiar with the concept, it's what you say to a person when he starts talking about something that makes you uncomfortable (intimate details of his colonoscopy, the dead raccoon he found in his garage, etc.) When someone is "oversharing," feel free to say "TMI" or maybe just "Shut up!"

          A TMI-based theme is one we probably wouldn't have seen a few years ago. TMI used to pop up in crosswords from time to time as an abbreviation for Three Mile Island, but I don't think an editor would like "Controversial nuclear plant hidden in eight long puzzle answers." But thanks to IMs and text messaging, constructors have all sorts of new entries to play with: TMI, LOL, OMG, IMO, etc. (If you're not up on your new-fangled abbreviations, there's a short list here.) There are a few tough entries to cover, so lets jump to bullets.

          • 21A: Fiber used in fishing nets (RAMIE). That's a bit of old-school crosswordese. Try not to confuse it with "Spider-Man" director Sam RAIMI.
          • 24A: Like a ruined roux (LUMPY). I learned from crosswords that "roux" is a kind of gravy. And you don't want lumpy gravy, especially so close to Thanksgiving.
          • 27A: 1929 song co-written by Fats Waller ("AIN'T MISBEHAVIN'"). This clue is the perfect example of something I try to explain to my non-crossword-solving friends. You don't have to know everything that's in a clue to solve it. I've heard of Fats Waller, but I know very little about him or his music. So I read the clue and thought "OK, it's an old song." I got a few crossing answers and filled it in, no sweat. And now I do know something about Fats Waller. Aren't crosswords great?
          • 36A: 23rd Greek letter (PSI). Dude, I filled this in instantaneously. A couple months ago, I decided to memorize the Greek alphabet so I could solve the Greek letter clues more quickly. I'm such a geek.
          • 50A: Mediation org. established by FDR (NLRB). Short for National Labor Relations Board. I've included all the non-boring parts of the Wikipedia article on the NLRB here.
          • 63A: Name on a compact (ESTEE). Cosmetician ESTEE Lauder, whose name you'll find on make-up compacts, or what ever you call those little mirror thingies.
          • 76A: Court addition? (IER). ...to make the word "courtier." Nope, there's really no good way to clue IER.
          • 99A: Many a bunt, on a scorecard (SAC). For you baseball-challenged folks out there, that's a SACrifice bunt. I like this SAC clue much better than one we had earlier in the week: "Anatomical bag." That's a TMI clue, IMO.
          • 42D: Silent films idol Conrad ___ (NAGEL). Anyone remember this guy? According to Wikipedia, "Nagel had little difficulty transitioning to talkies and spent the next several decades being very well received in high profile films as a character actor." He also hosted the 3rd, 5th, and 25th Academy Awards ceremonies. And Wikipedia tells me that he was the "host of the 1930 Emmy Awards," but I'm a little suspicious.
          • 109D: "Ally McBeal" lawyer (NELLE). OK, if you asked me to name a lawyer from "Ally McBeal," my answer would be...Ally McBeal. She's a lawyer, right? Turns out NELLE Porter was the lawyer played by Portia De Rossi on the show. I'm going to try to remember that one. I have a strange feeling it could show up in a puzzle at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, and I'll be the only one who remembers it.
          • 111D: S. Grant foe? (ELEE). So you've got Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, eh? That's a pretty goofy clue, but I'll give Gail & Rich bonus points for coming up with a new wrinkle for ELEE.
          Everything Else — 1A: Furtive utterance (PSST); 5A: "The Stranger" novelist (CAMUS); 10A: Resided (DWELT); 15A: Jumble (HASH); 19A: Scale sequence (LATI); 20A: Stove supplier (AMANA); 22A: Org. concerned with ergonomics (OSHA); 23A: School founded by Henry VI (ETON); 25A: Nice thoughts? (IDEES); 26A: Palindromic time (NOON); 30A: Monetary policy maker, informally (THEFED); 32A: "Gotta go!" (SEEYA); 33A: Time in an ad (TONITE); 34A: Broad lowlands (DALES); 38A: Snatched violently (TORE); 40A: Shell container? (GASTANK); 52A: Express discontent (MOAN); 53A: WWII photo site, briefly (IWO); 54A: Bout of indulgence (SPREE); 55A: Capital of Delaware? (DEE); 56A: Requiem (DIRGE); 57A: Record (DISC); 64A: Not snookered by (ONTO); 65A: Fort Erie's prov. (ONT); 66A: Creator of sublime lines (ODIST); 67A: Blossom bits (PETALS); 68A: Longish coat (MIDI); 70A: False appearance (GUISE); 71A: Revered Tibetan (LAMA); 72A: Firmly established (STABLE); 75A: Tapered transport (CANOE); 77A: Pain in the neck (KINK); 81A: Year's record (ANNAL); 84A: Black, to a bard (EBON); 85A: Blog comments (POSTS); 86A: Bit of work (ERG); 87A: Helpless, in a way (ALONE); 89A: Govt. smog watchdog (EPA); 90A: Hot pair (ITEM); 91A: Cheer alternative (TIDE); 95A: Tickle pink (DELIGHT); 97A: Buckwheat noodle (SOBA); 100A: Doesn't split (STAYS); 102A: Colorful pet store purchases (TETRAS); 106A: Reach one's destination (GETIN); 110A: Its members travel in a world of their own (JETSET); 116A: Morlock prey (ELOI); 117A: Low-tech note taker (STENO); 119A: City on the Po (TURIN); 120A: Damaging downpour (HAIL); 121A: Pull up stakes, briefly (RELO); 122A: Muscat native (OMANI); 123A: You might get a ticket for one (UTURN); 124A: Nerve-wracking exam, for some (ORAL); 125A: Finely honed (KEEN); 126A: Big name in Russian ballet (KIROV); 127A: Has a quick look (PEEKS); 128A: Cross a stream, say (WADE); 1D: Courthouse entries (PLEAS); 2D: "Socrate" composer (SATIE); 3D: Rock (STONE); 4D: Old-style photo (TINTYPE); 5D: Colombian city (CALI); 6D: Not to be missed (AMUST); 7D: Fast ballroom dance (MAMBO); 8D: Release, in a way (UNPEN); 9D: Greet informally (SAYHITO); 10D: Club with a big head (DRIVER); 11D: Dry riverbed (WADI); 12D: Fix, as text (EMEND); 13D: Alibi, maybe (LIE); 14D: Research site (TESTLAB); 16D: Since (ASOF); 17D: Flat, e.g. (SHOE); 18D: What a student might raise (HAND); 28D: Boom sites (MASTS); 29D: Lots (ATON); 31D: Fathers and sons (HES); 35D: Avoid a strike, e.g. (AGREE); 37D: Self-destruct (IMPLODE); 39D: Consumer application (ENDUSE); 41D: Vital supply line (AORTA); 43D: Mini exhibits? (KNEES); 44D: Everydog (FIDO); 45D: "Bingo!" (IWIN); 46D: TV series filmed on Oahu (LOST); 47D: Qom native (IRANI); 48D: Daring exploit (GEST); 49D: Figure on a pay stub (NET); 51D: Belarusian's neighbor (LETT); 56D: Judge (DEEM); 60D: Get up on (MOUNT); 61D: Shoot the breeze, e.g. (IDIOM); 62D: American of Japanese descent (NISEI); 67D: Curfew setters (PARENTS); 69D: Troubles (ILLS); 70D: Sacred river of India (GANGES); 71D: Fruit high in vitamin C (LEMON); 72D: Palatable (SAPID); 73D: Govt. security (TNOTE); 74D: First name in wilderness photography (ANSEL); 75D: Part of a high-tech tangle (CORD); 76D: Not active (IDLE); 78D: Alpine denizen (IBEX); 79D: "In your dreams" (NOPE); 80D: Tree trunk bulge (KNAR); 82D: Prayer object (DEITY); 83D: "Platoon" setting, for short (NAM); 88D: Slate and Salon (EMAGS); 91D: "Don't worry about it" (THATSOK); 92D: Radio-active sort? (CBER); 93D: Swallow something hook, line and sinker (EATITUP); 94D: Revue with fancy footwork (ICESHOW); 96D: Old telecom giant (GTE); 98D: Holy Roman emperor, 1209-'15 (OTTOIV); 101D: Primitive projectile (SPEAR); 103D: Itinerary (ROUTE); 104D: Based on __ story (ATRUE); 105D: Unsportsmanlike look (SMIRK); 107D: Jeweled topper (TIARA); 108D: Tale of an ancient siege (ILIAD); 110D: Schmo (JERK); 112D: Lacquered metalware (TOLE); 114D: __ regni: in the year of the reign (ANNO); 115D: Room renters (INNS).