March 6, 2011
John Lampkin

[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: "Adducational TV" — Extra letters are added to the titles of TV shows, yielding wacky results.

Theme Entries:
  • 25A: Documentary about a Ravi Shankar concert? (SITAR TREK).
  • 27A: Sitcom about an endearing dimwit? (LOVE THAT BOOB).
  • 43A: Show about a nonsensical grain grinder? (BLARNEY MILLER).
  • 70A: Drama about an opinionated military? (JUDGING ARMY).
  • 100A: Talk show about words like "zeppelin" and "dirigible"? (THE FLYING NOUN).
  • 119A: Sitcom about a team of aromatherapists? (THE MOOD SQUAD).
  • 122A: Financial show about the fermented honey market? (MEAD MONEY).
  • 39D: Drama about an Asian virus? (KUNG FLU).
  • 63D: Drama about an obnoxious superhero? (BRATMAN).
Hey, everybody. Doug here, back in the Sunday saddle. I hope you enjoyed last week's fantastic Oscar-themed write-up by Brad Wilber. Thanks again, Brad! Today's constructor John Lampkin keeps the Hollywood vibe going with a nice television-based theme. Which of these shows would you be most likely to watch? I'd probably catch a few episodes of THE FLYING NOUN. And maybe BLARNEY MILLER. Who could resist the antics of a nonsensical grain grinder? Wasn't that an actual show? I think it was a "Perfect Strangers" spin-off starring Balki's zany uncle from the old country.

  • 19A: Bellow's "The Adventures of ___ March" (AUGIE). I'm more familiar with Augie Doggie than Augie March. That might explain why I flamed out during February's "Literary Month" at Matt Gaffney's Weekly Crossword Contest.
  • 27A: Sitcom about an endearing dimwit? (LOVE THAT BOOB). How many of you know or remember the show "Love That Bob"? Not me. Wikipedia tells me that "Love That Bob" was an alternate title for "The Bob Cummings Show," which ran from 1955 to 1959. Coulda fooled me. Bob Cummings later starred in a show called "My Living Doll" with Julie Newmar (best Catwoman ever!) who played a life-like android named Rhoda. Where do I get the DVDs?
  • 64A: Symbol on the film poster for Eastwood's "Hang 'Em High" (NOOSE). I love this clue. Ordinarily NOOSE isn't the most pleasant word to see in the grid. Props to John & Rich for finding a way to make nooses interesting and non-gruesome.
  • 92A: "Mayor" author (KOCH). If I remember correctly, PuzzleGirl used to live in the same apartment building as Ed Koch. And I know for sure that Jerry Orbach lived there too. So cool! I live in Southern California, but I don't run into too many celebrities. I once saw Lou Diamond Phillips at a Wienerschnitzel. Does that count?
  • 111A: Attending USC, e.g. (IN L.A.) One of my least favorite recurring crossword entries. It used to be clued exclusively as part of the title of the 1985 movie "To Live and Die in L.A." Not a great entry, but acceptable. For some reason it's migrated away from the movie title to become a standalone entry. Wouldn't you wince at seeing INSF ("Riding the BART, say") or INNYC ("Watching a game at MSG, e.g.")? To me, those two are no worse than INLA.
  • 1D: "Straight Up" singer Abdul (PAULA). Her career peaked when she did that fabulous duet with MC Skat Kat. It's been all downhill ever since.
  • 16D: Inner tube shapes (TORI). Yeah, I suppose Tori Spelling looks a little bit like an inner tube.
  • 53D: Old-timey words of emphasis (BY CRACKY). Awesome entry! And so much fun to say. "That was a dang fine puzzle in the paper today, by cracky."
  • 74D: Last Olds made (ALERO). The last ALERO rolled off the assembly line in 2004, but it'll drive on in crossword grids forever.
  • 91D: Gossip (SCHMOOZE). Another super entry. I wonder if anyone's ever used SCHMOOZE & BY CRACKY in the same sentence.
  • 93D: Longtime New Yorker cartoonist Roz (CHAST). Ms. Chast will be appearing at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Brooklyn in a couple of weeks. She's going to be handing out trophies at the awards banquet and doing a few impromptu sketches of Dan Feyer, Tyler Hinman, etc. (I made up that last part.) I'll be at the ACPT and so will PuzzleGirl. In fact, you can rub elbows with many of your favorite crossword luminaries there. And they're all super-nice. Seriously. So I'll see you there!


Anonymous said...

16D A torus (pl. tori) is a doughnut or inner-tube shape.

John Lampkin said...

Hi all, and thanks Doug,

Small point, but one of the thematic constraints is that the extra letter is always right after the first letter of one of the words. Thus, the highlights aren't correct in a couple on the theme list.

Best to all, and happy solving!
John Lampkin

Mokus said...

One the most enjoyable puzzles I've worked on and a fun theme too. Thank you, Mr. Lampkin.

Doug P said...

Thanks for dropping by, John! I've fixed the colored letters on the theme entries. I should have noticed that they were all second letters. (This is why PuzzleGirl only let's me do this once a week.)

Anonymous said...

Please explain why I have to go to a Philadelphia web site to see the answer of the puzzle in the daily paper I have been getting at my home for 50 years?????

Anonymous said...

@Anon 3:42. Life ain't fair.

PuzzleGirl said...

@Anon3:42: I'm not really sure I understand your question. Are you just curious about how the crossword puzzle syndication business works? Do you want to know why you don't find that puzzle on this site? Do you have something against Philadelphia? Without knowing where you live, what paper you take, and what your actual issue is, I'm really not sure how to answer your question.

Anonymous said...

The flying nun a "talk show"?

JaxInL.A. said...

I enjoyed this very much, and it's a thrill to see the constructor stop by.

The puzzle skews pretty old, though. With the exception of Judging Amy, none of the original shows has been on the air for, what, at least two decades? That's fine for me at 51 but probably frustrating for anyone younger than me.

When I try to thank the constructor, though, captcha wants him to be Mr. Lampoon. Even so, thanks!

Tetu said...

And Judging Amy was the very last theme answer I got! Because I'm old and never saw the show. Not to mention I couldn't remember it was Tojo, not Togo which didn't help either. Liked the puzzle!

Calcan said...

wehres mer; reagle'srendition ?

Calcan said...

where'ss merl reagle's 3/6/11├čunday puzzle ?

Tuttle said...

57D could be clearer. When did World War II start? Because Hideki TOJO was a politician by 1938. He was a general in the First and Second Sino-Japanese Wars, but it's debatable wether that was a part of or a prelude to WWII. By the time the USA and Japan declared war on each other in December 1941, TOJO was the Prime Minister of Japan.

It's not too bad of a clue, but it is akin to clueing Hitler as a "WWII Axis corporal". Sure he was somewhat involved in WWII and was a corporal in the Wehrmacht... just not at the same time.