05.08 Sun (calendar)

May 8, 2011
Merl Reagle

[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: "Get a Grip" — Puns on gripping tools.

Theme answers:

  • 15A: Veterinarian's instrument? (and I'd be real careful with it, too) (DOBERMAN PINCERS).
  • 21A: Response to "Where's your salad"? (IT'S ON THE TIP OF MY TONGS).
  • 43A: Hard time with a fastener? (CLASP STRUGGLE).
  • 54A: Tool used on a mechanical bull? (CATTLE WRENCH).
  • 64A/66A: What a particularly difficult exorcism might require? (THE FORCEPS OF DARKNESS).
  • 75A: Group that can handle any gripping need? (THE VISE SQUAD).
  • 88A: Gag gift for a fuzzy thinker? (BRAIN TWEEZERS).
  • 114A/120A: A book-seller's spiel at a tool expo? (YOU CAN'T TELL THE PLIERS WITHOUT A PROGRAM).
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Everything Else 1A: ___ of light (A BEAM); 6A: Old Olds model (CIERA); 11A: Eject, as lava (SPEW); 20A: Buster Brown's dog (TIGE); 23A: Pale (ASHEN); 24A: Pastoral place (LEA); 25A: Nome knife (ULU); 26A: Creator (MAKER); 27A: Mideast gulf (ADEN); 28A: The horse in "National Velvet" (PIE); 30A: Tough stuff (STEEL); 32A: Word in cold temperatures (BELOW); 34A: Latvian, for one (BALT); 35A: Wild West show prop (LARIAT); 38A: Young one (LAD); 40A: Shout from the stands (OLÉ); 41A: Cartoonist Keane (BIL); 42A: Popular skillet spray (PAM); 48A: Out (NOT IN); 50A: "Bye, now" ("SEE YOU"); 51A: Jagged breach (TEAR); 52A: Indian princess, variantly (RANEE); 59A: Part of a play (SCENE TWO); 62A: Greek portico (STOA); 63A: Verily (YEA); 71A: Palindromic name (NAN); 72A: Assign stars to (RATE); 74A: Playoff survivor (FINALIST); 81A: Eventually become (END UP); 82A: "Are you ___ out?" (IN OR); 83A: Says (UTTERS); 85A: Knocker's reply (IT'S ME); 92A: "Moulin Rouge!" director Luhrmann (BAZ); 93A: In the style of (ALA); 95A: 2004 champs, on the scoreboard (BOS); 96A: Suppertime, for some (SIX); 97A: Sequel-title word (RETURN); 99A: Psych ending (-OSIS); 100A: 2005 Best Actress winner (SWANK); 103A: Neato (NIFTY); 106A: Singer Cole (NAT); 107A: Pretends (ACTS); 108A: Songwriter Wilson (BRIAN); 110A: Part of USSR: abbr. (SOV.); 111A: Dresser wood (OAK); 113A: Carpet mark (STAIN); 119A: Roy's gal (DALE); 121A: Road addition? (-STER); 122A: "Time" has one — "Tim" hasn't (LONG I); 123A: Hamlets (TOWNS); 1D: Missing (ABSENT); 2D: "___ the lookout!" (BE ON); 3D: West extension? (-ERN); 4D: Total to pay: abbr. (AMT.); 5D: Composer Gustav (MAHLER); 6D: DX divided by V (CII); 7D: Suggestions (INPUT); 8D: Where *ves learn (ÉCOLE); 9D: Makes a pit stop, perhaps (REFUELS); 10D: Ability to throw (ARM); 11D: Stir up, as a fire (STOKE); 12D: Rustic style of picnic table or bunk beds (PINE LOG); 13D: Asian appetizer (EGG ROLL); 14D: Film director Craven (WES); 15D: Scorn (DISDAIN); 16D: Tragic Moor (OTHELLO); 17D: Born (NÉE); 18D: "Every child. One voice." org. (PTA); 19D: Kin of an abbr. (SYM.); 22D: Office setting? (TAB); 23D: Common rhyme scheme (AABB); 28D: City worker (PLANNER); 29D: "You bet ___!" (I AM); 30D: "Be ever wonderful, ___ you are" (Earth, Wind %26 Fire lyric) (STAY AS); 31D: Cafe order (LATTE); 33D: Gnat-sized (WEE); 36D: Hotel bucketful (ICE); 37D: He's Ben in "Star Wars" (ALEC); 39D: Made sketches (DREW); 42D: Basie's instrument (PIANO); 44D: ___ voce (SOTTO); 45D: Postpone (PUT OFF); 46D: Old Mideast org. (UAR); 47D: Coll. senior's test (GRE); 49D: Not kosher (TREF); 50D: City conduits (SEWERS); 53D: Latin abbr. (ETC.); 55D: Word on a door (LADIES); 56D: Science guy Bill and funnyman Louis (NYES); 57D: "___ la vie" (C'EST); 58D: Is suffering from (HAS); 59D: Deposed Iranian (SHAH); 60D: Pleisto finish (-CENE); 61D: Not translucent (OPAQUE); 64D: The great leveler (TNT); 65D: Old auto, the ___ Bearcat (STUTZ); 67D: Start of a hyphenated actress (ANN); 68D: Glowing (RADIANT); 69D: Uncoordinated one (KLUTZ); 70D: Small drinks (NIPS); 73D: Chophouse, e.g. (EATERY); 76D: LXX divided by X (VII); 77D: Place to stay (INN); 78D: Mayberry's Otis et al. (SOTS); 79D: Gen. Rommel (ERWIN); 80D: Comic Marty Allen's signature greeting, "Hello, ___!" (DERE); 84D: Alphabet segment (R-S-T); 86D: Lash application (MASCARA); 87D: Snobbery (ELITISM); 88D: Air rifle ammo (BB'S); 89D: Lake vessel (ROWBOAT); 90D: Generally (AS A RULE); 91D: "Difficulties ___ be surmounted" (Emerson) (EXIST TO); 92D: Car-grille cover (BRA); 94D: NAACP, for one (ASSN.); 98D: Forgotten, as a promise (UNKEPT); 99D: Formula westerns (OATERS); 101D: More civil (NICER); 102D: Kipling python (KAA); 104D: Warm alpine wind (anagram of NO, HEF) (FOEHN); 105D: Weekly cable guide (TV LOG); 109D: One way to go: abbr. (NNW); 111D: Slugger Mel (OTT); 112D: "That's it!" ("AHA!"); 113D: Portent (SIGN); 114D: Gridiron gain: abbr. (YDS.); 115D: No later than (TIL); 116D: Him, to Henri (LUI); 117D: ___-democracy forces (PRO); 118D: Needing a refill soon (LOW).


Mokus said...

Here it is the cocktail hour and no one has commented yet? Did you all take your mothers out to dinner?

I thought it was a brilliant theme and a fun solve. "You can't tell the pliers..." was awesome and hilarious.

Liked seeing TIGE. As a youngster I listened to a radio program that started off with a bark and a "Hi! I'm Buster Brown and live in a shoe! That's my dog, Tige. He lives in there too!" I wish I could remember the name of the program. Late 1940s.

My father was named Erwin too but was 20 years younger than the Desert Fox. Who can forget George C. Scott yelling,"Rommel, you SOB, I read your book!"

Very nice puzzle for a Sunday afternoon. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I found this one tricky and I was just shy of completing it.

I got hung up on the two line answer 114A/120A, and I still don't get it! "You can't tell the pliers without a program" -- what is the pun? help!

Good puzzle, but I still prefer the shorter weekday ones. I start to lose interest when they're this long.

Steve said...

Didn't like this one bit. I'm almost to the point of not bothering with Merl Reagle's puzzles, I'm not impressed with his themes and the fill is just packed with dull crosswordese.

Mokus said...

@Anon 7:53 There's an old saying, "You can't tell the players without a program." There was a time when most sports teams wore numbers on their jerseys but not their names. Hence the need to buy a program when attending a competition. The saying has also been used in other contexts in a humorous way. Think of a presidential candidates debate.