06.12 Sun

June 12, 2011
Paul Hunsberger

[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: "Wide-Eyed" — A "W" sound is added to the beginnings of words in familiar phrases.

Theme Entries:
  • 23A: Sale at the helicopter dealer? (WHIRLYBIRD SPECIAL).
  • 39A: Breakfast table exposé? (THE WAFFLE TRUTH).
  • 60A: Bittersweet title for a waterskier's memoirs? (WAKES AND PAINS).
  • 84A: Lacking lingerie? (OUT OF THIN WEAR).
  • 104A: Sweater under the tree? (CHRISTMAS WEAVE).
  • 123A: Charge against an illegal fly-fishing conspirator? (WADING AND ABETTING).
  • 16D: Comment to an out-of-shape runner who reaches the finish line? (WHEEZY DOES IT).
  • 67D: Homo sapiens' cleverness? (THE WILE OF MAN).
Hey, crossword fans. Doug here on Sunday. Cool puzzle today. I love the title, and the fact that it didn't give anything away before I started solving. It's merely another example of adding the "W" sound. "W" + "Eyed" = "Wide." And it fits perfectly with the theme, because each transformed word is spelled differently than it would be if you just added the letter W. EARLY becomes WHIRLY, AWFUL becomes WAFFLE, etc. An entry like WALL IN THE FAMILY wouldn't work because WALL is just ALL with a W tacked on. Savvy?

My favorite today has to be WHEEZY DOES IT. THE WAFFLE TRUTH is pretty good too. Let's hit the bullets.

  • 1A: Builder of paper houses (WASP). This clue makes wasps sound all nice and peaceful. Don't believe it. They look like pure evil to me.
  • 16A: Bath bathrooms (WCS). Often when you see "Bath" at the beginning of a clue, it's a tip-off that the answer is going to be a word they use in the U.K., because Bath is a city in England. In this one, we've got WC (water closet). Other "Bath" words for bathroom are lav and loo.
  • 46A: Cause for a shootout (TIE). In the Old West, if a mean hombre didn't care for the color of your tie, he was likely to challenge to you to a shootout at high noon. Or maybe it has to do with hockey or soccer. When the score is tied, they sometimes have a shootout to determine the winner (even though they really like ties in soccer.) Regardless, I like the Old West answer better.
  • 71A: Hawaiian priests (KAHUNAS). Did you know a big kahuna was actually a big priest. Now you do.
  • 75A: Requiring slower driving (CURVIER). Curvy roads, right? I thought the clue might be talking about the kinds of curves that would make an ogling driver slow down. Moving on...
  • 130A: Psychology ___ (TODAY). The name of a magazine. For some reason, newspaper and magazine titles aren't put in quotes or italics in crossword clues. I've never figured out why.
  • 132A: Cartoon Chihuahua (REN). Is it just me, or was the "Ren and Stimpy" cartoon unwatchable? I cringe a little whenever I see Ren in a grid.
  • 6D: ___ weaver: spider (ORB). I hate wasps, but I dig spiders. They sit in one spot and kill other bugs. What's not to like?
  • 58D: Be in the front row in a team photo, say (KNEEL). An outstanding clue. Clever way to think of kneeling.
  • 63D: Hitchcock classic (PSYCHO). Great entry.
  • 102D: Key of Beethoven's "Kreutzer Sonata" (A MAJOR). You know how to solve these clues, right? Fill in the M, O, and R (to cover MajOR and MinOR), and then get the rest of the letters from crossings. Unless you actually know the key of the "Kreutzer Sonata," in which case you're too smart to be reading this blog.
  • 119D: "All finished!" (TADA). That's all, folks!
Everything Else 5A: [Yawn] (HO HUM); 10A: Avenue before the Income Tax square, in Monopoly (BALTIC); 19A: Guitarist's effect (WAWA); 20A: Where the puck stops ... and starts (ARENA); 21A: Iberian wine city (OPORTO); 22A: Prosciutto, e.g. (HAM); 26A: Poet's "before" (ERE); 27A: Press-on cosmetic (NAIL); 28A: It's nothing in Normandy (RIEN); 29A: Down Under dog (DINGO); 30A: Greek "H" (ETA); 31A: Ticker tape, briefly? (ECG); 33A: White team (SOX); 35A: "La Vie en Rose" singer (PIAF); 37A: Air purifying gadget (IONIZER); 44A: Pastoral poems (IDYLS); 45A: Animated explorer (DORA); 47A: Smoky places (FLUES); 49A: Some green rolls (SOD); 50A: Buzz together (SWARM); 52A: Weak, as an excuse (LAME); 55A: Make swell (BLOAT); 57A: Green lights (OK'S); 64A: "Twin Peaks" Emmy nominee Sherilyn (FENN); 65A: Play kickoff (ACT ONE); 68A: Beats by a nose (EDGES); 69A: Loc. __ (CIT.); 70A: Cruising (ASEA); 73A: 2000s leadership nickname (DUBYA); 77A: Smooth (EVEN); 78A: Some like it hot (TEA); 80A: Money (LUCRE); 82A: Mosey (TOOTLE); 83A: Salacious (LEWD); 87A: "Take me __ am" (AS I); 88A: Kodak prefix (INSTA-); 89A: Get a whiff of this (ODOR); 90A: Actors without lines (MIMES); 94A: Civil Rights Memorial architect (LIN); 96A: The Concert for Bangladesh instrument (SITAR); 99A: Antique auto (REO); 101A: Color on a Florida Marlins uniform (TEAL); 102A: Spy (AGENT); 108A: Got free, in a way (MOOCHED); 111A: Nutmeg spice (MACE); 112A: Trans-Canada Hwy. rate (KPH); 113A: Conducted (LED); 114A: '80s sitcom puppet (ALF); 115A: Avoid a reception (ELOPE); 118A: Staked shelter (TENT); 120A: "Don't play" symbol (REST); 122A: Dandy guy? (JIM); 128A: Reproductive cells (OVA); 129A: Tout de suite (AT ONCE); 131A: Le Havre lady friend (AMIE); 133A: Emphatic acceptance (YES YES); 134A: Hitches (SNAGS); 135A: Get loud (YELL); 1D: Dot-com start-up? (WWW); 2D: Hot tub reaction (AAH); 3D: Benny Goodman is credited with starting it (SWING ERA); 4D: Trooper lead-in (PARA-); 5D: Rural storage area (HAY LOFT); 7D: Next in line (HEIR); 8D: Like green peppers (UNRIPE); 9D: Arrived (MADE IT); 10D: Jazz genre (BOP); 11D: Mimicked (APED); 12D: Hubs (LOCI); 13D: Singer Lopez (TRINI); 14D: Give __: try (IT A GO); 15D: Mayflower passenger (COLONIST); 17D: Price-fixing group (CARTEL); 18D: Slings mud at (SMEARS); 24D: Overachieving Simpson (LISA); 25D: Wolf (down) (SNARF); 31D: Deicing may delay them: Abbr. (ETD'S); 32D: Grub (CHOW); 34D: Folder for Mulder (X-FILE); 36D: Lust ending (-FUL); 38D: Short agreement (I DO); 40D: Battle scar (WAR WOUND); 41D: Car dealer's offer (LEASE); 42D: Low wind (TUBA); 43D: Spiral: Pref. (HELIC); 48D: Former Seattle NBAer (SONIC); 51D: "Death in Venice" author (MANN); 53D: None-for-the-road gp.? (MADD); 54D: Swamp (ENGULF); 56D: Sharp (ASTUTE); 59D: Trap (SNARE); 61D: "Annie Hall" Oscar winner (KEATON); 62D: Unveiling (DEBUT); 64D: One paying the least (FAVORITE); 65D: Cub Scout leader (AKELA); 66D: Troglodyte homes (CAVES); 72D: "The Sneetches" author (SEUSS); 74D: Not greenery-friendly (ARID); 76D: Drift (ROAM); 79D: Place with dusty keepsakes (ATTIC); 81D: Vast, in odes (ENORM); 85D: Colorful words (OATH); 86D: Unleash, as havoc (WREAK); 88D: Like obstacles (IN THE WAY); 91D: Periodic table period? (MEAL TIME); 92D: A downspout may begin under one (EAVE); 93D: Husky's burden (SLED); 95D: Part of many bus. names (INC.); 97D: One of a swinging pair? (ARM); 98D: Calf catcher (RIATA); 100D: Hawks once threatened by DDT (OSPREYS); 103D: Cut to a roving reporter (GO LIVE); 105D: Bloodhound pickups (SCENTS); 106D: Muscle/bone connection (TENDON); 107D: Pique (WHET); 109D: Thrill (ELATE); 110D: Bygone birds (DODOS); 116D: Like some air fresheners (PINY); 117D: Differ finish (-ENCE); 121D: "Don't move a muzzle!" ("STAY!"); 124D: Some light bulbs (GE'S); 125D: Sack (BAG); 126D: Not a bit (NIL); 127D: Shaver's option (GEL).


Vega said...

Pretty cute! I learned how to spell toot sweet.

Yes, the KNEEL clue was perfect.

I did watch Ren and Stimpy all the time. Used to crack me up. I was in grad school at the time, though, so I might be excused?

I liked the 3 W's at 1D, and DUBYA right across the middle. Bonus.

Would "WHEEZY DOES IT" be a comment *to* an out-of-shape runner, or *about* an out-of-shape runner?

Doug P said...

Oh yeah, I missed the bonus DUBYA right in the center!

Good call on the WHEEZY DOES IT clue too. Vega, you should talk to PuzzleGirl about filling in on the blog one of these days. :)

Gene said...

The longer the explanation, the "smokier" the meaning. I solved it, but didn't like it.

Steve said...

I liked it. Clue of the day for me was "Don't move a muzzle!"

I spell the guitar effects pedal "Wah-wah" - so does the monthly Guitar Center flyer I've got sitting next to me on the table.

@Doug - hand up here for learning what Kahuna really means :)

mac said...

I liked it too. Cute theme that worked and was consistent. The Dubya in the middle is perfect!

Thanks for Kahuna, and a fun write-up, Doug.

Vega said...

Doug P, that's awesome, and I long for the day when I'm ready to join the big boys and girls. My friend told me to ask what it pays.

Anonymous said...

Very nice puzzle

patti said...

I can't speak for every publisher, but in LAT we don't use quotes or italics on magazine titles in clues because we want to have the leeway for wordplay. [People person?] is a lot more fun than ["People" person], no? Of course, when the mag title appears mid-clue, it's a dead giveaway, like in [Buys more Time?] or [Changes a Life sentence?]. But at least we are consistent when we break the rules. :)

Doug P said...

@Vega - Actually you have to pay Angela to contribute to the blog. It's $9.99/month and appears as "Team PuzzleGirl" on your credit card statement. It's totally worth it.

@Patti - Thanks for the clarification. Makes sense. And that's why every clue for EDITOR has some kind of trick to it.

CoffeeLvr said...

I had LIE for reason for a shootout for quite a while, thinking it meant Old West, like @DougP, or golf?

Could someone please explain how AKELA is a Cub Scout leader? I spent hours on this puzzle on paper, off and on, and I still can't see it. Thanks. I had cAHUNAS for the Hawaiian priests, but AcELA didn't make any sense either. Thanks.

Doug P said...

According to the Cubs Scouts, Akela "means 'good leader.' To a Cub Scout, Akela is a parent, teacher, religious leader, or Cub Scout leader. Akela is anyone who has shown ability and willingness to be a good leader for Cub Scouts to follow." Apparently the founder got the name from Akela, a wolf in "The Jungle Book."

CoffeeLvr said...

thank you, Doug P!

ddbmc said...

"Akela' was the mystery word of the day for me, having boys that started and stopped the puck at the arena and never entered the Cub Scout den!

Fun puzzle! Thanks for the write-up, Doug!

Vega said...

Thanks, Doug. (p.s. the "pay" thing was a totally lame attempt at a joke.)

Vega said...

Oh, and also? The fact that I'm an idiot? Another reason I'm not ready to join the big boys and girls.