08.14 Sun

August 14, 2011
Matt Skoczen

[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: "Keeping Quiet" SH is added to familiar phrases.

Theme Entries:
  • 23A: Where Persian rulers rough it? (SHAH WILDERNESS).
  • 34A: Agnostics' reactions to grace? (PRAYER SHRUGS).
  • 52A: Vaudeville hook? (SHTICK COLLAR).
  • 74A: Pet predator that survived the flood? (NOAH'S SHARK).
  • 76A: Organization of river herrings? (SHAD AGENCY).
  • 91A: Analyst for Kings and Senators? (HOCKEY SHRINK).
  • 110A: "Help, I'm stuck in this tree!", e.g.? (SHOUT ON A LIMB).
  • 126A: Where to find many cookie jars? (KEEBLER SHELVES).
Hey, crossword fans. Doug here on Sunday. Did you guess the theme as soon as you read the title? Adding SH is an old trick, but Mr. Skoczen did a nice job with it today. I like the fact that the SH additions alternate. It's added to the first word in the 1st theme entry, the last word in the 2nd theme entry, the first word in the 3rd theme entry, the last word in the 4th theme entry, etc. That's a nice touch.

My favorite theme entry is the first one, SHAH WILDERNESS, because it was so unexpected. I had the SHAH part and couldn't figure out what the rest was going to be. I've heard of "Ah, Wilderness!" and a quick Google search tells me that's it's a play by Eugene O'Neill. For some reason I thought it was a novel. I think I'm mixing it up with "O Pioneers!"

  • 1A: "Don't make me come over there!" (I'M SO MAD) / 20A: "Let's talk privately" (NOT HERE). That's a fabulous way to start the puzzle, with a couple of fun phrases stacked on top of each other. 1-Across brings back memories of my mom's favorite threat: "Don't make me stop this car!"
  • 30A: Semana seventh (DÍA). "Semana" is Spanish for week, and "día" is day.
  • 34A: Agnostics' reactions to grace? (PRAYER SHRUGS). Great clue for this theme entry.
  • 40A: Like Aleve and Advil, briefly (OTC). Over the counter.
  • 52A: Vaudeville hook? (SHTICK COLLAR). OK, I'm guessing this refers to the giant hook they used to drag people offstage. Would you call that a "collar"? I must be missing something.
  • 100A: Suffix with decor (ATOR). Yikes.
  • 101A: Moscow news acronym (ITAR). Information Telegraphy Agency of Russia.
  • 5D: They come out of a kitty (MEWS). My first thought was, of course, more kitties.
  • 10D: CBer's number (NINER). I'm notoriously bad at noticing duplications between clues and answers, but this one stuck out. The answer to 104-Down (Driver with a handle) is CBER. You know what. I doesn't bother me that much.
  • 29D: Batch of Brownies (TROOP). Lovely clue.
  • 32D: "All day soft, All day smooth" lotion (KERI). Don't know the lotion, but it's a good excuse to include a picture of Keri Russell.
  • 39D: Old Ecuadoran coins (SUCRES) Named after Antonio José de Sucre, a general who helped Ecuador gain independence from Spain. Since 2000, Ecuador's used the U.S. dollar as their official currency.
  • 55D: Easy and profitable, as a job (CUSHY). Where do I apply?
  • 65D: Inverse trig function (ARCSIN). So you think high school trigonometry was a big waste of time? Not true. Occasionally you need it to solve a crossword.
  • 76D: Mike Hammer portrayer Keach (STACY).I like the Mike Hammer books, but they aren't for the faint of heart.
  • 96D: Like art house films, for some (TOO SLOW). "Too French" would be another good answer.
  • 107D: "The Matrix" star (REEVES). I know I've said this before, but it bears repeating. Keanu Reeves should have retired after his most triumphant performance in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure." It's been all downhill ever since.
  • 129D: SEC founding member (LSU). Nope, not the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Southeastern Conference.
Crosswordese 101 Roundup:
  • 22A: Turkish shelter (IMARET).
  • 38A: Ontario natives (CREES).
  • 46A: Arts acronym (ASCAP).
  • 123A: Peyton's quarterback brother (ELI).
  • 11D: He was elected 56 yrs. before BHO (DDE).
  • 61D: Dept. of Labor arm (OSHA).
  • 68D: Frat letters (RHOS).
  • 127D: U.K. record label (EMI).


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the puzzle overall, however, the answer to 67A (Habituate) felt a little off to me so I googled and found this Difference between "inure" and "enure"t. Wrong answer?

iCare said...

I'm finding the calendar cw VERY wierd! anyone posting the solution to that one?

Margaret said...

I'm having trouble parsing 69A Earl Grey dunker (SCONE.) It reads to me as a person who dunks something in the Earl Grey (a Lord or Lady?), not something that is dunked IN the Earl Grey. Aside from the fact that I don't think of scones as being "dunked" the way donuts are, which is not really relevant. I guess dunker is being used as a synonym for scone, like sinker is a slang term for a donut? Also, the words dunk, dunked and dunker have ceased to have any meaning whatsoever the more I type them.

CoffeeLvr said...

I had iNURE before the cross forced ENURE.

I had a DNF, with all the trouble in the NE. Never heard of TRADUCE, forgot IMARET (which I only know from cross word puzzles), could see DUVALL in my mind's eye but not recall his name. I had quaSH, then SMaSH, then only gave up the "a" when I looked up "Tender Mercies" in IMDB. Oh, and I was looking for a Spanish abbreviation for either 7 or Sunday instead of DIA.

PRAYER SHRUGS and KEEBLER SHELVES were both pretty clever.

imsdave said...

I am guilty here, so will say this with a huge 'mea culpa'. Doug's writeups have been the highlight of my Sunday so many times. I'll repost tomorrow. Let's support these thoughtful efforts better than we have been. It's a ton of work to do this as cleverly and consistantly as he has been.

Oh, the puzzle - fun stuff. (SH)AH WILDERNESS - see "Take Me Along" if you ever get the chance, the musical version of it.

Steve said...

@PennyPengo - I'm with you on the Reagle effort today. Not a fan for a few reasons.

Steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I'm confused with the answer BHO for 115A; I thought the answer would have been pertaining to Clinton. I got it right but don't understand it. Help! :)

Anonymous said...

BHO (Barack Hussein Obama) followed GWB (George W. Bush). Clinton followed GHWB (George H. W. Bush).