Minggu, 21 November 2010

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).

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