[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.]
- 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).
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.