January 2, 2011
[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: "E-Literature" — A long E sound is added to the ends of titles, and the resulting phrases are given punny clues.
- 23A: Specific item in a sleepwear collection? (TWELFTH NIGHTIE).
- 47A: How a rock band's equipment damage was blamed? (ON THE ROADIE).
- 68A: Amazonian oddsmaker? (THE JUNGLE BOOKIE).
- 95A: Dressing room sprite? (VANITY FAIRY).
- 120A: Fabric softener delivered overseas? (WATERSHIP DOWNY).
- 17D: Goat's friend? (BILLY BUDDY).
- 74D: Aboriginal Walkman? (NATIVE SONY).
- 8A: Orderly type? (SISTER). Nuns (sisters) are members of orders. And they're also probably neat and orderly. I can't imagine a nun with a messy room.
- 27A: Robert who played Roderigo in Welles's "Othello" (COOTE). The longer the clue for an actor's name, the less chance you're going to have any idea who he or she is. For example, everyone would get PITT for "Actor Brad." But you could add another 4 or 5 facts to this COOTE clue, and I'd still be baffled.
- 33A: City west of Mesa (TEMPE). Mesa is an anagram of Ames, the lamest city in Iowa according to PuzzleGirl. Go Hawkeyes!
- 53A: Mil. base stores (PXES). PX is short for Post Exchange. I've seen it pluralized as PXS in other puzzles. Both versions are ugly.
- 72A: Niblick, nowadays (NINE IRON). Golf clubs used to have awesome names like niblick, mashie, brassie, cleek, and baffing spoon.
- 76A: Writes John a letter? (ENDS IT). A "Dear John" letter. I'm pretty sure I learned about "Dear John" letters from an episode of M*A*S*H.
- 87A: Kathy of country (MATTEA). I don't know much about country music, so I asked PuzzleGirl to suggest a Kathy Mattea song. This one's about rockets or something.
- 94A: Certain hip-hop dancer (B-GIRL). The B is from the "break" in breakdancing. Watch the movie Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo for more information on breaking and popping.
- 101A: The "0" in a "4 5 0," on a scoreboard (ERRORS). The last three numbers of a baseball line score are Runs (R), Hits (H), and Errors (E).
- 107A: Intro for John? (DEAR). More "Dear John" action.
- 115A: Advanced teaching deg. (M.S. ED). Master of Science in Education. I thought it was Ms. Ed, Mr. Ed's wife.
- 7D: Narcissus snubbed her (ECHO). Echo was a nymph and a big-time chatterbox, so Hera cursed her by only allowing her to say words that were spoken to her. After Narcissus kicked her to curb, she spent the rest of her life pining away for him, until only her voice remained.
- 84D: It's heard a lot in Los Angeles (SPANISH). Sí, es verdad. My first thought was HONKING.
- 97D: "Great" feature of Jupiter (RED SPOT). From Wikipedia, "The Great Red Spot is a persistent anticyclonic storm, 22° south of Jupiter's equator, which has lasted for at least 180 years and possibly as long as 345 years or more. The storm is large enough to be visible through Earth-based telescopes."
- 111D: Christmas classic opening (TWAS). Only 357 shopping days left.
- 99A: ___ Trophy: biennal European golf event (SEVE).
- 103A: Ruhr valley city (ESSEN).
- 113A: Hops-drying kilns (OASTS).
- 1D: Hammett canine (ASTA).
- 12D: "Grace Before Meat" essayist (ELIA).
- 29D: Barrie baddie (SMEE).
- 38D: Richard's counterpart in the 1956 election (ESTES).
- 39D: Girl leader? (ATTA).
- 41D: German border river (ODER).