Minggu, 03 April 2011

04.03 Sun

April 3, 2011 (syndicated)
Doug Peterson

[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: "The Play's the Thing" - 8 familiar playthings immortalized together are brought together again in this puzzle.

Theme answers:
  • 23A: *They're educational and stakable (ALPHABET BLOCKS).
  • 38A: *Construction set invented by Frank Lloyd Wright's son (LINCOLN LOGS).
  • 47A: *Street hockey gear (ROLLER SKATES).
  • 91A: *Shipping container (CARDBOARD BOX).
  • 98A: *Dual-knobbed drawing device (ETCH A SKETCH).
  • 119A: *Kindergartner's boxful (CRAYOLA CRAYONS).
  • 15D: *Board game with color-coded cards (CANDY LAND).
  • 81D: *Cuddly bedmate (TEDDY BEAR).
  • 68A: Rochester, N.Y., institution whose inductees include the eight answers to the starred clues (NATIONAL TOY HALL OF FAME).

Hi, everybody! Neville here, sitting in for Doug. Why? Because he wrote this puzzle - you read the byline, didn't you? You might remember me for a few puzzles that I've had in the LA Times. Or not - I'm certainly not as prolific as Doug, who's had nearly 30 puzzles in the LA Times since this blog started up! Wow! Doug is one of my favorite constructors, and I'm pleased to make my debut here as a guest blogger on a Peterson puzzle.

Do you ever get lucky when solving a puzzle? I got lucky this time - I remembered a Sporcle quiz I played a little while back also based on this subject. Go give it a shot (after you finish reading this post, of course!) - you'll have an eight-answer head start. Big ups to Doug for picking out 8 of the stars from that list and cramming them all into this grid.

  • 77A: Picnic favorite (BEAN SALAD). I had LEAF SALAD. That didn't work! I find both pasta and potato salads to be better than both of those choices at picnics, but neither of them fit.
  • 78A: Tiny bit (TITTLE). When I think tittle, I think the dot over the miniscule i. I wrote in LITTLE instead.
  • 82A: Tool used in a bed (HOE). Take it away, Ken Jennings:

  • 25D: Scott of "Happy Days" (BAIO). More recently, Scott had a minor role as a lawyer on "Arrested Development". Enjoy some wordplay:

  • 52D: Period of sacrifice (LENT). For those keeping score at home, three weeks until Easter!
  • 58D: 1988 A.L. MVP (CANSECO). Jose Canseco is now known for having reached that pinnacle of fame that is being a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice.
  • 94D: Peninsula north of Martha's Vineyard (CAPE COD). Did you know that Martha's Vineyard is one of only five apostrophes in a US natural feature name. Crazy, huh? Learn more here!
  • 83D: NBA's __ Man of the Year Award (SIXTH). Of course, all eyes are on the NCAA tournament at the moment, but I think this is a great clue - I was stumped for a good while. Who's going to take it all - Butler or UConn?
  • 100D: Three Stooges family name (HOWARD). Nyuk nyuk nyuk! I don't remember the Stooges being this violent or poorly edited:

  • 101D: First non-European literature Nobelist (1913) (TAGORE). Let's learn something together, shall we? Rabindranath Tagore (aka Gurudev) was a Bengali poet/playwright/musician/artist. His best known work was Gitanjali, a collection of English poems. I fell for the double that this person might be American and that I might have heard of them - but I learned something, and that's pretty cool, too.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
  • 5A: Gate approx. (ETD). You've gotta get this D from the crossing - that's always a pain.
  • 19A: Airline with a Ben Gurion hub (EL AL)
  • 32A: Santa __ winds (ANA).
  • 55A: Word between surnames (NÉE).
  • 57A: City SSW of Moscow (OREL).
  • 67A: Itty-bitty, in Inverness (SMA). I think this is a new one for the blog - maybe PG doesn't think this is Crosswordese, but I do. It's easy to remember this Scottish word for small - just take off the last two letters!
  • 97A: '80s missile shield prog. (SDI).
  • 4D: Pre-coll. catchall (EL-HI). Who says this? This is my pet peeve bit of crosswordese.
  • 78D: Gumshoes (TECS). We've seen the singular here before for sure.
  • 89D: Classified letters (EOE). Ah, the dreaded EOE/EEO dilemma. Did you guess correctly?
[I'm not on it yet, but if you are, you should totally follow PuzzleGirl on Twitter.]

Everything else - 1A: Cause for fishing hole excitement (BITE); 8A: Fleshy-snouted mammal (TAPIR); 13A: Fearless Fosdick's creator (AL CAPP); 20A: Book flap feature (BIO); 21A: Ridiculous (INANE); 22A: Comfortable shoe (LOAFER); 26A: Unlearned (INNATE); 27A: Long-tailed songbird (PIPIT); 28A: Shade of green (PEA); 29A: It's done in some circles (SEWING); 31A: Sturdy wagon (DRAY); 33A: Actor Estevez (EMILIO); 36A: "A Taste of Honey" dramatist (DELANEY); 41A: DMV document (LIC.); 42A: Vaquero's plain (LLANO); 46A: Arles affirmatives (OUIS); 50A: Port-du-__: French cheese (SALUT); 53A: Script section (SCENE); 56A: PBS series since 1974 (NOVA); 58A: Breezy good-byes (CIAOS); 60A: QB's try (ATT.); 62A: First name among disrespected comedians? (RODNEY); 64A: Pollution-free power sources (WIND FARMS); 66A: Links highlight (ACE); 75A: Jenny, e.g. (ASS); 76A: "Reliable Sources" airer (CNN); 83A: Swedish imports (SAABS); 84A: Winged goddess (NIKE); 85A: War of 1812 shipbuilding port (ERIE); 86A: Half a dance (CHA); 88A: "Gone With the Wind" Oscar winner (LEIGH); 90A: Dramatist Chekhov (ANTON); 94A: "How __ refuse?" (CAN I); 96A: Hardly posh (SEEDY); 104A: Home of Chichén Itzá (YUCATAN); 107A: Hullabaloo (HOOPLA); 108A: "Bingo!" ("AHA!"); 109A: Crime lab item (SWAB); 112A: Not spontaneous (STAGED); 114A: Come up short (OWE); 115A: "King Lear" daughter (REGAN); 117A: Ripped to pieces (TORE UP); 122A: Mystical secrets (ARCANA); 123A: "True Grit," for one (OATER); 124A: 20th-century composer Harris (ROY); 125A: Logical connector (ERGO); 126A: 1943 Allied conference site (TEHRAN); 127A: Campout treat (S'MORE); 128A: 34th pres. (DDE); 129A: Look to be (SEEM); 1D: "Little help here, bud?" ("BE A PAL"); 2D: "Fighting" team (ILLINI); 3D: __ Zee Bridge (TAPPAN); 5D: Flow's counterpart (EBB); 6D: Ascot fasteners (TIE PINS); 7D: "I'm listening!" ("DO TELL!"); 8D: Up to, in brief (TIL); 9D: "__ Amours": 1984 César Award-winning film (ANOS); 10D: Walked worriedly (PACED); 11D: Bygone writing aid (INKWELL); 12D: Able to overcome adversity (RESILIENT); 13D: Bring into harmony (ALIGN); 14D: Contemporary of Boris (LON); 16D: Where some worship from (AFAR); 17D: Anti-leather gp. (PETA); 18D: Zebras, to lions (PREY); 24D: Did lunch, say (ATE OUT); 30D: Iridescent jewelry material (NACRE); 34D: 1,051, to Hadrian (MLI); 35D: Fiends of fantasy (OGRES); 37D: Buckskin source (ELK); 39D: "What else __ do?" (COULD I); 40D: Elroy, to George Jetson (SON); 43D: Oodles (A TON); 44D: Snow in Milano (NEVE); 45D: Anthem beginning (O SAY); 48D: Percolate (LEACH); 49D: Sunday deliveries (SERMONS); 50D: Planted (SOWN); 51D: "Turandot" highlight (ARIA); 53D: O.T. prophet (SAML.); 54D: Bulk-purchase club (COSTCO); 58D: 1988 A.L. MVP (CANSECO); 59D: Funds for later yrs. (IRA'S); 61D: Leaves home? (TEABAG); 63D: Bozos (OAFS); 65D: Newborn Arabian (FOAL); 66D: Objectivism advocate Rand (AYN); 67D: Healthy portion (SLAB); 69D: Spaghetti pkg. unit (ONE LB.); 70D: Remini of "The King of Queens" (LEAH); 71D: Author Flagg (FANNIE); 72D: Hit the ground (ALIT); 73D: Speedy shark (MAKO); 74D: Idyllic setting (EDEN); 79D: "Dies __" (IRAE); 80D: Flag (TIRE); 82D: Crunchy Mexican munchies (HARD TACOS); 87D: Tackles (HAS AT); 90D: Capital south of the Black Sea (ANKARA); 92D: Mitt Romney's alma mater: Abbr. (BYU); 93D: Family tree, e.g. (DIAGRAM); 95D: Silent communication syst. (ASL); 99D: "Groovy!" ('COOL!"); 100D: Three Stooges family name (HOWARD); 101D: First non-European literature Nobelist (1913) (TAGORE); 102D: Meter feeder's need (CHANGE); 103D: Quaint carriage (HANSOM); 105D: It covers D.C. (C-SPAN); 106D: "Groovy!" ("NEATO!"); 109D: Fan's factoid (STAT); 110D: Modeled (WORE); 111D: Raise, as an eyebrow (ARCH); 113D: Tannery worker (DYER); 116D: Checks out (EYES); 118D: Uruguayan article (UNA); 120D: Stuff in a seam (ORE); 121D: Sourdough alternative (RYE)

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