April 17, 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: "Audiovisual Aids" — The letters "AV" are added to familiar phrases to make wacky entries
- 24A: Salon tool for recalcitrant customers? (STYLING GAVEL).
- 30A: Not the best purple flower? (SUB-PRIME LAVENDER).
- 45A: Where the experts hang out? (MAVENS' ROOM).
- 64A: Colorado brewer's rodent mascot? (COORS BEAVER).
- 77A: Culinary product of a French-Italian region? (SAVOY SAUCE).
- 97A: Group that ruins commercials? (AD HAVOC COMMITTEE).
- 104A: Bad news about a tooth? (TWIN CAVITIES).
- 15D: Prefer Hitchcock's Bodega Bay classic to his other films? (FAVOR THE BIRDS).
- 52D: Cryptologist's rant? (DECODER RAVING).
- 1A: "This ___ fine mess you've gotten us into, Ollie!" (IS A). ISA isn't a great entry, but the clue is genius. You read the clue, think of Laurel and Hardy, and forget all about the awkwardness of the entry.
- 18A: Three-time all-star closer Robb (NEN). One of those weird names that non-baseball people must hate.
- 22A: Hunter attachment? (GATHERER). Hunter-gatherer.
- 24A: Salon tool for recalcitrant customers? (STYLING GAVEL). So the hairdresser bonks someone on the head with a gavel, accompanied by a Three Stooges-style empty-coconut sound effect. I love it.
- 34A: Statistical hypothesis trial (T-TEST). I vaguely remember this from Statistics class. If I look it up and try to explain it, I'm going to give myself a headache.
- 61A: Boss's address? (E STREET). Bruce Springsteen ("The Boss") and his E Street Band. Awesome clue!
- 82A: Semicircular antenna housing (RADOME). I had to get this one from the crossing entries, and I wasn't sure whether it was a "radome" or an "R.A. dome." Turns out it's "radome," short for "radar dome." OK, I think we can all remember that the next time it shows up in a grid.
- 13D: USAF E-6 (TSGT). Short for Technical Sergeant. Do you have to pass a T-test to become a T-Sergeant?
- 41D: Wrestling holds (NELSONS). For this entry, I couldn't decide whether to use an Iowa Hawkeyes (real) wrestling video, or a "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (fake) wrestling video. So I found a pair of Nelsons that everyone will enjoy.
- 70A: Recently discontinued retro Chrysler (PT CRUISER). Very cool entry. For those of you who like mini-themes, today we have PT Cruiser, V-chip, A sharp, t-test, E Street, TSgt, MLife, and N-Go.
- 96A: Abba of Israel (EBAN). If you're not familiar with crossword mainstay Abba Eban, you might wonder how you're supposed to know the name of an Israeli Abba tribute band.
- 99A: MGM Resorts loyalty program (MLIFE). Tough answer, but easy to get from crossers. I always sign up for a players' club card when I'm in Vegas, but I never redeem the points. I also usually lose the card in about five minutes.
- 105A: "Stop-___": UGK hit (N-GO). The song "Stop-N-Go" by the rap group Underground Kingz (UGK). Never heard of any of that. Maybe the Israeli Abba band will do a cover version. The album that features "Stop-N-Go" was produced by "AVEREXX, Below, DJ Paul & Juicy J, Jazze Pha, Joe Traxx, John Bido, Lil Jon, Marley Marl, MoMo, N.O. Joe, Pimp C, Swizz Beatz, DJ B-Do Scarface, and Yung Fyngas." That's a sweet list of rappy names.
I hope you all enjoyed the puzzle. Thanks, Dan!