June 12, 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: "Wide-Eyed" — A "W" sound is added to the beginnings of words in familiar phrases.
- 23A: Sale at the helicopter dealer? (WHIRLYBIRD SPECIAL).
- 39A: Breakfast table exposé? (THE WAFFLE TRUTH).
- 60A: Bittersweet title for a waterskier's memoirs? (WAKES AND PAINS).
- 84A: Lacking lingerie? (OUT OF THIN WEAR).
- 104A: Sweater under the tree? (CHRISTMAS WEAVE).
- 123A: Charge against an illegal fly-fishing conspirator? (WADING AND ABETTING).
- 16D: Comment to an out-of-shape runner who reaches the finish line? (WHEEZY DOES IT).
- 67D: Homo sapiens' cleverness? (THE WILE OF MAN).
My favorite today has to be WHEEZY DOES IT. THE WAFFLE TRUTH is pretty good too. Let's hit the bullets.
- 1A: Builder of paper houses (WASP). This clue makes wasps sound all nice and peaceful. Don't believe it. They look like pure evil to me.
- 16A: Bath bathrooms (WCS). Often when you see "Bath" at the beginning of a clue, it's a tip-off that the answer is going to be a word they use in the U.K., because Bath is a city in England. In this one, we've got WC (water closet). Other "Bath" words for bathroom are lav and loo.
- 46A: Cause for a shootout (TIE). In the Old West, if a mean hombre didn't care for the color of your tie, he was likely to challenge to you to a shootout at high noon. Or maybe it has to do with hockey or soccer. When the score is tied, they sometimes have a shootout to determine the winner (even though they really like ties in soccer.) Regardless, I like the Old West answer better.
- 71A: Hawaiian priests (KAHUNAS). Did you know a big kahuna was actually a big priest. Now you do.
- 75A: Requiring slower driving (CURVIER). Curvy roads, right? I thought the clue might be talking about the kinds of curves that would make an ogling driver slow down. Moving on...
- 130A: Psychology ___ (TODAY). The name of a magazine. For some reason, newspaper and magazine titles aren't put in quotes or italics in crossword clues. I've never figured out why.
- 132A: Cartoon Chihuahua (REN). Is it just me, or was the "Ren and Stimpy" cartoon unwatchable? I cringe a little whenever I see Ren in a grid.
- 6D: ___ weaver: spider (ORB). I hate wasps, but I dig spiders. They sit in one spot and kill other bugs. What's not to like?
- 58D: Be in the front row in a team photo, say (KNEEL). An outstanding clue. Clever way to think of kneeling.
- 63D: Hitchcock classic (PSYCHO). Great entry.
- 102D: Key of Beethoven's "Kreutzer Sonata" (A MAJOR). You know how to solve these clues, right? Fill in the M, O, and R (to cover MajOR and MinOR), and then get the rest of the letters from crossings. Unless you actually know the key of the "Kreutzer Sonata," in which case you're too smart to be reading this blog.
- 119D: "All finished!" (TADA). That's all, folks!