Minggu, 03 Juli 2011

07.03 Sun

July 3, 2011
Samuel A. Donaldson

[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: "Say Again?" — Familiar phrases in which one word is pronounced differently to yield a wacky phrase.

Theme Entries:
  • 23A: Understudy's crime? (LEAD POISONING).
  • 33A: Short ovation? (MINUTE HAND).
  • 49A: Instrument with colored bands? (STRIPED BASS).
  • 68A: Compliment on a skillful asphalt job? (GOOD EVENING).
  • 84A: Anesthetist's error? (WRONG NUMBER).
  • 101A: Fight among forest females? (DOES BATTLE).
  • 117A: Clean kielbasa? (POLISH SAUSAGE).
  • 16D: Telescope? (METEOR SHOWER).
  • 64D: Jeans feature after a barbed wire encounter? (TRAIL OF TEARS).
Hey, crossword fans. Doug here on Sunday. Thanks to Neville for filling in for me last week. I was in Las Vegas for a few days, and I didn't solve many crosswords while I was there. In fact, I think there were a couple of days when I didn't even look at a crossword. Scary, I know! I can give you all one piece of advice: Don't play the "Lord of the Rings" slot machine. You'd do just as well to throw twenty-dollar bills directly into the fires of Mount Doom.

Today's puzzle is by one of my favorite puzzle folks, Sam Donaldson. Sam's been published many times in the L.A. Times and N.Y. Times, and he's the regular blogger for the CrosSynergy puzzles over at Amy Reynaldo's Crossword Fiend site. Today's a big day for Sam because this is his first Sunday puzzle. Congratulations! It's a winner. He used nine heteronyms (words spelled the same and pronounced differently) to create a super set of theme entries. I appreciate a little dark humor, so my favorite was the clue & answer at 23-Across: "Understudy's crime?" for (LEAD POISONING). Change the short e vowel sound in "lead" to a long e, and you've got one dead leading man. I also found WRONG NUMBER and TRAIL OF TEARS to be particularly fun.

One note about the grid. In a Sunday puzzle, you often see four Across entries in the top and bottom rows & four Down entries in the leftmost and rightmost columns. Sam chose to use three entries along the top & bottom and three entries along the left & right. So we solvers got fresh long entries like BENELUX, YO ADRIAN, STRAY CAT, and the fabulous OH COME ON. I think this Donaldson guy knows what he's doing.

  • 20A: European triumvirate (BENELUX). It sounds like a brand of laundry detergent, but it's actually a combination of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
  • 40A: ___ Shore (JERSEY). Have you noticed that Snooki is sneaking into crossword puzzles? I've seen her name in two or three different grids. Frightening.
  • 42A: The Joker portrayer (ROMERO). I had a brief solving hiccup here after entering Ledger.
  • 45A: Spot for "Spot" (TAG). Clever clue.
  • 59A: Some tablets (PCS). I played around with my friend's tablet computer when I was on vacation. It was an Asus Eee computer. The name Eee comes from their slogan: "Easy to learn, Easy to work, Easy to play." Are these computers well-known in the U.S.? Because it would be great to have a clue for EEE that doesn't involve wide shoes. That said, Eee is a horrible name for a product.
  • 78A: Shinto temple gateway (TORII). PuzzleGirl covered TORII in Crosswordese 101. Sometimes it's a Japanese temple gateway, and sometimes it's a reference to outfielder Torii Hunter.
  • 86A: A.L. West team, on scoreboards (LAA). The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. And their starting rightfielder is... Torii Hunter.
  • 115A: Got one's money's worth at the buffet (ATE A LOT). I did a couple of buffets in Vegas, and yes, I got my money's worth. The buffet at Harrah's had an ice cream/frozen yogurt bar where you could add sprinkles, nuts, crushed oreos, etc., to your bowl of ice cream. I watched one little kid fill an entire ice cream bowl with M&M's. No ice cream, just M&M's. Why didn't I think of that?
  • 3D: "... bombs bursting ___" (IN AIR). Happy 4th of July!
  • 45D: First O, say (TIC). Tic-tac-toe.
  • 43D: "You can't be serious" (OH, COME ON). Awesome entry. I'm going to steal this one and put it in one of my grids.
  • 81D: Marxism extremes? (EMS). Yep, there's an M (em) on each end of "Marxism."
  • 88D: Three times daily, on an Rx (TID). These pharmacy abbreviations always baffle me. I'm going to give Sam one demerit for this entry.
  • 97D: "The First Billion is the Hardest" author Pickens (T. BOONE). Ha, just saw that T. Boone is one letter off from t-bone. Am I the last person on Earth to notice that?
  • 50D: Diamond wearer in "Copacabana" (RICO). Yesterday PuzzleGirl wrote "...for God's sake, do not — I repeat NOT — listen to 'Copacabana.' " But you know you can't resist...
    I hope you all enjoyed today's puzzle and are having a nice three-day weekend. And to our international readers who don't celebrate the 4th, feel free to call in sick for work on Monday. See you next week.

    Everything Else 1A: Woodcutter who knew the magic words (ALI BABA); 8A: Wide divide (CHASM); 13A: Tribal magicians (SHAMANS); 21A: Variety show (REVUE); 22A: Catches the show (TUNES IN); 25A: Steamy stuff (EROTICA); 26A: Israeli weapons (UZIS); 27A: With 116-Down, "Bed-In for Peace" co-organizer (YOKO); 28A: Make amends (ATONE); 30A: Be a disincentive to (DETER); 31A: Eager, in dialect (RARIN'); 36A: Sound on Old MacDonald's farm (OINK); 37A: Responses to the obvious (DUHS); 39A: Office orders (REAMS); 47A: Concordes: Abbr. (SST'S); 48A: Triumphant shout (AHA); 55A: Seafaring salutations (AHOYS); 60A: Official declaration (EDICT); 61A: "The Gates of Hell" sculptor (RODIN); 62A: Goes __: deteriorates (TO POT); 63A: Like some advanced research, briefly (POST-DOC); 65A: Cues from a stage coach (LINES); 66A: "Trust me!" ("I SWEAR!"); 67A: Epps of "House" (OMAR); 72A: Mother of the Valkyries (ERDA); 73A: Short summaries (RECAPS); 75A: Garfield's creator (DAVIS); 76A: Clue room (LIBRARY); 79A: Enter, as data (KEY IN); 80A: Start a rally (SERVE); 82A: Ballpoint brand (BIC); 83A: Fishhook-to-line connection (SNELL); 87A: Vow (OATH); 89A: "Owner of a Lonely Heart" band (YES); 90A: Still in the outbox (UNSENT); 92A: Andre's love (STEFFI); 95A: 10% donation (TITHE); 99A: One might go around on the patio (SPIT); 100A: __ Neuf: Paris bridge (PONT); 105A: Mitigates (EASES); 109A: Rubber tree yield (LATEX); 111A: Astound (FLOOR); 112A: Tug (YANK); 114A: Kennel sound (YELP); 120A: Pottery casserole dish (TERRINE); 121A: "You're __ talk!" (ONE TO); 122A: Unpredictable (ERRATIC); 123A: Therapy time (SESSION); 124A: Exorcist's foe (DEMON); 125A: Old West gang (DALTONS); 1D: "It was over so fast" words (A BLUR); 2D: TV host Gibbons (LEEZA); 4D: Like some comforting manners (BEDSIDE); 5D: Mont Blanc, e.g. (ALP); 6D: Lift (BUOY); 7D: Geometry class list (AXIOMS); 8D: Serenade, perhaps (CROON); 9D: Fox's prey (HEN); 10D: Pilot (AVIATE); 11D: Naturally brewed beverage (SUN TEA); 12D: A lot of resistance (MEGOHM); 13D: "The Feast of Saint Nicholas" painter (STEEN); 14D: Judah Ben-__ (HUR); 15D: Give __ to: okay (A NOD); 17D: Currently (ASITIS); 18D: Like a noted creed (NICENE); 19D: Crotchety (SNARKY); 24D: Go downhill fast? (SKI); 29D: "If I Ruled the World" rapper (NAS); 32D: Helped get healthy (NURSED); 34D: Impulse (URGE); 35D: Short spinners? (DJ'S); 38D: Ballpark staples (HOTDOGS); 41D: Virginie-Occidentale et al. (ÉTATS); 42D: Close connections (RAPPORTS); 44D: Blowout on the court (MASSACRE); 46D: Fitting (APT); 47D: No. under the year on many tax forms (SSN); 51D: With accuracy or distance, a golf stat (DRIVING); 52D: Fox forensic drama (BONES); 53D: City SSE of Sana'a (ADEN); 54D: Spanish ayes (SÍ SÍ); 56D: In working order (OPERABLE); 57D: "Rocky" catchphrase (YO ADRIAN); 58D: Future adoptee, perhaps (STRAY CAT); 65D: "Deathtrap" playwright (LEVIN); 66D: "You win" ("I GIVE UP"); 69D: Baltic Sea feeder (ODER); 70D: "The Banana Boat Song" opening (DAYO); 71D: Workers' rights agcy. (NLRB); 74D: Rice preparation (PILAF); 77D: Longtime collaborator with Elton (BERNIE); 79D: Util. unit (KWH); 80D: You might do it after hiring a lawyer (SUE); 85D: "Wrong, comrade" ("NYET"); 91D: Spends the night in (STAYS AT); 92D: Evidence of egg toss errors (SPLATS); 93D: Just right (TO A TEE); 94D: Goes on stage (ENTERS); 95D: Business card no. (TEL.); 96D: 14-legged crustacean (ISOPOD); 98D: Cotton Club site (HARLEM); 99D: Had a hunch (SENSED); 102D: Regularly (OFTEN); 103D: "Sounder" Oscar nominee (TYSON); 104D: __-di-dah (LAH); 106D: Defense gp. formed in Manila (SEATO); 107D: Classic watch (ELGIN); 108D: See-thru wear? (SPECS); 110D: Super Bowl at which Tom Petty performed (XLII); 113D: Two-season "American Idol" judge DioGuardi (KARA); 116D: See 27-Across (ONO); 118D: 1989 World Champion figure skater (ITO); 119D: Web ID (URL).

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