July 24, 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: "An Author Thing Coming" — Punny phrases featuring authors' names.
- 26A: People who recite "Jabberwocky" door-to-door during the holidays? (CHRISTMAS CARROLLERS).
- 49A: Fictional tornado protection? (BAUM SHELTER).
- 56A: Periods when Harry Potter books are unavailable? (ROWLING BLACKOUTS).
- 67A: "A Room of One's Own" writer wearing a wool sweater? (WOOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING).
- 84A: Medical procedure done while reading "The Outcasts of Poker Flat"? (OPEN HARTE SURGERY).
- 95A: "Salomé" writer's pet? (WILDE ANIMAL).
- 113A: Not as hard to pronounce at some 17th-century poetry? (EASIER SAID THAN DONNE).
The weirdest theme entry is CHRISTMAS CARROLLERS. That's the only one in which the author's name is altered, and it doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense. But puns are generally fun, so I enjoyed the solve.
- 22A: Eavesdropper, say (HEARER). Hearer? That's a word I've never actually heard. Or maybe I should say a word I've never been a hearer of.
- 49A: Fictional tornado protection? (BAUM SHELTER). L. Frank Baum wrote "The Wizard of Oz" and lots of other "Oz" books. Does the punny clue make sense?
- 90A: Them, with "the" (ENEMY). I was hoping this clue had something to do with giant ants. I saw a trailer for the new "Planet of the Apes" movie yesterday. Ugh! I'd rather live on a planet ruled by giant ants than intelligent monkeys.
- 93A: Highlights segment (RECAP). For a moment, I thought this was referring to Highlights magazine. The only place I ever saw it was at the doctor's or dentist's office. Remember "Goofus and Gallant"? Wikipedia tells me that "Goofus and Gallant" first appeared in 1948 and they're still going strong. So Goofus has been acting like a little jerk for over 60 years. I'm surprised his parents haven't shipped him off to military school.
- 107A: Better part of a loaf? (HALF). Half a loaf is better than none. Cute.
- 12D: Excellent server (ACER). I know people are going to complain about this one. Don't bother. Like the dreaded ICE TEA, it's not going anywhere.
- 36D: San Francisco mayor, 1968-'76 (ALIOTO). Joseph Alioto. I remember this entry was in a puzzle at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament the first year I attended. Toughie.
- 68D: Rescuer of Odysseus (INO). I don't know how to pronounce her name, so I'm going to assume it has a long I and a long O. She's part of my new mythology-based comedy routine: "Who was the sea goddess who saved Odysseus?" "Ino." "If you know, then tell me! Who was it?" "Ino." Yeah, that's pretty much it. Needs work.
- 83D: Bill of Right part: Abbr. (AMDT). That entry is ugly as sin, but it's a valid dictionary abbreviation. Still, it hurts a little.
- 97D: Florida State player, familiarly (NOLE). Short for Seminole.
- 116D: Wall St. traders (ARBS). Arb is short for arbitrageur, a type of market speculator.
Everything Else —1A: Guadalajara gal pal (AMIGA); 6A: Determined by the stars, as time (SIDEREAL); 14A: Music box? (CD CASE); 20A: Indiana's senior senator (LUGAR); 21A: Pre-fight steps? (WAR DANCE); 23A: Reason for a market recall (ECOLI); 24A: Totaled, with "to" (AMOUNTED); 25A: Home of big-eared elephants (AFRICA); 29A: Name of 13 popes (LEO); 30A: Match part (SET); 31A: Disney lioness (NALA); 32A: Gp. jet-setters stand in line to see? (TSA); 35A: Miles per hour, e.g. (RATE); 38A: Stick in (ADD); 41A: Applies lightly (DABS); 44A: Betrays (RATS OUT); 46A: For K-12 use (EL-HI); 47A: Lows in a field (MOOS); 51A: One of a Vegas pair (DIE); 52A: Feverish fits (AGUES); 54A: Apt. units (RMS.); 55A: Stuffed grape-leaf dish (DOLMA); 62A: More than tear up (WEEP); 63A: Allen or Frome (ETHAN); 64A: Prepare for takeoff (TAXI); 65A: Helpful connections (INS); 77A: Lennon lover (ONO); 78A: Phillies catcher Carlos (RUIZ); 79A: Ear-related (AURAL); 80A: Russian car (LADA); 92A: Appomattox loser (LEE); 94A: Small belt (NIP); 99A: Closed (SHUT); 100A: Vital part (PITH); 101A: "Can we proceed?" ("IS IT A GO?"); 102A: Smell (ODOR); 104A: "No seats" sign (SRO); 105A: Victrolas, e.g. (RCA'S); 106A: D.C. VIP (SEN.); 109A: Guitar great Paul (LES); 111A: Super Mario Galaxy 2 console (WII); 122A: Dashingly? (AT A RUN); 124A: Broadly and happily (EAR TO EAR); 125A: Out on a limb (TREED); 126A: Steppes settlers (TATARS); 127A: Most suave (URBANEST); 128A: Square things (ATONE); 129A: Lace place (EYELET); 130A: Expresses opposition (DISSENTS); 131A: Lost cause (GONER); 1D: Smart fellow? (ALEC); 2D: Little's opposite (MUCH); 3D: Stereotypical lab assistant (IGOR); 4D: Name on Pisa's airport (GALILEI); 5D: Get up (ARISE); 6D: Stroked (SWAM); 7D: "__ Rock": 1966 hit (I AM A); 8D: Inferior material (DROSS); 9D: Brought out (EDUCED); 10D: Accumulated charges (RAN A TAB); 11D: __'acte (ENTR); 13D: Tricked (LED ON); 14D: Braided bread (CHALLAH); 15D: Vanquished (DEFEATED); 16D: Mystery writer John Dickson __ (CARR); 17D: Teacher of Alexander the Great (ARISTOTLE); 18D: You may be asked to hold on for one (SEC); 19D: Period (ERA); 27D: Without exception (TO A MAN); 28D: Metallica drummer Ulrich (LARS); 33D: Defiant challenge (SUE ME); 34D: "It's __!": warning shout (A TRAP); 35D: Sketched over (REDREW); 37D: "My Generation" band (THE WHO); 39D: Rapper Snoop __ (DOGG); 40D: Misgivings (DOUBTS); 42D: Dogwood cover, aptly (BARK); 43D: Contest in a dohyo (SUMO); 45D: Decelerate (SLOW); 48D: Repeated word in Psalms (SELAH); 50D: East Lansing sch. (MSU); 53D: __-Coburg: former Bavarian duchy (SAXE); 57D: Kobe's team, on scoreboards (LAL); 58D: Dope (INFO); 59D: 1980s-'90s Olds (CIERA); 60D: Up to, in ads (TIL); 61D: __-cone (SNO); 66D: Night sight (STAR); 69D: Queue before Q (N-O-P); 70D: Siamese sign of contentment (PURR); 71D: Places (SITES); 72D: Pole neighbors (CZECHS); 73D: Affectionate gesture (HUG); 74D: Peaceful (IRENIC); 75D: Japan Airlines hub (NARITA); 76D: Pictographs (GLYPHS); 80D: "Mere Christianity" author (LEWIS); 81D: Licorice-flavored seed (ANISE); 82D: Describe pictorially (DELINEATE); 85D: Samuel's teacher (ELI); 86D: Nautilus captain (NEMO); 87D: Move (toward) (HEAD); 88D: Dino's tail? (-SAUR); 89D: Like Harlem in Manhattan, say (UPTOWN); 91D: Sarcastic reply (YEAH SURE); 96D: Touching (AGAINST); 98D: Flirtatious adolescents (LOLITAS); 100D: Before (PRIOR TO); 103D: Fixed up (REDONE); 108D: Slip eponym (FREUD); 110D: Dutch painter Jan (STEEN); 112D: Collar accessory for Fido (I.D. TAG); 114D: Asian sea (ARAL); 115D: Indian wrap (SARI); 117D: "And __ thou slain the Jabberwock?" (HAST); 118D: Skills (ARTS); 119D: Sign gas (NEON); 120D: Hawaii's state bird (NENE); 121D: Linda of Broadway's "Jekyll & Hyde" (EDER); 122D: Consumed (ATE); 123D: Scotland's longest river (TAY).