August 7, 2011
Donna S. Levin
[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: "Swordplay" — An "S" sound is added to beginnings of familiar phrases.
- 23A: Bathtub ring with no discernible cause? (SCUM FROM NOWHERE).
- 37A: Schusser's name traced in the snow? (SKI SIGNATURE).
- 60A: "Alas" and "Ah, me"? (SIGH OPENERS).
- 70A: Surveillance satellite? (SPY IN THE SKY).
- 92A: Make Oreos? (STUFF COOKIES).
- 110A: What grumpy old men might experience? (SURLY RETIREMENT).
- 17D: Geckos that don't set their alarm clocks? (SLEEPIN' LIZARDS).
- 46D: Pilots' milieu? (SPHERE OF FLYING).
It looks like I (Gareth) will be here and discussing this puzzles with you guys, if you'll endulge me. I too really enjoyed this puzzle. Donna is one of my favourite constructors; her puzzles are usually extremely simple, yet elegant and deftly executed, and this puzzle certainly fits into that mold! Doug's two picks were my two favourites too, along with SLEEPIN' LIZARDS. The only one that didn't pop for me was SPHERE OF FLYING. Some may argue that a theme like this has near limitless possibilities, and hold that against it. Where this puzzle wins, is the imaginative, witty entries Donna has chosen! The only small beef I did have was the title. In the puzzle an "s" sound is added to familiar entries whose spellings change, but pronunciations don't, creating whacky mayhem. In the title an "S" is added, and the pronunciation, but not the spelling changes.
- 1A: Pastry preserver of the past (PIE SAFE). Have never heard of this. What google turned up looks pretty much like a regular cabinet to my untrained eye. It does score points for crossing 4D: Simple guy (SIMON) though!
- 8A: "Johnny ___": 1948 film (BELINDA). A bit before my time, but the Wikipedia summary make it sounds worth watching and quite edgy for the time! My kneejerk Belinda is also before my time. This 1969 song, by Chris Andrews was a hit in South Africa, but apparently not in the US or his native UK. It's pretty schmaltzy, but what the heck (one warning for this and the other youtube video: I can't play youtube from here, so I don't know if these are as advertised, I hope so!):
- 15A: Dreads sporter (RASTA). He (or she) worships JAH, possibly smokes GANJA to feel IRIE, and may in fact refer to him/herself as IANDI. These other capitalised answers don't appear in crosswords as much as their letters patterns would have you believe
- 20A: What 100 is to 2, in the base 10 (ANTILOG). Log10100 = 2, which means 102 = 100. Antilog is the opposite and answers the question 102 = ___. I don't think I've explained this so well, and I've probably only succeeded in confusing myself. Basically, this is one of those things everybody learns in Maths class in high school, and then never forgets because it's so useful for working out grocery bills!
- 30A: Augur's concern (OMEN). I always get "augur" and "auger" confused in my head. An auger's concern is boring!
- 35A: EMILY's list, e.g. (PAC) No idea again. A googling we go... Wikipedia explains all, I guess. US politics is not a strong point for me!
- 79A: Arrowsmith's first wife (LEORA). Yet another one: Let's see "Arrowsmith" is apparently a novel by Sinclair Lewis, and the titular man is a brilliant doctor. That I haven't read this or any other Lewis novel probably qualifies me as a boor. Shrug.
- 108A: "Typee" sequel (OMOO). While I'm on the subject of books I haven't read, has anyone here read this one? (and yes I have used it in a puzzle myself, I ask out of pure curiosity)
- 10D: Tin Star wearers. (LAWMEN). "It's a great life. You risk your skin catchin' killers and the juries turn 'em loose so they can come back and shoot at ya again. If you're honest, you're poor your whole life, and in the end you wind up dyin' all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothin'. For a tin star." A classic line from the film High Noon. I had to google it to get it, of course...
- 11D: Home of Odysseus (ITHACA) is nearly symmetrically aligned with 106D: "Iliad" setting (TROY).
- 13D: One may be used to bring down an elephant (DART GUN). Loaded with etorphine or succinyl choline, not sure what they use truth tell, a colourful entry nonetheless.
- 37D: Public spectacle (SCENE).
- 43D: NYC Theater District discount booth (TKTS). I wonder if any of our crossword tourists have been on a side-trip to Broadway?
- 62D: Singer born Eithne Patricia Ni Bhraonain (ENYA). Boy does that Patricia look out place!
- 71D: "___ you were the last one on earth!" (NOTIF). The clue goes all gender neutral, but still, what a way to colour up a partial!
- 86D: Rec room scrape (RUG BURN). Great answer!
- 93D: ___ pain (FEEL NO). Six-letter partial, what are you doing here? Oh, wait, it actually doesn't bother me. Does it bother you? Also, it does sort of go with rug burn: I feel no rug burn!
- 110D: Thalassotherapy site (SPA). The "Thalasso-" part was completely superfluous for me, it appears to involve salt water.
Everything else — 21A: Rampaging (ON A TEAR); 22A: Dole out (ALLOT); 25A: Martial arts-based regimen (TAE BO); 26A: Hoo-ha (TO-DO); 27A: Balkan portico (STOA); 28A: Actor Dillon (MATT); 29A: Like a porterhouse (BONE-IN); 31A: He gave Jackie her O (ARI); 32A: Nuclear age govt. org. (AEC); 33A: Gangster film extras (G-MEN); 36A: Lawyer's thing (RES); 40A: Escalate (RISE); 41A: Orb's partner, in British iconography (SCEPTRE); 42A: "Friends" Emmy winner (ANISTON); 44A: Defames (BASHES); 47A: Brings up (REARS); 50A: Birth name of Smallville's most famous resident (KAL-EL); 53A: Let loose, in a way (UNPEN); 54A: Garden party? (EVE); 56A: Wacky (NUTS); 58A: Chevron feature (STRIPE); 59A: Giggle (TE-HEE); 63A: Former Pakistani president (ZIA); 64A: Prayer conclusion (AMEN); 65A: The __ Store (UPS); 66A: Suffix with Israel (-ITE); 67A: Doce meses (AÑO); 68A: Edinburgh girl (LASS); 69A: "Neither snow, __ rain ..." (NOR); 73A: Beginning (BIRTH); 74A: Truck capacity (ONE TON); 76A: Many a saga (TOME); 77A: Word with garden or party (TEA); 78A: Soup scoop (LADLE); 80A: Pied-à-__: part-time residence (TERRE); 82A: Blasphemes (CURSES); 83A: Lamborghini rival (FERRARI); 87A: Dr. Scholl's products (INSOLES); 90A: It isn't right (LEFT); 95A: "Survivor" network (CBS); 98A: Home of the Braves: Abbr. (ATL); 99A: Rating for many "Simpsons" episodes (TV-P.G.); 100A: Consume (EAT); 101A: Ltr. container (ENV.); 102A: Astronomer Sagan (CARL); 103A: Satisfies a debt (PAYS UP); 105A: Vitamin also known as PABA (B-TEN); 107A: Deceptive hockey maneuver (DEKE); 109A: Senior Saarinen (ELIEL); 113A: Disneyland usually has long ones (LINES); 114A: You or me (PRONOUN); 115A: Failed school curriculum that was the subject of the 1973 book "Why Johnny Can't Add" (NEW MATH); 116A: Tau preceder (SIGMA); 117A: "It's __ guess" (ANYONE'S); 118A: Lubricates (GREASES); 1D: Leader of the flock (PASTOR); 2D: It might be unearned (INCOME); 3D: Musical technique builders (ETUDES); 5D: Franklin's 1936 foe (ALF); 6D: Deserts (FORSAKES); 7D: Bit of self-aggrandizement (EGO TRIP); 8D: __ fide (BONA); 9D: Ambient music pioneer (ENO); 12D: Erstwhile depilatory (NEET); 14D: Is for two? (ARE); 15D: Expose (RAT ON); 16D: Astronaut Shepard (ALAN); 18D: "This Boy's Life" author Wolff (TOBIAS); 19D: Medical stat? (AT ONCE); 24D: Damp (MOIST); 29D: Apiphobe's fear (BEES); 32D: "A Death in the Family" author (AGEE); 34D: Diagnostic pic (MRI); 37D: Public spectacle (SCENE); 38D: Like some "as is" mdse. (IRREG.); 39D: Sampling (TASTE); 40D: Certain king's proclamation? (ROAR); 41D: Luster (SHEEN); 44D: Experimental biofuel (BUTANOL); 45D: Windflower (ANEMONE); 48D: "__ Day in Paradise": Phil Collins #1 hit (ANOTHER); 49D: Mumbai money (RUPEE); 51D: Formal letter (EPISTLE); 52D: Walking aids (LEASHES); 54D: Catch a glimpse of (ESPY); 55D: Drop in (VISIT); 57D: Part of a mongoose's diet (SNAKE); 58D: Happy letters for an angel (SRO); 61D: Blackjack demand (HIT ME); 65D: "Moesha" network (UPN); 68D: They're not true (LIARS); 70D: Go through the roof, as prices (SOAR); 71D: 72D: Shorthand pro (STENO); 73D: Muddy Waters genre (BLUES); 75D: Deduction for waste (TRET); 81D: Real card (RIOT); 82D: More shrewd (CLEVERER); 84D: Invitation letters (RSVP); 85D: Netmen's gp. (ATP); 88D: Summer Olympics sport (SKEET); 89D: Pen pals' exchange? (OINKING); 90D: Often-satin tuxedo features (LAPELS); 91D: And others, to Pliny (ETALII); 94D: Gorge (CANYON); 95D: Was costumed to look like (CAME AS); 96D: Literary family name (BRONTE); 97D: Arboreal rainforest denizens (SLOTHS); 99D: Oklahoma city (TULSA); 102D: Signal to pause (COMMA); 104D: Look (SEEM); 106D: "Iliad" setting (TROY); 107D: Cozy rooms (DENS); 111D: Regret (RUE); 112D: Woolly mama (EWE).