There are some things I love about doing the Sunday puzzle. I get it early enough that I can do it leisurely...a few minutes here, a few minutes there. It's always better when I come back to it. Easier to see some things that I hadn't seen before.
And on Sunday we have the bonus of a theme title, which sometimes helps me get some of the longer answers.
Neither of those things helped today.
I don't want to know how much of my day I spent doing it, although I did get some things done in the house and in the yard.
When I finally finished it, I still had no clue what All About National Public Radio had to do with the theme answers, so I walked away from it again. This happened one other time and I emailed Rex, who was kind enough to help me out. During my time away from the puzzle, though, I went to his blog to read comments about the Saturday puzzle...and he'd already posted Sunday. Yeah, I peeked, and it's a good thing. I could have looked at the finished puzzle for hours and I wouldn't have seen it.
The eight theme answers all contain NPR--the first word ends in N, the second word begins with PR.
23A: Tax relief, e.g. (campaigN PRomise)
39A: Mary Shelley subtitle, with "The" (ModerN PRometheus). Did not know this. Did know that they were referring to Frankenstein, which was published when she was nineteen.
58A: TV star who directed the 1999 documentary "Barenaked in America" (JasoN PRiestley)
83A: Fall event, usually (seasoN PRemiere)
101A: Matter of W.W. II secrecy (ManhattaN PRoject). Because W.W. II was abbreviated, I was looking for an answer that was.
121A: Serigraph (silkscreeN PRint). We have five gorgeous framed serigraphs done by a local artist, Ron Hoeksema. He no longer does them, and they're hard to come by. The ones shown at this gallery's website are not his best ones, IMOO.
3D: Contortionist (humaN PRetzel). Just the other day, fellow blogger Green Genius featured a contortionist on his blog. Even if you don't do the New York Sun (I don't get to it every day), his commentary is always an enjoyable read. He's big into books, including comics. Today's post was about books he bought when a local bookstore went out of business.
66D: Russian literary award established in 1881 (PushkiN PRize). No clue on this one, or its cross at the K -- 92A: World's biggest city built on continuous permafrost (Yakutsk). I know it's in Russia, and I know I don't want to live there.
I was able to get bits and pieces from the few gimmes I had. Occasionally, I'd have enough letters that I could guess a word. Sometimes it turned out to be right.
7D: 1914 Booth Tarkington novel (Penrod). I think we had to read Seventeen when I was in high school, almost forty years ago. Not too surprising that I don't remember a thing about it. According to this site, Seventeen and Penrod were his best -- described as amusing tales about boyhood and adolescence.
I got a laugh from 59D: Initial sounds of a relief effort? (plop plop). Does Alka Seltzer still do those commercials? I guess so. In fact, they had a contest to redo the song. You can see the new commercial here.
Here's a madness that occurs way too often. I have seen the movie at least a half dozen times, and I could not for the life of me remember 100D: The whale in "Pinocchio" (Monstro). I had to have almost all the letters in place before I got it.
Likewise, I struggled with 110A: Dudley Do-Right's love (Nell), even though I could see her, and hear him call her name.
I didn't do any better with 34A: Doc's wife in "Come Back, Little Sheba" (Lola). I remembered that Shirley Booth played her and that I cried at the end.
There is one answer I absolutely cannot make any sense of. Unless I have something wrong with the crosses, how in the world is EGGS the answer to 56D: Adam and Eve, at a diner? I'm sure I'll be embarrassed when I find out the answer. I'm not embarrassed when I don't know something sports related, but I have a feeling this one isn't.
I'm calling it a night. See you tomorrow.