Brendan Emmett Quigley (often referred to as BEQ) usually gives me a run for my money, and this Sunday puzzle was more of the same. Generally, though, the theme gives me a leg up...with Pinball Wizard as the title of this one, I knew that help was not forthcoming.
Since I'm only familiar with the very basics of pinball, I may very well miss a theme answer...or include one that shouldn't have been. I trust that someone will let me/us know.
22A: Fight imaginary foes (tilt at windmills).
115A: Former L.A. Ram who holds the N.F.L. record for most receiving yards in a game (336) (Flipper Anderson).
5D: Test extras (bonus questions).
15D: Opening track of "The Beatles' Second Album" (Roll Over Beethoven). I'm sure of the answer...not sure how roll over relates to pinball.
30D: Einstein subject (special relativity). Again...special?
33D: Push for more business orders (ramp up sales).
46D: Good farming results (bumper crops).
53D: Awarding of huge settlements to plaintiffs, in modern lingo (jackpot justice).
What about 39D: Sloping surfaces next to sinks (drainboards)? Does drain have something to do with pinball?
Favorites (clues and/or answers) include 6A: Ancient pueblo dwellers (Anasazi), 18A: Muse with a wreath of myrtle and roses (Erato), 19A: Together (in unison)...same clue recently for as a team, 27A: Sylph in Pope's "The Rape of the Lock" (Ariel)...a mermaid wouldn't have been a Sunday clue, 32A: "Sixteen Tons" singer, 1955 (Ernie Ford), 45A: Italian restaurant chain (Sbarro)...thanks to Don for that one, 49A: "Alice in Wonderland" sister (Lacie), 53A: "Lawrence of Arabia" composer Maurice (Jarre), 63A: How headings are often typed (in caps), 75A: Certain T-shirt design (iron-on), 83A: "Pearly Shells" singer (Don Ho), 107A: Starts, as rehab (checks into), 110A: Upper __ (Volta), 128A: Post with a column (Emily), 1D: Missal location (pew), 8D: Aardvark (ant bear), 9D: __ Phillips, who played Livia in "I, Claudius" (Siân)...pictured at right, 29D: Peripatetic sort (nomad), 34D: House of Lancaster symbol (red rose), 67D: Marathoner Alberto (Salazar)...check out his time on the clock, 82D: "Were that so!" (I wish), 93D: "Bambi" author (Salten) and 96D: Sovereign's representative (Viceroy).
It was interesting to see both of my childhood homes in the puzzle...64D: The Nutmeg State: Abbr. (Conn.) and 115D: Fourth-most populous state, just after N.Y. (Fla.). I was born in the first...raised in the second. Since I can no longer tolerate humidity, I'm very happy to be in Colorado rather than either of those places.
In order to breeze through this one (have I mentioned that I didn't?), you had to be up on television, literature, music...
13A: Norm of "This Old House" (Abram). We've had it before, and I still didn't remember it.
21A: Bill formerly of the Rolling Stones (Wyman).
24A: Richard __, 2002 Pulitzer winner for Fiction (Russo).
99D: "Deadwood" figure (Earp).
10D: Old film pooch (Asta)...the first crosswordese I committed to memory.
20D: Oscar-winning Brody (Adrien). I don't know how I've missed seeing this guy in a single movie, but I have.
48D: Klinger portrayer on "M*A*S*H" (Farr).
74D: Actor James (Caan).
Most favorite clue in the puzzle...20A: Tell things? (arrows). I was on the right track, except that I had apples.
Other crosswordese appearances...for which I was extremely grateful...include 26A: __ B'rith (B'nai), 41A: Nails (aces), 51A: Each (a pop), 68A: "Survivor" setting, often (isle), 59D: Early anti-Communist (tsar), 62D: Mix (olio), 91D: Edsel driver's gas choice (Esso) and 112D: Month in which Moses is said to have been born and died (Adar)...the only Hebrew month I know.
Time to wrap this up. I'm looking forward to spending what will be a beautiful sunny day in the yard...planting my herb garden and tomatoes, doing a bit of pruning, maybe some weeding.
Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.