Those of us who love Patrick Berry's puzzles are fortunate in that we don't have to wait very long in between them.
The title of Sunday's puzzle, "Extra Syll-uh-bles," gave us enough information to know that we were in for some puns...in this case, some really good ones.
The eight theme answers are all well-known phrases (or people)...with an extra "uh" added to them, creating new phrases which are then clued.
22A: Waistband sold in stores? (buyable belt)...the very last one to fall.
27A: Wiser from an ethical perspective? (morally safer).
32A: Fighting force trained by Pavlov? (the salivation army)...the funniest of the bunch.
56A: Freelance autopsist? (coroner on the market).
63A: Catchy song parts heard on "Name That Tune"? (hummable beginnings). I'd have to say that was my favorite.
81A: Stones and brickbats? (rioting implements).
92A: Store that peddles political influence? (rent a senator).
99A: Boiled lobster's feature? (red skeleton). I'm sure we weren't the only kids who thought that was his real name.
Lots of good trivia in this one...people, places and things to remember for future puzzles:
1A: Diane of "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" (Ladd).
21A: World capital formerly a pirate stronghold (Rabat).
39A: Auto superseded by the Rambler (Nash)...we had one in the early sixties and loved the song about it. This clip of "Beep Beep" includes pictures of a 1959 Rambler...a classic.
40A: Actress Susan of "L.A. Law" (Dey). That was one of my all-time favorite television shows. Here's Grace with Michael, the love of her life. Susan was also Laurie Partridge and a Breck girl, among other things.
49A: City just west of Silver Springs (Ocala). Growing up in south Florida, we spent a lot of long weekends...so much to see.
59A: Renaissance painter Uccello (Paolo).
61A: Lady Bird Johnson's given birth name (Claudia). I knew that once but forgot it...needed crosses to remind me.
66A: Country with a camel on its coat of arms (Eritrea).
68A: Captain Hook's mate in "Peter Pan" (Smee)...appearing frequently in crossword grids.
90A: Attorney general during Reagan's second term (Meese)...and the only attorney general other than Janet Reno that I can always remember.
105A: Barrett of gossip (Rona).
108A: Only beardless one of the Seven Dwarfs (Dopey)...and the cutest, by far.
9D: "__ the Wanderer" (1820 gothic novel) (Melmoth). According to this article, it was "widely acknowledged by critics as the last great Gothic novel." I'm ashamed to admit that I'd never heard of it and only got it from crosses.
10D: Composer Pachelbel (Johann). Here's my favorite. If the music isn't enough to take you away, the pictures in this clip...from sunrise to sunset...are stunning.
19D: Premium vodka brand, for short (Stoli). It's my brand of choice...both times that I drink vodka in any year.
21D: N.F.L. star Grier (Rosey). I haven't yet committed his spelling to memory, and I always write Rosie first.
30D: Buchanan's secretary of state (Cass).
34D: Architect Jones (Inigo). I remember the name only because it's been in the puzzle at least once.
37D: Actress Witherspoon (Reese).
43D: "Tattered Tom" author (Alger).
48D: John of "The Addams Family" (Astin).
49D: Self-descriptive fruit (orange). I love the clue...but an orange isn't just a thing. It's also a person we all know and love...even if she did this puzzle in just over nine minutes.
58D: Founding member of the Dadaists (Hans Arp).
84D: Ohm of Ohm's law (Georg)...love the name.
85D: Queen of mystery (Ellery)...a brilliant clue.
86D: 2005 Best Picture winner (Crash). It was a good film...very intense...but it didn't get my vote. Not that the Academy cared.
87D: __ Sorrel (woman in a love triangle in "Adam Bede") (Hetty).
94D: __ Roberts, first inductee into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame (Nora).
My favorite clues...13A: They may be big fellers (saws), 30A: Two points? (colon) and 79D: Think that might is right? (misread)...the best one of all.
59D: Place to keep Mace (purse). I'll use this as an opportunity to show off my new purse from 1154 Lill Studio. Even if you don't buy a purse, it's fun to go to their site and design one...or two...or three. It takes about four weeks for them to make your custom-ordered purse...mine has already shipped and should arrive midweek. In addition to choosing the fabrics for the outside, I was able to choose fabric for the lining and the inside pocket. This is my second Lill purse, and it won't be my last. Orange also has a couple of them...one is seen in "Wordplay."
I've been at this far too long, and I have much to do today. Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.