08.17.08 -- FADE-OUTS

Sunday, August 17, 2006
FADE-OUTS, Puzzle by Caleb Madison, edited by Will Shortz
Leaving off the last letter of film titles to produce a new one constitutes the weak humor of eight interrelated across entries -- THEMALTESEFALCO (24. Movie about a “Sopranos”-like actress from the Mediterranean?); CALIFORNIASUIT (30. Movie adaptation of “L.A. Law”?); THREEDAYSOFTHECONDO (39. Movie about a time-share?); AHARDDAYSNIGH (59. Movie about the coming of difficult times?); THEELEPHANTMA (71. Movie about one of Dumbo’s parents?); NIGHTOFTHELIVINGDEA (88. Movie about a narco’s worst dream?); BEVERLYHILLSCO (102. Movie about a bus. On Rodeo Drive?); and ACLOCKWORKORANG (113. Movie about the zoo’s most punctual simian?).
We are spared GONEWITHTHEWIN (Movie about a losing gambler's life savings?); THEWIZARDOFO (Movie about a magically entrepreneurial talk-show host?); NOCOUNTRYFOROLDME (Movie about a kvetching elderly exile?); CASABLANC (Movie about a darkly mysterious Spanish residence in France?); MIDNIGHTCOWBO (Movie about unpleasant odors in a barnyard at an ungodly hour?) and hundreds of other “titles”, simply because this puzzle, and its solvers, can handle just so much!
The remainder of the crossword RUNSAMOK (119A. Goes wild) with a hefty dose of arduous, ill-fitting and time-worn clues for resulting entries of a humdrum nature accompanied by a messy smattering of “stuck-with-this-bunch-of-letters-what-can-they-be-clued-as?”, e.g., AAS, AHME, ANSA, DOH, DREI, DRT, EOE, ESE, GAIA, IAM, ICS, INE, IOR, ITA, KMS, KSU, NIA, OWN, RAI, SALA, SUM, SWE, USIA, VON, etc.
UNCLESAM, however, gets a rather nice clue -- Pointer on a poster. So does STRAYCAT (84D. Lost Persian, e.g.). SHMEAR (98A. Bagel topping) is probably humorous. SATTIGHT (4D. Didn’t make a move) and FELLOVER (87D. Toppled) are a symmetrically-placed pair. If I can think of anything else, I’ll let you know.
Across: 1. Edges of the track; 5. Scores 100 on a est; 11. Mother and wife of Uranus: Var.; 15. Suffix with electron; 18. It surrounds a lens; 19. Sugar in tea, e.g.; 26. Many a Turk; 28. Simile part; 29. Oscar and Tony winner Mercedes; 34. The original Jefferson Airplane, e.g.; 35. Rift; 38. Back-to-work time: Abbr.; 37. Hardware store section; 48. Add or delete, say; 50. 2000 title role for Richard Gere; 51.English 8-Down; 52. Popular movie house name; 53. Middle of many German names; 54. As a friend to François; 56. Comparable to a beet?; 58. Crowd in Berlin?; 63. Nearest the heart; 65. Notes from short people?; 66. Spike TV, once; 67. Former Voice of America org.; 68. Together; 77. Room in la casa; 78. Meat Loaf’s “Rocky Horror Picture Show” role; 81. Highest score achievable by a single dart in darts; 82. Der Blaue Reiter artist; 83. Polo alternatives; 85. Recovery grps.; 86. I, to Claudius; 87. Advertiser’s “magic word”; 95. Bank quote; 96. “The Matrix” role; 97 Person in a tree: Abbr.; 110. Causing a ruckus; 111. Job spec.; 112. Canonized Norwegian king; 118. AVANT-jazz (music style); 120. Upholsterer’s sample; 121. Rock’s end; 122. Linguistic suffix; 123. They connote disapproval; 124. Information technology giant; 125. Pull (in).
Down: 1. Rapper with the 1996 nine-time platinum album “All Eyez on Me”; 2. Trump’s first; 3. Kind of colony; 5. Moving; 6. George who was nicknamed “the man who owned Broadway”; 7. 1985 Peter Yates-directed movie; 8. Latin 51-Across; 9. “Make ITA double”; 10. Abbr. on a business card; 11. “Saturday Night Live” has a new one every week; 12. Handle, in archaeology; 13. Whack; 14. Like a picnic; 15. Cay; 16. Pirate’s secret; 17. Young salmon; 21. French waters; 23. Until now; 25. Mai TAI; 27. Canter; 31. Actress Adams, star of 2007’s “Enchanted”; 32. Cry when going down?; 33. One in Oaxaca; 34. Neighbor of Nor.; 38. Words of woe; 39. Turner of records; 40. Writer Buchanan and others; 41. Strong cart; 42. Screen sites; 43. Angle; 44. One who’s out; 45. “I, Claudius” role; 46. Impersonates; 47. “I’ll do that right away!”; 48. “Deliver Us From EVA” (2003 film); 49. “Dumb, dumb, dumb!”; 54. Bring out; 55. Words before dark or black; 56. Keats’s “The Eve of St. AGNES; 57. Gossiping; 60. Oil capital; 61. Get into; 62. Like Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7; 64. Actress Vardalos; 67. “Oil” author Sinclair; 68. “… as it ISIN heaven”; 69. “Casablanca” extra; 70. Toil; 71. Nickname on “The Addams Family”; 72. Schreiber of “The Manchurian Candidate”; 73. W.W. II vet, e.g.; 74. “Gone With the Wind” setting; 75. Soldier’s food, for short; 76. Impersonate; 79. Potty; 80. Meeting planners; 89. Regatta trophy; 90. P.O. delivery; 91. Novelist Harper; 92. Super finish?; 93. Expression for the Joker; 94. Buildup around the mouth; 98. Take in; 99. HOCUS-pocus; 100. Author who wrote “Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?”; 101. Those in Tijuana; 103. Always, poetically; 104. Aspiring atty.’s hurdles; 105. Old TV’s “YANCY Derringer”; 106. Thrills; 107. Ballot listing; 108. “Oh, pretty please?”; 109. Time and again; 111. “Star Wars” critter; 114. Tour de France units: Abbr.; 115. The Wildcats of the Big 12 Conf.; 116. Not lease, say; 117. Vessel for Thor Heyerdahl.
It’s midnight -- fade-out…
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