12.16.07 -- No "L"

Sunday, December 16, 2007
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MOVIES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED -- Puzzle by David J. Kahn and Steve Kahn, edited by Will Shortz
NOELNEILL (78D Lois Lane player of early TV, whose first name is a hint to this puzzle’s theme) is as it says, however weakly, a clue for ten inter-related entries -- e.g., puns upon noted film titles achieved by excluding the letter "L". ...Switching "L"'s was the motif of the inter-related entries of the November 18th NYT crossword, today they have just disappeared:
DEADMANWAKING (24A Prison movie about a medical miracle?);
THESANTACAUSE (31A Tim Allen comedy about unionizing seasonal workers?);
PUPFICTION (50A Prequel to “Reservoir Dogs?”);
THE SEVENTHSEA (64A Ingmar Bergman classic narrated by Jacques Cousteau?);
THEGODRUSH (79A Chaplin comedy about a religious migration?);
SNAKESONAPANE (98A Chiller about glass-climbing reptiles?);
WAROFTHEWORDS (109A Tom Cruise action thriller about a nasty argument?);
MENINBACK (6D Sci-fi movie about gender discrimination?);
ANIMAHOUSE (38D Spoof about the soul of a fraternity?); and
THEBIGSEEP (42D Bogart/Bacall mystery about serious basement dampness?).
Oddly, NOEL NEILL was one of the last entries that I filled in -- so, so much for being a hint to anything! Of course, as a nod to the season, and a tie-in for the puzzle, NOEL is certainly welcome!
Now 87, Noel Neill lives in a home in the Santa Monica Canyon, not far from Jack Larson (Jimmy Olsen), enjoying golf and bridge.
Continuing her involvement in the world of Superman, Noel Neill was cast in the role of Gertrude Vanderworth, the rich elderly woman whom Lex Luthor befriended, in the 2006 blockbuster film "Superman Returns".
Click on individual images above for film references at Wikipedia.
A cast for these “movies you may have missed” is presented in the puzzle with the appearance of such puzzle personalities as MOM and DAD, EVE (without Adam), PAULINE, TREBEK, DINESEN, NYES, ANGELINA, ARLO, HERA, SRAS, STPAT, ELLIS, ALI, DESI, AARON, KOP, OTOE, IRENE, PHYS, HERO, SALS, MATA, MINER, ENGRS, and a special appearance by ELSIE (99D Pitcher of milk?) the Cow!
Music could be provided by 1A COSI fan tutte”; 35A “Born Under ABAD Sign” (1960s blues album); 87A Conductor ESA-Pakka Salonen; 93A Joan Baez’s “Farewell, ANGELINA,” written by Bob Dylan; 108A It’s ASIN” (Pet Shop Boys hit); 4D Jazz guitar great Herb ELLIS; with a 49D Medieval hymn start (DIES), along with IDIE, 51D Romeo’s last words, as lyrics.
Dialogue: 21A. ALAS (“Too bad”); 34A. RATS (“Loser’s cry); 60. YESORNO (“Answer the question”); 63A. ANI (“Request to Vanna White); 13D. ISWEAR (“Honest!”); 14D. JOKES (Good ones are cracked); 32D AAH (“Delightful!”); 66D. “My HERO!”; 93. ASIF (“Like, no way!”); 96D “Just ASI thought!”; and 104D IWIN (104D Victor‘s cry).
Throw it all together and open it at a neighborhood theater near us -- it won’t get PANNED (50D Awarded zero stars, say) -- it’s pure Hollywood!
For today’s cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
The New York Times Crossword Puzzle solution above is by the author of this blog and does not guarantee accuracy. If you find errors or omissions, you are more than welcome to make note of same in the Comments section of this post -- any corrections found necessary will be executed promptly upon verification.
Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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1. Current; 7. One making a delivery; 10. “___ fan tutte”; 14. Get set; 18. Fished with a baited line; 20. Garden figure; 21. “Too bad”; 22. Cookie introduced in 1912; 23. Movie critic Kael; 27. Wine made from the moscato blanco grape; 28. O.K.: Var.; 30. Global warming?; 34. Loser’s cry; 35. “Born Under ____ Sign” (1960s blues album); 36. Monkey business; 38. I.S.P. of note; 41. In addition; 44. With 95-Down, investigate; 45. Court pseudonym; 46. Pay to play; 47. Home of golf’s Sony Open; 48. Turn over; 53. Onetime host of “Classic Concentration” 55. Home of Chennai; 58. Airports; 59. Judicial cover-ups?; 60. “Answer the question”; 62. Tuscany city; 63. Request to Vanna White; 67. Brick holder; 70. Scintilla; 72. “Out of Africa” author; 73. With 69-Down, not just hard of hearing; 75. Positive potential; 77. Meal with bitter herbs; 78. Cloud of gas and dust; 83. Attend; 85. On and after; 86. Funny Louis and others; 87. Conductor ___ - Pekka Salonen; 88. Game resembling crazy eights; 90l Like the letters on a dreidel; 92. Kreskin claim; 93. Joan Baez’s “Farewell, ___,” written by Bob Dylan; 96. “____ and Janis” (comic strip); 97. Part of the Old World; 104. Stamp; 107. Private telephone channel; 108. “It’s ___” (Pet Shop Boys hit); 112. Embellishment; 114. Thingum; 115. Jealous Olympian; 116. Skull and Bones member, e.g.; 117. One heading down a slippery slope; 118. Sonoma neighbor; 119. Oaxaca women: Abbr.; 120. Red ___ #2; 121. Hens, but not roosters. Down: 1. Parade honoree, for short; 2. Refuse; 3. Way to go; 4. Jazz guitar great Herb ___; 5. Laila who dances in and out of the ring; 7. French red; 8. Had thirds, maybe; 9. Meter or liter; 190. Pic taker; 11. Suffix with pay; 12. Nautical danger; 13. “Honest!”; 14. Good ones are cracked; 15. Home of 1-Down; 16. Advanced; 17. Expensive box; 19. Toothed, botanically; 25. 1950s TV name; 26. Part of D.A.: Abbr.; 29. Pops; 32. “Delightful!”; 33. Creamy color; 37. Keystone ___; 39. Midwest native; 40. Magnifier; 41. Singer ___ Neville; 43. London Underground, with “the”; 44. Intuited; 46. Loads; 47. Other: Sp.; 49. Medieval hymn start; 50. Awarded zero stars, say; 51. Romeo’s last words; 52. Goalie’s area; 54. Chihuahua, por ejemplo; 58. Not wanting to fight, say; 57. Sister of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands; 60. Itch; 61. County of Cooperstown, N.Y.; 62. ID theft target; 65. Hotfooted it; 66. “My ___!”; 68. Turned down, in a way; 69. See 73-Across; 71. Fixes; 74. Winter lift?; 75. ___ Reader; 76. M.D.; 80. Assemble again; 81. Operate; 82. Pizzeria in Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing”; 84. Assemblages; 88. Not shown; 89. With nothing to hide; 91. Vampy wear; 93. “Like, no way!”; 94. Odd shares; 95. See 44-Across; 96. “Just ___ thought!”; 97. Kitchen attraction; 99. Pitcher of milk?; 100. ___ wagon; 101. In reserve; 102. Cowboy rival; 103. Many Rice grads: Abbr.; 104. Victor’s cry; 105. ___ Hari; 106. Get set; 110. Disco ___; 111. Had a life; 113. Clover locale.

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