Theme: "That's a Wrap" - THATS bookend (wrap) each theme answer.
23A. Husky features : THICK COATS
38A. Disney film featuring Berlioz, Toulouse, Marie and their mom Duchess : THE ARISTOCATS
71A. Tom yum soup servers : THAI RESTAURANTS. I've yet to try Tom yum soup. Looks spicy.
102A. Packages from recent guests, perhaps : THANK YOU GIFTS
123A. The Chicago Bulls had two in the '90s : THREEE PEATS
14A. Trademark caps for Ashton Kutcher and Justin Timberlake : TRUCKER HATS.
71A. Household regulators : THERMOSTATS. The only one-word entry.
LIZ (60A. First name in fashion) gave us a few nice variations: TH*ATS, THA*TS, T*HATS.
Sometimes I get theme of as soon as I see the puzzle title. Sometimes I get it after one or two theme entries appear. Often I get it half-way through solving.
Today I had to study all the theme entries afterwards to grok the gimmick. How about you?
1. Actress Birch : THORA. She's in "American Beauty".
6. Trattoria glassful : VINO
10. Many a GE product : APPL. GE stock is undervalued.
14. Ruse : TRAP
18. Have lunch at home : EAT IN
19. Pressing need? : IRON. We've seen this clue a few times.
20. Set of beliefs : CREED
22. Tear down, in Tottenham : RASE. Clue alliteration.
25. Line at a rodeo? : REATA
26. "QB VII" author : URIS (Leon)
27. "$40 a Day" chef Ray : RACHAEL. Like Marti, She's always bubbly. She coined EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil).
28. __ facto : IPSO
30. Librarian's reminder : SHH
31. Players : CAST
32. Grafton's "__ for Lawless" : L IS
34. Scottish tongue : ERSE
36. Supermodel Wek : ALEK. Hasn't been active the past few years. From Sudan.
44. Nontraditional performance genre : LIVE ART. Like what?
48. Carpet cleaning tool : RUG BEATER
49. Poses : SITS
51. Route to the lungs : AIRWAY
52. Swashbuckler Flynn : ERROL
53. Arise (from) : STEM
55. Codger : COOT
57. High-speed scene : CHASE. Still have not caught the little mouse. I just saw him in our computer room a few minutes ago. He's super fast & clever. He just ignored the 2 traps we have. Maybe we need more traps.
58. Bledel of "Gilmore Girls" : ALEXIS. She has the most beautiful eyes.
62. Fruity treats : PLUM TARTS
64. It ends in Nov. : DST
65. Ready for aromatherapy, say : STRESSED. You've got to watch this cat link Dave found last night. Big stress reliever.
69. Blood typing letters : ABO
70. Spot in front of the telly? : TEA. Clever clue.
74. "I'm not impressed" : MEH
76. "Was __ blame?" : I TO
77. Big Island volcano : MAUNA LOA. Literally, "long mountain".
78. Like a bunch-spoiling apple : BAD
81. Numskull : LAME BRAIN
84. NBC weekend staple : SNL
85. Old Athens enemy : SPARTA. I really like "300".
87. Astrologer to the rich and famous : OMARR (Sydney). Learned from constructing puzzles.
88. One who's not striking : SCAB. 1989 (Tiananmen Square protest) is a very confusing year for me. I don't remember we had any worker/student protest in China before.
90. It has its highs and lows : TIDE
93. Not as warm : ICIER
94. C.P.E. Bach's birthplace : WEIMAR. And 6D. Soloists in Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 : VIOLISTS. Gimme for Jayce/Pas de Chat. Liz Gorski is a musician.
96. "Up and __!" : AT 'EM
98. Court plea : NO CONTEST
100. 2011 World Series champs : ST. LOUIS. Then Pujols left for the Angels during the off season. Money talks. Baseball listens.
104. Symbol of purity : SNOW
105. Time past : YORE
106. Sailor's direction : AFT
107. Clump : TUFT
110. Bread in a jar? : TIP. Look!
112. Gp. with forces : NATO
114. Lasagna cheese : RICOTTA
120. Madonna's "La __ Bonita" : ISLA
121. Call forth : EVOKE
125. Future doc's exam : MCAT
126. Lats' neighbors : DELTS
127. It's south of Vesuvius : ETNA. Volcano.
128. Like ballerinas, at times : ON TOE
129. Cake mix additions : EGGS
130. Late for a party, maybe : LOST
131. Berth place : DOCK. Sweet clue.
132. Some aromatic cakes : SOAPS. Did you sense the "cake" trick immediately?
1. Four: Pref. : TETR. Or Tetra.
2. "Yuk yuk" : HA HA. Har Har for Splynter/Linda.
3. Of the ear : OTIC
4. Like chocolate truffle cake : RICH. At least CCC calories, I think.
5. "Diana" singer : ANKA
7. Lyricist Gershwin : IRA
8. Words of denial : NOT I
9. How freelancers may work : ON SPEC
10. Puzzle book offering : ACROSTIC
11. Teen leader? : PRE. Preteen.
12. Pod veggies : PEAS
13. "__ Weapon" : LETHAL
15. __ avis : RARA
16. Yard sale caveat : AS IS. I love neighborhood garage/yard sales.
17. Recurring pain? : PEST
21. Mexico's national flower : DAHLIA
24. "Drink to me only with thine eyes" dedicatee : CELIA. Never heard of this song.
29. Span. ladies : SRAs
33. Editor's "leave it" : STET
35. Legally bar : ESTOP
37. Kick out : EVICT
38. Gripping pattern : TREAD
39. Throws : HURLS
40. Everglades bird : EGRET
41. "... like __ of chocolates" : A BOX. "Forrest Gump".
42. Dog topper : RELISH. Do you put ketchup on your hotdog? Boomer does. He also over-cooks livers. He said livers have to be cooked thoroughly.
43. Bully's words : OR ELSE
45. Mindful : AWARE
46. Dreaded Jamaican? : RASTA. Nailed it. Bob Marley visited a friend's Chinese herb shop ages ago.
47. Nautical ropes : TYES. Can anyone provide a picture?
50. Toyota Camry model : SOLARA
54. Midler's "Divine" nickname : MISS M
56. Friend of Shylock : TUBAL. Don't recall this character.
59. Way up : STAIR
61. Z's overseas : ZETAS. Greek.
63. Old hi-fis : MONOS
66. Coolidge and Hayworth : RITAs
67. Symphony that includes a funeral march : EROICA. The second movement is a funeral march.
68. Intimidate : DAUNT
72. Disconnect : UNLINK
73. Recording : TAPING
74. "The Cryptogram" playwright : MAMET (David). Never heard of "The Cryptogram".
75. Online message : EMAIL
78. Lawyer's document : BRIEF
79. "This is only __" : A TEST
80. Bar fliers : DARTS
81. Valleys : LOWS
82. Big name in coffee makers : BRAUN. Part of P&G now.
83. Smartly dressed : NATTY. Nothing natty. But this is the best jorts picture I've seen.
86. Theater opening : ACT I
89. "Don't play games with me" : BE HONEST. Nice long entry.
91. 1977 ELO hit : DO YA
92. Environmental extremist : ECO FREAK. So many go extreme on organic food too.
95. Reacted with outrage, as a mob : RIOTED
97. Rooney __, who played Salander in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" : MARA. Lots of talk about this movie in our blog when it's first released.
99. Navel type : OUTIE
101. Turn at the bar, perhaps : SWIVEL
103. Brought home : NETTED
107. Coach's call : TIME
108. "The Perfect Storm" rescue gp. : USCG (United States Coast Guard)
109. Penalty __ : FLAG. Thought of KICK first.
111. Game divided into chukkers : POLO. I googled "chukkers" before,, then I promptly forgot.
113. "__ Be in Love": Kate Bush song : OH TO. Here is the clip.
115. Naval noncoms : CPOs. Spitzboov was a Commander when he retired from the Navy Reserve.
116. Vintner's prefix : OENO. Oenophile.
117. "Later," in London : TA TA
118. Camaro roof option : T-TOP
119. Grieg's "__ Death" : ASE'S
122. Gold meas. : KTs (Karats)
124. GOP platform-promoting org. : RNC. They just elected a new Chairman on Friday. Same old one.
The Second Minnesota Crossword Tournament will be held on Feb 2, 2013. Click here for details. All the puzzles are made by locals or people with MN ties, including one by Don and me.