Good To Go

New York Times crossword Aug. 7 / Constructed by Tony Orbach and Jane Smulyan

Vacations are meant for sleeping in, but I find that nearly impossible when I’m on the West Coast. I woke up at 6:30 a.m. PDT and have been off and running ever since. I don’t think I’ve ever solved and blogged the puzzle this early.

Today’s theme is a literal interpretation of the title “Good to Go” — the word “good” is removed from common phrases to make jokes (or what passes for humor in crosswords). The best theme answer gives a nod to NOLA and the NYT with 23 Across, “Start-press order for a New York daily?”: LET THE TIMES ROLL.

Others: “Flippered animal that runs a maid service?” is a HOUSEKEEPING SEAL (39 Across); “Request for candy from a kid at camp?” is SHIP LOLLIPOP (48 Across); “Congratulatory phrase at a ‘Peanuts’ bar mitzvah?” is YOU’RE A MAN, CHARLIE BROWN! (68 Across); “Jaded comment from a constantly updated person?” is NO NEWS IS NEWS (88 Across); “1970s, to a schmaltzy wedding band?” is THE ERA OF FEELINGS (98 Across); and “Amnesiac’s vague recollection of having a hobby?” is I’M INTO SOMETHING (120 Across).

An L.A. Story Dept.: A few months ago, I got one of those EVITES (“Modern party planning aids,” 89 Down) for a junior high school reunion in Los Angeles. (Long story short: I had a very small 9th grade class that has stayed in touch over the years.) My JHS was actually in the Valley, where people — including me — actually said RAD (“Gnarly,” 65 Across) in the 1980s. My husband and I took a late-night flight to LAX, but since we were only in coach, we had no LEG RESTS (“Airplane amenities,” 1 Across). We went to the reunion, which was pretty fun, and are now spending some here before driving up to San Francisco to see some relatives. We’ll fly out of SFO (“W. Coast air hub,” 12 Down) in a few days. Awesome that Will Shortz knew what we were up to this week!

Serendipity Dept.: It just so happens that our beloved Phillies are playing in L.A. on Monday night — and we have tickets. We get to see Roy Halladay pitch and are looking forward to hearing the umps say “YER out!” (34 Down) to many a Dodger. Already the Phils have been racking up the WINS (“Sports column,” 90 Down) over the past week or so.

Tinsel Town Dept.: Since I’m in Hollywood (well, I’m having brunch there in a couple hours), I’ll note the many entertaiment references in today’s puzzle: “Keir of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey‘” is DULLEA (78 Across); “Two-time Oscar nominee Joan” is CUSACK (10 Down); “‘The Producers’ character who sings ‘When You Got It, Flaunt It'” is ULLA (70 Down); “1981 German-language hit film” is DAS BOOT (93 Across); “Actor Rickman” is ALAN (72 Down); and “‘Broken Arrow’ co-star Michael” is ANSARA (79 Down). And, of course, a big Philly shout-out for “‘Rocky III’ co-star” MR. T (64 Across).

Seinfeld Dept.: “TV character who worked for Steinbrenner” is George COSTANZA (127 Across). And “When tripled, et cetera” is YADA (68 Down), as in the awesome “Yada Yada Yada” episode.

Omelet Dept.: There were two “___ eggs” in this puzzle — FABERGE (15 Down) and EASTER (101 Down).

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