Tots rally around an improbable tale (4,5) - TALL STORY
Anagram of 'Tots rally'. 'rally around' is the anagram indicator
The crosswords that appear in American newspapers involve just straight clues -- these are both easier and harder than the UK/Indian word play crosswords. The easier ones are the ones that are plain definitions. The harder clues (for me at least) often require knowledge of pop culture. For example:
Typically green tube (Ans: garden hose)Also depending on the newspaper in question, the straight clues are either quite straightforward (e.g. the ones that appear in the Norman Transcript) or quite snooty. How snooty? Look at this blog explaining the results to a New York Times crossword. You are supposed to know that "Sapsago" is a cheese with a greenish tint. And to explain the statement in the blog about it being a "Saturday" crossword, crosswords on different days of the week have increasing levels of difficulty. Mondays are the easiest and Saturdays are the hardest, with Sunday somewhere around Thursday's level.
"Mr. _____," 1983 comedy (Ans: Mom)