Oct 19, 2017

Thursday October 19 2017 Bruce Haight

Theme: Aural Plurals - repeat the last letter of each theme answer and listen to the result:

17A. Southern dish, so we hear : BLACK-EYED PP (Peas). Food! I'm happy already.

25A. World's navigable waters, so we hear : SEVEN CC (Seas) I wanted to link the OMD song from the 80's for this, but I went back to listen to it on YouTube, and, actually, it really wasn't very good. I thought that I remembered that the drum riff intro was awesome, but, in hindsight, it was - pants What happened to the bass?I must have imagined it. See  what you think? Maybe I had "drink taken", as my Irish family would say. I was young. Moving on.

36A. Welcome relief, so we hear : A SIGHT FOR SORE II (Eyes)

48A. Suggestive dance, so we hear : STRIP TT (Tease)


57A. Warning hint, so we hear : WORD TO THE YY (Wise)

Another cracking puzzle from Bruce. I tumbled to the theme right off the bat, but that didn't spoil my amusement one bit. The fill is great, the theme entries all very much fun, and those 6's, 8's and 10's in the downs just speak to the quality of the construction.

There are a couple or more candidate theme phrases out there that spring to mind such as THE BIRDS AND THE BB, Yellow Submarine's A LIFE OF EE, TORONTO BLUE JJ, POOL QQ but probably not enough to expand this to a Sunday-size. Shame, because I'm sure Bruce could to a sterling job with a 21x21.

Anyway, great stuff, Bruce! Let's see what else jumps out - BOO! - it is Hallowe'en season after all.


1. Wing it : AD LIB

6. Doing battle : AT WAR

11. Quarterback Brady : TOM. Just this week, the New York Giant's GM at the time, Ernie Accorsi, revealed that he ignored pleas from one of his staff to draft Brady in the 6th round and regretted it ever since. Brady fell to the Patriots and look how that turned out, but Ernie shouldn't be so tough on himself. No-one else saw that coming.

14. "Fun With Dick and Jane" (2005) actress : LEONI

15. Hourglass, e.g. : SHAPE. TIMER sprung to mind first.

16. Political commentator Navarro : ANA

19. Tap site : KEG. Tried BAR first. Then I got to 33A and out it came.

20. Justice Dept. branch : A.T.F.  Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Sounds like a "Bring Your Own" party invitation somewhere out in West Texas.

21. Fair : EVEN

22. What "A" is for, in Sue Grafton's mystery series : ALIBI

24. Hot rod? : SPIT. Food! reference. Think rotisserie.

27. __ Friday : CASUAL. I had CA**AL and was wondering why I'd never heard of CARNAL FRIDAY nor been invited to an event.

30. Savory Chinese snack : TEA EGG Food! A boiled egg is cracked, then boiled again in tea and five-spice powder before being shelled.

31. Manufacturing facility : PLANT

32. Manhattan developer? : BAR. Manhattan as in the cocktail, not the island borough, more of which we see below.

33. #1 texting pal : BFF

41. Sevilla sun : SOL

42. Nice way to say no? : NON. Nice, en France. Sur la mer Méditerranée. I have an unpaid parking ticket from a summer trip to Nice about mumble years ago. Did they seriously expect me to pay? Je dit NON!

So,if you're now driving a 1992 red UK-registered Acura Integra, license plate F488 OLC, and reading this, contemplating a trip to Nice, be warned. You're on the hook for about 500 Francs, converted to Euros now, plus penalties, let's say about twelve billion with accrued interest. Be careful.

43. __ signs : VITAL

44. "I bet!" : OH SURE!

47. Composes, as music for a poem : SETS TO. I've been looking this one up and down for a little while. I'm OK with it, I think.

50. Put on : WORE

51. Hindu class : CASTE. We are heading into Diwali, the great Hindu "festival of light" which runs for five days, this year starting today on the 19th. I was lucky enough to be in Mumbai for Diwali one year, it was quite beautiful.

52. Works on walls : OILS. Not MURALS then? Nope, can't force six letters into four squares.

53. Nursery complaint : WAH!

56. __ Dhabi : ABU

61. "Little ol' me?" : MOI?

62. "Middlemarch" novelist : ELIOT. George Eliot, a pen-name for Mary Ann Evans. She used the nom de plume as she thought she'd have a better chance of publishers accepting her work if they thought she was a guy. Looks like it worked out for her.

63. Flowed back : EBBED

64. Soup cooker : POT

65. Criticize sharply : DECRY. I think sharply and loudly. I'm not sure you can quietly decry.

66. Butch and Sundance chasers : POSSE


1. Goya's "Duchess of __" : ALBA. He painted her a bunch of times, including the famous reclining studies of her dressed and undressed. This one is a little less risqué:

2. Muscle used to raise your hand in school, for short : DELToid. Fun clue.

3. Lollygag : LOAF

4. "Monsters, __" : INC

5. Spokesperson's route? : BIKE PATH. Very nice.

6. Till now : AS YET

7. In those days : THEN

8. Gum ball : WAD

9. Galaxy download : APP. The Galaxy smartphone.

10. Maintain, as roads : RE-PAVE

11. Bookie's work : TAKING BETS

12. Last non-AD yr. : ONE B.C. Apparently we should use BCE/CE now to avoid upsetting sensitive folk.

13. Tricks : MAGIC

18. Wicked : EVIL

23. Cut of lamb : LEG! More Food! I love leg of lamb. I either roast it bone-in for a British-style Sunday lunch, or bone it, butterfly it and grill it for a more Mediterranean-style treatment.

24. Belted out : SUNG, lustily.

25. Burn slightly : SEAR

26. They may ring or have rings : EARS

27. Calculating pros : CPA'S

28. Plus : ALSO

29. Outfit with bell-bottom trousers : SAILOR SUIT. Here's a great clip from the Broadway musical "On The Town" filmed on the streets of the city.

30. Steak named for its shape : T-BONE. Food! Flatiron (another New York landmark!) didn't fit. Tri-tip would work too, it's triangular, hence the name. Someone tried to tell me once that the New York Strip is so-called because it's the same shape as Manhattan. Not buying that one.

34. Bravo automaker : FIAT

35. Dough used in baklava : FILO

37. Letter-shaped fastener : T-NUT. I thought these were the same as wing nuts, but no.

38. One might be made of sheets and pillows : FORT

39. Exceed, as a boundary : OVERSTEP

40. Bris, e.g. : RITE. Crosses filled this in for me, I didn't see it until I came to the write up.

45. Flop's opposite : HIT

46. Gushed : SPEWED

47. Go it alone : SOLO

48. Rapscallion : SCAMP

49. Just not done : TABOO

50. Quick with comebacks : WITTY

52. Funk : ODOR

53. Halloween decor : WEBS

54. All in favor : AYES

55. Literary alter ego : HYDE. Dr. Jekyll's alter, and more unpleasant, ego.

58. Stadium cry : OLÉ!

59. Wrestler Flair nicknamed "The Nature Boy" : RIC. Thank you, crosses. Ric Ocasek from "The Cars" is the only Ric on my radar.

60. "Entourage" channel : HBO "Home Box Office", originally. No longer abbreviated! They make some great original programming. So great that I cancelled my subscription last year. Still trying to figure out the rationale behind that one.

Grid? Here it is! Hasta luego!

Actually, this has nothing whatever to do with the puzzle today, but I came across a recording of "La Bamba" this week (while I was doing my Spanish language homework) that I want to share. Click this link, put your screen into full size, crank up your volume and enjoy three minutes of really joyful music.The producers put together a virtual band from all around the world and recorded the result. Baby-Black-Dombe is only slightly cheating by not singing in Spanish, but the whole thing is fantastic!

Yo no soy marinero, soy capitan, soy capitan!