Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday, Jun 23, 2011, Bill Thompson

Theme: Spot a bomb in a bull: Hidden snowmen.

20A. When to say night-night: BEDDY BYE TIME.

28A. Ohio Stadium purchase: BUCKEYE TICKETS. Why would anyone pick this for their team mascot name? The tree species Aesculus glabra is commonly known as Ohio buckeye, American buckeye, or fetid buckeye. It derives its unflattering common name from the disagreeable odor generated from the flowers, crushed leaves, broken twigs, or bruised bark.

42A. Advance sale teaser line: NOT YET IN STORES.

47A. Dubious Himalayan headline and phenomenon in 20-, 28- and 42-Across: YETI SIGHTING.

Hi all, Al here, time is kind of tight, so I'll have to be brief...


1. Improvise at the jazz club: VAMP. From revamp, to fix or make over. A vamp is the part of a stocking that covers the foot and ankle, so revamping originally meant meant mending socks.

5. Butt (in): HORN. Cowboy slang, comparison to buffalo behavior.

9. Oncle's spouse: TANTE. French: Uncle, Aunt.

14. River to the Fulda: EDER.

15. Its French name means "high wood": OBOE. Hautbois.

16. Sun Valley locale: IDAHO. Scenic.

17. Move, briefly: RELOcate.

18. Monument Valley sight: MESA. Also very scenic.

19. Many a Justin Bieber fan: TWEEN. Know your audience, I guess...

23. Former Mideast org.: UAR. United Arab Republic, Egypt + Syria.

24. Author of the Yiddish memoir "And the World Remained Silent": WIESEL. A common crossword clue, turned into an answer (ELIE).

33. Swiss Guard charges: POPES. Why would there be a Swiss Guard in the middle of Rome, Italy?

34. Quick: AGILE. Almost directly from Latin: agilis, nimble or quick.

35. Chinese tea: CHA.

36. Prunes: LOPS. Verb use to cut, not dried plums.

37. Georgia of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show": ENGEL.

38. "Cinque, dieci, venti, trenta" in "The Marriage of Figaro," e.g.: DUET. Five, ten, twenty, thirty.  Figaro is measuring the space where the bridal bed will fit while Susanna is trying on her wedding bonnet in front of the mirror.

39. Yellowfin tuna: AHI. A sushi staple.

40. Estate home: MANOR. The main house.

41. Sounds content: PURRS.

45. "I love what you do for me" automaker: TOYOTA. Anagrams to: Hey! You motivated a fool or two.

46. Big-house link: AS A.

54. Peer in a box: JUROR. Peer as an equal (from Latin "par"), not "to look" as with "appear".

57. Relinquish: CEDE.

58. Golfer Aoki: ISAO. He only plays with golf balls marked with the number 5. That number is pronounced "Go" in Japanese, and his goal is to never shoot higher than that on a hole.

59. Japanese art genre: ANIME.  Animation (cartoons) often expanded from Manga (comic books).

60. Oregon Trail team: OXEN.

61. Sommelier's prefix: OENO. Wine.

62. Lose it: GO MAD.

63. Distance swimmer Diana: NYAD. At the age of 61, this summer she will attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida (103 miles) without a shark cage.

64. Pont __: Paris bridge: NEUF. The name means "new bridge", but is the oldest bridge across the Seine. It connects the Rive Droit (right bank) with the Rive Gauche (left bank).  Now I have an urge to get my guitar out and re-learn this...


1. 3-Down, e.g.: VERB. Ah, yes, the referential clue mixed with a literal meaning.  It's definitely Thursday.

2. "Zip-__-Doo-Dah": A-DEE. From Song of the South, sung by Uncle Remus (James Baskett).

3. Blend: MELD. Related word: meddle.

4. Yields: PRODUCES.

5. Man of La Mancha: HOMBRE. Spanish man.

6. Mind: OBEY. A strange associative progression from the word mind, originally meaning memory, or remembering: "Mind your Manners", "Never you mind about that". Those kinds of phrases were commands, which instilled the sense of needing to obey: mind your elders.

7. See 12-Down: ROSE. 12D. With 7-Down, Bette Midler classic: THE. A lot of people seem to like Bette, and they are allowed to, but she's not really my cup of tea.  Feel free to provide your own links in the comments.

8. Bourbon order: NEAT. Unadulterated, free from impurities (like water from melting ice).

9. They may be tufted: TITMICE. Having a cardinal's peak.

10. Magazine that highlights Clio winners: ADWEEK. A magazine about advertising.  In other words, a magazine.

11. "Sorry, laddie": NAE. Scottish.

13. Quite a span: EON. Time, not distance.

21. Goes on and on: YAKS. What I do sometimes.

22. Volunteer's offer: I WILL.

25. Like an encrypted transmission, in theory: SECURE.

26. Old anesthetics: ETHERS.

27. Future J.D.s' exams: LSATS. Law School Admission Tests. Juris Doctor, the first professional graduate degree in law.

28. Melodramatic cry: BOO HOO.

29. Haughty: UPPITY.

30. Greek New Ager: YANNI. I'll spare you the music link.

31. Goad: EGG ON. This sense of egg comes from "edge".

32. Feature of some fancy cakes: TIERS. Related words: tirade and attire.

33. Magician's secret cohort: PLANT. A ringer.

37. Really worry: EAT AT.

38. Term: DURATION. Latin durare, to harden (endure).

40. Like some mail: METERED. Postage is printed on instead of applying individual stamps, allowing for automation and time savings.

41. Sumptuous: POSH. Long explanation for this, but it does NOT mean port out starboard home, that is a backronym from people trying to retrofit a meaning.

43. He has a cello named Petunia: YO YO MA. He was doing a class in Salt Lake City, and a high school student asked if he had a nickname for his cello. he said, "No, but if I play for you, will you name it?" She chose Petunia, and it stuck.

44. Remnant: TAG END.

48. Tiny trash can, e.g.: ICON. On your PC desktop.

49. Hot: SEXY.

50. Thought: IDEA.

51. "Mm-hmm": I SEE.

52. Half a sitcom sign-off: NANU. Mork & Mindy.

53. Flub: GOOF. A gaffe.

54. Spree: JAG. A period of unrestrained activity.

55. The loneliest numero?: UNO. A play on Three Dog Night's first hit "One", written by Harry Nilsson.

56. Drum edge: RIM. Ba-dump Tish. And that's the end.


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