Author: Derek Bowman
Theme: Pangrammatic (uses all letters) "Jeopardy!" ad slogan.
So, the "A and Q" means answers and questions, which is the format of "Jeopardy!", and the "from A to Z" refers to the pangrammatic aspect of the phrase.
- 20a: With 37- and 53-Across, a pangrammatic promotional phrase (WATCH JEOPARDY / ALEX TREBEK'S / FUN TV QUIZ GAME).
I like the pangram theme here. It's cool that someone noticed that this was a pangram. Certainly JEOPARDY, ALEX TREBEK, and TV QUIZ take care of most of the hard letters.
Some nice fill here, especially for a Tuesday, with some cool letter combinations and scrabbly fill.
- 9a: Unrewarding position (MCJOB). I always like this one. So current and descriptive, and has that great MCJ letter combo.
- 39a: Green liqueur flavored with wormwood (ABSINTHE). True absinthe, with wormwood, is still illegal in the United States; however, some companies are filtering out the banned chemical, Thujone, that comes from the wormwood, and selling the resulting product.
- 44a: Chris Noth's role in "Sex and the City" (MR BIG). I never watched the show, but I still like the fill.
- 5d: George mag cofounder (JFK JR). Just a great letter sequence.
- 11d: Assembles in a makeshift manner (JURYRIGS). Very good.
- 36d: "Master of the House" musical, familiarly (LES MIZ).
- 55d: Rapper who was in "She Hate Me" (Q-TIP). I don't care for rap, and I don't recall ever hearing this song, but I like the fill. Would have prefered a simpler clue like "Swab".
- 1a: Bloomie's rival (SAKS). I'm assuming this is Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue.
- 15a: Criticism (FLAK). Great word.
- 18a: With 28-Down, Elton John's "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" singing partner (KIKI / DEE). I remember this one well. It brings back memories of junior high school and listening the Casey Kasem's Top 40 count down. Here it is.
- 24a: West ender? (ERN). Cryptic suffix.
- 26a: Phat (RAD). Peachy.
- 32a: Be in harmony (JIBE). Many people mistakenly say "jive" when they mean "jibe". One of my pet peeves.
- 35a: Last part of many a novel (EPILOGUE).
- 42a: 1987 Suzanne Vega hit (LUKA). Sad song about child abuse. If you've forgotten it, here it is.
- 49a: "Shameless" singer DiFranco (ANI).
- 52a: Kiwi's relative (EMU). Australian birds.
- 57a: Dog on "The Jetsons" (ASTRO). Love "The Jetsons". Great clue.
- 61a: Lose one's balance? (SPEND). Cute clue.
- 63a: Omphaloskepsis impediment? (LINT). Okay, omphaloskepsis is the contemplation of one's navel. This happens enough that we need a word for it? I've got to believe this is a Peter Gordon clue.
- 66a: Finders' keepers? (FEES). As in finders' fees. Cute.
- 1d: Like distorted data (SKEWED).
- 3d: Harvey of "Reservoir Dogs" (KEITEL). Not my favorite Tarantino film. I much prefer "Pulp Fiction".
- 6d: 1979 Sigourney Weaver thriller (ALIEN). Fun film.
- 7d: Blue-and-white shark (MAKO).
- 8d: Do double Dutch, e.g. (SKIP ROPE).
- 9d: Shrek voicer (Mike MYERS).
- 22d: Wings it (AD LIBS).
- 27d: ___ Ghraib (Iraq prison) (ABU). Very topical.
- 30d: Actress Shire of "Rocky" (TALIA).
- 31d: 1994 Peace co-Nobelist Shimon (PERES).
- 32d: Canasta card (JOKER). I never played canasta, but it was still pretty easy.
- 37d: Inquire about (ASK AFTER). Sounds a bit old-fashioned to me, but not hard.
- 39d: It flows in bars (ALE). It shows up often, but it's beer, so we like it.
- 45d: Skullcap with a propeller (BEANIE). Oh, this brings back memories of Quisp cereal.
- 50d: San Francisco's ___ Vista Park (BUENA).
- 51d: Performers in black-and-white striped shirts (MIMES).
- 56d: Sport in which you try to beat your opponent using clubs? (GOLF). Funny clue. Excellent.
Suns of Bitches:
Surprising, none for me. All the names were well within my wheelhouse, and/or really easy to figure out.
I have to say, I really liked this puzzle a lot. Cool theme phrase and chock full of scrabbly letters, with 4 Js and 7 Ks, and some really cool words. Even the short fills popped with words like KIKI, FLAK, MAKO, LUKA, Q-TIP and JIBE. Very, very nice. Keep up the good work, Derek Bowman.
Thanks for listening.
- Pete M.