Author: Pancho Harrison
Theme: Adding ER to phrases.
- 17a: Burglary under cover of darkness? (NIGHT CAPER).
- 63a: Captain of the Yankees after gaining a lot of weight? (JUMBO JETER).
- 11d: Drunk flamingo? (TIGHT WADER).
- 27d: Cheat a sot? (SCREW TOPER).
Another workmanlike theme. Decent, but not earth-shattering. Jumbo Jeter cracks me up; if I had time I'd doctor up a nice image for you, but I don't.
- 20a: Curly's job in "City Slickers" (TRAIL BOSS). This was the Jack Palance character.
- 48a: Two-time Grammy winner for Best Male Jazz Vocal Performance (MEL TORME). Nice to see the full name.
- 1a: Queen, in Quito (REINA). I don't know much Spanish, but I've seen this one before.
- 10a: Olla podrida, e.g. (STEW).
- 15a: Notes from short people? (IOUS). Good clue.
- 16a: City with a notable property listing? (PISA). I love this clue. Listing, as in leaning. Wonderful.
- 19a: "Spice Up My Kitchen" network (HGTV). Home & Garden channel. Makes sense.
- 25a: Bred (FOSTERED).
- 31a: Ocho + tres (ONCE). 8 + 3 = 11.
- 40a: Sing "The Lonely Goatherd," say (YODEL). I have a soft spot for "The Sound of Music", so I really like this clue a lot.
- 43a: Best (IDEAL). Interesting that this falls right next to 45a: Distribute hands (DEAL), but there's nothing wrong with that.
- 51a: Lemmon's costar in "The Odd Couple" (MATTHAU). This was a very good film. It's been years since I've seen it; I need to rent or own it soon.
- 54a: Defenseman who ended his career with the Chicago Black Hawks (ORR). Bah! He'll always be a Bruin.
- 55a: Thrombi (CLOTS). I knew thrombosis, so this wasn't much of a stretch.
- 56a: French art movement of the late 19th century (SYMBOLISM).
- 62a: Opportune (RIPE). This is interesting in that it the meaning feels right, but it doesn't seem to quite satisfy the substitution test. You would say "the time is ripe" or "it's an opportune time", but I don't think either "the time is opportune" or "it's a ripe time" quite fit. Still, it was easy enough to figure, so it's probably nitpicky.
- 67a: "Doin' the Pigeon" singer (BERT). Yep, that's Bert from Sesame Street.
- 69a: Band with the 2000 #1 hit "It's Gonna Be Me" ('N SYNC).
- 4d: Perfect game, e.g. (NO-HITTER). All perfect games are no-hitters, but not all no-hitters are perfect games. In a perfect game, nobody even gets on base (i.e., no walks or anything).
- 5d: U.K. P.M. Clement (ATTLEE).
- 12d: 1985 autobiography subtitled "A Success Story" (ESTÉE Lauder).
- 18d: Smokey spotter in a big rig, maybe (CB'ER).
- 24d: Any of seven Chinese puzzle pieces that can form a square (TAN). The puzzle is called a tangram. I never really thought about what the individual pieces were called, but it's certainly logical.
- 29d: Atlanta WNBA team (DREAM).
- 38d: Venice's Bridge of ___ (SIGHS).
- 41d: Like carbon monoxide (ODORLESS). Got this just from the O.
- 49d: Former New York Liberty player Rebecca (LOBO). This is one of the only former-WNBA players I've actually heard of. Probably because she played college ball at UConn the year they went undefeated.
- 50d: Brand of condoms (TROJAN). TROJAN shows up in puzzles, but usually as the USC team, not the condom.
- 51d: Golden Arches pork sandwich (MCRIB). I had forgotten about the McRib. Do they still make that?
- 52d: Coworker of Dilbert (ALICE). I'm a big Dilbert fan, so this was a gimme for me.
- 53d: Take by force (USURP).
- 57d: Disco song that went to #2 in 1979 (YMCA). No, I'm not going to include a link to this song. It was held out of the #1 spot for three weeks by Rod Stewart's "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy".
- 61d: Richie's mom, to the Fonz (MRS C). I watched "Happy Days" growing up, so this was a no-brainer.
- 63d: "Aunt ___ Scrap-Bag" (Louisa May Alcott series) (JO'S). Never heard of this, but it was pretty easy with the J in place.
Suns of Bitches:
- 34a: "Kangaroo Notebook" novelist Kobo ___ (ABE).
- 3d: Congo River's ___ Falls (INGA).
Another decent puzzle. Nothing terrible, but nothing terribly notable either. And, as I've said before, that's not a bad thing.
Thanks for listening.
- Pete M.