Author: Donna S. Levin
Theme: Phrases that end in a nickname for a male animal
- 17a: Voyeur (PEEPING TOM). A TOM is a male cat or turkey.
- 23a: Bitten ear (CORN ON THE COB). A COB is a male swan.
- 29a: Shift responsibility to someone else (PASS THE BUCK).
- 44a: "Check it out" (TAKE A GANDER). Male goose.
- 49a: Device used by police at the start of a raid (BATTERING RAM). In "The Lord of the Rings", they even name their battering rams. This one's "Grond".
- 61a: It lost out to "Ordinary People" for Best Picture (RAGING BULL). I love De Niro and I own this film, but I've got to say it's just not one of my favorites.
- 6a: General Bradley (OMAR). I'm not big on first names at all, but I knew this one right off the top, so it must be pretty easy.
- 14a: Tennis court part (ALLEY). The part that's in in doubles, but not singles.
- 15a: Singer with the 2008 album "New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)" (Erykah BADU).
- 20a: Word in two American League team names (SOX). Red and White. I don't want to talk about it right now, thanks.
- 21a: ___ and terminer (high criminal court) (OYER). I had no idea what this was. It's from the French for "to hear and determine".
- 33a: Some men's mags (GQS). Is there more than one? Is this like multiple issues, as in "I've got several GQs on the coffee table"? I suppose, but it sounds a little forced.
- 39a: Rented property (LEASE HOLD).
- 42a: Charles Lamb's pseudonym (ELIA). Classic crossword fare. If you didn't know it off the top, remember it. It will show up again (and again).
- 47a: Yellowfin tuna (AHI). Common sushi ingredient.
- 55a: Title boy in a Menotti opera (AMAHL).
- 57a: "To Wong ___, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar" (FOO). A movie that features Wesley Snipes and Patrick Swayze crossdressing. What else is there to say?
- 64a: "Street Signs" host Burnett (ERIN). Didn't know this one.
- 66a: Radiated, as charm (OOZED). Great word, though usually it's more negative, as in oozing sleaziness.
- 68a: ___ croisés (French crossword) (MOTS). Well, it's French for words, so it makes sense.
- 69a: Chuckleheads (BOZOS). Both great words.
- 2d: Poodle in "Clifford" books (CLEO). Cleo has shown up before, fairly recently.
- 3d: Detective Cross in James Patterson novels (ALEX).
- 6d: Doc specializing in womb service? (OB-GYN). Womb service is so bad it's good. How can you not laugh?
- 9d: Cuba libre ingredient (RUM).
- 10d: Peeved (IN A PET). Kind of a bestialic expression, but it does seem to be a favorite fill in crosswords.
- 12d: Sister of Polyhymnia (ERATO). Both muses.
- 13d: Relaxed and easygoing (TYPE B).
- 27d: SAT component (ESSAY). This is fairly recent, as SATs never used to involve essays.
- 30d: Furry creature in "Return of the Jedi" (EWOK). Gimme.
- 40d: Aunt of John-John (ETHEL). Kennedy trivia.
- 41d: "Frank Mills" musical (HAIR).
- 45d: Bridge contemporary of Sheinwold (GOREN). Kudos for the bridge clue. I'm continually surprised that there isn't more crossover between crossword puzzles and bridge. I love them both.
- 46d: Computer language named after Lord Byron's daughter (ADA). I knew this right off. After all, there aren't that many 3-letter computer languages. But I'm guessing many will be baffled by this.
- 51d: She played Adrian in the "Rocky" films (TALIA Shire).
- 52d: Where Sarah Palin was born (IDAHO).
- 53d: Persistently trouble (NAG AT).
- 54d: Southern side (GRITS). Cute clue.
- 57d: Ziggy's dog (FUZZ). Didn't know this, but it's a reasonable answer. There seems to be a comic dog mini-theme running here.
- 58d: ___ strut (landing gear shock absorber) (OLEO). I've never heard of an oleo strut. This strikes me as deliberately obscure.
- 63d: Hiccup-stopping shout, maybe (BOO). Supposedly, a scare will cure hiccups. For me, it's drinking a glass of water with both ears firmly plugged, which requires either a straw or someone to help.
All in all, I thought this was very pleasant Wednesday. Not too difficult, and not many real sizzler entries, but a decent six-theme-entry puzzle and not too much chaff in a solid 15x16 puzzle.
Thanks for listening.
- Pete M.