Author: Alan Arbesfeld
Theme: Phrases whose first words are also the start of song titles that end "in the Wind".
- 20a: 1967 Van Morrison album with the hit "Brown Eyed Girl" (BLOWIN' YOUR MIND). Referencing the Bob Dylan song "Blowin' in the Wind".
- 25a: Weapon in the game Clue (CANDLESTICK). Referencing the Elton John song "Candle in the Wind".
- 43a: Cordless cleaners (DUST BUSTERS). Referencing the Kansas song "Dust in the Wind".
- 53a: 1990 Roscoe Mitchell album (and this puzzle's theme) (SONGS IN THE WIND). Hmm. I suppose as a guy whose last name is Mitchell, I should know who this guy is. Since I don't, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that he's country. Let's check... nope, jazz! Wow, I couldn't be much more wrong there. Listening to this clip, he sounds a bit more edgy than the jazz I typically listen to. More Ornette Coleman than, say, John Coltrane or Stan Getz.
I didn't pay any attention to this theme until after I was done, and even then it took me a few seconds for it to click. But I'm a huge music fan, so in the end I have to admit I liked it just fine.
- 9a: Bowling unit (FRAME).
- 15a: Coke is it (COLA). This is such an obvious reference to the old Coca-Cola ads that I can't in good conscience slap a drug-reference label on it.
- 16a: Voting machine component (LEVER). I obviously live in the sticks; our voting "machines" are a paper ballot and a golf pencil. No hanging chads here.
- 17a: ___ Bloom (character in "Bloom County") (MILO).
- 31a: Like some phones (CELLULAR). I don't know what percentage of phones these day are cellular, but it certainly seems like more than half. I wonder if "Like most phones" would be accurate.
- 39a: It can be measured with a protractor (ANGLE). I'm a math geek; this was a piece of cake.
- 40a: X-ray doses (RADS).
- 48a: "Rendezvous With Rama" novelist (CLARKE). Is this Arthur C. Clarke? Let's check... yup! Hey, I'm one for two on guesses so far.
- 57a: When the Tide goes out? (RINSE). Cute clue.
- 58a: Garr of "Oh, God!" (TERI). "Oh, God!" is one of those movies that is simultaneously silly and profound. I actually really like it, and I'm not 100% sure why.
- 64a: There are none in a no-no (HITS). Nice baseball clue to go along with 57d: Shutout spoiler (RUN).
- 1d: Latin dance (SAMBA). I never know whether this one's going to be SAMBA, RUMBA, SALSA, TANGO, or CONGA without a crossing or two.
- 4d: Vermont ski town (STOWE). Been there. Skied it.
- 5d: Watergate, e.g. (SCANDAL).
- 6d: One of a pocketful of flowers (POSY). "Ring around the rosie; pocketful of posy...". A song about the plague.
- 9d: Calgary hockey team (FLAMES).
- 10d: Acting in opposition (RESISTING).
- 21d: Acquire, as debt (INCUR). My first thought was RUN UP, but this one's good too.
- 22d: Bar beverage (RYE). Bar beverages in three letters: RUM, GIN, RYE, ALE. I think those are the major ones. Snags the booze tag, anyway.
- 28d: Swenson of "Benson" (INGA). Vaguely familiar name.
- 30d: Anterior cruciate ligament's locale (KNEE). Anyone who follows sports probably knows this one. ACL surgery is increasingly common these days.
- 32d: Jacob's twin (ESAU). Standard fare.
- 44d: Everything and plain, say (BAGELS).
- 45d: ___ Enterprise (USS). You don't need to be a Trekkie to know this.
- 46d: Sharp pain (STITCH). I just got back from Disney, so I saw the STITCH from "Lilo and Stitch" several times throughout the week. I'm not sure if cluing it in that direction would be easier or harder. Do you get stitches anywhere besides your sides?
- 55d: Classic pop (NEHI). Soda. I believe Grape Nehi was Radar's favorite drink on "M*A*S*H".
Suns of Bitches:
This was a nice Monday puzzle. No complaints at all.
Thanks to Joon for standing in for an extra day while I was away. And for all of you for putting up with my "mail-it-in" Monday and Wednesday coverage last week. But I must say, it was great to get away for a week; we had a wonderful time at DisneyWorld -- the first time we've been without kids since before we had kids -- but it's nice to be back, too.
Thanks for listening.
- Pete M.