Author: Alan Arbesfeld
Theme: Moving an E from one word of a phrase to another.
- Swing state => SEWING STAT (17a: Number of stitches per minute?). With or without the question mark, I think this clue warrants a "for example".
- Guest of honor => GUST OF HONORÉ (24a: Passionate outburst from painter Daumier?). Might be a tad obscure for some, but I didn't mind it.
- Stars and Stripes => STARES AND STRIPS (36a: Burlesque show happenings?). Despite the fact that I'm not crazy about the use of "happenings", I really like this fill.
- Bare the brunt => BAR THE BRUNET (49a: "Don't let that dark-haired guy inside!"?). Cute.
- Orange Bowl => ORANG BOWEL (59a: Specimen in a simian autopsy, maybe?). Eek! This is certainly a fill you would never see in the NYT. Most of the time, I find this lack of forced prudishness refreshing, but this one just kind of grosses me out.
- 16a: You might get off on this (RAMP). I love this clue.
- 47a: Musses up (TOUSLES). This is an example of a good verb fill. Not a terribly common nor obscure word, yet one that evokes an immediate image or feeling. Another good one is RATCHETS (9d: Increases by degrees, with "up").
- 56d: Item in a tale of whoa? (REIN). This clue just cracks me up. Sorry.
- 1a: Where barkers may be found (FAIRS).
- 10a: Fossey subjects (APES).
- 15a: Sonoma neighbor (NAPA). California wine regions.
- 19a: Setting for part of the documentary "Sicko" (CUBA). Michael Moore's film about the U.S. health care system. Haven't seen it, so I'm not sure where Cuba plays in.
- 21a: 6% of L (III). 6% of 50 equals 50% of 6.
- 30a: Sister of Goneril (REGAN). From "King Lear".
- 31a: Fake fat brand (OLEAN).
- 33a: Canon shooter (EOS). Camera model.
- 41a: Sugar substitute? (HON). Are there people out there who call each other "Sugar"? Is this a Southern thing? I mostly hear DEAR (66a: Treasured). Might have been a nice balance to clue OLEAN as "Fat substitute".
- 42a: Class action gp.? (PTA). Clever.
- 44a: Cheesy Chihuahua chip (NACHO). A little alliteration: alluring or lame?
- 52a: Money manager? (EDITOR). Money magazine.
- 54a: Daughter of Cronus (HERA). ERIE rule, for me.
- 63a: "Must've been something ___" (I ATE).
- 65a: Digs of twigs (NEST). Rhyme time: sublime or crime?
- 67a: 1968 A.L. Cy Young Award winner McLain (DENNY). I remember Denny Doyle, but not Denny McLain.
- 2d: Support in skulduggery (ABET). Simple, but I love the word skulduggery.
- 4d: Slicker, e.g. (RAINGEAR).
- 5d: BART stop (STN). The BART is San Francisco's (Bay Area) rapid transit system.
- 10d: Mysterious matters (ARCANA).
- 11d: Yank who was a Red (PAUL O'NEILL). I guess this was supposed to evoke some war or national misdirection, but it was pretty clearly baseball to me.
- 12d: Barbecue leftover (EMBER). I was slower than I should have been here because my mind was thinking food.
- 18d: Meat (GIST). The meat of the issue.
- 25d: Magazine that dropped "Reader" from its name and then put it back a few years later (UTNE). I only know this from puzzles. I've never read it.
- 29d: Youngest person to win a Grammy (LEANN RIMES). Interesting trivia.
- 37d: Earth, e.g. (SPHEROID).
- 40d: Nurse employer (REST HOME).
- 46d: Comedian Margaret (CHO). This one I knew. I've seen her act on television more than once.
- 47d: "I, Tina" autobiographer (TURNER).
- 48d: Blood type of a universal donor, briefly (O-NEG). That's O-Neg, not One-G.
- 49d: Set in motion (BEGAN). Watch out for those verbs that can be present or past tense...
- 50d: Saw (ADAGE). ...and those verbs that are also nouns.
- 51d: Rodeo lasso (RIATA).
- 55d: McGregor of "Deception" (EWAN).
Suns of Bitches:
- 20a: "Mr. Mom" director Dragoti (STAN).
- 26d: "High Noon" director Zinnemann (FRED). Two director's first name clues in one puzzle? No, thanks.
- 38d: Not know from ___ (be ignorant) (A TO B). I've never heard of this expression. I went with ADAM, even though the definition felt a little off.
- 60d: "Criss Cross" novelist Lynne ___ Perkins (RAE). No idea.
Decent puzzle. Running late. Not much else to say.
Thanks for listening.
- Pete M.