Apr 17, 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015, Samuel A. Donaldson

Theme: Add a letter, add a pun and stir.

Four in the language phrases which have a word beginning with "W" are re-imagined by adding a "T" before the "W" and creating a soundalike, but differently spelled word. So we have a bit of add a letter and a bit of a punfest. This is our 10th LAT from the mind of Mr. Donaldson, who is a law professor with a fondness for tax law (coincidence this is tax week and his 2014 was published in April?) as well as a frequent visitor to other crossword blogs. His last effort here was a really fun letter substitution where we changed X to G and the meaning changed from prurient to pure. He was first published in the  NYT in 2008, with 16 under his belt there. You can read all about him in the 2009 interview which is linked to the right.

The puzzle sets up as a more conventional Friday based on word length and blocks, with some nice non-theme fill like FELT HAT,  SEASIDE, LAKE ERIE,  ONE FIFTH,  PEDIGREE,  TEA LEONI, CREAM SODAS, ERIC KARROS. He had told C.C. he like compound answers so see how many you find. Anyway, let's take a ride together. The combination with two gridspanners and humor and as well as picking the right words is hard to flesh out, so let me know what you think.

16A. Nail the Miley Cyrus impression? : TWERK LIKE A CHARM.(15). WORK like a charm mean it does well (like magic?) and we all know twerking. right? PG13 (2:18)

24A. Permanently deleted electronic message? : SHREDDED TWEET. (13) Shredded WHEAT.

41A. Minor trade adjustment? : BUSINESS TWEAK.(13)Business WEEK magazine.

55A. "The spasm preceded the other symptoms, Doc"? : TWITCH CAME FIRST. (15). WHICH came first, the chicken or the egg?


1. Year in which Salieri was born : MDCCL. I did not recall this Italian composer who also was a teacher to some very famous pupils. LINK. This made for a tough start.

6. Spunkmeyer of cookie fame : OTIS. No elevator here, this sweet clue.

10. Sports __ : BRA. Any more famous than this picture?

13. Key artery : AORTA.

14. Seattle's __ Place Market : PIKE.. A little home field clue for Sam who lives there.

15. Hazmat suit hazard : TEAR. Tear not tear; defeats the whole purpose.

19. "Madam Secretary" star : TEA LEONI. She has many failed tv shows.

20. "Family Feud" source : SURVEY. "Survey says...."

21. Stately tree : ELM.Stately Elm by Robert Hinshaw

Elm once clad in gold
   Has shed its colorful cloak
       Awaits winter storms
         Bare limbs lifted heavenward
            As if in supplication.

22. "... __ the set of sun": "Macbeth" : ERE. Shakespeare or not, three letters it is going to be ere.

23. Disney title girl from Hawaii : LILO.

30. Cinch : SHOO- IN. Nice fill.

32. "Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever!" poet : POE. Lenore. LINK.

33. GPS suggestion : RTE. Route.

34. Prod : NUDGE.

35. Michaels et al. : ALS. The sports announcer from the 1980 miracle Olympic Hockey broadcast and now voice of MNF.

36. End notes? : OBITS. Like this clue/fill as well.

38. Pay extension? : OLA. Payola. Radio scandal from my childhood.

39. It goes around in winter : FLU. Sad but true.

40. Antarctic transport : SNO-CAT. Logical if unknown.

45. Majestic quality : HALO.  Angelic?

46. Playboy nickname : HEF.

47. Kentucky Colonels' org. : ABA. About the fifth time I have gotten the old American Basketball Association.

50. "The Caine Mutiny" Oscar nominee : BOGART. Wonderfully acted movie. Also a synonym of
25D. Be selfish about, in a way : HOG.

53. Genealogical record : PEDIGREE. We think more about animals but it applies to people as well.

57. Used to be : WERE.

58. Hendrix hairdo : AFRO.

59. Royal __: scheduled 2016 British Open site : TROON. St. Andrews this year. LINK.

60. Unmatched : ODD. Fooled me. I luckily do not lose many socks in the wash.

61. The Taj Mahal, e.g. : TOMB. I was taught it was man's greatest erection for woman.

62. Garden plant that thrives in shade : HOSTA.


1. Lackluster finish : MATTE. Also tricky adding to the rough start for me.

2. Wooden pin : DOWEL. But this was easy....

3. Vanilla treats : CREAM SODAS. This was not easy,  but really nice fill.

4. Key not used alone : CTRL. Computer key, duh!

5. Bass Islands locale : LAKE ERIE. A CSO to our own.

6. Wrote an essay, maybe : OPINED.

7. Polynesian carving : TIKI. This is part of a CULTURE.

8. Turner of entertainment : IKE.

9. Vacation area : SEASIDE. How quaint.

10. Oregon State athlete, for short : BEAVers. In this age of pc sports team names, this animal does live on the edge.

11. Rather red : RARE. Nice alliteration and misdirection for 4 letter fill.

12. Legion : ARMY.

15. Lose illegally : THROW. The college basketball scandal of the 50's another from my youth.

17. Winner of six David di Donatello acting awards : LOREN. The ageless beauty....

18. __ film : CULT.

23. Some August babies : LEOS. My father was one.

26. Low grade : D PLUS.

27. Fox commentator who was the 1992 N.L. Rookie of the Year : ERIC KARROS. One of many failed Dodger first baseman since Gil Hodges.

28. Singer James : ETTA. Time for another LISTEN. (3:00).

29. Try : TEST. My patience?

30. Self-appointed expert : SNOB.

31. Online TV giant : HULU.  Their story. LINK.

35. Moreover : ALSO.

36. Common liquor purchase, once : ONE FIFTH. It is 1/5 of a gallon. Now the bottles are 750ml.

37. Scary squeezer : BOA. Alliteration again.

39. Homburg, for one : FELT HAT. Bah.

40. Nobel, for one : SWEDE. A Friday misdirection.

42. "__ when that happens" : I HATE.

43. Buster? : NARC. Another misdirection, nice!

44. Tough syndicate : THE MOB. Next to the narc?

48. Get drunk : BESOT.

49. Insurance giant : AETNA. This unlocked the entire corner for me.

50. USAF stealth plane : BTWO. I will leave commentary to all of our flyboys.

51. Due : OWED.

52. Prepare, as for action : GIRD. Ah, the loins. GIRD GIRO, so close.

53. Chicken __ : PARM. Hmm, do you serve Chicken Parmigiana, or chicken parmesan?

54. Early copter : GIRO. Easily infer-able but I find no reference to this other than as AUTOGIRO.

56. One may be a CPA : CFO. Chief Financial Officer.

Well another Friday done with lots to talk about, Sam stop by and give us some insight. Enjoy all; lemonade out.