John Lampkin is back with another delight. The theme answers in this letter exchange puzzle are all silly and clued with John's special wit. The base phrases are an odd set, but they work. The grid is a bit different with symmetrical 9 letter fill (NW- SE) around a 7 letter middle word and 11 letter downs set out in opposite corners. This makes one work a bit more. He also includes DEEP END, ALL TIME, RATTLER, FUSSPOT, COURAGE, LEAD DOG as sparkly fill. Well, let us see how he built this Friday.
16A. Vermicelli for the greedy or lustful? : VICE-A-RONI (9). RICE-A-RONI the San Francisco TREAT.
38A. Energy drink? : VIMSHOT (7). RIMSHOT. Who is your favorite comedian? LINK.
10D. Practical approach to preparing saltimbocca? : VEAL POLITIK (11). REALPOLITIK. You want to STUDY?
24D. Pamplona preeners, with "the"? : VAIN IN SPAIN (11). RAIN IN SPAIN. LISTEN.
61A. Camper upgrade, literally seen in four puzzle answers : RV TRADE IN (9). A really fun reveal which tells us the we trade our beginning R for a V.
1. Clumps or chumps : CLODS. It takes a mind like JL to realize this relation.
6. Wall Street Journal co-founder Charles : DOW. Along with Messrs Jones and Bergestresser. LINK
They started the Dow Jones Bergestresser averages.
9. 2013 Zipcar acquirer : AVIS. Another sharing venture started in Miami. LINK.
13. Word on mail from Madrid : AEREO. Is there still airmail?
14. Have to shell out : OWE.
15. Break the silence of the lamb? : BLEAT. Such an appreciation for words and humor.
18. Get high : ELATE.
19. Get going : PROD. Like they do with cattle, or tigers.
20. Threat in old Westerns : RATTLER. My brother and I bought a house in Gainesville after law school. We were very surprised when we saw many diamondback rattlers sunning in the middle of the street. Turns out before it was leveled for development, the area was called rattlesnake hill.
22. Knuckle under : GIVE.
25. Bungler : OAF.
27. Import : SHIP IN.
28. Nutty : INANE.
30. Slam __ : DUNK.
32. Clever comment : MOT. Bon mot.
33. Word with gown or wreath : BRIDAL. I was not an expert on SPIREA.
35. Sandra's Supreme Court successor : SAMUEL. Ms. Day O'Conner and Mr. ALITO.
37. What's big in London? : BEN. Cute.
40. Texting qualifier : IMO. In My Opinion.
43. Glacial mass : ICECAP. Politics.
45. __ milk : MALTED. Malted milk shakes were very popular when I was young.
47. Dedicatee of Lennon's "Woman" : ONO. Not really up on Yoko years.
48. Barrel band : HOOP. And staves.
50. 1937 Shirley Temple title role : HEIDI. Do you remember the MOVIE? 80 years ago!
51. Cover, in a way : INSURE. Not put a top on.
53. Pot leaves : TEA. Not ASH.
55. Comparable : AKIN.
56. Subsequent edition with no changes : REPRINT.
58. Flew : SPED.
60. With 12-Down, Carnegie Hall icon : ISAAC. 12D. See 60-Across : STERN. Cue the VIOLINS.
66. Skeptical sound at Belmont? : NEIGH. Horsies. The Belmont was a snooze fest this year.
67. Crude stuff : OIL.
68. Dry Italian white : SOAVE. Considered cheap wine when I was younger.
69. Sebaceous gland issue : ACNE.
70. One of several found in a golf cart : TEE.
71. Graceful wader : EGRET. More expertise from JL, beautiful bird.
1. James, for one, briefly : CAValier. 8 NBA championship appearances, 3 titles. He appears to be getting better and better but still not winning it all as much as he would like.
2. Hilo hello accompaniment : LEI. What beautiful alliteration!!!
3. Hobbit hunter : ORC.
4. Where it's not good to go off? : DEEP END. I am seeing more and more of this type of misdirection, like last week's " Bad thing to draw during a test."
5. Birds do it : SOAR. So do butterflies.
6. Thingy : DOODAD. Fun word.
7. Routinely trounce : OWN.
8. Small dam : WEIR. No relation to- did you think of this as well HG and Big Easy?
9. Never surpassed : ALL TIME.
11. Unwelcome response to "Where's the leftover pizza?" : I ATE IT. Who likes cold pizza?
15. Kiss classic : BETH.
17. Milne marsupial : ROO. Kanga too.
21. Referral from dad? : ASK MOM. Such a wonderfully phrased clue.
22. The "Gee" in Bee Gees : GIBB. This is not true, as explained in wiki "They were introduced to leading Brisbane radio DJ Bill Gates by speedway promoter and driver Bill Goode, who had hired the brothers to entertain the crowd at the Redcliffe Speedway in 1960.... Gates renamed them the BG's (later changed to "Bee Gees") after his, Goode's, and Barry Gibb's initials—thus the name was not specifically a reference to "Brothers Gibb", despite popular belief
23. About : IN RE.
26. Fuddy-duddy : FUSSPOT. I have not heard this word in years.
29. Igloo's lack : EAVE. No shed dormers either.
31. "Nope" : NAH.
34. Fungus/alga symbiosis : LICHEN.
36. Bryce Canyon locale : UTAH.
39. Red Guard leader : MAO.
41. Prefix with -terranean : MEDI. Sub?
42. Master of the Valkyries : ODIN.
44. Grit, but not grits : COURAGE. Too true. How many like eating grits? Shrimp and grits are popular.
46. It's never a poodle in the Iditarod : LEAD DOG. Really? MUST READ.
47. "Be right there!" : ONE SEC.
49. Chef's crusher : PESTLE. My wife has two like below. Very important for Papaya Salad.
51. "The Three Sisters" sister : IRINA. Olga and Masha were older.
52. Loaded : RICH.
54. Busy time for CPAs : APRil.
57. Relaxed pace : TROT. A mini-clecho.
59. Relaxation : EASE.
62. Strive : VIE.
63. Temple neighbor : EAR. Cute, not the University where Bill Cosby graduated.
64. Mass ending? : IVE. Because neither Adoro te devote nor -pike fit.
65. A daredevil might eschew it : NET. Yes, neither C.C nor any of her minions ever works with a NET, even though we might fall. But it is summer now, so enjoy. Lemonade out.