Jul 27, 2017

Thursday July 27th 2017 Pancho Harrison

Theme: Beau Knows (and so do Jeff, Dorothy and Lloyd)

14A. *Billboard entry : POP SONG. Sometimes known as the middle eight, the bridge usually follows the second chorus in a pop song and forms a stylistic break. Many great examples could be referenced, but let's go with "Born To Run" from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. The bridge follows the great Clarence Clemons and his sax solo at around the 2:10 mark

20A. *Upright instrument in a bluegrass band : BASS FIDDLE. There's the bridge in the middle with the strings crossing it:

36A. *Place to land when there's no land in sight : AIRCRAFT CARRIER

On a traditional vessel, the bridge spans the superstructure from port to starboard. Due to the fact that you can't put a bridge on the flight deck, the bridge is off to one side.

49A. *LensCrafters products : EYE GLASSES. The bit in the middle that kids break and repair with a band-aid for maximum nerdiness.

and the reveal:

61A. Hollywood family name ... and what the answers to starred clues have in common : BRIDGES. Brothers Beau and Jeff and parents Lloyd and Dorothy.

Nice theme here and some tricky Thursday-level cluing to keep us on our toes. I made couple of missteps in the northwest that slowed me up, but once I gave them a second thought it all fell into place up there. Let's see what jumps out.


1. "Dawn of the Dead" (1978) director : ROMERO. Thank you, crosses.

7. Street, in Stuttgart : STRASSE

16. "S'pose so" : I RECKON

17. First of a film series about Damien Thorn : THE OMEN. Scared the living daylights out of me, as did the Exorcist. No more horror movies for me after that. I don't do scary.

18. Cultural environments : MILIEUS

19. Marines NCO : S/SGT Staff Sergeant.

22. Head of Hollywood : EDITH. Lots of Hollywood and movie references today.

24. Switchback feature : ESS. Bends.

25. Bordeaux wine : CLARET. The English name for the classic Bordeaux blends; pick two or more varietals from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec and mix. Winemakers in the US produce a similar blend known as Meritage, usually mispronounced with a long "a" at the end. It is "merit-idge" not "merit-arge"

28. Hankering : ITCH

30. Mauna __ : LOA. Could be KOA. Wait for the cross.

33. 19-Across boss : LOOIE. Slang for lieutenant. Pronounced left-tenant in the UK for no good reason I can see.

34. Conniption : FIT

35. "Oh, crud!" : DANG!

40. Span. miss : SRTA. Senorita.

41. "U R 2 funny!" : LOL' Laugh Out Loud in text-speak.

42. Goosebump-inducing : EERIE. See The Omen, above.

43. Neptune's realm : SEA

44. Hot state : RAGE

45. Irritating inconvenience : HASSLE

46. Post-Manhattan Project org. : A.E.C. Nice logo:

47. Selling points? : SHOPS. Nice clue.

53. Grouch : CRAB

57. "Let's talk in my office" : NOT HERE

58. Word in many hymns : REJOICE

60. "Inka Dinka Doo" singer : DURANTE. More crosses, thank you.

62. Son of Clytemnestra : ORESTES. Complicated family. His mother killed his father, then Orestes killed his mother to avenge the deed. All kinds of complications ensued.

63. Campaign ugliness : SMEARS


1. Official accts. : RPTS. Reports. Not a fan of this one.

2. Sounds of amazement : OOHS. Tried WOWS, didn't work.

3. Compressed video file format : MPEG. Moving Picture Experts Group? Really? Who knew?

4. Abstruse knowledge : ESOTERICA

5. Com can follow it : ROM. Once I took out my first try DOT here and thought twice about WOWS things started to come together in this area. It was my last section to finish.

6. At all : ONE BIT

7. "The Urbz: __ in the City": video game : SIMS. Guesswork. I knew the game Sim City, I didn't know this title.

8. Long-odds bet : TRIFECTA. One-two-three in the race. I won a quite sizable sum of money at Santa Anita when I hit a trifecta. It was a complete fluke, I was looking at the next race in the Racing Form when I picked my numbers.

9. It's often put on a dog : RELISH. Nice clue again. Relish, mustard. No ketchup, ever.

10. Litmus reddeners : ACIDS. Alkalis turn litmus paper blue, if chemistry lesson memory serves me correct. Or was that Universal Indicator Paper? It's been a while since science class.

11. Short itinerary? : SKED.

12. Motown music : SOUL

13. First word of Massachusetts' motto : ENSE. Quite a mouthful, this motto:

"Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem" Usually translated as "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty".

15. Pest in a swarm : GNAT

21. Lazy : SHIFTLESS

23. Stag, for one : DEER

25. Elegance : CLASS

26. French wine valley : LOIRE. France has some beautiful countryside, including the quite stunning Loire Valley. Did you see the Tour de France this last three weeks? Plenty of aerial shots of the French countryside. Beautiful.

27. Main artery : AORTA. Not the 405 or the 101 in this neck of the woods.

29. It may be nervous : TIC

30. Hibernation spots : LAIRS

31. NBC newsman Roger : O'NEIL. Nailed it. Finally got this name set in my head.

32. Come to terms : AGREE

35. Specification regarding threads : DRESS CODE. Great clue.

37. Like many steakhouse menus : A LA CARTE. Just steakhouses?

38. London bank? : FOG. The legendary and notorious London fogs are a thing of the past since the introduction of the Clean Air Act and the phasing out of coal fires for heating homes. The air is still pretty bad, mainly from emissions from diesel engines (taxis and buses).

39. Harvest : REAP

44. Give in : RELENT

45. Unmannerly sorts, in Canadian slang : HOSERS. We had a discussion about this a couple of months ago when it appeared in another Thursday puzzle.

46. Turkish honorifics : AGHAS. That middle "H" seem to make me stumble.

48. Window box plant : HERB. I've got basil in mine.

49. Opposite of exo- : ENDO-

50. Part of FYI : YOUR. For Your Information.

51. Raison d'__ : ETRE. Reason for being, literally.

52. Witnesses : SEES

54. Latvian capital : RIGA

55. Taiwan-based computer giant : ACER. I thought until recently this company had gone out of business, but no.

56. Gershwin heroine : BESS

59. Parsons of "Hidden Figures" : JIM

Wow, that went quickly. So here's the grid, and I'm done!