Jul 20, 2017

Thursday, July 20 2017 Agnes Davidson & C.C. Burnikel

Theme: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily ...

63A. 1978 misfit comedy ... and something hidden in each answer to a starred clue : ANIMAL HOUSE

And thus we find:

17A. *Felt-covered gaming equipment : CRAPS TABLES. I think this is pretty cool - have you ever tried to play Craps on an unstable table? Usually for-charity fun, but I like the solid lean-on-with-the-elbows tables in Vegas. I usually don't like the eventual outcome.

39A. *What may be moved by a fan : COOL AIR. I had my A/C replaced last month. Now I have cool air, not hot and humid air. Came at a price, but I'm not complaining.

11D. *Dr Pepper Museum locale : WACO, TEXAS Thank you, crosses. TEXAS emerged pretty quickly, WACO took a while due to some half-a**ed attempts at 19A and 22A that were so off the mark I can't even remember what I was thinking.

32D. *Result of a Merlot mishap : WINE STAIN. Fun clue. Cabernet catastrophe? Pinot ... ?

Darn, I wish I thought of this theme. Acrosses, downs, a theme reveal and all sorts of fun in the fill. Agnes (aka Irish Miss) takes the lead role in this collaboration with C.C. I ran through this one counter-clockwise and finally ended up at CON. A circuitous route indeed.

I'm coming off ten days of antibiotics due to some dental scraping and poking and not a glass of wine to be seen, so tonight is my first-thought theme night. I'll go lightly though.

Let's take a tour:


1. Held in check : AT BAY. Took my check? eBay.

6. Spot for a Fitbit : WRIST. My wrist usually sports a Koa wood and titanium bracelet from Hawaii which was given to me as a birthday gift when I was on Maui. I love it.

11. Practical joker : WAG

14. __ diem : CARPE. I can't see this without remembering Robin Williams in "The Dead Poets' Society".

15. Shade-loving ornamental : HOSTA

16. Polished off : ATE

19. Hoodwink : CON

20. Reality TV host Mike : ROWE. He also narrates "Deadliest Catch". With a great theme song. Mike is a talented dude.

21. Fit to __ : A TEE. Speaking of which, The Open Championship tees off today. Any early picks for the winner? I'm torn.

22. Grey Goose rival : STOLI. Super-minor grump, but "Stoli" is not the name of the vodka, it's an affectionate moniker. If I'm in a bar, I'd be offered "Goose" or "Stoli". Actually, let's elevate this to a minor grump  because I took the clue literally and tried to make "Siroc" work. B-Minus.

24. Coca-Cola Company headquarters : ATLANTA

26. Seuss' shelled reptile : TERTLE Thank you, crosses. Update: YERTLE

27. Daughter of Michelle and Barack : SASHA. First Daughter?

29. "Hard __!": sailor's cry : A-LEE! Shorthand for "We're toast! Put the stern into the wind and hope that we don't take the mast off with a gybe!" Bon Chance.

30. Not as many : FEWER. Quick! Supermarket checkout - Ten Items or ...... which? Less? Fewer?

33. Team on the field : OXEN. My high school soccer team. We were slow.

35. Midterm, e.g. : EXAM

38. NPR's Shapiro : ARI

42. Bio stat : AGE

43. Grammy : NANA. Not a music award? Dang!

45. UPS driver's assignments : RTES. Splynter and my brother know all about these.

46. Match play? : ARSON. Fun clue

48. Nights before : EVES - Christmas, New Year - more fun than the actual holiday

50. Home of Aleppo : SYRIA

52. Where to find wheels and deals : CASINO. Roulette wheels and card dealers. I know a bartender at the Universal City Hilton who was a dealer in Las Vegas. He keeps a deck of cards under the counter. Ask him to deal you a flush, or a pair, or an Ace-King and off he goes. Amazing.

54. Capelike garments : PONCHOS

58. Collar attachment : ID TAG. Pooches, not combatants.

59. Jessica of "Hitchcock" : BIEL

61. ATM output : CASH. Beats the "Insufficent Funds" receipt.

62. Tazo product : TEA. Starbucks, I think? Tea, not Coffee.

66. Nutmeg State collegian : ELI. Yale, in Connecticut. Which I now learn is the "Nutmeg State". Excuse me while I read the fascinating story of this nickname.

67. Big dos : GALAS. Darn! Tried "FETES", wasn't.

68. Ancient Anatolian region : IONIA

69. Rubio's title: Abbr. : SEN.

70. Foe : ENEMY

71. Type in : ENTER


1. African capital near the prime meridian : ACCRA. 350-odd miles away, close enough:

2. Fortune-teller? : TAROT. I had a set in my younger days. Wrapped the deck in purple silk as per instructions. Smoked some weed. Put Pink Floyd or Genesis on the record deck. Told fortunes. Was wrong. Don't underestimate the experts (equally wrong).

3. Barroom mix-up : BRAWL. Now you're talking. An Irish tradition. Two of my uncles had a minor contretemps at my Dad's wake. Blows were not quite (quite!) struck.

4. Pacify : APPEASE. See above. Two minutes later, all was forgotten.

5. "That's right" : YES!

6. "Too funny!" : WHAT A HOOT!

7. Loungewear item : ROBE. Not me. Hugh Hefner?

8. Man or Manhattan : ISLE. How do you spell "heeeehuuughhhhhhh maybe?" Manhattan Island. Isle of Man. I know they're both "Isles" but ach - let's let this one go.

9. Jeanne d'Arc, e.g.: Abbr. : STE. If she was a man, she'd be Jean D'Arc and an St. I'm watching the Tour de France at the moment while I'm on the treadmill for inspiration - what a beautiful country.

10. Top of a cornstalk : TASSEL. Had the British TASSLE/TASSEL conflict. Guessed right.

12. Ring-shaped coral reef : ATOLL

13. Garage door opener brand : GENIE. Open, Sesame! And put some lox and cream cheese on that sesame bagel. And some red onions while you're about it. And a slice of tomato. Oh, and some scrambled eggs and chopped scallions on the plate. Can I get some black pepper please? Finally, breakfast is served. Food! Oh - where's my coffee?

18. Puddies, to Tweety : TATS. I tawt ....

23. Family __ : TREE

25. Certain undercover cop : NARC

26. Golfer Tseng who's the youngest player to win five major championships : TANI. Update: YANI. crosses, thank you. Here she is, the immensely-talented golfer:

28. Car bars : AXLES. Fun clue.

30. One of the faithful : FAN. I'm a Chelsea fan, I'm not sure I'm one of a few these days, but back in the 70's there were a hardcore few of us watching a losing team in the rain at the wrong end of the Fulham Road. I think the Dog Track that surrounded the pitch made more money than the professional soccer team. How times change.

31. Reliever's stat : ERA. Hey C.C!

34. "Piece of cake!" : EASY PEASY! Lemon Squeezy!

36. Gone by : AGO

37. Popes and cardinals, but not nuns : MEN

40. Approximately : OR SO

41. Drops from above : RAIN

44. Nike competitor : AVIA

47. Rocky in a Beatles title : RACCOON. OK. A throwaway song? There were plenty, for all the adoration the Beatles attracted.

49. Captivate : ENGAGE

51. Get moving : ROLL

52. Quotes : CITES. I've been writing some academic papers recently. I'm really quite done with citations. I never want to see the APA Publication Guide again in my life. Really.

53. Simpson of fashion : ADELE.

55. Place to hang : HAUNT

56. Actor Davis : OSSIE

57. Shave, as sheep : SHEAR. Complete the first part of this joke:
Wow, mate, back in NZ we shear our sheep!!
Nah mate, here in Oz we're got plenty for one each!

Badaboom. I'm here all week.

59. Anger : BILE

60. Muslim holy man : IMAM

64. Chicken vindaloo go-with : NAN. Food! Near and dear to my heart, I can't not post a picture:

65. Make tracks, old-style : HIE

Blog? Check.
Grid? Check.
Theme Expo? Check.

Steve? Hasta Proxima Semana! Homework done? Check!