At 8:54 CDT today, the Sun's rays will be shining straight down on the equator and the solar energy will be evenly distributed north and south of the equator and is called the autumnal equinox as we head toward fall. Our New Zealand friends are having their vernal equinox as they enter spring
So on this day let me be the first (only?) person to wish you a Happy Equinox. It's too late catch this very unusual tour. Maybe you can get to the spring equinox there.
Our constructor today is Brian E. Paquin whose puzzle I blogged on June 30 of this year which gave us 19. 120 dozen?: TENS for a clue/fill and generated a lot of discussion at this outpost. Brian looks remarkably like my good friend and former colleague Ed. Maybe Ed, who married a lovely Vietnamese lady and now lives in Ho Chi Minh City, also constructs crosswords under the name Brian Paquin.
1. Pickup artist?: NEAT FREAK - C'mon you thought of Felix and Oscar didn't you?
10. Holy, in Le Havre: SACRE -SACRE Bleu (Sacred blue) is a familiar French expression of surprise. Bleu sounds like Dieu which means God but is forbidden to be said by the 10 Commandments. Gosh darn it?
15. Like one with greasy palms?: ON THE TAKE - Congratulations! That zoning change has been made!
16. Added on: HIRED - The school where I sub has HIRED a deputy sheriff as a security officer
17. Thrill seeker: DAREDEVIL - Evel makes our puzzle quite often
18. 2011 Atlantic hurricane: IRENE - Anyone get caught in this 2011 storm?
19. Tied accessories: OBIS - Watashi no OBI o musunde kudasai 私の帯を結んでください (Please tie my OBI)
20. Speak further about: ENLARGE ON - "Please tell me more about your hernia operation" said no one ever!
22. Spoken with ease: FLUENT - Most of our Hispanic students are FLUENT in two languages
25. Become unusable, as airplane wings: ICE UP - Deicing a plane wing
26. Like La Niña, e.g.: Abbr.: FEM - Mas/FEM - Niña/Niño, Amiga/Amigo, Tia/Tio
27. Motor-assisted two-wheelers: EBIKES - True EBIKES are pedal-assist units not electric bicycles
30. Poker pot items, maybe: IOUS - Also called markers
33. Luxury fashion giant: PRADA - $270 for a tie?
34. Backside: TUSH - One of many euphemisms
35. Like a home-cooked meal: MADE FROM SCRATCH would be a good reason that people 58. Had a home-cooked meal: ATE IN
41. Mouse target: ICON - Mouse targets on my desktop
42. Early number?: ETHER - A crossword gimmick where pre-anesthetic ETHER numbs, hence it is a number!
43. TV heroine with a weapon called a chakram: XENA - Her lethal "frisbees"
44. Checked at the airport: WANDED.
46. Tavern need: Abbr.: LIC - A nude bar in Omaha doesn't need a liquor LICense because it doesn't sell liquor
49. Sign up, in Sussex: ENROL - "How to ENROL" found on the website for Sussex Coast College, U.K.
51. Pax __: ROMANA - The ROMANS ran a pretty tight ship for centuries
53. Getting burned, in a way: REDDENING.
57. Basics: ABCS.
59. Metaphorical self-help aid: BOOTSTRAP - The University of Nebraska at Omaha has a BOOTSTRAP program for mainly SAC personnel to get a degree whereby they can "lift yourself themselves by their BOOTSTRAPS".
62. Position to take: STAND and 63. Jumpy: ILL AT EASE - If you take a STAND and look around the room to see you are the only one standing, you can feel ILL AT EASE. Been there, done that!
64. Unwieldy ships: HULKS - Former seagoing vessels frequently used as prison ships like this HULK on the River Thames
65. Plow, e.g.: SODBUSTER - Some Nebraska groups are trying to undo SOD BUSTING and return tracts of land to native prairie grass
1. Catch a few z's: NOD OFF - Some teachers, preachers or other speakers either can't see this phenomenon or don't feel it is a problem
2. Facilitate: ENABLE - One way to look at it
3. Heart part: ATRIUM - Atrial fibrillation
4. "__ Eyes": 1969 Guess Who hit: THESE.
5. Sustained: FED.
6. It may start with "I": RTE - I-80 changed traffic patterns in our state
7. Roof edge: EAVE.
8. Cut from the same cloth: AKIN.
9. Country singer Pickler: KELLIE - Her heartwarming backstory, American Idol audition and emotional reaction (5 min)
10. __-reeve: early name for a sheriff: SHIRE
11. Stringless strings?: AIR GUITAR - Hugo Chavez at the U.N. getting in a few riffs
12. Make very afraid: CREEP OUT.
13. Vegas rival: RENO - Self-proclaimed as "The biggest little city in the world"
14. Churchill successor: EDEN - An interesting recounting of their relationship
21. Some window units: ACS.
23. Foam-based brand: NERF.
24. Way up: T-BAR - Saddle up!
28. Enthusiastic response: I DO.
29. Segway PT inventor Dean: KAMEN.
31. George Lucas' alma mater: Abbr.: USC.
32. Library order: SHH.
33. Artist's drawing choice: PEN AND INK.
35. Stir: MIX.
36. It makes a rally irrelevant: ACE - A rally occurs when players hit the ball back and forth over the net. An ACE serve like this one by Andy Roddick negates that phase of a point
38. Normal: Abbr.: STD.
39. "Moonstruck" star: CHER - She won an Oscar for her role
40. Second effort: REDO - Many kids who fail an exam immediately want a REDO after giving many 45. Excuses: ALIBIS.
44. Became the champ: WON.
46. Maze runner: LAB RAT - Where is that cheese?
47. As a backup: IN CASE.
48. Deceased toon?: CASPER - Gotta love this clue
50. Tears: RENDS.
52. Some game winners: MATES - What piece does white move for a game-ending checkMATE?
53. Foolhardy: RASH.
54. Classic accusation: ET TU - "Oh man, Brutus, not you too"
55. Brief court plea: NOLO
56. Neil Young's "Heart of __": GOLD.
60. Longtime Coke product: TAB
61. Beatles' bassist before Paul: STU - Stu Sutcliffe was their first bass player and died in 1960, well before Beatlemania. His picture is included on this famous album cover montage
Make the best of these fall days as winter can not be far behind for those of us north of the Mason Dixon Line. To start, let's see your comment: