Theme: Welcome to LA LA land. The letters LA are inserted into a common phrase to elicit an entirely different and witty new expression. There also is a hint clue at the end. A shout out to our own La LA Linda among others.
16A. Move from Crystal to Caesar's?: CHANGE OF PALACE. CHANGE OF PACE morphs into two famous gambling palaces. I know she is likely referring to the CRYSTAL PALACE built in London, by I like the symmetry of the hotel casinos.
28A. Antelope of questionable virtue?: LOOSE ELAND. What a visual! An Eland on the side of the jungle road, trying to solicit the big game hunters. Anyway, we began with LOOSE END,
33A. "Another regulation, sorry to say"? : ALAS A RULE. AS A RULE.
43A. Greengrocer's grab bags?: SALAD SACKS. SAD SACKS, the poor bungler created by cartoonist george baker in the 1940’s.
And the theme hint, not quite a unifier, but...
53. 1997 Kevin Spacey film, and a hint to this puzzle's theme: LA CONFIDENTIAL. This was a very powerful FILM starring Kevin Spacey, NZ born Australia raised Russell Crowe in a very impressive role. England born, Australia raised Guy Pearce as a particularly despicable character, Kim Basinger looking quite fetching, Australian Simon Baker making his US debut, long before The Mentalist and many more. If you have not seen the movie, it is very well done.
Hello all, Lemonade here. Sorry I missed the Naples trip, but work beckoned. This is our second puzzle this month from Annemarie, who gave us the interesting President Reagan quote to begin the month, and who Grumpy 1 located in an Ohio magazine write up. It was a really challenging puzzle for me, with ALAS A RULE, the fill that tipped me as to the theme. Without knowing the theme, I would never have been able to finish, because there is so much misdirection and so many Friday level clues. Let’s get on with untangling the web she created.
1. Rigged support: MAST. Jeannie, you want to explain about sails and riggings?
5. Curve of a cabriole leg: KNEE. Wow, bam, a really hard four letter fill immediately. My ex-f-i-l sold antiques, so I knew this term was for those fancy table legs which are concave on the top and convex on the bottom, often with an animal claw at the bottom (see Queen Anne furniture). I believe the word comes from the French Cabrioler, which means to leap, I think. Here I defer to our linguist, Kazie. I was saved by the juxtaposition of the anagram, 5D. Gung-ho: KEEN, which was also not that easy, as the term is rather out-dated.
9. Sheet of stamps: PANE. Wow, it makes sense, but I did not know this DEFINITION. What a miserable start for me.
13. "So that's how it's going to be": I SEE. For those of us married and divorced, this visual is all too real. I can still here the clam, “I see” before the storm.
14. Anago and unagi: EELS. A nice shout for our feerless leader who often had mention her unagi preference.
15. An amulet may ward it off, purportedly: EVIL. Finally, a clue I could answer.
19. Danish poker star Gus: HANSEN. The all-time leading money winner on the World Poker Tour, or at least he was the last time I watched.
20. Curling surface: ICE. The beginning of an onslaught of deceptive clues. Luckily, the Winter Olympics showed lots of this bizarre sport, so Iwas able to rid my brain of the image of old linoleum coming up.
21. Texter's "Heavens!": OMG. Oh My, another answer.
23. Oscar night figure: EMCEE. Again, did you thing about the statue? This is where I wonder how intricate the mind of this constructor is as this year the co-host of the Oscar presentations is Anne Hathaway, who is clued in 29D. 2004 Anne Hathaway title role: ELLA, a cute little MOVIE .
24. Small, vocal bird: WREN.
26. __ market: FLEA. We have many huge ones in Fort Lauderdale, including the SWAP SHOP which used to have a circus all the time.
27. Cliff, Carlos and Derrek of baseball: LEES. Even if you do not know much baseball, you may have heard of CLIFF LEE the Cy Young winning pitcher who spurned the evil empire to sign with the Phillies after helping Texas to its first world series last year. Carlos and Derrek are both children of ex-major leaguers, but none are related to each other.
30. Mag wheels?: EDS. Well, this had my head spinning even after I got the letters from the perps, then d’oh, MAGAZINE big shots! Editors. More deception.
31. Pound output: POEM. Slap, EZRA POUND, not money, not hitting, a poet. POUND was instrumental in so many careers from Joyce, T.S. Eliot and Hemingway, it is unfortunate he embraced fascism and Hitler and denounced all Jews.
32. Has a powerful desire (for): LUSTS. Here, I defer to LOIS and CAROL our other linguistic experts.
36. Gait between walk and canter: AMBLE. I always thought STROLL was in between, but I Guess AMBLE works.
39. Wine Train valley: NAPA. This is a worthwhile TRIP .
40. MoveOn.org, e.g.: Abbr.: PAC. Political Action Committee, our modern lobbyists.
46. Hole maker: MOTH.
47. Mongol sovereign: KHAN. Genghis anyone?
48. Trap, in a way: TREE. To force a person or an animal into a position from which he cannot escape, to corner.
49. "Cheers" waitress: CARLA. A very feisty character played by RHEA PERLMAN who is married to Danny DeVito who was in LA CONFIDENTIAL. I wonder if this clue is intended to foreshadow 11D. French president Sarkozy: NICOLAS the MAN who married CARLA BRUNI.
50. Sixth rock from the sun: Abbr.: SAT. My meh fill of the puzzle, SATURN being the 6th planet in our solar system.
51. Rye go-with: HAM. I used to see that ordered lots, but now there are too many bread types.
52. Repartee: BANTER. The stock in trade of this Corner, on our good days.
57. Lowdown: INFO.
58. "Exodus" novelist: URIS. Leon has become crosswordese.
59. Compass __ :ROSE. This had me stomped for a while, if only I had a PICTURE .
60. Riding: ATOP. Our obligatory “A” word.
61. Took off: LEFT. Nobody shedding any clothes here, just leaving.
62. Dot and Flik, in "A Bug's Life": ANTS. I missed this masterpiece of animated ANTics, but it was a pretty sage guess.
Okay, now breathe, we still must do the downs
1. "Glee" star Lea __: MICHELE. While I am not a Gleek, perhaps you all appreciate this ACTRESS .
2. Embarrassed: ASHAMED. I see these two as not really being synonymous, as I was embarrasses how long it took me to fill this grid, but I am not ashamed of my performance.
3. Medium settings: SEANCES. Okay, did we think stove top, appliances, anything but psychic mumbo-jumbo.
4. Time indicators of a sort: TENSES. An easy one for our English teachers.
6. Rebirth prefix: NEO. Perhaps another hint we are approaching the easter season.
7. "The Silmarillion" being: ELF. How many have read Tolkien’s pre-quel to the Hobbit and LOTR, in which we learn the history of middle earth? It was a difficult read for me, with so much detail and “history” to absorb, but it set the stage for the books I had read years before.
8. Uses binoculars, say: ESPIES. How many of you have played, “I spy with my little eye” with your children on long car rides? That and the license plate game kept me sane when they were young, as I had a 400+ mile trip with them every month.
9. Athlete dubbed "O Rei do Futebol": PELE. This is the Portuguese rendition of King of Football (soccer) for the incomparable Brazilian star of soccer, Edison "Edson" Arantes do Nascimento.
10. Gardner of "Mayerling": AVA. A very pretty GIRL who was married to both Mickey Rooney and Frank Sinatra. Hollywood is a strange place.
12. Gold or silver: ELEMENT. Nothing to do with their value, just there base nature.
17. "Hmm ...": GEE. Hmm, gee.
18. Embarrassing marks: ACNE. No, not DEES, but zits.
22. Roams: GADS. Not the first though I had, as again, gadding about is a rather archaic phrase, but it works. How many grew up watching GADDABOUT GADDIS, the FLYING FISHERMAN?
24. Troubles: WOES. Trouble, with a capital T.
25. Jennifer Crusie's genre: ROMANCE. I never heard of this AUTHOR but with ROM, what else could it be?
26. Obstacle for Santa?: FLUE. Hi, Argyle. I think a roaring fire might be more of a statement.
28. Mauna __: LOA. Has to be LOA or KEA, the Hawaiian peaks.
31. Responded in court: PLED. The little shout out to me, and my past trail work.
33. King of comedy: ALAN. One of the longest lasting of the Catskill Comics, who presented a more intellectual comedy than Henny Youngman, Shecky Greene and others. He probably influenced many young comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, by his style of talking to the audience rather than just one-liners. Of course, a one liner has its place, like Why do Jewish divorces cost so much? They're worth it.
34. Shed tool: RAKE. Many of the comedians were rakes.
35. Adds to: UPS. For example, UPS the ante, the was Gus Hansen does.
36. Sets a price: ASKS. Also known as the asking price.
37. Jackson dubbed "Queen of Gospel": MAHALIA. For all of you cruel wits, who realized MICHAEL is the correct number of letters, not funny! Well maybe funny, but you should not miss the incredible voice of this PERFORMER .
38. Sticking out: BLATANT.
40. Helping: PORTION. Again, not knowing that helping is being clued as a noun, made this a challenge.
41. In any case: AT LEAST.
42. River to Boston Harbor: CHARLES. A complete gimme for many of us; I have many fond memories of my youth and the Charles river, not far from where I had my first transplant.
44. Seven-time N.L. batting champ Musial: STAN. When I was a kid, it was Stan the Man versus Ted Williams.
45. Two or three bags of groceries, say: ARMFUL. With plastic bags, I try to carry 8-10 at a time.
46. Transforming syllable: MANTRA. OM. OM. OM. OM. OM. OM. Feel better?
49. Lockup: CAN. Lockup as a noun means jail, which is also known as the CAN (and the Calaboose).
51. Stud alternative: HOOP. Okay, gang, I know you were disappointed this misdirection was only talking about earrings.
52. As good as it gets: BEST. This puzzle is pretty close.
54. Corp. exec: CFO.
55. Fury: IRE. I like the horse better.
56. "What's the __?": DIF. The question mark tips you to the abbreviation of DIFFERENCE in an in the language expression.
Well, GEE, we have reached the end of another journey of learning and laughing. I enjoyed this because it was both very hard but filled with wit and I hope you all stayed for the ride. Remember, the links are only for those who want them. See you next time.