Theme: My, you look good enough to eat. The last name of four celebrities are replaced with sound alike foods, and presented as the favorite food of the individual, leading to a punny, yummy puzzle. This is our second Gene Newman puzzle, though he has been published many times in the NY Times over the last three decades. I found many layers of wit and some new stuff, so let's go.
17A. Mike Hammer portrayer's favorite food : STACY QUICHE. STACY KEACH a quintessential tough guy playing Mickey Spillane's HERO. (7:12) here shown with Barbara Bain from Mission Impossible.
62A. Sportscaster's favorite food?: BRYANT GUMBO. BRYANT GUMBEL, one of two sports caster brothers, who now has his own show on HBO, REAL SPORTS.(1:39)
10D. Cabaret singer's favorite food?: EDITH PILAF. EDITH PIAF, the French singer who died too young but left a legacy of MUSIC.(2:05)
28D. Tennis great's favorite food?: IVAN LENTIL. IVAN LENDL, who like Petr Korda has daughters who are excellent golfers. Ivan does both, but was RELENTLESS (2:10) on the court.
In keeping with the food theme, I also saw these subtle clues,
26A. Estrange: ALIENATE. Who did the alien eat?
53A. Threat to Crusoe: CANNIBAL. Does that make him a cannibal, or it a reference to the foods eating the peoples names?
68. Ruhr city: ESSEN. Which in German means food, or eating. Tricky.
1. __ Verde: Colorado national park: MESA. Looks worth a visit.
5. Gobs: SWABS. Synonyms for Sailors.
10. It might be slippery: ELM. A type of tree whose bark is used in natural medicines.
13. Inclined: ATILT. My "A" word.
15. Ruth's number: THREE. For a moment I was wondering why this biblical figure had a number, and then, I remembered this IMAGE, whose uniform number was #3.
16. __ gratia: DEI. By the grace of G-d, and a nice change from Agnus.
19. Place to retire?: INN. Just for the night.
20. Perón title: SENORA. Eva.
21. In close combat: TOE TO TOE. A nice visual clue, best shown as boxers.
23. Distillery equipment: VATS.
25. What a frosh studies to be?: SOPH. Nice logical misdirection.
26. Estrange: ALIENATE.
30. Gift for dad: TIE PIN. No thanks boys.
33. Book after Exod : LEV. Book of Leviticus, so named from the Levites, the tribe of priests, and third book of Moses.
34. Plumbing supplies: TRAPS.
36. Instant: TRICE. From the Dutch, meaning one quick pull.
37. It's always 13-Across: Abbr.: ITAL. Italics are always atilt.
39. Attained: MET. Your goal, your quota, etc.
40. Cry of dismay: ALAS. Woe is me.
41. Flub: BONER. and directly below we have 47A. Like some decorative furniture: INLAID.
43. Fire blight victims: PEARS. My learning moment. LINK.
46. Army member ANT.
49. They'll take you up SKI LIFTS.
51. Gaelic tongue: ERSE. Are we all up on the ERIN, EIRE, ERSE fill?
52. "The Blackboard Jungle" author Hunter: EVAN. A very prolific author who wrote, as Ed McBain, the wonderful 87th precinct novels.
53. Threat to Crusoe: CANNIBAL. Robinson Crusoe who pioneered the phrase, TGIF.
57. Make beloved: ENDEAR.
61. "Our remedies __ in ourselves do lie": "All's Well That Ends Well": OFT. Loves me some Shakespeare.
64. Diagnostic proc.: MRI.Magnetic resonance imaging.
65. Deceive: LIE TO.
66. Dive, in a way: SCUBA.
67. House dealer?: POL. House of Representatives. Are you all comfortable with this term being accepted without needing an indication of an abbreviation? I am and I like the misdirection.
68. Ruhr city: ESSEN. Nice letter combination make this fill very popular.
69. Old autocrat: TSAR. last week we had CZAR.
And now in the words of Petula Clark, time to go
1. Eucharist liturgy: MASS. The seminal ritual of Catholicism.
2. Suffix pertaining to size: ETTE. Cigarette, yes; suffragette, no, or were they all small?
3. Phillips who played Livia on "I, Claudius": SIAN. I have linked her wonderful performance as the mother of Tiberius before.
4. Niche: ALCOVE. Does not rhyme with QUICHE.
5. "The Simpsons" leisure suit wearer: STU. Sing along to this SONG.(2:24)
6. Small amount: WHIT. I don't give whit if you do not like the Simpsons.
7. Violinist's direction: ARCO. Literally, with a bow. Used chiefly as a direction to indicate the resumption of bowing after a pizzicato passage. I will leave pizzicato to JzB. Son 2 began his music playing the violin.
8. Urgent prompting: BEHEST. Nice King Arthur word.
9. Act with diligence: SEE TO IT. The main dialogue between Cardinal Cronin and Bishop Blackie in Father Greeley's wonderful books. Or do you like Captain Picard's "Make it so", better.
11. Frequent Carson stand-in: LENO. Still there.
12. Blasting site: MINE.
14. Coup target, perhaps: TYRANT. Khadaffi anyone?
18. One of the Gulf States: QATAR. They play golf there and the announcers cannot decide if it is pronounced KA-TAR, or CUTTER.
22. It may be comic: OPERA. Always my weak spot on jeopardy, and I did want to give a shout out to the great job JOON PAHK did on Jeopardy. He did all of us in the crossword puzzle universe proud, though you could see the pressure building day after day. Bravo. Meanwhile if you want more HISTORY.
24. Show petulance: STAMP. She stamped her foot impatiently.
26. "I had to visit my sick aunt," e.g.: ALIBI. I am sure my fan club will have a better clue in mind.
27. Blabbed: LET ON. An old fashioned way to say spilling the beans. A toughie.
29. Weapons seen on pistes: EPEES. A new clue for an old favorite, the PISTE is part of the setup to allow the accurate electronic scoring.
31. Quitter's word : I CAN'T. Yes you can!
32. Packs, as a set of mixing bowls: NESTS. Because they fit inside of each other.
35. Camping support: STAKE. For the tent.
38. Hear about : LEARN.
42. Disposed to laugh: RISIBLE. What a great word, from the french "rire" to laugh.
44. Hull fastener: RIVET. I wonder if any other generations recall this wonderful image:
45. Jargon : SLANGS.
48. Rubbish: DEBRIS. A great word next to risible.
50. Add to the service: INDUCT. Armed service.
53. Casino reward: COMP. COMPLIMENTARY, or free room.
54. Big do: AFRO.
55. They're pros: AYES. They are voting yes, unlike the ANTIS. Right CA?
56. Hurrying, maybe: LATE. for a very important date.
58. Flightless birds: EMUS. Very lean meat they say, Kazie?
59. "Waterloo" group: ABBA. and now for a musical INTERLUDE.(2:50)
60. Comedy club sound: ROAR. The roar of the grease paint, the smell of the crowd.
Wow, we are done already with another week, thank you Mr. Newman for a nice work out, and thank you all for tuning in. Until next time, will anyone watch the World Series in November with no star teams? Is the NBA history? Come back next week for the answers.
PS I keep forgetting to thank Argyle for inspiring the listing of the play times for the video links.