The second word of a fairly clued two-word phrase is chopped up (anagram-med) into a mild curse, which is revealed in the middle of the across clues. What makes this so impressive is even knowing more than 50 cuss words, I could not come up with another anagram, heck I tried. RATS I so wanted that gold STAR. A workout by one of regular young constructors our South African veterinarian friend Gareth Bain, who doubles as a blogger of the LAT on Amy Renaldo's Crossword Fiend site. The anagrams were simple, except 59A, which took a bit because it is not 4 letters like the others. It begins as a geography-centric puzzle, which is always hard for Americans. Tricky, but lots of short words and lots of blocks and even a J. I always have a good time with a GB original.
18A. *Celebrating the big five-oh, say : MIDDLE AGED.(10) Anagrams to EGAD.
23A. *Small museum piece : OBJET D'ART.(9) Becomes DRAT. A little American French.
53A. *Dancer with many fans : SALLY RAND. (9) DARN. She appears in many of Max Allen Collins historical mysteries, along with her famous fans, as opposed to her many fans. Love the play on words.
59A. *Profit factors : COST PRICES.(10). The tricky one because it is not 4 letters, CRIPES, and the fill does not roll off my tongue.
and the unifier:
37A. What the answers to the starred clues end in, in more ways than one. MINCED OATHS. (11). Minced meaning chopped, which like twisted and many others is the sign that an anagram is required.
1. Their first parts are geog. indicators : SSNS. If you did not know, the first three of the Social Security Number is based on where it was issued.
5. Her last film was "Two-Faced Woman" : GARBO.
10. Newspaper page : OP-ED. I am not opening this controversial door again.
14. Injure, in a way : CLAW. I am not sure our vet friend had cats in mind, and I bet you all have been clawed..
15. ___ dome : ONION. An obvious architectural TERM, but one I did not know I knew.
16. Denpasar's island : BALI. It is the site of their airport.
17. ___ mentality : HIVE. We must learn from the honey BEES.
20. ___-Locka, Florida : OPA. The also have an airport.
21. Sum, sometimes : I AM. (Soom), the Latin for I am.
22. Country across the sea from Eritrea : YEMEN. Across the Red Sea (happy belated Passover) before you get to Ethiopia.
27. Oil-rich African country : GABON. One of the surviving pieces of French Equatorial Africa, a small rich place.
29. City on the Rhone : LYONS. More geography, it is called LYON in French which made this extra hard, though the clue was in English, so....
30. "___ Theme": "Doctor Zhivago" song : LARA'S. Very pretty TUNE (3:18).
32. Tram contents : ORE. As it is taken from the mine, they load the trams.
33. Hog : sow :: rabbit : ___ : DOE. Reminds me of the LSAT. A word animal clue.
35. Freak (out) : WIG.
36. Court cry : OYEZ. Also sometimes, OYER et TERMINER. It stems from the old days when judges travelled to the courts and the people had to be advised the court was there. More law stuff, 46D. Put forth without proof : ALLEGE. Sounds bad, but you allege what the facts are in a complaint and then prove them at trial.
40. Pigeon-loving Muppet : BERT. I missed this whole phase.
42. Fjord cousin : RIA. Bodies of water.
43. ___ Victor : RCA. Do you recall his name?
44. Bargainer with GM : UAW. United Auto Workers.
45. LeVar's "Roots" role : KUNTA. Kinte.
47. Bender : BINGE.
51. Icky coating : GRIME.
55. Its young are called crias : LLAMA. Gotta love the CAMELIDS. Our vet always gets some of his specialty in the puzzles. Also, 6D. Member of a large kingdom : ANIMAL.
57. Rock's ___ Lobos : LOS. Sing along, LA BAMBA.(3:05). (More animals, wolves here).
58. Touch clumsily : PAW. So when she said he was pawing her, it was the clumsiness that mattered. (Animal paw?).
62. Siouan tribe : IOWA.
63. ___ d'amore : OBOE. I do not know much of the OBOE of LOVE. JzB? LINK. (2:49).
64. Terse observation : ADAGE. Interesting clue, as I think of the word like aphorism, apothegm, axiom, maxim, proverb, not just terse. Terse seems unfriendly.
65. W.S. winner in four of the last five years : NLER. baseball World Series being dominated by the National League, lately.
66. Flex : BEND.
67. Leafy recess : BOWER.
68. Pirate played by Laughton : KIDD. He played the CAPTAIN.(3:17) He seemed a bit foppish to be blood thirsty.
1. Art movement : SCHOOL. Like the Pointillists.
2. Elude : SLIP BY. His youth eluded him.
3. Code talkers' tribe : NAVAJO. Did you all see/like this MOVIE? (2:19).
4. 5-Across's home: Abbr. : SWEden.
5. Lose it : GO MAD.
7. Clear : RID.
8. Spa specimen : BOD. y?
9. Lacking siblings : ONLY. Child?
10. President with a B.A. from Columbia : OBAMA.
11. Shoulder-length hair styles : PAGEBOYS. Like this?
12. The "you" in the 1968 lyric "Gee I think you're swell" : ELENORE. The spelling gave away this TUNE.(2:32)
13. Imitated : DID. Frank Caliendo did John Madden so well. Sorry to hear that Pat Summerall died.
19. Brain tests, briefly : EEGS. ElectroEncephaloGramS.
21. "Put up your dukes, then!" : IT'S ON.
24. Break up : END IT.
25. Statistician's input : RAW DATA. GIGO.
26. Common folk group : TRIO. Kingston anyone?
28. ___ Perce tribe : NEZ. Not related to the eye glasses.
31. Seaweed extract : AGAR. A wonder of the world for cooks and scientists LINK.
34. Beige relative : ECRU. Can any of the guys tell them apart?
36. Atheist activist Madalyn Murray ___ : O'HAIR. She was always being talked about when I was young as the founder of the first organized Atheists. She led to the banning of prayer in schools and was eventually murdered. LINK (2:21). We will not talk religion or politics here, but when she died my father's words rang in my head during her funeral. "All dressed up and no place to go."
37. Dennis the Menace neighbor : MR. WILSON. Now living somewhere in Boca Raton.
38. German opener : EINS. One in German.
39. Super Fro-Yo sellers : TCBYS. This Can't Be Yogurt.
40. Eat at : BUG. This clue irritated me. In fact it 49D. Ate (at) : GNAWED at me. A tense clecho.
41. Drop zone? : EAR LOBE. OK GB, explain this one, drops meaning earrings?
45. Dole's running mate : KEMP. Former Buffalo Bill quarterback Jack. Lots of athletes make it to politics. How many do you know?
48. City SE of Roma : NAPOLI. Italian for Naples.
50. "___ Scissorhands" : EDWARD. Johnny Depp, ladies? No, okay NOT JOHNNY DEPP.(3:29).
52. Checked for the last time? : MATED. I am not sure if this is a pun on the state of matrimony, or just a reference to the game.
54. Like one who is 52-Down : LOSER. I repeat, I don't know....
56. Fast horse : ARAB.
59. Pen's mate : COB. (oops, don't we have MATED above?) Of course he is speaking of swans
where the adult male is a COB and the female is a PEN. He then ends with. 62A. Pen filler: INK. to enhance the confusion, I love it.
60. Brief commitment : I DO. With such a high divorce rate, brief may be the operative concept.
61. Crow's croak : CAW. And alliteration clue to fill, nice.
Well it is great to be back to Friday, even though blogging marti is always a treat. Gareth is also much fun and a very pleasant young man, willing to answer questions. While you are reading this, I am getting ready to get on airplane to Buffalo which to me is now Charlotte's ville, current home of my granddaughter. See you all next week.