One word of a common phrase is wrapped in As, with an A inserted at the beginning of the word, and an A inserted at the end of the word. Doug has been a prolific and skilled constructor for the past 12 years, and was among the early INTERVIEWS C.C. did after the change to LAT puzzles. He was very forthcoming and helpful. Doug also edits and collaborates with others. Doug does many themeless puzzles, but this version of add a letter was fun with the added layer of complexity adding both beginning and end. Not a crusher Friday, and some nice long non-theme answers like I’LL PASS, BAD PATCH, GOTTA RUN, MEAL TIME, RAIN DROP, all of which are compound fill. Multi word fill seems to be the focus here, but most were not obscure. Well I see the bat-signal so it is time to save Gotham and solve the puzzle.
17A. *Media member with a curly tail? : PRESS AKITA, (10). Press kit + AA=
25A. *With 50-Across, travel guide that touts Oranjestad's worst hotels and restaurants? : ARUBA THE. (8) 50A. See 25-Across : WRONG WAY (8). Rub the Wrong Way becomes a travel guide from hell.
38A. *"Whatever you say, wise goddess!"? : ALL RIGHTY ATHENA. (15). All right then, let's read about this GG. LINK.
61A. *Refrigerator on the front lines? : AMANA OF WAR. (10). I like this one best
And the reveal.
64D. Smallish batteries, and a hint to how the answers to starred clues are formed : AAS.(3).
1. Common telenovela theme : AMOR. Spanish soap operas are all about LOVE.
5. Travel needs for many : VISAS. Another area I know very little about.
10. Lose, in a Vegas game : BUST. Isn't it odd how this repeat fill can be both so sad and so nice?
14. Amplify, in a way : MIKE. I have heard the phrase 'mike-up' so I guess this makes sense, but it took a while.
15. Not available : IN USE. Also known as Occupied, Occupado.
16. Fit : ABLE.
19. Word with barn or storm : DOOR. I think we have a puzzle where DOOR was the hidden end to the theme answers.
20. Sorceress jilted by Jason : MEDEA. Well, thanks for the CSO, but she was not a nice WOMAN . With the mini-theme: 67A. Legendary galley : ARGO. Galley is a type of ship (I linked recently that discussion) and this was Jason's.
21. "Not interested" : I'LL PASS.
23. Seahawks' org. : NFC. National Football Conference. Interesting, especially as they began in the AFC.
26. "Time to split!" : GOTTA RUN. Modern shortspeak spelling.
30. Ore. setting : PST. Pacific Standard Time.
31. José __: frozen Mexican food brand : OLE.
IT. Raga to Ragga to Reggae?
34. Santa __ Mountains: coastal California range : CRUZ. West Coast Warriors, you want to expand?
42. In-land link? : LA LA. This may have begun with bedtime music but as a phrase is attributed to Los Angeles and the attitudes there.
43. Henie on the ice : SONJA. Back again so soon? Never forget Carol.
44. Grammy-winning "We Are Young" band : FUN.
45. Cybernotes : IMS. Instant Messages.
48. Six, for many : MEAL TIME. Sadly here in So.Fla, this is when the second shift eat dinner.
54. "King Kong" studio : RKO. Radio-Keith-Orpheum. HISTORY.
55. Franklin's note : HUNDRED. It is all about the Benjamins.
56. "Cheers," e.g. : TOAST.
60. Qatari potentate : EMIR.
65. In __ parentis : LOCO. A hark back to last week's Latin exercise, "in the place of parents."
66. What a shin guard protects : TIBIA.
68. __ school : PREParatory. Been there.
69. How-to units : STEPS.
70. Actor Gosling : RYAN. We end this part with this face: His eyes do not match, but don't tell Eva.
1. Digital clock toggle : AM/PM.
2. Squishy area : MIRE. I enjoy the Ocean Spray commercials in the bog in Maine.
3. Didn't deny : OKED. Tricky, as I was thinking verbal assent.
4. Feel offended by : RESENT. Context, as it looks just like RESENT.
5. Itinerary word : VIA. More Latin.
6. India __ : INK.
7. Fashion designer Anna : SUI. For me a mostly unknown DESIGNER who reminds me of C.C. Only because of Target have I heard her name.
8. Buzzing with activity : ASTIR. A word!
9. Close securely : SEAL UP.
10. Run of lousy luck : BAD PATCH. I guess if you fix your clothes and do a bad job might be where this phrase meaning a run of bad luck comes from?
11. Threat to a WWII destroyer : U-BOAT. A German submarine.
12. Splash clumsily : SLOSH. People who are sloshed often splash clumsily.
13. Clipped : TERSE. All perps, but reasonable in retrospect.
18. Trip to see the big game? : SAFARI. Really nice mis-direction, no Super Bowl here.
22. Birth announcement abbr. : LBS. Lesbian Baby Sister? Oh, pounds.
24. Climbing challenge : CRAG.
25. Subject for da Vinci : ANATOMY.
26. One may go into an empty net : GOAL. Very common in Hockey where teams pull the goalie in the last minute when down.
27. Earthenware pot : OLLA.
28. Bluff betrayer : TELL. The TV popularity of poker seems to be waning, though I think everyone learned about 'tells' from watching the World Series of Poker, Rounders etc.
29. Words of disgust : UGHS.
33. Holiday song closer : SYNE. Scottish for 'since.'
35. S&L offering for homeowners : REFInance.
36. Word on the Great Seal of the United States : UNUM. And still more Latin, E Pluribus.
37. Novelist Grey : ZANE. Great writer of westerns.
39. Shower harbinger : RAIN DROP.
40. Cracked open : AJAR. When is an A word not an A word.
41. Have words with : TALK TO.
46. Dept. head : MGR. Manager.
47. Workout garb : SWEATS.
49. Beyond reasonable limits : TOO FAR. All right this time you went too far!
50. Young wolf : WHELP. I used to love reading Jack London's books.
51. One may be going around : RUMOR. better than the flu.
52. Ready if required : ON ICE.
53. Not turn away : ADMIT. Not turn away, oh as in they had to turn away thousands who went to see Taylor Swift at Times Square.
57. Not right : AWRY. And then everything went awry.
58. Multigenerational tale : SAGA. Not related to RAGA.
59. Suffix with Jumbo : TRON. A shout out to the scrappy KC Royals.
62. Mount Rushmore figure, familiarly : ABE.
63. Tang : NIP. Nope, no idea.
Well this is the last day of this month; remember to turn your clocks back on Sunday, and enjoy the extra sleep. Thanks Doug P. always good to see your work; also thanks for an amazing performance by Madison Bumgarner. Lemonade out.