Theme: NESW? I am lost where do I go? It does not matter any direction will do, they all lead to home.
There are four pairs of theme answers along with the grid spanning 'hint' 40A. Like the answers to eight starred clues ... and a hint as to how to fill them in : OMNIDIRECTIONAL (15). The gimmick is you must read the fill in the direction of the of the words themselves. 93 theme letters is a big challenge so you can expect many short fill but we do get ANOMALY, CITADEL, COOLERS, LABORED, UNRESERVED and the complete ET TU BRUTE. Of course as is often the case on Friday, many will not like the backwards words. The last KK I blogged in 2014 brought out many negative or Thumper comments. But which way do you prefer to make Fridays challenging? Obscurities? Originality? I thought this was relatively easy and I had fun. I like how the pairs also fit together, the first a clecho the others synaptic; let's peek at the answer sheet.
12A. *Ring punch : RIGHT HOOK (9). This was perps but it made sense when paired with 68A. *Ring punch : SSORC TFEL (9) Left Cross, another common boxing term. The fill must be read from right to left. We read right to left in Hebrew.
19A. *Manhattan neighborhood : EAST HARLEM (10). This neighborhood known also as Spanish Harlem is not a place many go to visit. It is paired with 57A. *Liberia locale : ACIRFA TSEW (10) West Africa, which you have to read from West to East (right to left). This where I caught on as I know where Liberia is.
4D. *Animated TV series set in the Rockies : SOUTH PARK (9). This paired with 38D. *Challenge to Eiger climbers : ECAF HTRON (9) (North Face) which requires you to head North to understand the fill.
9D. *Promising : GNIMOC DNA PU (11). Up and Coming, which is paired with 23D. *Level-headed : DOWN TO EARTH (11) like all the themers they must be read in the direction of the words. If you had not understood the theme the letter progression GNI should have tipped the scales. I loved this pair.
1. Blesses : OKS. In retrospect this was easy, but I was thinking sneezing or religion.
4. Star Wars, initially : SDI. Strategic Defense Initiative. Not the movie.
7. Go fishing : ANGLE. I floundered about looking for an answer but the bass I cod come up with is that it describes the angle of the pole and the line. Or maybe the angle of the hook? I hate to worm my way out of this, so help....
16. IQ test pioneer : BINET. Alfred did so much MORE.
17. Start of the line before "Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!" : ET TU BRUTE? This is Shakespeare's version where Cinna tries to justify killing Julius Caesar because Caesar was too popular. You can tell it is from a English writing because it mixes the Latin phrase with an English response.
18. Bluebloods : ELITE. New England and New York were filled with these types, Cabots, Lodges, Bushes, Roosevelts...
21. 1965 Sophia Loren comedy : LADY L. What a cast. LINK (0:54).
24. Gas sign in green letters : HESS. Are there any left or are they all Speedway? I did not know Speedway was owned by Marathon until today.
25. Line of work: Abbr. : OCCupation. I find this an awesomely bad clue, but it is used regularly. There are many nice clues for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. HERE.
28. Year in Mexico : ANO. Spanish.
29. Talladega unit : LAP. An Alabama track on the NASCAR circuit.
31. Result of a 1955 merger : AFL-CIO.
34. Postseason game : BOWL. College football.
36. Pull in : MAKE. Money you make.
39. Treating poorly : BAD TO.
43. Role for Dustin : RATSO. Midnight Cowboy. His breakout role?
44. "The Bridge on the River __" : KWAI. Another wonderful movie.
45. Marquis de __ : SADE. How much do you really know about this man?
46. Chooses the window instead of the aisle? : ELOPES. Really cute airplane misdirection but it did not fool me.
48. Fraud watchdog org. : FTC. Federal Trade Commission.
50. For each : PER.
51. Shade provider : DYE. Fun clue/fill misdirection.
52. Ness, for one : LOCH. Lake.
55. Castro and others : RAULS. Meh.
61. Don Diego de la Vega, familiarly : ZORRO. He will always be Guy WILLIAMS (not Madison, who played Wild Bill Hickock with Andy Devine) I am getting old! for me.
63. Frankness : UNRESERVE.
67. The Bradford kids of '70s-'80s TV, e.g. : OCTET. Who didn't love this FAMILY (1:02)
69. Milo of "Barbarella" : O'SHEA. He was in so many great roles. THIS (3:51) was not one of them. Jane was adorable.
70. Long time : EON.
71. Major : KEY.
1. Natural resource : ORE. Or not?
2. Young beaver : KIT. Be careful here....
3. Pepper, for one: Abbr. : SGT. All perps, cute clue.
5. Words before dances : DO THE. This was filled before I saw the clue but I am completely unaware of this phrase. Help.
6. Some furniture stores : IKEAS. Meh, the extra s....
7. Biblical brother : ABEL.
8. Juba's "White" river : NILE. This was my learning moment, I just do not know much about the Southern Sudan.
10. Betray, with "down" : LET. To me the act of betrayal is much more than letting down.
11. Juillet's season : ETE. French for July and Summer. 30D. Brest friend : AMI. More French.
13. One of three cartoon nephews : HUEY.
14. Little League precursor : T-BALL. and the semi-clecho 15D. Little League belts: Abbr. : HRS. Home runs.
20. Soweto's home: Abbr. : RSA. Republic of South Africa.
21. Toiled : LABORED.
22. Rule exception : ANOMALY. A wonderful word.
26. Stronghold : CITADEL. Also a college.
27. Beach party staples : COOLERS.
32. Govt. group that began in 1908 : FBI.
33. Where kip are spent : LAOS. No idea, but I do know Thailand uses Baht.
35. Sylvester's problem : LISP.
37. London's __ Gardens : KEW.
41. Fawn's mom : DOE. Yes, her name is Jane.
42. Tiny songbird : TIT. Always good for a link. I like it when the two MATCH.
47. Canon offering, briefly : SLR. SingleLens Reflex.
49. Dimin.'s opposite : CRESCendo.
53. Handy : OF USE.
54. Playground retort : CAN SO.
56. Mad as __ hen : A WET. I could not find anything definitive as to the origin of this phrase.
58. Algonquian language : CREE.
59. Bit : IOTA.
60. Sun. message : SERmon.
61. Animal house : ZOO. Funny.
62. It turns out lts. : OCS. Lieutenants. Officer Candidate School.
64. Nats' former stadium : RFK. Baseball team that shared the park with the unnamed football team.
65. Symbol of peace : VEE. This always reminds me of Churchill, which reminds me that I am watching the Roosevelt mini-series while I ride the exercise bike. Such an interesting family.
66. Eastern Nevada city : ELY. An old stagecoach TOWN which I know only from puzzles.
Another Friday in the books and another month about to go away. We did get 5 Fridays this month so I must be tired. Thanks Kurt. Enjoy all. Lemonade out.