Theme: January 29, St. Agnes Eve, Demonstrably!
Our Friday fellow, Jeffrey Wechsler brings us a puzzle with a TOUCH OF EVIL. EVIL is inserted into the theme phrases to create new and evocative phrases. Since we have Satan injected into the grid, I must wonder if Jeffrey knows that today is a Satanic Holiday known by the name of my theme. It appears somehow this Catholic SAINT , the protector of virgins, has been incorporated into certain Pagan liturgy. I would guess the puzzle grew from realizing that DISH NETWORK plus EVIL would be a grid spanner. Finding (or rather creating) REVILED SNAPPERS was impressive. Of course it may all be just JW continuing his admiration for Orson Welles, for whom he did an NYT tribute puzzle last year containing the same movie. I could not find much on the subject of Satanic stuff, which is just as well since we do not talk religion here. We have tons of interesting long fill like CIRCLET, GENERAL, SILENT G, SLANTED, JAPANESE, MEANTIME, AUTOMOBILE, EXONERATES, SNAKE RIVER, VA VA VA VOOM. Maybe JW will tell us his inspiration, in the meantime let us solve.
17A. Threat to the queen's cotton? : ROYAL WEEVIL(11). We were amused by a clue with this INSECT. Isn't amazing how soon after the blog discussed the "royal we" it shows up as part of theme.
27A. Satan's broadcaster? : DEVILISH NETWORK (15). DISH network
43A. Really unpopular fish? : REVILED SNAPPERS (15). Red snapper is very popular in SoFla.
57A. 1958 Orson Welles film noir ... and a hint to 17-, 27- and 43-Across : TOUCH OF EVIL (11).
Having a revealer is what made this puzzle doable. Time to work our way through the mine field of tough clues/fill.
1. "If I may interject ... " : AHEM. As she cleared her throat dramatically...then she
5. Stops to smell the roses : PAUSES. Sorry but your cigar is almost gone and the...
11. Briquette's fate : ASH. is falling on my carpet. I want you...
14. Passed : GONE.
15. Potassium hydroxide, e.g. : ALKALI. Ok, back to the puzzle, this took the perps to let me know where the clue was going.
16. Siete menos seis : UNO. Subtraction in Spanish.
19. Water source : TAP. How simple.
20. Hersey's "A Bell for __" : ADANO.
21. Wind dir. : SSE. Again....is this familiar Friday fodder?
22. Call forth : EVOKE.
24. Help for a sad BFF : TLC. Tender Loving Care.
26. Subject of the first picture in Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" : GNOME. Not familiar with this composer or the artist (Viktor Hartmann), and he did not design the Travelocity Gnome.
35. On the move : ROVING. I had trouble with this clue/fill as the word is in my memory banks associated with 'roving eye' which is not the same as clued here.
36. Plane compartment : BIN. Overhead.
37. Told, as an elaborate tale : WOVE. Rhymes with....
38. Repeating rhythmic pattern used in Cuban music : CLAVE. What? It does not rhyme with save. Time to LEARN. (3:13)
39. Balderdash : JIVE. According to the online etymology dictionary: 1928, "to deceive playfully," also "empty, misleading talk" (n.) and "a style of fast, lively jazz and dance music," American English, from African-American vernacular, probably of African origin (compare Wolof jev, jeu "talk about someone absent, especially in a disparaging manner"). Related: Jived; jiving. Used from 1938 for "New York City African-American slang."
40. 39-Down carrier : ANA. Wow, we are pulling out all our Friday stuff. This AIRLINE.
41. Deli equipment : SLICER.
42. Protected at sea : ALEE.
46. Rushed : RAN AT. Again simple only after filled by perps.
47. Mauna __ : LOA. Along with KEA, Hawaii volcanic mountains.
48. Expert : MAVEN.
49. "__ Kapital" : DAS. The Karl Marx TOME about economics and society. Read and discuss somewhere but not here.
52. Make whole : UNITE.
56. First woman to land a triple axel in competition : ITO. An amazing skater and a reminder of our dear friend Clear Ayes.
61. Overshoot : EXCEED. Expectations.
62. Bear's cry : SELL. Appropriate reference to the stock market now.
63. Philosophy : ISM. Hence Marxism.
64. Trinket : DOODAD. Last week doodah...
65. Town near Padua : ESTE. More fill completely unknown. But I guess I can LEARN.
1. Indian district with three World Heritage Sites : AGRA. Only ONE of which is the Taj Mahal. A young lawyer and his wife toured there but I did not remember the details.
2. Rain protection : HOOD.
3. Irish musician with four Grammys : ENYA. Four letter singer, I did not go with Bono.
5. Hand analog : PAW. Give me your paw.
6. Pub array : ALES.
7. Oahu entertainers : UKES.
8. Keep : SAVE.
9. Manning taking a hike : ELI. Love the humor here, though despite two Super Bowls many do not love Eli any more. Peyton will try for his 2nd again.
10. 26-Across feature : SILENT-G. Cross reference, hmm there are more.
11. Lot occupant : AUTOMOBILE. I nailed it. It really got me going in solving.
12. Part of Oregon's border : SNAKE RIVER. In this map it is in yellow, Columbia purple. Can you find where CED's camera trip was yesterday? Hell's Canyon would fit the theme today.
STORY. He name is from the Greek, the pan meaning "all" like in a pangram and the dora meaning gift.
18. Relax : LOLL.
23. "Cross my heart," e.g. : VOW.
25. Round ornament : CIRCLET. Not really up on this jewelry; seems like a tiara to me.
26. Vague : GENERAL.
27. John of Scotch fame : DEWAR. Do they make any good scotch? Tin?
29. Ed Norton catchphrase on "The Honeymooners" : VAVAVAVOOM.
31. Climate control systs. : HVACS. Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning
32. Jewel thief portrayer in "The Pink Panther" : NIVEN.
39. About 125 million people : JAPANESE. What a random clue.
41. Not objective : SLANTED. So many political comments come to mind....
44. Halogen suffix : INE. Can you name the five? Is there a 6th waiting to be discovered?
45. High hair style : POUF.
48. Revealing apparel : MINI.
51. __ butter : SHEA. Also a stadium at one time.
53. "Variations on 'America'" composer : IVES. A wonderful composer (or so I am told) though I only know James Merritt Ives. LISTEN.
54. List : TILT. If your ship is listing, I hope you swim.
55. How she looks in Paris? : ELLE. Cute clue.
58. Good Grips kitchenware brand : OXO. We get this brand often.
59. "They say there is divinity in __ numbers": Falstaff : ODD. We end with our Friday Shakespeare, this time from the third and final appearance of Falstaff. It is said the play was written at the behest of Queen Elizabeth I.
One last St. Agnes fact; it is a very famous poem by Keats, a poet whose work JW had in his 1/15/16 effort. Coincidence? Okay I talk to myself too much, but now I can talk to you all. Enjoy. Thanks Jeffrey and all who read. Lemonade out.