Our own Irish Miss and C.C. have doggedly produced a lovely Wednesday puzzle that provided a fun exercise for me while their theme escaped my blood hound instincts. There was also just enough challenge to make my solving experience enjoyable.
What these ladies did was to supply five two-word theme answers wherein both words can serve as a "LEAD" for the word DOG. This is all tied up in their theme reveal:
37. Iditarod front-runners ... or what both parts of the answers to starred clues can do? : LEAD DOGS - As you can see by the picture here, being the LEAD DOG does have its advantages!
The previous puzzle I blogged was last Wednesday's where the phrase OUT OF could precede each word in a two word phrase to give two new phrases and so there was some similarity.
Now let's take a look at the theme fills, some of which are canine related and some not so much:
18. *Suffering harsh criticism : UNDER ATTACK which yields
6. *Member of a 1960s Chinese paramilitary group : RED GUARD
36. *Hard-to-control blaze : WILD FIRE where Agnes and C.C. also give us
Let's see what else is in their, anything but shaggy, dog story:
1. __ Wednesday : ASH - The day after Mardi (Tuesday) Gras (Fat)
4. Rock of comedy : CHRIS
9. Miata automaker : MAZDA - The star of the movie Husker Gary's Midlife Crisis
14. 6-Down leader : MAO
15. Moocher : LEECH
16. Cannes concepts : IDEES - En France, les bonnes IDEES peuvent impliquer des vin (In France, good ideas can involve wine)
17. CPR pro : EMT
20. Attach, as a patch : SEW ON
22. All skin and bones : GAUNT
23. See 39-Down : LEE 39. With 23-Across, "Life of Pi" Oscar winner : ANG - ANG LEE - Lots of CGI required
24. Put up, as wallpaper : HANG
25. Fleecy boot brand : UGGS - Tom Brady was a spokesperson at one time
26. Word on a sample check : VOID
27. Sneaky guy? : PETE
28. Charlotte of "The Facts of Life" : RAE
29. Lawman Earp : WYATT
31. Portable gifts for book lovers : E READERS - Do you like turning the pages like I do?
33. Very long spell : EON
34. Part of mph : PER - Do you really want to get your 'vette going this fast?
35. Exchange rate abbr. : USD - Your Canadian loonie is worth about .73 USD
36. Like some smiles : WRY
37. NYC airport code : LGA
40. Cat, often : PET - We have one of those
43. "Sailing to Byzantium" poet : YEATS - I did better understanding calculus and relativity
45. Where LeBron plays home games, on scoreboards : CLE - Has any athletes ever meant as much to one city as LeBron has to CLEveland?
46. Yin partner : YANG
47. Standard : NORM
48. Passed down, as folk mus. : TRAD - I didn't understand TRAD until I saw mus. Hence TRADtional music
50. Antique shoppe adjective : OLDE
51. Wilder's "__ Town" : OUR
52. "Mrs. Dalloway" novelist : WOOLF - I ain't afraid of her
53. Bicycle part : PEDAL - Once you attach your foot to the PEDAL there could be issues
58. Have debts : OWE
59. Ancient Aegean region : IONIA
60. Bugs of crime : MORAN - George "Bugs" MORAN was on his way to the garage on Valentine's Day 1929. Good thing he was late.
61. Came down with : GOT
62. Chopper blade : ROTOR - One horizontal and one vertical
63. Gushes : SPEWS
64. Caution to drivers : SLO
Down - Picture seemed appropriate here with the clue direction and the theme...
1. Iowa college town : AMES
2. "One for me, too" : SAME HERE
4. Held tightly (to) : CLUNG
5. Coop resident : HEN
7. Glacial periods : ICE AGES
8. Show of indifference : SHRUG
9. Baker's accessory : MITT
10. Electronic security corp. : ADT - The telephone ran them out of their original business
11. Fanatic : ZEALOT
12. Duplicity : DECEIT
13. Posed a question : ASKED
19. Mom's demand for an explanation : ANSWER ME - Been there, heard that!
21. Top draft status : ONE-A - This IV status card was "found" on him on 11/22/63 using an alias
26. Moving vehicle : VAN
27. __ rally : PEP
28. Road trip convenience : REST STOP
30. Go up and down : YOYO - A lot of this motion is NOT up and down
32. Tune for two : DUET
38. Left base illegally : GONE AWOL
40. Kitchen spray : PAM
41. Edible mollusk : SCALLOP
42. Country singer Lovett : LYLE - Yeah, I know who he was married to for two years and I don't know why either
43. "Right back atcha" : YOU TOO
44. Off the mark : ERRANT - William Tell pulled two arrows and told Gov. Gessler that the second arrow would have been for Gessler if the first shot was ERRANT and had killed his son and then...
47. Respectful refusal : NO SIR
49. Destinations in Clue : ROOMS - The original ROOMS
50. Pops the cork from : OPENS
52. Be dressed in : WEAR
54. Jared of "Suicide Squad" : LETO
56. Juan's uncle : TIO - An Almost Perfect Uncle
57. Bit of cornfield cacophony : CAW
Now, after my DOG and pony show, let's have some good comments