Well it seems that we have a new Patti Varol (Rich's assistant) mentee debuting on a Friday. The gimmick is simple but I have not seen it before. The adding a letter to a word to make it into an animal related fill is skillfully done. CATTITUDE is my favorite and LAMBITION, not so much, but they are all good. We also have some nice fill like HOME ICE, MAUGHAM, ANTIQUE, SATSUMA, CURSIVE and AS I SAID.
Since Ms. Varol is Rich's assistant, I wonder how many clues were changed? Well let's see what was left.
17A. Know-nothing swine? : PIGNORAMUS (10). Do people say Ignoramus any more? I guess so; LISTEN at your own risk.
22A. Puppet's desire to manipulate Shari Lewis for a change? : LAMBITION (9). This takes knowing LAMB CHOP was her lead sock puppet.
35A. Sass from a young lion? : CATTITUDE (9). I leave this for CED to go wild with.
51A. Lazy lady's man? : SLOTHARIO (9). Yes this is REAL.
58A. Cephalopod wizard's game? : SQUIDDITCH (10). The only one that has no google life. It is a portmanteau of SQUID and QUIDDITCH.
Finding five which could be placed symmetrically was great.
1. Actress Kaczmarek or Krakowski : JANE. It took me a minute, but I think the first was from Malcolm in the Middle and the latter from Ally McBeal and 30 Rock.
5. Friends abroad : AMIS. French.
9. Resigned words : AH ME.
13. Chihuahua cheers : OLES. Chihuahua, Mexico.
14. Point of view : SLANT.
15. Creep : TOAD. Not a meaning I know.
16. Woodshop tools : SAWS.
19. "Conan" channel : TBS. Turner Broadcasting System.
20. Baja vacation spot : CABO. Both spring breakers and high end travelers go HERE.
21. Co-owner of the Pequod : PELEG. I do know my Moby Dick. But is he FUNNY?
25. Yale founder Yale : ELIHU. Hence Eli.
27. Come to light : EMERGE.
28. Cry of fright : EEK.
30. GoPro product, briefly : CAMera.
31. Before thou know'st : ANON. Popular Shakespeare word.
32. The teensiest bit : A TAD.
34. One filling in : TEMP. Temporary help.
38. Conceal : MASK. The movie?
41. Piano recital piece, e.g. : SOLO.
42. Marine predator : ORCA.
45. Lead-in to roll or spree : ON A.
46. Moll's leg : GAM. Two words from the gangster world; moll has meant gangster's girlfriend since the 1500's. Gam appeared in the 30's.
47. Fast entry : IN RUSH.
49. Mink relative : OTTER. I knew this, not sure why.
54. Long Island airport town : ISLIP. I flew into Islip with my wife two years ago on our trip to my childhood haunts.
56. __ Domani: Italian wine brand : ECCO. Where is Chairman Mao, our wine expert?
60. Tale spinner : LIAR.
61. Sport whose champions are called "yokozuna" : SUMO. A great MATCH featuring two champions.
62. CoverGirl competitor : ALMAY.
63. Car rental giant : AVIS. We use this more often than Hertz.
64. Suckling spot : TEAT. Oh My!
65. Come off as : SEEM.
66. Formally relinquish : CEDE.
1. Elbow one's way : JOSTLE.
2. "To Kill A Mockingbird" setting : ALABAMA. Have any of you read the sequel?
3. Ones turning in stories : NEWSMEN.
4. Small opening? : ESS. The S starting Small.
5. "I was home alone," perhaps : ALIBI. That is not much of an alibi.
6. Myopic Mr. : MAGOO.
7. Roadside retreat : INN.
8. "Knock it off!" : STOP. My father said that often in the 50's.
9. One bit : AT ALL. I used say that so much in the 70's and 80's.
10. Hockey advantage : HOME ICE. The cold version of home field advantage.
11. "The Razor's Edge" novelist : MAUGHAM. An interesting MOVIE as well.
12. Mad men? : EDS.
14. Flood : SPATE. I did not know this definition.
20. Aetna rival : CIGNA. Insurance giants.
23. Lou who stole 938 bases : BROCK. He was traded away by the Cubs. Sadly he has had one of his legs amputated.
24. "Sweet!" : NEATO.
26. One working at a base : UMP. Maybe Patti and CV.C. trade baseball stories.
29. Kin of gov : EDU.
32. Molecular particles : ATOMS.
33. Up to, briefly : TIL.
34. __ firma : TERRA. Latin for firm land - hence Earth.
36. Org. with body scanners : TSA. And so much more now.
37. "Tiny Bubbles" singer : DON HO. From 50 years ago.
38. Farm sound : MOO.
39. It's not new : ANTIQUE.
40. Asian citrus fruit : SATSUMA. I have learned many new vegetables and fruits from my wife, including this mandarin orange type.
43. Gettysburg Address feature : CURSIVE. Very deceptive. They do not even teach handwriting in schools now.
44. "Let me repeat myself ... " : AS I SAID.
46. Graph paper design : GRID. It was how puzzles were designed until the computer came along.
47. Like a mosquito bite : ITCHY.
48. Raspy : HOARSE.
50. "Adam Bede" novelist : ELIOT. This was George Eliot's first novel.
52. "Here, I'll do that" : LET ME.
53. Non-shaving razor name? : OCCAM. Of course this was easy for all.
55. BlackBerries, e.g. : PDAS. Personal Digital Assistant.
58. Former JFK lander : SST.
59. French landmass : ILE.
60. Fond du __, Wisconsin : LAC. I think John Lampkin should have had a bonus fill last week - Lake Winnebago!
We are done, as is the month of June. Some will have a long week-end for the 4th. Personally I am tired of being home, but these write-ups are fun. Have a safe and fun fourth! Lemonade out.