4 in the language two-word phrases have the words reversed and are then re-clued to match the new phrase. This is the third Friday from Paul this year and each have featured a a combination of two words. It is also the first time HG did not blog one of these in my stead but I have enjoyed all of them. Thank you HG, and I return with lots of short fill that is not easy. There are some nice 7 and longer fill such as BEAN BAG, FOX NEWS, ALSO RAN, IDEA MEN, LIGATES, ELUSIVE, KLEENEX, CABINET, ELASTIN, OGREISH but some of the shorter fill are very challenging. MOAS, KIRS, MILOS, SPRIT and GIGUE - I look forward to the crowd response.
19A. *Idle : NOTHING DOING (12). Doing Nothing is what makes one idle.
27A. *Athlete's time-out on a hot day : BREAK WATER (10). A Water Break feels good these days here in sunny South Florida.
34A. *Maestro's signals : BEATS DOWN (9). Down Beat is the downward stroke of a conductor's arm or baton indicating the first or accented beat of a measure. Various.
44A. *Returned : BACK HANDED (10). Handed Back is how you return things.
51A. "Nice" expression ... and a hint to the answers to starred clues : TURN OF PHRASE (12).
I do love a reveal that brings what seems like a meaningless bunch of fill together in a sensible fashion.
1. Prickly case : BUR. I learned this word from the old westerns on TV where the bad guy would put a BUR under the saddle of the good guy.
4. Retired flier : SST.
7. Wombat relatives : KOALAS. Not sure why but I knew this.
13. Pittsburgh-to-Scranton dir. : ENE.
14. School gp. : PTA. Parent Teacher Association.
15. "Hannity" airer : FOX NEWS.
16. Loser : ALSO RAN.
18. Thoughtful guys? : IDEA MEN. Mad Men?
21. Crow : BOAST.
22. Protein producer : RNA.
23. "Eldorado" rockers : ELO. Electric Light Orchestra.
26. Communiqué segue : AS TO.
31. "Holy cow" : GEE.
32. Extinct New Zealanders : MOAS. The fooled me for a while making me think of people not the BIRDS.
33. Court call : ORDER.
37. "Amadeus" director Forman : MILOS. An amazing man who directed 8 different actors who were nominated for best actor, three won. BIO.
40. Sushi kitchen supply : EELS.
41. Albanian coin : LEK. I think I have a few in my pocket.
47. See 20-Down : KILL. 20D. With 47-Across, in a drop-dead gorgeous outfit : DRESSED TO. DRESSED TO KILL.
48. "Go on ... " : AND.
49. In shape : FIT.
50. Lively French dance : GIGUE. I am part French but did not know this DANCE.
55. Group that's mostly secretaries : CABINET. The best clue of the puzzle.
58. Protein that allows skin to stretch or contract : ELASTIN. If you know elastic....
59. Monstrous : OGREISH.
60. Get into : DON.
61. Time to prepare : EVE.
62. Scarcity : DEARTH. Nice $5.00 word.
63. Marienbad, for one : SPA. I think only Tinman knew this RESORT.
64. Census datum : SEX.
1. Dorm room seat : BEAN BAG. We all had them, mine was red vinyl.
2. Let free : UNLOOSE.
3. Put another way : RESTATE.
4. Nautical pole : SPRIT. (nautical) a light spar pivoted at the mast and crossing a fore-and-aft quadrilateral sail diagonally to the peak.
5. "South Park" boy : STAN.
6. Pungency : TANG.
7. Big bear : KODIAK.
8. Big bovines : OXEN. Back again.
9. Course for Crusoe?: Abbr. : ANAGram.
10. The Eagle, briefly : LEM(onade?) Nope, Lunar Excursion Module.
11. Amazement : AWE.
12. 81-yr.-old ID : SSN. Social Security Number.
15. Musical Apple : FIONA.
17. Quite : OH SO.
23. LAX posting : ETD. ETA ETD, flip a coin or wait.
24. "Malcolm X" director : LEE. Spike.
25. "Catch-22" pilot : ORR. A very good read.
27. Fluffy accessory : BOA.
28. Double-crosser : RAT. The best...WATCH
29. Blows away : WOWS.
30. Prince Valiant's son : ARN. A puzzle favorite for many years and last week.
32. Dovetail : MESH.
34. __ choy : BOK. Bok choy or pak choi is a type of Chinese cabbage. Chinensis varieties do not form heads and have smooth, dark green leaf blades instead, forming a cluster reminiscent of mustard greens or celery
35. Sandra who was the first to play "Gidget" : DEE.
37. CEO's degree : MBA.
38. McKellen of "X-Men" : IAN. And Harry Potter , the Hobbit, and Beauty and they Beast and more.
39. TV screen type : LCD.
41. Ties surgically : LIGATES. The root word for ligature.
42. Hard to pin down : ELUSIVE.
43. Soft tissue : KLEENEX.
45. From the top : AFRESH. An A word.
46. Beethoven's __ : NINTH.
47. White wine apéritifs : KIRS. This is a drink made from dry white wine and crème de cassis.
50. Ivory Coast neighbor : GHANA.
51. Bleacher feature : TIER.
52. Ton, for one : UNIT.
53. Govt. enforcers : FEDS.
54. Fall, as into a chair : PLOP.
55. Whiting cousin : COD. The fish of fish and chips.
56. Sensitive subject, to some : AGE.
57. Source of support : BRA. Nice clue. And time to go.
I enjoyed this work out, but it has left me drained, so I bid you adieu. Lemonade out. Thanks Paul.