Showing posts with label Al. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Al. Show all posts

Jul 14, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011, Jeff Chen

Theme: The Truth Is Out There, revealed in 64A. You can find one in the four longest puzzle answers, even if you don't believe: UFO.

17A. Continental alliance's intl. strategy: EU FOREIGN POLICY. Abbr. European Union, and abbr. international.

25A. Treat thicker than the original: DOUBLE STUF OREO. Extreme oreo.

43A. Toyota RAV4 competitor: SUBARU FORESTER. SUVs.

57A. Complaint after a reluctant act: YOU FORCED MY HAND.

Hi all, Al here as usual on a Thursday, with a hidden word theme. Did you spot the Unidentified Flying Objects split between words in all cases? I hope there wasn't any deep probing needed.


1. Medea's husband: JASON. Sorceress daughter of King Aeetes, who possessed the golden fleece. Unwilling to give it up, he set a series of impossible tasks for Jason to obtain it. Medea fell in love with Jason and assisted him in return for a promise of marriage.

6. Tarboosh : Arabic :: __ : Turkish: FEZ. The 11th Doctor says Fezzes are cool. (spoilers, his significant other doesn't agree.)

9. When bulls crow?: BOOMS. Bulls make money in the stock market when the economy is expanding (buy low, sell high later). Bears are betting that there will be a downturn or recession on the way (sell high futures, buy back low later).

14. Utah County seat: PROVO.

15. Obit number: AGE. Astaxanthin resveratrol

16. Hamilton of "The Terminator": LINDA. In her prime, except for the fourth pic...

20. Prime meridian hrs.: GMT. Greenwich Mean Time.

21. Drops a pop: ERRS. Baseball. Pop-ups should become easy outs.

22. Otolaryngologist's diagnosis: OTITIS. Inflammation of the middle ear.

23. "Richard III" star McKellen: IAN.

24. E or G, e.g.: NOTE. Music, A through G.

32. Bluesy Waters: ETHEL. I so wanted to fill this with Muddy.

33. Resistance units: OHMS. Named for Georg Ohm, a pioneer in electricity theory.

34. "Outstanding!": RAD. Shortening of radical.

36. Looking displeased: POUTY. Glad it wasn't MOUEY.

37. 50-50, say: TIE. In basketball, perhaps. Possible but unlikely in football, very unlikely in other sports.

38. Covered in goo: GUNKY.

40. Allotment word: PER. Per diem means "for each day".

41. Rabbit's title: BRER. Shortening of brother.

42. Actor Davis: OSSIE.

47. Two-time Indy 500 champ Luyendyk: ARIE.

48. Old boat-steering tool: OAR.

49. Yes or no follower: SIRREE.

52. Askew view: BIAS. True clue.

54. Storm of the '90s: GEO. GM's release of an Izusu.

60. Slop: SWILL. Old English swilian, swillan "to wash, gargle," related to the root word of swallow.

61. Canada's smallest prov.: PEI. Prince Edward Island.

62. Moved like goo: OOZED.

63. Country's Tucker: TANYA. A millionaire by the age of 16, married Glen Campbell (45 at the time) when she was 21. When you look up "wild child" in the dictionary, it has her picture by the definition.

65. Draws closer: NEARS.


1. File format for pics: JPEG. Joint Photographic Experts Group. A compression format that allows pictures to retain their image, yet not take as much storage (if you choose).

2. __ lily: ARUM. Pretty.

3. Player's piano?: SOFT. The full instrument name, pianoforte, literally means soft-loud.

4. Ab __: from the start: OVO. A reference to one of the twin eggs of Leda and Zeus, disguised as a swan, from which Helen was born. Had Leda not lain the egg, Helen would not have been born, so Paris could not have eloped with her, so there would have been no Trojan War.

5. "Seriously!": NO, REALLY!.

6. Not foul: FAIR. More baseball.

7. Clutch contents: EGGS. A clutch is a "nest" in reference to chickens, from clekken "to hatch" perhaps of imitative origin (cluck).

8. Path to enlightenment: ZEN. from the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word Chán, which can be approximately translated as "meditation" or "meditative state".

9. Smashed: BLOTTO. Soaked.

10. Slicker: OILIER.

11. Taking care of business: ON IT.

12. Year when "Hamlet" is believed to have been completed: MDCI.To believe or not to believe, that is the question...

13. Remarks: SAYS.

18. Beach bird: ERNE. The sea eagle.

19. Vanishing sounds: POOFS. Unless you're trapped in an elevator and can't get away. SBDs are only funny to one person.

23. "Doubtful": I BET.

24. Dígito: NUMERO. Spanish digit, number.

25. He played Dillinger in "Public Enemies" (2009): DEPP. Johnny.

26. Great Plains natives: OTOES.

27. Swahili for "freedom": UHURU. Or, the communications officer of the USS Enterprise.

28. "Got that right!": SO TRUE.

29. One taking things wrong?: THIEF. Nice meta-clue. Did you take it wrong?

30. Dadaist Max: ERNST. Certainly not boring.

31. Jack of "The Great Dictator": OAKIE.

35. Batik artist: DYER. This has appeared enough times to not have to search for it, right?

38. Show leniency toward: GO EASY ON.

39. Red letters?: USSR. Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

41. Prickly shrub: BRIER. To go along with Brer Rabbit.

44. Person sometimes 9-Down: BARFLY.

45. Biological ring: AREOLA. Not linking this, even with safe-search on.

46. Gallivant: ROAM. Play the gallant, flirt, gad about.

49. Part of DOS: Abbr.: SYST. Disk Operating System. Why is internal storage a "disk", but a CD-ROM is a "disc"? A disk is magnetic, and a disc is optical (and removable), but that still doesn't explain why...

50. Midwest university with 23 team wrestling championships: IOWA.

51. Bollix up: RUIN.

52. Grievance: BEEF.

53. Peculiar: Pref.: IDIO. Idiosyncratic.

54. Strip under duress?: GAZA. Today' geography lesson.

55. Cabinet dept. since 1977: ENERgy.

56. Numbers on horses: ODDS.

58. PC core: CPU. Central Processing Unit.

59. Soil-moving tool: HOE.


Jul 7, 2011

Thursday, Jul 7, 2011, Marti DuGuay-Carpenter

Theme: Lawesome puns. Some of these are truly lawful, others are just a law deal.

17A. Fine print in Yogi's contract?: BEAR CLAUSE. (claws). A clause is an article or section of text; it originally meant conclusion, but lost that meaning over time.

25A. Court allegations requiring consideration?: ATTENTION PLEAS. (please) Plea from Old French plait: lawsuit.

42A. Product liability problems for Willy Wonka?: CHOCOLATE TORTS. (torte) Middle Latin tortum: injustice.

57A. Vague religious law?: LOOSE CANON. (cannon) From Latin "canon": straight line, rule.

Hi all, Al again, and another puzzle by one of our own, Marti. I think this should have been Lemonade's to blog though, I'm a bit out of order here.


1. President known as "Big Bill": TAFT. William. At 5'11", he weighed about 335 lbs. at his peak.

5. Beat it: SPLIT. Scram, leave.

10. Shady growth: MOSS. Not exclusive to north sides, trees can shade other trees, and prevailing winds can dry out the "wrong" side as well. Keep your GPS handy.

14. Jamaican tangelo: UGLI. Cross between orange, tangerine, and grapefruit. The one time I tried one, it tasted like a grapefruit, so why bother? Anyone have one "in the wild" that tasted any better?

15. Stag: ALONE. Well, OK it can mean that, but I think of this term more as meaning male-only, like a men's club.

16. Wheelset piece: AXLE.

19. "Swell!": NEAT.

20. Body in a belt: ASTEROID. Between Mars and Jupiter.

21. Abby and Martha, to Mortimer, in "Arsenic and Old Lace": AUNTS.

22. Exempt attachment?: ION. Exemption.

23. Tab, for one: COLA. Sales declined sharply with the introduction of diet coke, but it is still available. Initially used cyclamates (banned), then saccharin(warning label), then aspartame (should be banned) as the sweetener.

32. Clip: SPEED. I worked through this puzzle at a good clip.

33. A lot of nothing: NILS. Normally, plurals evoke a "meh" from me, but the clue for this one made it better somehow.

34. Many a '50s-'60s pop act: DUO. Here are some, most I'm too young to know or remember...

35. Fine cotton: PIMA. Had not heard of this.

36. Moving aid: DOLLY. Applied from 1792 to any contrivance fancied to resemble a doll in some sense, especially "a small platform on rollers". Doesn't look like one to me, either.

38. Douglas and Fraser: FIRS. My wife seems to prefer Frasers at Christmas. I prefer artificial. Guess who wins?

39. Medium power?: ESP. A 4' tall psychic successfully eluded police after a bank robbery. The headline read: Small medium at large.

40. Show enthusiasm: RAVE.

41. Hershey's raw material: CACAO. Chock full of antioxidents, dark chocolate is actually healthful in small quantities, if only they don't use milkfat instead of cocoa butter. Milk in chocolate negates any benefit.

46. Biblical middle child: ABEL. According to Genesis 4:25, Seth was born after the slaying of Abel by Cain, and Eve believed God had appointed him as a replacement for Abel.

47. Jamaican spirits: RUM. Originally rumbullion, rombostion, of uncertain origin, perhaps from the ajective form of rum, meaning fine or excellent used approvingly by rogues in reference to one another.

48. Thin: SPARE. Old English, sense of frugal or absence of fat.

51. Get the most out of: MAXIMIZE. Latin maximum, largest, greatest.

56. America's first spy: HALE. Nathan. Symbol of bravery and patriotism.

59. Elects: OPTS.

60. Sat rocking, say: IDLED.

61. Ivory Coast neighbor: MALI. Today's geography lesson.

62. New Mexico resort: TAOS. I should have taken that left turn at albuquerque

63. Spanish filmmaker Almodovar: PEDRO.

64. Hardly at all: A TAD. Perhaps from a shortening of tadpole.


1. Big band wind: TUBA. I liked the crossing of big wind and a politician in the NW corner.

2. Gets along in years: AGES.

3. Place to take 27-Down: FLAT English Apartment, along with 27D. See 3-Down: TEA.

4. Turnpike roller: TIRE.

5. Oater joint: SALOON. Anglicized form of salon, a large hall.

6. Lament: PLAINT. Vaguely theme-related, from French plaintif (complaining).

7. More than just eye-catching, clotheswise: LOUD.

8. Good tennis returns: INS.

9. Where to start playing a round: TEE. Golf. The grassy area and the peg the ball is placed upon.

10. Guide: MANUAL.

11. Team with a lot of pull?: OXEN.

12. Blind section: SLAT.

13. Directors' milieus: SETS. Milieu is French for place, related: lieu (in lieu of).

18. Exclaimed: CRIED.

21. Range in seven countries: ALPS.

23. DNA shape: COIL. A double helix, actually.

24. Singular: ONLY.

25. Silly: APISH. Quit monkeying around...

26. A conductor sets it: TEMPO. Italian, literally "time".

28. Firth or fjord: INLET. a long, narrow inlet with steep sides, created in a valley carved by glacial activity.

29. Proclamation: EDICT. Theme related bonus word.

30. Subtle qualities: AURAS.

31. Not too hot: SO-SO.

32. What houses may be built on: SPEC.

36. Valley: DALE. Glen, vale.

37. Like the lenses on some granny glasses: OVAL.

38. Considerably: FAR.

40. Courtroom cover-up: ROBE. Judge's dress.

41. Book with drawings: COMIC. Manga too.

43. Tender touch: CARESS.

44. Test-taking tip?: ERASER. Cute, a pencil end.

45. Prom dress: TUXEDO. M/F bender. Lots of trickster clues today.

48. Tavern measure: SHOT. One ounce. A jigger is 1.5 oz.

49. Senior Smurf: PAPA and 52D. 49-Down's partner: MAMA. Before anyone complains about there not actually being a mama smurf character (Smurfette was the only female Smurf), the reference clue for 52 was to the answer for 49, not for the clue to 49.

50. Chorus line: ALTO. I assume because they stand altogether...

51. Bread concern: MOLD. Another Thursday and another clue not about money.

53. __ the finish: IN AT.

54. "J'accuse" author: ZOLA. An accusation of outrage against someone powerful. An open letter in the newspaper L'Aurore by the influential writer Emile Zola, was addressed to the President of France, and accused the government of anti-Semitism and the unlawful jailing of a French Army General Staff officer for espionage. Zola pointed out judicial errors and lack of serious evidence. The letter was printed on the front page of the newspaper. Zola was prosecuted and found guilty of libel. To avoid imprisonment, he fled to England.

55. City west of Tulsa: ENID.

57. Sass: LIP.

58. Writing on an urn: ODE. Ode on a Grecian Urn -- John Keats.


Jun 30, 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011, Ed Sessa

Theme: Hey, MICKEY, you're so fine. 52D.When spelled out, word that follows the beginnings of the starred answers in a memorable kids' show theme song: MOUSE.

20A. *13th in a literary series of 26: M IS FOR MALICE. Along with 42A. Author Grafton who wrote 20-Across: SUE.

29A. *Me.-to-Fla. route: I NINETY-FIVE. Interstate highway from Maine to Florida.

35A. *Benjamin: C-NOTE. It's all about the Benjamins. My daughter is getting sick of hearing me say "follow the money" whenever she asks me why someone did something.

39A. *Blue Light Specials store: K-MART. Now owned by Sears.

43A. *The Boss's backup: E STREET BAND. Bruce Springsteen.

53A. *All men have them: Y CHROMOSOMES.

Hi all, Al here. Did anyone else get anything more complex for the theme? Seemed a bit simple for a Thursday. (Note from C.C.: Looks simple, but it's tough to find familiar phrases where the first word is an English letter, not to mention in equal length for symmetry.)


1. Nile reptile: CROC. In it's natural habitat.

5. Dance in Rio: SAMBA. Brazilian dance of African origin, Zemba, from Portugese samba, shortened form of zambacueca, a type of dance, probably altered (by influence of zamacueco "stupid") from zambapalo, the name of a grotesque dance, itself an alteration of zampapalo "stupid man," from zamparse "to bump, crash."

10. Net info sources: FAQS. Frequently Asked Questions.

14. Make over: REDO.

15. Dwindling Alaskan tribe: ALEUT.

16. It runs in Juarez: AGUA. Spanish water.

17. Copycat: APER.

18. Horn without keys: BUGLE.

19. Place to brood: COOP. Old English brod "brood, fetus, hatchling "that which is hatched by heat." The verbal figurative meaning ("to incubate in the mind") is from the notion of "nursing" one's anger, resentment, etc.

23. Glucose regulator: INSULIN. From Latin insula "island," so called because the hormone is secreted by the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas.

24. Winter phenomenon, commercially: SNO.

25. Diary of a sort: LOG.

28. Cultural org. since 1965: NEA. National Endowment for the Arts. PBS sponsor.

32. Actress Gardner: AVA. Husbands and lovers include Mickey Rooney, Howard Hughes, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra.

33. Party invite inits.: BYO. Bring Your Own beverage.

34. "So be it!": AMEN. From Hebrew for "truth".

38. "__ to him who believes in nothing": Hugo: WOE. From Les Misérables.

40. Bats: LOCO. Daft, nuts.

41. "Platoon" setting, briefly: NAM.

46. Basic resting spot: COT. Basic training.

49. "So that's it!": OHO.

50. Where kronor are spent: Abbr.: SWEeden.

51. Cooks quantity?: TOO MANY. Cooks spoil the broth. Many hands make the work light. Make up your mind...

55. Bunker smoother: RAKE. Golf sandtrap.

58. Give __: inspire: A LIFT.

59. Capable of: UP TO.

60. Cell impulse transmitter: AXON. Nerve ending.

61. Blakley of "Nashville": RONEE. Unknown to me.

62. Put in stitches: SEWN. Expecting something funny here.

63. "I Love Lucy" producer/writer Oppenheimer: JESS. If you say so.

64. Tipped at the casino: TOKED. Never been to Vegas, but makes sense, I guess.

65. Winged archer: EROS. Greek God of love, Roman counterpart: Cupid.


1. Fill snugly with: CRAM IN.

2. Complain: REPINE. Old English pine (pain, torture) with intensifier "re-", to cause pain.

3. Potemkin mutiny city: ODESSA. The Battleship Potemkin, a propaganda film. The Tsar's Cossacks in their white summer tunics march down the Odessa steps in a rhythmic, machine-like fashion firing volleys into a crowd.

4. Argonauts' island refuge: CORFU.

5. Kate's "Charlie's Angels" role: SABRINA. Charlie's Angels.

6. Some booster club members: ALUMNI. Latin alumnus "a pupil," literally "foster son", from a word meaning "to nourish".

7. Byte beginning: MEGA. Prefix meaning one million.

8. Dartboard area: BULLS-EYE.

9. Diminished slowly: ATE INTO.

10. Watch part: FACE. Band, dial, hand, stem, gear, lots of choices.

11. Back in time: AGO.

12. Status __: QUO. "The state in which", so existing state of affairs.

13. Deplete: SAP. "weaken or destroy insidiously," originally "dig a trench toward the enemy's position", from M.Fr. saper, from sappe "spade," from Latin sappa "spade". The sense of "weaken" on the notion of "draining the vital sap from."

21. Martini garnish: OLIVE.

22. Demure: COY. from Old French coi, earlier quei "quiet, still, placid, gentle," ultimately from Latin quietus "resting, at rest".

25. Andean bean: LIMA. Simmonds' "Dictionary of Trade" (1858) describes it as "esteemed," but it has the consistency of a diseased dog kidney.

26. Done: OVER.

27. Mannerly fellow: GENT.

30. Nuclear radiation weapon, for short: N-BOMB. The neutron bomb was supposed to kill people but leave buildings intact.

31. Popularity: FAME.

32. Comment end?: ATOR. Commentator

35. Mark's love: CLEOpatra.

36. Chips and dip, say: NOSH. From Yiddish nashn "nibble,"

37. Twice quadri-: OCTO.

38. Decisive downfall: WATERLOO.

39. Praise: KUDOS. Greek.

41. 1980s sitcom set in rural Vermont: NEWHART. Hi, I'm Larry. This is my brother Darryl and this is my other brother Darryl.

42. Acted snobbishly toward: SNOOTED.

44. PC key: ESC. I use it all the time with my favored Unix text editor. Really messes me up when I have to switch back to using Windows though.

45. Payment for cash?: ATM FEE. I remember when these were first being pushed to be accepted to lower your account fees because banks would save money not having to pay a teller for mundane tasks. They seem to have lost sight of that...

46. Boy scout, at times: CAMPER.

47. Fight combo: ONE TWO. Boxing. Give 'im the ol' one-two, along with 57D. Haymaker consequences: KOS. Knock-outs.

48. Boxer Mike et al.: TYSONS. Hmmm, I think one of those is enough...

53. Desires: YENS. Earlier yin "intense craving for opium", from Chinese (Cantonese) yan "craving," or from a Beijing dialect word for "smoke." Reinforced in English by influence of yearn.

54. Pen call: OINK.

55. British rule in India: RAJ. From Hindi raj "rule, kingdom" c.f. Rajah.

56. Bush whacker?: AXE. The spelling ax is better on every ground, of etymology, phonology, and analogy, than axe, which became prevalent during the 19th century; but it is now disused in Britain. [OED] (but then it wouldn't fit in a LAT crossword puzzle).


Notes from C.C.:

1) I'd like to share with you a baseball themed puzzle Don G made for my birthday. Click here for Across Lite file and here for PDF version. The clues are original & tough. When you're done, click here to see the layered gimmicks. I only got half of the tricks.

2) Here are a few cool pictures from Marti & Dudley's lunch meeting yesterday. Marti has more detailed captions on her photos. Unfortunately they don't show well in the pictures.

Jun 23, 2011

Thursday, Jun 23, 2011, Bill Thompson

Theme: Spot a bomb in a bull: Hidden snowmen.

20A. When to say night-night: BEDDY BYE TIME.

28A. Ohio Stadium purchase: BUCKEYE TICKETS. Why would anyone pick this for their team mascot name? The tree species Aesculus glabra is commonly known as Ohio buckeye, American buckeye, or fetid buckeye. It derives its unflattering common name from the disagreeable odor generated from the flowers, crushed leaves, broken twigs, or bruised bark.

42A. Advance sale teaser line: NOT YET IN STORES.

47A. Dubious Himalayan headline and phenomenon in 20-, 28- and 42-Across: YETI SIGHTING.

Hi all, Al here, time is kind of tight, so I'll have to be brief...


1. Improvise at the jazz club: VAMP. From revamp, to fix or make over. A vamp is the part of a stocking that covers the foot and ankle, so revamping originally meant meant mending socks.

5. Butt (in): HORN. Cowboy slang, comparison to buffalo behavior.

9. Oncle's spouse: TANTE. French: Uncle, Aunt.

14. River to the Fulda: EDER.

15. Its French name means "high wood": OBOE. Hautbois.

16. Sun Valley locale: IDAHO. Scenic.

17. Move, briefly: RELOcate.

18. Monument Valley sight: MESA. Also very scenic.

19. Many a Justin Bieber fan: TWEEN. Know your audience, I guess...

23. Former Mideast org.: UAR. United Arab Republic, Egypt + Syria.

24. Author of the Yiddish memoir "And the World Remained Silent": WIESEL. A common crossword clue, turned into an answer (ELIE).

33. Swiss Guard charges: POPES. Why would there be a Swiss Guard in the middle of Rome, Italy?

34. Quick: AGILE. Almost directly from Latin: agilis, nimble or quick.

35. Chinese tea: CHA.

36. Prunes: LOPS. Verb use to cut, not dried plums.

37. Georgia of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show": ENGEL.

38. "Cinque, dieci, venti, trenta" in "The Marriage of Figaro," e.g.: DUET. Five, ten, twenty, thirty.  Figaro is measuring the space where the bridal bed will fit while Susanna is trying on her wedding bonnet in front of the mirror.

39. Yellowfin tuna: AHI. A sushi staple.

40. Estate home: MANOR. The main house.

41. Sounds content: PURRS.

45. "I love what you do for me" automaker: TOYOTA. Anagrams to: Hey! You motivated a fool or two.

46. Big-house link: AS A.

54. Peer in a box: JUROR. Peer as an equal (from Latin "par"), not "to look" as with "appear".

57. Relinquish: CEDE.

58. Golfer Aoki: ISAO. He only plays with golf balls marked with the number 5. That number is pronounced "Go" in Japanese, and his goal is to never shoot higher than that on a hole.

59. Japanese art genre: ANIME.  Animation (cartoons) often expanded from Manga (comic books).

60. Oregon Trail team: OXEN.

61. Sommelier's prefix: OENO. Wine.

62. Lose it: GO MAD.

63. Distance swimmer Diana: NYAD. At the age of 61, this summer she will attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida (103 miles) without a shark cage.

64. Pont __: Paris bridge: NEUF. The name means "new bridge", but is the oldest bridge across the Seine. It connects the Rive Droit (right bank) with the Rive Gauche (left bank).  Now I have an urge to get my guitar out and re-learn this...


1. 3-Down, e.g.: VERB. Ah, yes, the referential clue mixed with a literal meaning.  It's definitely Thursday.

2. "Zip-__-Doo-Dah": A-DEE. From Song of the South, sung by Uncle Remus (James Baskett).

3. Blend: MELD. Related word: meddle.

4. Yields: PRODUCES.

5. Man of La Mancha: HOMBRE. Spanish man.

6. Mind: OBEY. A strange associative progression from the word mind, originally meaning memory, or remembering: "Mind your Manners", "Never you mind about that". Those kinds of phrases were commands, which instilled the sense of needing to obey: mind your elders.

7. See 12-Down: ROSE. 12D. With 7-Down, Bette Midler classic: THE. A lot of people seem to like Bette, and they are allowed to, but she's not really my cup of tea.  Feel free to provide your own links in the comments.

8. Bourbon order: NEAT. Unadulterated, free from impurities (like water from melting ice).

9. They may be tufted: TITMICE. Having a cardinal's peak.

10. Magazine that highlights Clio winners: ADWEEK. A magazine about advertising.  In other words, a magazine.

11. "Sorry, laddie": NAE. Scottish.

13. Quite a span: EON. Time, not distance.

21. Goes on and on: YAKS. What I do sometimes.

22. Volunteer's offer: I WILL.

25. Like an encrypted transmission, in theory: SECURE.

26. Old anesthetics: ETHERS.

27. Future J.D.s' exams: LSATS. Law School Admission Tests. Juris Doctor, the first professional graduate degree in law.

28. Melodramatic cry: BOO HOO.

29. Haughty: UPPITY.

30. Greek New Ager: YANNI. I'll spare you the music link.

31. Goad: EGG ON. This sense of egg comes from "edge".

32. Feature of some fancy cakes: TIERS. Related words: tirade and attire.

33. Magician's secret cohort: PLANT. A ringer.

37. Really worry: EAT AT.

38. Term: DURATION. Latin durare, to harden (endure).

40. Like some mail: METERED. Postage is printed on instead of applying individual stamps, allowing for automation and time savings.

41. Sumptuous: POSH. Long explanation for this, but it does NOT mean port out starboard home, that is a backronym from people trying to retrofit a meaning.

43. He has a cello named Petunia: YO YO MA. He was doing a class in Salt Lake City, and a high school student asked if he had a nickname for his cello. he said, "No, but if I play for you, will you name it?" She chose Petunia, and it stuck.

44. Remnant: TAG END.

48. Tiny trash can, e.g.: ICON. On your PC desktop.

49. Hot: SEXY.

50. Thought: IDEA.

51. "Mm-hmm": I SEE.

52. Half a sitcom sign-off: NANU. Mork & Mindy.

53. Flub: GOOF. A gaffe.

54. Spree: JAG. A period of unrestrained activity.

55. The loneliest numero?: UNO. A play on Three Dog Night's first hit "One", written by Harry Nilsson.

56. Drum edge: RIM. Ba-dump Tish. And that's the end.