Showing posts with label Christopher Adams. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christopher Adams. Show all posts

Jan 9, 2020

Thursday, January 9th 2020 Christopher Adams

Theme: ? When Victor Hugo sent an ingenious telegram to his publisher to ask how sales of  his new novel "Les Miserables" were going, to save money he sent just "?" He received the reply "!" Which leads us in a roundabout fashion to ...

19A. Big musical number ... or what 60-Across is to four puzzle answers?: SHOW STOPPER

and when we navigate downtown, we find:

60A. Decisive ending: EXCLAMATION MARK

So let's see what this is all about:

16D. Musical revue performed in the nude: OH! CALCUTTA! Two show-stoppers here, I guess, one in the first act and one at the end. The title of the show is a play on a French phrase which you'd use to be complimentary about someone's - ahem - derrière.

18D. Musical whose first run won 10 Tony Awards: HELLO, DOLLY! 

38D. Musical featuring ABBA songs: MAMMA MIA!

39D. Musical awarded a special Pulitzer in 1944: OKLAHOMA! The Pulitzer jury was a little vague about why the prize was awarded, the citation just says "A special award for Oklahoma".

So we've got an unusual grid size (15x16) and East-West symmetry only. Why? To accommodate the theme. The 15-letter reveal needs to live alone, so in a regular puzzle it would have to occupy the middle row, and you can't fit the other themers around it, neither across nor down. So stretch the grid and abandon the N-S symmetry. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily, as long as the concessions to the theme don't reflect badly in the fill. In this case, I'm not sure.

Purist's section - you certainly shouldn't have OH! CALCUTTA!, and you shouldn't have any other exclamation marks anywhere else. (Hello, 6D and others.) If you want to build a puzzle around a punctuation mark, you have to be consistent. If you can't find four theme entries that work with your reveal, either toss the puzzle away with a "ah, well, I tried" or think of a new way of tying those musicals together.

With that, let's see what's in store as we go down the aisles, not stopping to pick up any one of the 17 three-letter words littering the shelves:


1. Coffee holder: CUP. Not URN nor MUG then. I think we need a campaign to stop coffee appropriating tea's vessel of choice. It's a cup o' tea in my book.

4. "Top Chef" host Lakshmi: PADMA

9. Droop: SAG

12. Tapped-off remnant: ASH. Hopefully not seen around for much longer.

13. Thread holder: SPOOL

14. T'ai __: CHI. Fill in the blanks and move on.

15. Club condiment: MAYO. Do you need mayo with a club sandwich? Mayo-be you do.

17. "Fiddler" meddler: YENTE

18. Chemistry Nobelist Otto: HAHN

22. "My Friend" title horse: FLICKA. I read this book as a kid, I remember very little about it, it seemed a little formulaic maybe? Boy loves horse, horse is sick, boy gets sick, boy gets well, horse lives.

24. Coral creatures: POLYPS

27. "A Legacy of Spies" author: LE CARRÉ

29. Makes a mess of: FOULS UP

30. St. Teresa's town: AVILA

31. VII x XIII: XCI. The desperate act of a constructor. Short of options? Throw a roman numeral in there, no-one will notice. I know, I've done it myself.

33. Rodeo performer: ROPER

34. Catchall abbr.: MISC. ET AL is a temptation here.

35. Pool tool: CUE

36. Eat in style: DINE. That would preclude dining at the diner, which is amusing. I read recently that Amtrak are doing away with the dining car on most of their services, a shame. There's definitely something stylish about dining on a train. When I commuted into London as a youth, my train had a bar car. The journey home was an hour and one minute, and a very convivial hour it was too. Some folk were known to miss their stop intentionally to have "one for the road" and then catch the next train back.

37. Dramatic accusation: ET TU

38. Paris transit: METRO. I love the art deco signage on some of the stations - I think this one is just below Montmartre.

40. Deca- minus two: OCTA-

41. GPS part: Abbr.: SYST. Global Positioning System.

42. Smart __: ALECK

43. Eco-friendly certification letters: LEED. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, as we all know. Or not.

44. Tablet named for an organ: TUMS. My "tum" is an organ? I guess. "STOMACHS" doesn't fit. Not sure I like the twee euphemism here.

46. Kosher food carrier: EL AL

48. Preserve, in a way: EMBALM

51. "The Joy Luck Club" novelist: AMY TAN. On my "to-read" list. My dad taught me how to play mah-jong with a set he brought back from Hong Kong when he was stationed there with the British army in the 20's and 30's. Many years later in Beijing in 2008 I joined a pop-up game in a little square near the Drum Tower. The locals were surprised that I knew how to pick up the tiles, let alone play the game (albeit very slowly!)

55. Philosopher __-tzu: LAO

56. Short rest: NAP

58. Word for a woman: SHE

59. Hosp. area: I.C.U.

64. "I like that": NICE

65. Cool beans or warm fuzzies: IDIOM

66. Great Lake city: ERIE

67. MC alternative: AMEX. I didn't get the "MC" at first, so this needed some help from the crosses. MC : Mastercard AMEX : American Express

68. Yoga pose: ASANA

69. Word for men: LADS. It's a bit of an oddity, this clue. "Word for ..." doesn't add anything and doesn't misdirect either. Curious.


1. Dash attachment: CAM

2. NATO founding member: USA

3. The Curies, e.g.: PHYSICISTS

4. Propaganda battle: PSYWAR. Psychological Warfare.

5. Tarzan raisers: APES

6. "Cut it out!": DON'T!

7. Con __: briskly: MOTO

8. Syrian city: ALEPPO

9. Member of a 1990s girl group: SCARY SPICE which ties in with 63D later on.

10. Spa sigh: AHH!

11. Martini default: GIN. You'd think so, but I bet a dollar to a donut that if you ordered a martini and didn't specify, you'd get vodka, or at least be asked which vodka you wanted. The "James Bond" martini has both gin and vodka, and lilet blanc.

20. Gumbo pod: OKRA. Tends to be a little polarizing, this innocent vegetable, due to the "slime" factor. I use it regularly when I cook Indian food.

21. Refill a glass, say: POUR

22. Fire sign: FLAMES. I get the wordplay here, but aren't flames the fire itself, not a sign of fire? I'm not sure, perhaps someone can explain the chemistry behind the plasma.

23. Flippancy: LEVITY

25. Mambo legend Tito: PUENTE. "Oye Como Va".

26. Nutella, e.g.: SPREAD

28. Shines: EXCELS

29. Cutthroat, as competition: FIERCE

32. Meet-__: romcom device: CUTE. Totally unknown to me.

45. Radius neighbor: ULNA

47. "You said it!": AMEN!

48. Justice Kagan: ELENA

49. Pithy saying: MAXIM

50. Lawn game: BOCCE

52. Wonder Woman topper: TIARA

53. Pungent: ACRID

54. Zaps for dinner: NUKES

57. Sketchbooks: PADS

58. "The Da Vinci Code" priory: SION

61. Supervillain Luthor: LEX

62. Hermana de la madre: TIA. Aunt. A certain proficiency in Spanish required for this one - "Sister of the mother".

63. __ B: 9-Down's professional name: MEL

So here's the grid in all its 16x15 mirror-symmetry glory ...

But first, I learned "LEED", "PSYWAR" and "MEET-CUTE today. Always a good day when you go to bed more learnèd than you began it. The problem is that I think my brain was already full, and those three new 'uns just pushed some important stuff out, although I think I'll try and forget "MEET-CUTE". Now, where did I leave my car?

... as promised the grid - and where the heck did I leave the corkscrew?


Dec 28, 2019

Saturday, December, 28, 2019, Christopher Adams

Themeless Saturday Puzzle by Christopher Adams

Our constructor Christopher Adams is currently a graduate student in mathematics at the University of Iowa. He graduated in 2014 from Cornell University, with a major in mathematics and minors in physics and creative writing, after which he spent a year abroad teaching physics at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar.

The NW corner of Christopher's lovely puzzle drove me crazy but finally yielded to persistence. Seeing a Q, X, J and Z in close proximity made me think this might be a pangram. Sure enough, it is!

My challenges were something old, something new and something blue (POUTER). Here were my issues in the starting blocks:

1. Bay of __, which includes the Cantabrian Sea: BISCAY - The Cantabarian Sea was not familiar to me but the Bay Of Biscay soon became obvious

15. Odysseus' kingdom: ITHACA - _ T H _ _ _  gave me ATHENS first

17. Cuts off contact with: GHOSTS - Uh, dude, you're so being GHOSTED!

19. Makes a long face: POUTS - _ O U _ _ gave me MOUES first

1. Rap hit heard in the 2009 biopic "Notorious": BIG POPPA - I had no idea on this song or stomach for the lyrics

6. "__, queen!": slangy celebratory words: YAS A 1:45 explanation of this "too hip for me" meme 

Now let's see what else Christopher has for us today as I start my third year as your Saturday docent:


7. Port captured in Sherman's March to the Sea: SAVANNAH - Christmas present to President Lincoln

16. Regional birds: AVIFAUNA - AVI - Bird, FAUNA - Animal, so... 

18. Sense organ: RECEPTOR.

20. Kingston address: MON.

21. Site with "Living Healthy" guides: WEB MD - Uh, you might still want to consult a doctor 😏

22. Alibis: OUTS - OJ's didn't hold up but he was still found not guilty (as opposed to innocent)

23. Two-faced god: JANUS - JANUS was the Roman god of doors, choices, beginnings and endings. The first month of the year is called January after him. Got those resolutions ready?

25. Breeze (through): SAIL.

26. Family-friendly ratings: PG'S - 1996 was a strange year for Oscar. 
Three nominees for best picture were rated PG - Apollo 13, Il Postino and Sense and Sensibility and one was rated G - Babe.

27. Smooth operator, one would hope: SURGEON 

29. "The Last Jedi" heroine: REY Here 'ya go

REY played 
by Daisy Ridley

30. Tight military formation: PHALANX and 34. Charge: ATTACK!!

32. Makeup kit item: Q-TIP - My ENT and audiologist emphatically say, "Keep 'em out of your ears!"

35. Monopoly pieces: HOUSES - Landing on Boardwalk with four HOUSES will run you $1,700

39. Expert: WHIZ - Some of us baseball 23. Buffs: JUNKIES  remember this 1950 team that had Richie Ashburn (middle of this picture) from Tilden, NE on it

41. Florida's first two-term Republican governor: JEB BUSH.

42. Black __: OPS The one that killed Bin Laden

45. "Listen to me ... ": SEE HERE.

47. Early GE subsidiary: RCA.

48. Down times: NAPS.

50. Sound from one who's out: SNORE - My wife and my heart are glad I now use a CPAP

51. Bird's-eye view?: BEAK 

52. Minor arguments: SPATS - "We had a quarrel, a lover's SPAT, I write I'm sorry but my letter keeps coming back"

54. Black Hills terr.: DAK. 

55. Biathlete's need: RIFLE - Canadian Mackenzie Turner competing carrying hers

56. Apparent displacement due to perspective: PARALLAX - The stellar background can change from season to season

58. Some cells: NOKIAS - Today this vintage one would be called a brick
59. Agreeable way of seeing: EYE TO EYE.

60. Go too far: OVERDO - Don't start a vigorous exercise program on January First if you're not ready!

61. Oopsy or Funshine, e.g.: CARE BEAR - Okay

62. "Pippin" Tony winner: VEREEN.


3. Gives an earful: SHOUTS AT.

4. Groups of players: CASTS - TEAMS or 
2. "... or so __": I THOUGHT.

5. What many a player does: ACTS.

7. It's a wrap: SARONG Dorothy Lamour's signature outfit

8. Tony-winning musical that draws inspiration from "Sesame Street": AVENUE Q - "A musical with humans and foul-mouthed puppets"

9. Ford's Crown __: VIC - An alternate steed for the RCMP

10. Not many: A FEW 

11. Shaving spots: NAPES - Also where our cat carried her little ones

12. Nature Valley offering: NUT BAR.

13. Breakdown of social norms: ANOMIE - Anyone else think of this?

14. Barely: HARDLY - A 13-second use of the double negative NOT HARDLY

20. Chico was the first-born one: MARX.

 GrouchoGummoMinnie (mother)Zeppo,
 Sam (father)Chico, and Harpo.
24. "Neener neener!": SO THERE - A familiar taunt on playgrounds of my yute

27. Big name in investment banking: SACHS - Too big to fail?

28. Mythical weeper: NIOBE - Aptly named

31. Bar subject: LAW.

33. Bar: PUB - A very different bar

36. Guaranteed: SURE FIRE.

37. Cadillac SUV: ESCALADE - Click arrows for a tour of a $99,230 ESCALADE

38. Agrees to, in a way: SHAKES ON.

40. Singer/actress who voices Meechee in "Smallfoot": ZENDAYA 

41. Soda __: JERK.

42. How much freelance work is done: ON SPEC.

43. Tropical fruit: PAPAYA Everything you could possibly want to know

44. More scant: SPARER

46. Charlatan: HOAXER.

49. Condition: STATE.

51. Hog owner: BIKER.

53. Disorderly sort: SLOB.

55. Gad about: ROVE.

57. Author Harper: LEE - 55 years between publication dates

58. 11, at times: Abbr.: NOV.

YAS QUEEN, what fun (I really can't pull that off can I?)  Comment at will:

Christmas update: This year the grandkids had to find envelopes of cash I hid around the neighborhood using a GPS device from my physics lab on a lovely early winter's day.

Oct 24, 2019

Thursday, October 24th 2019 Christoper Adams

Theme: Acronym Antics - the revealing acronym tells us what ties the theme entries together, to whit:

66A. Bottomless buffet acronym spelled out by the ends of 17-, 31-, 43- and 60-Across: A.Y.C.E.

So we go back and find:

17A. "Are we done here?": IS THAT ALL?

31A. "Tsk tsk": SHAME ON YOU

43A. "Might be able to help": I THINK I CAN

60A. "Not hungry, but not not hungry either": I COULD EAT

I'm super-conflicted about this puzzle - on the one hand, the fill was wonderful - modern cultural references, unusual but great words, fresh clues for old chestnuts - "A"'s all around. And then we get to the theme. I just thought it was a lot less than lackluster - the theme words were, well, the same as the theme words. The "ALL YOU CAN EAT" reveal has theme entries which end in the same word, with the same part of speech or definition. It was all just "meh". I'd have preferred the theme entries to end with those letters, not with that word. In fact, almost to point up the example, I COULD EAT has CAR SEAT directly above it. I'd call that out as bad anyway, but it served a purpose to make my point.

I've been binge-watching "The Great British Bake-Off" recently, so in the words of one of the judges who, while always critical, looks for the positive "Your flavors were great, but it looked terrible".

Let's trot smartly along and look at the sparkle:


1. Dermatology issue: CYST. ACNE went in, ACNE came out. What did I say about being too impulsive?

5. Sources of foreign aid?: AU PAIRS. Great clue. I fondly remember Jette, a Danish au pair I dated in London so many moons ago the moon was still young.

12. Learned: HEARD. "So I heard".

14. Sacagawea's people: SHOSHONE. Nailed it! Getting better at American history. Sure taken long enough!

16. Aquarium growth: ALGAE

19. Rio neighborhood of song: IPANEMA. I've been fortunate to visit Ipanema. I walked by the beach, and ate a snack of grilled chicken hearts with a mid-morning beer. It was the weekend, in my defense, but I do enjoy the Brazilian vibe.

21. "Me Talk Pretty One Day" writer David: SEDARIS. Great author, not to everyone's taste.

22. Takes turns?: SPINS. Spins around, turns around.

24. Coarse cloth: TWEED

25. When an early voyage may start: AT DAWN. On the morning tide.

28. Metal giant: ALCOA. Aluminum/Aluminium. Spell-check likes them both, to my delight.

33. Harsh cry: YAWP. Great fill. Could be many things, YELP disqualified because of 2D, but what a great word. This one made my Word of the Day list.

37. Light touch: PAT

38. Chocolate treat: BROWNIE. Are all brownies chocolate? A question I've never asked myself, I suppose they are.

40. Letter before sigma: RHO

41. __ song: SWAN

45. "... let's play two!" ballplayer Banks: ERNIE. The Cubs' legend was a journalist's dream for quotes, this one:

"It's a beautiful day for a baseball game, let's play two!" and this after he retired from playing a game he loved: "I've never worked a day in my life". What a great man. Banks was named to the CTA board in 1969 and said "For one thing, I want to make sure that the "E" always stops at Wrigley".

47. Set of chromosomes: GENOME

48. Avalanche: SPATE. I see a spate as a minor avalanche. From the same family though.

51. Din: NOISE

53. Traveling tot's spot: CAR SEAT

56. Sounded indignant: SNORTED. You can snort when you laugh, snort when you're indignant, or snort when you're an overpaid bond trader. We'll leave that one alone.

62. Of service: UTILE. I wish this word was "utilized" more often. It's so elegant.

63. A-ha hit that won six MTV Video Music Awards: TAKE ON ME

64. Assisted through difficulty, with "over": TIDED

65. Macy's logo feature: RED STAR. Also a Serbian soccer team with a great history. "Red Star Belgrade" in English, "FK Crvena zvezda" in their native tongue. Hard to see how to get one from the other.


1. Tazo choice: CHAI

2. App with many pans: YELP

3. "Star Wars," for one: SAGA

4. Classic Pontiac: TRANS-AM

5. Malay or Mongol: ASIAN

6. Stammering syllables: UHS. Hesitant syllables, yes, stammering? No. I stammered quite terribly as a child and a teen, I couldn't make a phone call until I was in my early 20's. I found my own answer, but watching "The King's Speech" was difficult.

7. Kettles and kitties: POTS. "Kitties" had me wondering, then - Oh! The ante in a poker game - pay into the kitty, or the pot.

8. Second African-American inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame: ASHE. Pop quiz - who was the first?*

9. "There was no other choice": I HAD TO. 

10. Disintegrate, as old wood: ROT AWAY. Fresh, nice fill.

11. Drum kit item: SNARE

13. Area that's hard to find while surfing?: DEEP WEB. You'll never find it while you're surfing. The parallel universe of the internet.

15. "A Jew Today" writer Wiesel: ELIE

18. Trip letters: LSD. Leave by Saturday Dinnertime? No, not quite.

20. Study on the side: MINOR IN. The verb, not the noun. I was a little stumped by this one. I got MINOR through crosses, then tried to see what would slot in the last two squares.

23. Pouring instruction: SAY WHEN. Don't ask me that.

25. Well of Souls threats in "Raiders of the Lost Ark": ASPS. Yay! Not a "Nile biter". Huzzah for Indiana Jones!

26. Soften: THAW

27. Info: DATA

29. Actress Anderson: LONI

30. Bringing up to speed: CUING IN. I think this is wrong. If I was bringing someone up to speed, I'd "clue them in". If I was marking their entrance, I'd "cue them in",

32. Formal "It wasn't me": NOT I

34. With the bow, in music: ARCO. Cheap gas in SoCal, that's how I remember this one.

35. "Pow!" relative: WHAM

36. Fried Dixie bread: PONE

39. Just makes: EKES OUT

42. Kimono sash ornament: NETSUKE. A lovely word. A storage purse which hung from the obi which evolved into a highly-decorative item. I know a Japanese lady who has a beautiful scrimshaw netsuke hard-carved around 150 years ago.

44. Subject of Newton's first law: INERTIA

46. Nearly fell: REELED. You reel from a punch, but don't go down.

48. Poli __: SCI. I was wondering about this the other day - what is the curriculum for Political Science? It seems to me to be more of an art form. I need to read up on it.

49. Agreement: PACT

50. Like a cheering crowd: AROAR

52. JusSimple juicer maker: OSTER. I will remember this brand until the day I day. I think I told you before, I dropped an Oster blender jug and tried to cushion the impact on my tile kitchen floor with my bare foot. The result? The jug bounced off my foot, cracked a toe and shattered anyway when it hit the floor. I was picking up shards of glass for days.

54. Foofaraws: ADOS

55. Camping gear: TENT

57. Orderly: TIDY

58. Power co. output: ELEC. Least favorite fill of the day.

59. "__ Dinah": Frankie Avalon hit: DEDE

61. Doc's org.: A.M.A.

And so to close, to sleep, to dream. Here's the grid!


Jun 29, 2019

Saturday, June 29, 2019, Christopher Adams

Themeless Saturday by Christopher Adams

Today celebrates your local pour-master and perhaps listening post.

FYI: "A mixologist is an individual with a passion for combining elixirs and creating extraordinary cocktails, whereas a bartender is an individual with a passion for making great drinks and creating well-balanced experiences. To be successful, you really need both types of pros behind the bar."

Christopher Adams

Our constructor Christopher Adams is currently a graduate student in mathematics at the University of Iowa. He graduated in 2014 from Cornell University, with a major in mathematics and minors in physics and creative writing, after which he spent a year abroad teaching physics at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. 

Christopher's puzzle took me twice as long as Dr. Lim's did last Saturday but was still a fun excursion.

Now let's examine the loci of our math man's cluing:

1. Drink containing neither of the ingredients in its name: EGG CREAM - Harkens back to the days of soda fountains. Here's the recipe for the chocolate variety - Pour 3 tablespoons of chocolate syrup and 1/4 cup of milk or half-and-half into a 16-ounce glass. While beating vigorously with a fork, slowly add club soda until the glass is almost full. Add a straw and serve very cold.

9. Kidder who played Lois in four "Superman" films: MARGOT - Before the blue screen was added

15. Trendy Starbucks option: SOY LATTE - SOY milk instead of dairy milk

16. Ballpark figures: USHERS - "Crazy Steve" is a truck driver by day and an USHER with some good dance moves at night in Peoria, IL

17. "Kennedy" biographer: SORENSEN - Native Nebraskan Ted SORENSEN graduated from Lincoln High School and UNL

18. "Grey's Anatomy" show runner Rhimes: SHONDA - I have visited "Shondaland" quite often on Netflix. Her productions have included many strong women

19. Secluded spot: NOOK - Not a NEST it turns out

20. Rose: AWOKE.

22. "__ Rosenkavalier": DER The Knight Of The Rose - A comic opera by Richard Strauss. If you think I knew that, I've got this bridge in Brooklyn... 

23. Actor Danny Trejo, for one: LATINO From the IMDB

25. Towel spec: HERS.

26. Worked on a roast: CARVED Carving a roast for dummies (;30)

30. One on the phone, often: TEXTER - Not while driving!

32. Here, in Juárez: AQUI - a very familiar sign in our town

33. 2022 World Cup city: DOHA - This World Cup, usually played in the summer, has been moved to the Qatari winter due to the incredible high summer temps in DOHA

35. "Nunsense" costume: HABIT - Here starring Rue McClanahan 

38. Academic dictum: PUBLISH OR PERISH - Academic treadmill

41. Glides (through): SAILS.

42. Heavyweight fight?: SUMO - No 
12. Workplace concern: GENDER BIAS here

43. Account: TALE.

44. Album by Destroyer with a German title meaning "broken": KAPUTT - You would have known this if you were into Kiss tribute bands from Canada

46. Ameliorate, in a way: LESSEN.

48. Burns miss: LASS - Robert Burns of course

50. Eponymous Portland bookstore founder: POWELL - Number 4 on Top Ten Things to do in Portland, OR

52. Evil Tolkien soldier: ORC - A frequent member of the cwd military 

53. Big note: C-SPOT - Some restaurants will no longer accept C-SPOTS ($100 bills)

54. Bring home: EARN 

58. Fictional 1719 autobiographer: CRUSOE - Many thought Daniel Defoe's character was real

60. More than just meddle: MUSCLE IN.

63. Tasmanian capital: HOBART - Viking Cruises offers this trip from L.A. 
starting at $15,000 with HOBART being a port of call 

64. One might copy from it: EDIT MENU.

65. Ace of Base, e.g.: SWEDES - "Alex, I'll take 'Swedish pop rock quartets beginning with A' for a $1,000" Oops, it's not our old cwd buddies!

Ace Of Base 
66. Discounted amount: NET SALES - Like 20% off MSRP?


1. Head of state?: ESS State

2. "I'm listening": GO ON.

3. Greek deli item: GYRO - "YEE row" seems to be the consensus pronunciation

4. Psychic Miss: CLEO - There's one born every minute

5. Bother big-time: RANKLE.

6. "The Martian" has none: ET'S - Most famous line from this great movie "I'm gonna have to science the $*^+ out of this!"

7. Bothered big-time: ATE AT -  I know how Jerome will see this fill 😏

8. 1927 Hemingway short story collection: MEN WITHOUT WOMEN All you need to know

9. Arctic grazer: MUSKOX - Named for the strong odor it emits during mating season

10. Court immortal: ASHE - Arthur is a tennis star from Richmond, VA

11. Parthenon P: RHO - Yup, RHO is the third letter in Parthenon - Παρθενώνας

13. Court command: ORDER.

14. Peter and Paul, but not Mary: TSARS - TSAR Paul I was a great grandson of Peter I (the Great)

21. Like show-offy push-ups: ONE ARM 

24. Tosses in: ADDS.

25. Trick-taking game: HEARTS Play online if you like

26. Mushroom parts: CAPS.

27. Water color: AQUA.

28. It has over 43 quintillion configurations: RUBIK'S CUBE.

29. Ritzy retreats: VILLAS Info on VILLAS to rent in Tuscany

31. Not just any: THE - Ohio State emphasizes THE

34. "You're too kind!": OH STOP.

36. Archipelago component: ISLE - Solzhenitsyn's archipelago was of gulags (forced labor camps) in the U.S.S.R. not ISLES

37. Second of a logical pairing: THEN - It appears here that entering A was the only way get a TRUE response

39. MSN, for one: ISP - My Internet Service Provider is Spectrum (formerly Time/Warner)

40. Ask for opinions: POLL 

45. Some March Madness madness: UPSETS - UPSETS are fun but the final four teams are populated by many of the favorites save for the occasional UPSETS

47. Sends to Washington: ELECTS.

48. Leven and Lomond: LOCHS - There's about an hour-and-a-half driving time between these two LOCHS (lakes)

49. The CW show about a vigilante archer: ARROW Wanna stream some episodes?

51. Scriabin work: ETUDE - Tolstoy called Alexander Scriabin's music, "a sincere expression of genius"

53. Fission site: CORE - This is where the uranium atom is split in a nuclear power plant and that heat boils water which... 

55. __ mater: ALMA.

56. Show shock: REEL - The Beach Boys were Rockin' and a-REELIN' in this fun song

57. Roger Maris' uniform number: NINE - Roger (a proud product of Fargo North Dakota High School) got a record breaking 61 home runs in 1961. BTW, if you don't know the other guy depicted below, baseball really isn't your thing.

59. Regrettable: SAD - It was very SAD that the stress of chasing Babe Ruth's single season home run record made Roger lose hair

61. Skip, with "out": SIT - Roger did SIT out one of the 162 games that year

62. Frat letters: NUS - There are four Greek letters that would fit this 2-letter fill. Can you name the other three?

Very nice puzzle for a Hawkeye! (Husker sarcasm 😙). Feel free to comment on Christopher's great work.

Note from C.C.:
Happy 49th birthday to dear Barry G, who used to comment on our blog regularly. So glad that he continues to solve the daily LAT crosswords and reads our blog from time to time. Is Joshua now taller than you, Barry?

July 2, 2016