Showing posts with label D. Scott Nichols. Show all posts
Showing posts with label D. Scott Nichols. Show all posts

May 1, 2018

D. Scott Nichols (Argyle/Santa/Cid) In Memoriam

I'm sad to let you know that Scott, our dear Santa, passed away last night (April 30, 2018). He was 73.

Argyle had various health issues, but he always bounced back to the blog. The amputation was just too much for Santa physically.  He was tired when I last talked to him, but he kept his wits, humor and cynicism. The classic Santa I knew and loved.

Argyle covered 840 puzzles for our blog. He also made seven puzzles for the L.A. Times and two puzzles for the New York Times. It was always fun working with him. Challenging too, as Santa could be very stubborn.

Off the blog, he was my advisor and close friend. Seldom did I make any blog or life decision without consulting Santa: "Santa, I don't get this theme"; "Santa, my blood pressure is low again"; "Santa, did you see that comment at 10:00am?". His replies were always short, succinct, to the point and quick.  He was always just one email away.

I still can't believe he won't be back. He left a big hole in my life. I just can't stop sobbing. But I feel very lucky to have had him in my life for almost 10 years. A few months ago, he surprised me with an email I sent to him in 2008. He saved every email.

Santa, rest in peace. You'll always be in my heart. Thanks for all you've done for me and this blog.

I also want to thank Argyle's adopted niece Jennifer Ballard for taking good care of him while busy with her own job and family life. She patiently answered all my questions and kept me updated on Santa's progress. Thank you, Jennifer!

Our condolences to Argyle's sisters Kalista Nichols, Laura Manitta, Sheilla, Claire and all his family.

Our Beloved Santa (Feb 20, 1945-April 30, 2018)

Santa and His Four Sisters
Santa and Jennifer at Jennifer and Dave's Wedding, June, 2011

You can send sympathy cards to this address:

Jennifer Ballard
188 West Rd.
Argyle, NY 12809

Thank you so much!


Added later:

1) More Argyle remembrances and memories can be read on Tuesday May 2 puzzle post. Just scroll down to Comments Section.

2) Please click here to view Santa's obituary.

3) Please click here for all Santa's pictures. Or just click below YouTube clip I made. Sorry, Santa, I did a poor job cropping some pictures.

Dec 2, 2017

Saturday, Dec 2nd, 2017, D. Scott Nichols & C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Argyle SoC.C.ks~!

Words: 70 (missing F,J,Q,X)

Blocks: 31

A Saturday collaboration between our Monday/Tuesday blogger and the host of the show, C.C.  Lots of multi-word answers today, and a few vague proper names, I caved in to red-letters to help me get the NE corner finished.  Staircase pattern grid, with a pair of 9x6 corners, and nothing longer than those;

15. [Yawn] : I NEED A NAP

12. Singer? : DIRTY RAT - the canary stoolie kind of singer.  I wondered if it was singe-er, as in one who singes

62. Big brother, often : ROLE MODEL

36. Legendary court figure : LANCELOT

 Monty Python~! - well I got "a" note~! @ 3:30


 1. Stay in the big house : SERVE TIME - I've done mine - time for someone else

10. Beach pretender : HODAD - I had no idea - I tried POSER to start -  tho I probably have seen this in crosswords before - filled via perps, but I had to Google to check it out

16. Many a Studio Ghibli film : ANIME - red letters told me INDIE was wrong - but only 60% wrong

17. Fund for incidentals : PETTY CASH

18. Character who dances on the beach at Stavros : ZORBA - the only Stavros I could think of was Stavro Mueller and his Beta nightclub - the scene of the climactic end to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 5-book trilogy

So long, and thanks for all the fish

19. Supporting : PRO - I waited to see if it would be "FOR" or "PRO"

20. Evil skill : SORCERY - I tried spelling it so"U"rcery for some reason

22. Talbot Jr. or Sr. on "Rectify" : TED - Googled; never even heard of the show

23. Obstacles on the set : EGOS

25. Confident response to "Your opponent is ready" : "SO AM I~!"

26. Funeral rite heap : PYRE

27. Poet Thomas : DYLAN - filled via perps

29. "Baby Blues" baby : WREN - filled via perps; I looked it up, realized it was the comic strip, which I read and like, but it did not register during the solve

30. Maranjab Desert country : IRAN - a WAG off the "I" - either this one or iraQ

31. Empty out badly? : ROB - ah, theft empty out

33. Repertoire : ARSENAL

35. Skeleton's place? : CLOSET

38. Do maintenance on, as a putting green : AERATE - I had "RE-" in the opening position, which stopped me from seeing this answer, better than "reRAKE" - but it works with sand traps....

39. Card carrier : LANYARD - generic cord for holding ID cards, etc., that is

41. Convene : SIT - MET would not work with the tense of the verb

42. Chill (with) : HANG

43. Kate of "House of Cards" : MARA - filled via perps

45. Grouses : CARPS - wait til we get to the leg picture, and the grousing shall commence~!

49. Welding sparks : ARCS

50. Better : AMEND

52. Tar on the ocean : SALT - sailor nicknames

53. Compete : VIE

54. Like free-range chickens : UNCAGED

56. West of Tinseltown : MAE

57. Country album? : ATLAS - clever

59. History buff's artifacts : AMERICANA

61. Tearful queen : NIOBE

63. First chips : ANTEs - poker, and such

64. Chaotic places : SNAKE PITS


1. Nursed : SIPPED

2. Zip : ENERGY - the 'pep' definition, not the 'nothing' one

3. Overhaul the plant : RETOOL - I pondered REPOTS, but it's the other kind of plant

4. Old hand : VET

5. Dessert company founded in 1928 : EDY'S - only so many ways to clue this four-letter word

6. Shells from stands : TACOS - I was thinking tomatoes, as in shelling a bad stage actor

7. Sequentially : IN A ROW

8. It runs in the shower : MASCARA - I suppose it would

9. Short-lived things : EPHEMERA - the plural of ephemeron, Greek for short-lived insect, and subsequently anything designed to be short-lived

10. Indistinct : HAZY

11. Noted resident of The Dakota in Manhattan : ONO

13. Pale order : AMBER ALE

14. Tone down : DEADEN

21. Washes out : RINSES

24. South Seas cover-ups : SARONGS - a golden opportunity for some leg~!

26. They're beaten at parties : PIÑATAS

28. Intrusive : NOSY - it's those uppity trolls around here that give "anonymous" a bad name - now that's funny

32. Tough guy's exhortation : BE A MAN - for the men, a leg pic can be found here

34. Church of country : ERIC - his name, not the location

35. Allergy sufferer's choice : CLARITIN

37. Mine carriers : TRAMCARS - oh, that kind of mine - I have been watching The Viet Nam War series on PBS, and those were the mines I was thinking of

40. "As if!" : DREAM ON

42. Caribbean city with cocotaxis : HAVANA

44. German chancellor Merkel : ANGELA

46. City west of Baghdad : RAMADI

47. Mercury, e.g. : PLANET - not the sedan/auto this time

48. Bargains beyond belief : STEALS

51. Teammate of Mariano for 19 years : DEREK - couldn't be a C.C. puzzle without baseball, and even though I knew who Mr. Rivera was, I went with JETER before DEREK

54. Exploits : USES

55. Small change : DIME - the one that fit, but CENT was a possibility, too

58. #16, familiarly : ABE - President of the United States

60. Booking agent? : COP - tell 'em, Steve~!

"Aloha, Suckers~!"

May 20, 2016

Friday, May 20, 2016, D.Scott Nichols and C.C. Burnikel

Title: The HEAT is on. LISTEN.

The sixth pairing of our resident Santa, Argyle, with C.C. brings us a single clue puzzle to unravel. HEAT yielded 2 grid-spanners and 2 fourteen letter fill giving us a quick 58 letters in the theme. These single word, single clue ones mean lots of work for me as I really need to solve many perps to get to the theme fill. Lots of nice fill like DE NADA,  WET HEN,  HEE HEE, ERECTS, LESS TAR, SERAPES,  MIGRANT, SPLICES, SARASOTA,  FOOLED ME, D.H. LAWRENCE,  OPEN SECRET. Well if you can't take the heat, get our your eraser.

17A. Heat : INTENSE PRESSURE (15). For example, the heat is on Hilary about her deleted emails.

31A. Heat : QUALIFYING RACE (14). For example, Mark Spitz won his semi-final heat in world record time.

38A. Heat : MIAMI HOOPSTERS (14). Their season is over, but no Whiteside and no Bosh for most of the Toronto series.

59A. Heat : HABANERO FEATURE (15). For example, you can READ all about hot peppers.

Okay, now solve:


1. Light source : BIC. As in:
Recognize Orson Bean's voice?

4. Sea bordering Uzbekistan : ARAL and the ever confusing to me 32D.  1,509-mile border river : URAL. They are both back again to add to our geography miseries.

8. Online money source : E-LOAN. They must be more popular in the midwest.

13. Prepare for a snap : LOAD. I guess this refers to the old fashioned need to put film in a camera.

15. "Sons and Lovers" author : D. H. LAWRENCE. This was one of his earliest works LINK ; his most famous perhaps being his last major novel
19. Tuscan hill city : SIENA. My son's many trips to dig in Italy helped me with my European Geography.

20. "__ does it!" : THAT.

21. Zipped : SPED.

22. Gulf Coast resort city : SARASOTA. A wonderful little city with white sand beaches and it rhymes with Minnesota which is great for limercists.

24. Like sriracha sauce : HOT. LIke the reference to "TODDLERS" in yesterday CHILD theme, I am ambivalent about this being in a HEAT puzzle.

26. Smidgen : DAB. Brylcreem anyone?

27. Colorful cover-ups : SERAPES. Forgive the partial  NUDITY.

35. Alley wanderer : CUR. But not dressed like that.

36. Popular truck brand : RAM.

37. Important time : AGE.

45. Unites, in a way : SPLICES. A thoughtful Friday clue. LINK.

46. PETA concern : FURPeople for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. I have always had mixed feeling about how they promote this effort.

47. Turn right : GEE. If you are a horse.

48. "No, really?" : FOOLED ME.

53. Egg on : SPUR. More horse talk?

56. L, vis-à-vis C : HALF. 50 is half of 100.

58. Junkyard material : SCRAP. Sometimes.
62. It's thinly disguised : OPEN SECRET. Nice rarely used fill.

63. Fries, e.g. : SIDE order.

64. Medicare card specification : PART A.

65. Fabulous runner-up : HARE. FABLE leads to fabulous here.
66. Talk trash to : DIS. A simple version of disrespect.


1. Euphoria : BLISS. So many choices  joy, happiness, pleasure, delight, ecstasy, elation, rapture.

2. Region that rebelled against Persia in about 500 B.C. : IONIA. A bit of HISTORY.

3. Work at weddings : CATER.

4. Hulu distractions : ADS.The rerun service.

5. Butler in a classic film : RHETT. My first thought was Arthur Treacher.

6. Greek leader : ALPHA. Cute clue.

7. Logan of "60 Minutes" : LARA. She was made part of a horrible STORY. She did well on Jeopardy Tuesday.

8. EMS destinations : ERS. No bitter vetch? Will Weng where are you?

9. Advertised advantage of some lights : LESS TAR.

10. "Get __": 1967 Esquires hit : ON UP.
11. Amount to plow : ACRE.

12. Cry out for : NEED.

14. "You're welcome," in Havana : DE NADA.

16. Anger simile : WET HEN. Did you KNOW?

18. Like Willie Nelson's voice : NASAL. Well that sounds a bit critical but Willie is an interesting MAN.

23. Kabuki accessory : OBI. My sash a week continues.

25. URL ender : ORG.

27. Easy mark : SIMPelton.

28. Host after Allen : PAAR. I have written often about Jack Paar.

29. Med. tests using leads : ECGS.

30. "Now do you believe me?" : SEE. Mira.

31. Wit's end? : QUIP. The end result of wit.

33. Big dos : FROS.

34. 2011 NBA retiree : YAO. HOF center with bad feet.

35. Divs. on some rulers : CMS. Centimeters which is pronounced??

39. "The Grapes of Wrath" character : MIGRANT. I tried to dredge up a character name until the perps kicked in.

40. Make sure of : ICE. They are out to get Tinman these days.

41. Titter : HEE HEE. I always like TEE HEE.

42. Bay Area travel letters : SFO.

43. Home of the WNBA's Shock : TULSA.  They have moved to Dallas LINK but do post star Skylar Diggins

44. Puts up : ERECTS.

48. Botanist's field : FLORA.

49. Proposal : OFFER.

50. Old Celtic religious leader : DRUID. Never understood this GROUP.

51. Column in un calendrier : MARDI. Tuesday in French.

52. Fencing swords : EPEES.

53. Hunt for bargains : SHOP.

54. Hemingway sobriquet : PAPA. Self imposed? LINK.

55. Cab company competitor : UBER. I recently used one, and it was great.

57. Image on Missouri's state quarter : ARCH. The gateway arch.

60. "Citizenfour" org. : NSA. The movie about Edward Snowden and the National Security Agency.

61. Saison in Provence : ÉTÉ. Summer is coming.

That means the regular tv season is over, lots of characters lying dead on the screen but we soldier on. Great fun, thank you Scott and C.C. and thank you all for the comments I will read soon. Lemonade out.

Nov 11, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015, D. Scott Nichols and C.C. Burnikel

First and foremost on this 11th day of the 11th month: 

We honor veterans at our corner and all others who have served.

Title: It's a Mad, Mad World

Congrats to our own Santa and C.C. who have given us a delightful and whimsical exercise today! This puzzle is full of the elements of mathematician Lewis Carroll's (born Charles L. Dodgson) fantasy Alice in Wonderland, all of which are in the graphic above. Four across and three down theme answers make our journey even more fun.

Across theme entries

20. Access to 54-Across : RABBIT HOLE - Alice's port of entry

34. "Mad" social in 54-Across : TEA PARTY - A rather odd conclave

43. 34-Across napper in 54-Across : DORMOUSE - Seen napping between March Hare and Mad Hatter 

54. Setting for a novel originally published 11/11/1865 : WONDERLAND - The theme reveal.

Down theme entries 

11. Critter who kept disappearing in 54-Across : CHESHIRE CAT - The inscrutable lurker. Couldn't resist the animated gif. 

29. Hookah smoker in 54-Across : CATERPILLAR - Gettin' high in Wonderland?

52. Visitor to 54-Across : ALICE - The star of our little adventure. She was named for Alice Liddell, a daughter of Dodgson's friend. She asked him to write down the text of a fanciful tale Charles told her and her sisters on a boat ride. Alice IN Wonderland is visually shown in this 15*16 grid.

If you're not "late, late for a very important date", take time to peruse the answers to this humpday offering from two of our favorite people


1. Inaugural ball, e.g. : GALA

5. Calcium source : MILK - What??

9. Open, as toothpaste : UNCAP - Or what Hondo's favorite player did while running the bases

14. Very dry : ARID

15. Down to business : AT IT - I tune in the Super Bowl after they're Down to business

16. Former Cleveland oil company acquired by BP : SOHIO - Standard of Ohio

17. San __, Italy : REMO

18. "Of course" : I SEE

19. Match with bishops : CHESS - She's moving her bishop

23. Catalina, e.g. : ISLE - 26 Miles Across The 

24. Houston-based scandal subject : ENRON -Ken Lay moved this Omaha-based company's headquarters to Houston when he became CEO after promising he wouldn't. Hmmm... 

25. Wood-shaping tools : LATHES - Not used to make these

27. Phone button trio : ABC - Yeah, kids today would know this... 

30. Badminton barrier : NET

31. Short-legged dog : CORGI - Elizabeth II has owned more than 30 during her reign

32. Emotionally out of control : CRAZED

37. Spud : TATER - Also what 25 Across can hit

38. Benefit : BOON - In The Jolly Coachman, The Kingston Trio sang of a maid - "She's a BOON to all mankind"

39. Butte relative : MESA

40. Like 2016 : EVEN 

41. Antacid choice : TUMS

42. Deteriorate : DECAY

45. Remove pieces from? : DISARM

46. Fencing defense : PARRY - Woman on left PARRYS woman on left and then thrusts for a point

47. Keep out : BAN - BAN and ARID in the same puzzle? Hmmm...

48. Mao __-tung : TSE

49. Shortening brand : CRISCO

51. Divided country : KOREA - Wanna guess which city is Seoul and which is Pyongyang

53. Wild West weapon : COLT - Wyatt Earp's .45-Caliber COLT sold for $225,000 in April, 2014

59. Loafs : IDLES - Have you met my nephew?

61. Some intersections : TEES - Not shirts, construction nuts or golf supports this time

62. Slushy treat : ICEE 

63. Approaches : NEARS 

64. Bond girl Kurylenko : OLGA - Bond accessories are always a girl and a gun

65. Facial area under a soul patch : CHIN

66. Prickly shrub : GORSE - Not a clue. The R in CATERPILLAR finished it off for me

67. Corset stiffener : STAY - Hattie McDaniel cinching up Vivien Leigh

68. Fish caught in pots : EELS
1. Teri of "Tootsie" : GARR - A favorite movie of mine. Nominated for ten academy awards

2. Neck of the woods : AREA

3. Common perch : LIMB

4. Acrobat creator : ADOBE

5. Restaurant host : MAITRE D' - Short for 
Maitre d'hotel - Master of the Hotel

6. Soup server's caution : IT'S HOT

7. Use, as a chaise : LIE ON - You could LAY a sweater ON the chaise

8. "As seen on TV" record co. : K-TEL

9. Pac-12 powerhouse : USC

10. Baseball rarities : NO HIT GAMES - Our baseball aficionados will instantly know who made this great catch to save the most famous NO HIT perfect GAME 

12. It may be graded in an auditorium : AISLE -  A sloping grade. 

13. Plays to the camera : POSES

21. Deep-seated : INNER

22. Online money source : E-LOAN 

26. Alsatian dadaist : ARP 

27. Took steps : ACTED

28. "Top Chef" network : BRAVO - This BRAVO show is real?

31. Bus. brass : CEOS - Scumbag CEO Ken Lay died a few months before he was going to get sentenced for 20 - 30 years of prison

33. Highly respected Buddhists : ZEN 
MASTERS - Or the NBA's Phil Jackson

34. Improvised booster seat for a tot, maybe : TOME

35. Romanov royals : TSARS

36. Self-congratulatory cheer : YAY ME

38. Active : BUSY 

41. "The Burden of Proof" author : TUROW - Also of ONE L Cwd fame

42. Restaurant visitor : DINER

44. Hobbit enemy : ORC

45. Venture to express : DARE SAY 

47. Barrio food store : BODEGA - Bad check displayed in Jerry's BODEGA

49. Keeping in the loop, briefly : CC'ING - Some of what we're doing today

50. Wild West show : RODEO

51. Lowered oneself? : KNELT

55. Plains people : OTOS

56. Overexertion aftermath : ACHE - Hey, check your birth certificate

57. Diamond of music : NEIL - His Sweet Caroline is played before the bottom of the 8th inning at Fenway and is now being used at other athletic venues. "So Good, So Good, So Good!"

58. Man caves, maybe : DENS

60. Nottingham-to-London dir. : SSE - 2 hr. 48 min. by Hwy. M1

Crossword Anthem
Alice: "This is impossible!" 
Mad Hatter: "Only if you believe it is!"

Notes from C.C.:

1) Santa came up with this idea. I went for a fun ride. Pure joy to work with him!

Scott (Santa)

2) We'd like to thank Sheila Brown of Lewis Carroll Society and the publisher Macmillian for helping us identify the exact publishing date as Nov 11, 1865. 

3) Big Thanks also to Rich for doubting the Wiki date and making sure we have the correct date. Rich also took time and removed the two black squares we had at the corners.

Apr 8, 2015

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 D. Scott Nichols & C.C. Burnikel

Theme - THE WEARIN' O' THE GREEN.  Nope - nothing to do with St. Pat - that was last month. In fact, this puzzle, for reasons that will soon become clear, is much more timely than that.  The theme refers to the iconic item of apparel given to the winner of a sporting event which will be identified shortly.

17 A. Hold banned in amateur wrestling : FULL NELSON.  This hold is more easily pictured than described.

Byron NELSON was the winner of the subject event in 1937 and 1942, the latter in a playoff with Ben Hogan - before my time.

24 A. Premier League athlete : SOCCER PLAYER.  The English Premier League is where professionals play a sport known as "football" most everyplace except here in the U.S.  Gary PLAYER, from South Africa was the winner in 1961, 1974 and 1978.

40 A. Innocents : BABES IN THE WOODS.  This is the title of a gruesome traditional children's tale, first published in 1595, then passed into every-day speech to indicate any inexperienced or unwary persons thrust into hazardous situations.  Tiger WOODS is perhaps more famous now for his adventurous personal life that his sporting feats; but he once dominated his sport, and won the subject event in 1997, 2001, 2002, and 2005. Looks like he will participate this year.

52. Influential teams : POWER COUPLES.  From the Urban Dictionary: "A couple who seems to have a fairy tale romance. Also, both parties involved in the power couple have tremendous influence over people around them because of their devastating good looks* and seemingly perfect relationship with their significant other. 

*the most common type of power couple is between a male athlete and an actress and/or singer."

Fred COUPLES, the only one-time winner in the puzzle, took the prize in 1992.

It should be obvious by now that the the sport is golf, and the unifier gives us the event.  65A. April golf tournament, four of whose winners appear in 17-, 24-, 40- and 52-Across : THE MASTERS tournament, an event held every April at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, GA.  It is the first of golf's four major championships held in 2015.   Each year the winner is awarded the iconic green blazer.

This year's MASTERS starts tomorrow, so the puzzle is right on time. And did you notice the constructors?  Our own fearless leader and prolific puzzle maven C.C. along with Monday-Tuesday blogging stalwart, Santa Baby.  More feathers in the corner cap.   Yay team!

Let's see if our friends have given us a rough time or treated us in a fair way.


1. Victorian : PRIM.  As in prim and proper - what the Victorians would have you believe about their behavior.  I have my doubts.

5. Like much 67-Down : ON TAP.  [patience, we'll get there.]

10. Bay of Bengal setting : ASIA.  Broadly speaking.

14. Extinct pigeon relative : DODO.  Flightless bird native to the island of Mauritius, last seen in 1662.  It was destroyed by sailors, their pets, and invasive species.

15. First name in puppetry : SHARI.  Last name LEWIS.  Real name Sonia Phyllis Hurwitz (January 17, 1933 – August 2, 1998)

16. __ jar: lab glass : BELL.  Wikipedia says it is an approximately BELL-shaped vessel used to contain vacuum.  There's something oddly oxymoronic about that concept.  Also, a semi-biographical novel by Sylvia Plath.

19. Take one's leave : EXIT.  Don't let the door hit you.

20. Make sure of : SEE TO.  

21. Stretched to the max : TAUT.  Not necessarily to the max, but without slack.

23. Reggae cousin : SKA.  

A sampler

28. Apply gently : DAB.  What does Miss Piggy DAB onto her sunburn?   Oinkment.

31. CBS-owned cable sta. : SHOwtime.

32. Pond gunk : SCUM.  A type of green algae which could be a leading food source in the future.  Yum!

33. Prefix with footprint : ECO-.  The ECOfootoprint is a standardized measure of human demand on the planet's ecosystem.

34. Pulls down : EARNS, as income.

37. Winter pick-me-up? : T-BAR.  Excellent misdirection.  I was looking for something like a hot toddy, not a ski-lift.

44. Mite-sized : TINY.  Even more wee than bite-sized.

45. "Tut-tut!" : SHAME.  Expressions of disapproval.

46. Actress Tyler : LIV.  Daughter of Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler.

47. Important stretches : ERAS.   Of time, not yoga.   Or so I've been TAUT.

50. Beef cut : RIB.  Roast.   More tasty than algae, I'm guessing.

51. Maple syrup source : SAP.  You have to boil it down.

57. Louisville Slugger wood : ASH.   Not exclusively anymore.  The emerald borer has severely damaged the ash population.  You can still find ash bats, but oak, birch and maple are also being used.

58. Comfy footwear : MOCS.  Moccasins. 

59. Jewish scholar : RABBI.  I will leave the explanation to those who understand it better.

63. Swindle : SCAM.

68. Movie plantation : TARA.   Abode of the O'Haras from Gone With the Wind.

69. Sea-born jewelry material : CORAL.

70. "Right now!" : ASAP.  ASoon APossible.

71. Song and dance : ARTS.  Along with painting, sculpture, architcture and literature.

Probably not Elrond

72. Urgency : HASTE.

73. Snoopy : NOSY.


1. Sharable digital docs : PDFs.  Portable Document Format files can be shared across platforms.

2. Libertine : ROUE.  From 19th century French, literally "broken on a wheel" referring to the instrument of torture torture that this one's behavior deserved.  Usage of the word peaked around 1850

3. Onetime Palin collaborator : IDLE.  Eric IDLE and Michael Palin of Monty Python's Flying Circus.  Surely, you weren't mislead? 

4. Feathers one's nest, in a way : MOLTS.   Birds of a feather losing their plumage at home.

5. Full of: Suff. : -OSE.  Examples: grandiose - full of affected grandeur; verbose - full of verbs.

6. Gp. with Sharks and Penguins : NHL.  San Jose and Pittsburgh teams in the National Hockey League.

7. Decorator's asset : TASTE.  More so than for a chef?

8. Cheering like crazy : AROAR.  Was the crowd AROAR at your favorite team's opener?  It was for my Tigers.

9. Hangers in lockers? : PINUPS.  Pictures of models pinned up in lockers and various other places.  The practice started in WW II.   Twentieth Century Fox provided over 5 million copies of this iconic picture of Betty Grable - the No. 1 pin up girl of her [and possibly any] era.

10. Justice Fortas : ABE.  A Johnson appointee who served on the court form 1965 to 1969.

11. Figures in 9-Down : SEX SYMBOLS.   No explanation needed.

12. "Very nice!" : I LIKE.   Vide supra.

13. A proposal may ultimately lead to one : ALTAR.  Wedding venue, and a clever clue.

18. Lasso loops : NOOSES.  For someone on a wanted poster, no noose was good news.

22. Dr. Mom's forte :  TLCTender Loving Care.

25. Spiced tea brewed in milk : CHAI.

26. Toe woes : CORNS.  Painful areas of thickened skin resulting from pressure or abrasion.

27. Mustang, for one : AUTO.  Did anybody else enter FORD and then get perplexed by the perps?

28. Chapter 11 factor : DEBT.  Bankruptcy law.

29. Berry in faddish supplements : ACAI.   About which there is actually nothing special

30. Star of a classic sitcom set at a Vermont inn : BOB NEWHART.  Aired from 1982 to 1990, the program was simply called Newhart.

35. Imprecise degree : NTH.   But generally considered to be a very high degree.

36. Like provolone piccante : SHARP.  Piccante means strong or spicy.

38. 1998 Sarah McLachlan ballad : ADIA.  I had this recently and still couldn't remember it.

39. Initial request for an answer? : RSVP.  The initial letters of Répondez S'il Vous Plaît - or, Please Respond - typical request to an invitee.  I have no idea why we do this in French.

41. Brontë heroine : EYRE.  Jane, the governess of Thornfield Hall, and eponym of the Charlotte Brontë novel which describes her life and times.

42. German actor Jannings : EMIL. A little bit of a mini-theme here with 53 D, since Jannings  (23 July 1884 – 2 January 1950) received the first one ever awarded in 1929, as best actor in The Way of All Flesh and The LastCommand.  He later went on to appear in a number of Nazi propaganda films.

43. Some outdoor grills : WEBERS.   Brand name.

48. Slot machine part : ARM.  

49. __ tape : SCOTCH.   Magic mending tape.  Is another clue possible?

52. Macaroni Grill selection : PASTA.  Decent Italian chain restaurant, and partial clecho.

53. Acting honor : OSCAR.  A statue awarded or movies, not stage performance.  

54. Golfer Lorena : OCHOA.   Staying with the golf theme, from Mexico.

55. AOLers, e.g. : USERS.

56. "Paradise Lost" figure : SATAN.  The Devil, you say!

60. Spanish smooch : BESO.   Like this.

61. Lingerie catalog buys : BRAS.  Last time I had stockings.

62. Car trip game : I SPY.  A game in which players attempt to guess what the spy is spying on.  The spy starts by giving a hint such as the color of the object or the letter it starts with.

64. Some advanced degs. : M.A.'sMasters of Arts.

66. Floor pad : MAT.

67. Part of IPA : ALE India Pale ALE is brewed with an abundance of hops, because that stabilized the product for the long sea voyage from England to India.   The thing ON TAP in 5a. And it provides a fitting ending, because after a hot game of golf, a nice cold beer is just the thing.

That completes this round.  Right on par for a Wednesday, I'd say, with nothing to be teed off about, and not a bogey on the course.

Cool regards!

Note from C.C.:

As Jazzbumpa mentioned, D. Scott Nichols is Argyle, our dear Santa, who came up with this lovely idea. Here are two recent pictures of our sweet Santa, the real Master.