Showing posts with label Jeffrey Wechsler. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeffrey Wechsler. Show all posts

Nov 8, 2019

Friday, November 8, 2019, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: To B? Yes!

A quick turn around for me with another Friday JW special. This is an add a letter puzzle with the simplicity and consistency that are hallmarks of his work. "B" is added to the first word of the 1st and 3rd theme fill and to the last word of the 2nd and 4th. The resulting fill is very amusing and clued to enhance the humor. But the touch that makes this a Jeffrey creation- each word that has the added letter originally started with a "U." This is the least used of the vowels, so I guess it was chosen to make the puzzle more of a challenge to create. In our afternoon at the airport, we did not discuss this puzzle, but he did mention challenging himself. While I did not discuss the changed clues, I did ask about a few. As always, Jeffrey has variety and some Will Shakespeare, as well as much fun sparkle like: ADULATE, BANK JOB, CRUELLA, ETERNAL, FLEECED, GO BELOW, HINGE ON, HOWARDS, LAST ONE, MODESTY, RETORTS, SANDFLY, and READ A POST which is introduced to the LAT here.

17A. Total confusion at the creamery?: BUTTER CHAOS (11).  This is a fun image with all kinds of slapstick being churned up.

30A. Foot condition seen in oaters?: WESTERN BUNION (13).  The slight outlier, as the pronunciation of the added B-word is changed. I was in my 40s before I knew a bunion is a painful bony bump that develops on the inside of the foot at the big toe joint.

35A. Comparison of a motorcoach to all other travel options?: BUS VERSUS THEM (13). I also think this is pretty funny.

52A. Barista's occupational hazards?: COFFEE BURNS (11). Our local Starbucks staff are more careful than that.


1. Long-nosed fish: GAR. Gar, is any of seven species of large North American fishes of the genera Atractosteus and Lepisosteus, in the family Lepisosteidae.

4. Took to the cleaners: FLEECED. A subtle CSO to me and the Golden Fleece.

11. With 29-Down, anticipates potential trouble: HAS. 29D. See 11-Across: AN OUT. The escape route.

14. Burns wrote one on a louse: ODE.  This POEM talks about how we are all equal to a louse.

15. "After this, no more questions": LAST ONE. Is this your clue Jeffrey? See how demanding I am now that he cooperated once. JW's response:  My clue: When it’s gone, you’re left empty-handed. 

16. Tahiti, to Gauguin: ILE. French.

19. Actor Cage, casually: NIC. He changed his name to Nicolas Cage (no H, just like his birth name Nicolas Coppola) after the comic book anti-hero LUKE CAGE who you may not know.

20. Avoided a family affair, perhaps: ELOPED. Very nice clue/fill.

21. Fabled beast: ASS. I wonder which one this refers to? Buridan's Ass?

22. Golden __: AGER. That's us, baby.

23. Carefree adventure: LARK. Not sure why, but this popped into my head. 

24. Little tunneler: ANT. Hey, John Lampkin how are you?

25. "The L Word" co-creator Chaiken: ILENE. I did not know of this successful PRODUCER with a varied background from the Fresh Prince of Belair to Empire and Stumptown.

26. Giant among Giants: OTT. A nice clue for some old-time crossword glue.

27. Alicia Keys record label: RCA. Who really knows or cares? I think she is very talented and attractive but who buys records?

29. Without markup: AT COST.

34. Checked the latest blog entry, say: READ A POST. A nice CSO to each and every one of you.

39. Gershwin classic: SWANEE. The PERFORMANCE is very un-pc.

41. Ike's WWII command: ETO. European Theater of Operations. (Thank you anon. Sometimes I forget what I am doing. Comes with age)

42. Prefix with laryngology: OTO.

43. Throws the game: TANKS. No doubt written for all the Dolphin fans. Of course, they ruined their perfect season by beating the Jets last Sunday.

44. O'er and o'er: OFT. Archaic synonyms.

46. Thunderstruck: AWED.

47. Synagogue storage cabinets: ARKS. Where the Torahs stay when not in use. A nice one at our synagogue.

48. T'ai __: CHI. Tai chi, short for T'ai chi ch'üan or Tàijí quán, is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training, its health benefits, and meditation.

49. Compassionate words: WE CARE. Do you really?

51. TX library honoree: LBJ. There are a few.

54. "Don't Bring Me Down" gp.: ELOElectric Light Orchestra.

55. Fur-loving de Vil: CRUELLA. Do you like the Emma Stone version?

56. "Who __?": New Orleans Saints chant: DAT. The entire chant is: "Who dat? Who dat? Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?" "Who dat" may also be used as a noun, describing a Saints fan.

57. Lee follower: REB. R.E. LEE, makes sense.

58. Beach pest: SANDFLY. Rhymes with...

59. "You __ devil!": SLY.


1. Visit the engine room, perhaps: GO BELOW. A CSO to Spitzboov and others.

2. Put on a pedestal: ADULATE. A word directly from Latin meaning to fawn over, praise (someone) excessively or obsequiously. It probably is not as familiar to your ear as ADULATION but it is the same thing.

3. Sharp answers: RETORTS. Which has nothing to do with TORTS? How can we re-tort anyway? Nero Wolfe solved one of his cases when the young killer fell for, "So have they taught you how to draft a tort yet?

4. Head for the hills: FLEE.

5. Frying medium: LARD. Two weeks in a row with pork fat.

6. It's NW of QWERTY: ESC. Literal look at the keyboard.

7. Allen of Vermont: ETHAN. Furniture guru? A fellow Connecticut boy, Ethan Allen was born in 1738 in Litchfield, Connecticut. He fought in the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. He shares his BIRTHDAY with the Corner. 

8. "See the ___ clear'd, and then we will depart": "King Henry VI": COAST. JW's weekly Will Shakespeare clue. Act I, Scene 3.
Lord Mayor of London.
See the coast clear'd, and then we will depart.
Good God, these nobles should such stomachs bear!
I myself fight not once in forty year.

9. Grandson of Adam: ENOS. Enos or Enosh (Hebrew: אֱנוֹשׁ ʾĔnōš; "mortal man." Son of Seth.

10. __ Arc, Arkansas: DES. The obscure Friday clue. Thank you for the perps.

11. Require for success: HINGE ON. Hinge is back without any dating app.

12. Ones from afar: ALIENS. Another interesting word that can mean someone from 50 miles away in Mexico or from light-years away on Alpha Centauri.

13. It may be hard to keep: SECRET. Generally bad for all involved.

18. State hwy., often: TPK. Turnpike. For you young'uns an expressway, especially one on which a toll is charged.

22. "Jo's Boys" author: ALCOTT. I recently reread Little Women, but not any of the sequels.

24. "Storage Wars" network: A AND E. Arts and Entertainment kept only its acronym.

25. "I speak the truth": IT IS SO. Make it so is more familiar to me.

27. Brand munched by E.T.: REESES. Pieces. We all know that during the production of E.T., Amblin Productions approached Mars, Inc. about a possible tie-in between M and Ms and the film. For whatever reason, Mars said “No” to the proposition.

28. Want badly: CRAVE. Want some M and Ms?

31. Boxer's boxers: TRUNKS. Cute clue. Is it your clue Jeffrey? I’m pleased to say that this is my clue.  I’m quite happy that Rich used it.  However, moving on... 

32. Gold __: BAR. Very random- -BUG, CUP, BAR... this is not mine. I loved "[Where a priest and a rabbi might share a joke?]." Too many words? 

33. Agitated: UPSET.

35. Many a heist: BANK JOB.

36. E.M. Forster's "__ End": HOWARDS. No apostrophe.

37. Opposite of momentary: ETERNAL.

38. Reason for a cover-up?: MODESTY.  Do you all recall BLAISE?

39. Less fresh: STALER. Meh.

40. Emulate a nightingale: WARBLE. Maybe "(of a person) sing in a trilling or quavering voice."

44. "Whoop-de-doo": OH FUN.  Is this serious or sarcastic?

45. Played a piccolo-like instrument: FIFED. (verb) ARCHAIC -play the fife.

46. Needle front?: ACU. This was very hard to parse. Once the lightbulb came on with acupuncture, it seemed so right.

48. "Downton Abbey" countess: CORA.
countess cora

49. Deftly: WELL.

50. StubHub parent: EBAY. They bought the ticket exchange company for $310,000,000.00 in 2007. Now the PLAN has changed.

52. IV units: CCS. Also measured in mLS, milliliters. They have a one to one ratio. These are cousins of milihelens, for those who remember.

53. 2003 holiday film: ELF. We end with an early Christmas reference to a new classic.

I had a very nice time as we were led on a wonderful JW treasure hunt, unlocking little gems along the way. The solve took a bit longer than usual but I did keep distracting myself, chasing down rabbit holes. We are supposed to get our first "cold spell" nothing in the 80s! Life is hard. Thank you, Jeffrey and all who read. Lemonade out.

Oct 19, 2019

Saturday, October 19, 2019, Jeffrey Wechsler

Themeless Saturday Puzzle by Jeffrey Wechsler

Today I had a pleasant 18 minute stroll through Jeffrey's 151st LA Times puzzle. As you regulars know, Lemon noted on October 11 that he was blogging Jeffrey's 150th LA puzzle that day and we had the benefit of a fun puzzle and commentary from Jeffrey. Add in Lemon's always elucidating narration and it made for a lovely experience. 

Jeffrey's accompanying comments on that Friday said how he values terseness for that which  made me look to see where he and Rich pared down to the most succinct cluing today.

You regulars will also be able to pick Jeffrey out of this gaggle of constructors shown in the accompanying picture here. I will post at the bottom (*) of the write-up which one is our prolific Jeffrey. 


1. Safari sight: WILD ANIMAL - All right, who's watching whom?

11. Class clown, at times: APER - I had a student "APE" some of my actions during class and I laughed really hard!

15. MRI safety consideration: ENERGY DOSE - An ENERGY DOSE greater than 3.5 kJ/kg can be uncomfortable for the patient. You're welcome! 😙

16. Fabric used in sci-fi costumes: LAMÈ  - Still puzzled about your halloween costume? For around $80 you can get this gold LAMÈ outfit that would make Elvis proud. Do sci-fi next year!

17. Ones concerned with public images?: TV STATIONS - In my misspent yute, we had two and then three TV stations. Now...

18. Infuriates: IRES.

19. Where food may be collected: BIB.

20. Many Egon Schiele works: EROTIC ART - Search at your leisure. I couldn't pick a "favorite" to post

22. Lacking a key: ATONAL - A two-min primer on this type of music

26. __ code: PENAL.

27. Has as an address: RESIDES AT - Most here know what fictional character RESIDES AT this Baker Street address

31. "__ Mio": O SOLE - Sherrill Nielsen sings in Italian and then The King answers with the English adaptation of this lovely melody

32. Gradual process of concern to periodontists: BONE LOSS 

34. Recognizes: ID'S.

35. See 46-Down: THIS and 46. With 35-Across, self-confident words: I CAN DO - That is the mantra for this anxious woman anticipating her first roller coaster ride

38. Annoying sort: TWERP.

39. Leporello in "Don Giovanni," e.g.: BASS - Don's servant. Description of the role is servant, comic relief, sidekick, misguided, loyal 

40. Dorm figs.: RA'S - Resident Assistants are supposed to prevent liquor from entering the dorm

41. Vacation itinerary entry: TOUR SITE - Daughter avoids these on vacation and we seek them out

43. French dispatch boat: AVISO -I was proud my cwd experience filled this in immediately 

45. Summer fun item attached to a ladder: POOL SLIDE - I CAN NOT DO THIS!

49. Cetera of Chicago: PETER Not on my play list

50. __ powder: TALCUM - Whether TALCUM increases cancer risk due to some asbestos content is an open debate right now

51. Intellectual property statute: PATENT LAW - America's first patent issued to Samuel Hopkins and signed by G Washington

56. Greece neighbor: Abbr.: ALBania

57. Oklahoma city: ENID - About 7 hours SSW of me

58. Payment: REMITTANCE.

62. Coleridge work: RIME - Archaic spelling of rhyme. Coleridge's original title was RIME of the Ancyent Marinere.


64. Hightailed it: SPED.

65. Musical with the song "Sex Is in the Heel": KINKY BOOTS - Music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, book by Harvey Fierstein. Trailer 


1. Rec room amenity: WET BAR - Yes, but here is a real (and really) WET BAR

2. Ask: INVITE.

3. Sappho's home: LESBOS Here 'ya go

4. Gere title role: DR. T - The critics saw a lot more to like than the audiences

5. Ottoman honorific: AGA - The AGA Khan is said to be a direct descendant of the prophet Mohammed 

6. News initials since 1851: NYT 

7. Romeo's last words: I DIE.

8. Baskerville Hall setting: MOOR.

9. "It came __ surprise": AS NO.

10. Opposite of provided: LEST.

11. Eatery "just a half a mile from the railroad track": ALICE'S The Smithsonian's take on Arlo's song

12. Conspiracy theory origin, perhaps: PARANOIA - Nobody as insignificant as Lee Harvey Oswald could have killed JKK, so... 

13. Green shades: EMERALDS.

14. Antsy: RESTLESS - Supervise a 7th grade study hall and you can also find some 24. Commotion: ADO.

21. Wall St. events: IPOS Ten biggest IPO's of 2019

23. Ink spots?: NIBS - The NIB on this pen is the spot where ink is placed

25. Tempo of Chopin's "Marche funèbre": LENTO - Same for this piece more familiar to me (assai means very)

28. Clinch: SEW UP.

29. Last Olds model: ALERO.

30. Where the heart is: TORSO - More "that's why I love Jeffrey's puzzles" cluing/fill

33. Like some wasted milk: SPILT - Don't cry over it 37. Anticipatory question: IS IT TIME? - Yes, it's time to let it go!

35. Early Hudson's Bay Company employees: TRAPPERS.

36. Imbibe minimally: HAVE A NIP - Not a SIP it turns out

39. Franklin half-dollar image: BELL - Can you find the mint mark that indicates where this coin was struck?

41. Undecided: TORN.

42. Org. with beeping wands: TSA - Truly a thankless job but...

44. Like some rye: SEEDED.

47. Pleasing to the ear: DULCET - My first thought was of Bing Crosby but this was too hard to pass up

48. Places firmly (in): EMBEDS - A ___ EMBEDS a(n) ____ into a ____

52. "Star __": TREK 

53. First name in casual wear: LEVI - These LEVI jeans from 1879 (when Mr. Strauss was 50 yrs-old), with trademark rivets, were not made for casual wear. They are stored in a fire-proof safe where only two people have the combination. 

54. "And that goes for me, too!": AMEN.

55. Pretend not to see, with "at": WINK - Trust me

59. Old possessive: THY.

60. Q neighbor: TAB - Not NOP or RST

61. "Is that __?": A NO - Not my response if you are asking to comment today!

*Jeffrey is standing next to C.C. in an argyle sweater

Oct 11, 2019

Friday, October 11, 2019, Jeffrey Wechsler

The Game is Afoot! (This was foreshadowed Monday). I am sure iamb going to pay for my work here, but let's have some fun and peek behind the curtain.

Special collaboration to recognize the 150th published Los Angeles Times puzzle set by Jeffrey Wechsler.  He recently passed Barry Silk as the second most published at the LAT since the Corner switch.  We have conspired to show you exactly what happened between JW submitting the puzzle and its reaching publication. So let's start the ride. It will take some time but relax and enjoy it. JW's comments are in this color. Lemon comments are logically orange, and TTP's are the black ones.

Constructor’s note: 

Creating clues for crosswords can be a mixture of drudgery and creativity.  Writing between 70 to 78 clues for an average puzzle can be time-consuming and tedious, but every once in a while, a really clever or humorous idea for a clue comes along and just about makes the whole process worthwhile.   But editors have an important role to play as well.  Besides the job of straightforward editing for accuracy, spelling, grammar, and style, editors have to consider clue length and potential repetition of past clues.  And perhaps most importantly, editors have generally been accomplished constructors before they become editors, so they have the necessary creativity and experience to devise interesting clues.  Therefore, a constructor will occasionally get credit for an excellent clue that was actually devised by the editor.  (Of course, there are times that a clue considered quite clever by the constructor is not equally appreciated by the editor, and the original clue disappears, to the constructor’s dismay.)  In the crossword field, editors have the final say; a constructor will not know about any clue changes until the puzzle is published.  Because this aspect of the crossword world may be relatively unknown to most solvers, today’s constructor and reviewers present a behind-the-curtain peek at cluing.  We hope it is interesting and enlightening. 

"Needing a LEG Up"

Each of these 4 theme answers requires that you borrow an E and a G from an intersecting Down answer.   You probably first noticed that the two letters were EG, and then without hesitation noticed that each occurrence also was on top of an L, so four cases where a LEG goes up. 

15. Vermont alma mater of Alan Arkin and Peter Dinklage: BENNINGTON COLLEGE.  Bennington College.
They have many others including Betty Ford. LIST.

29. Coin of the realm: LEGAL TENDER.  Legal Tender

39. "MythBusters" target: URBAN LEGEND.  Urban Legend

55. '50s-'70s carrier with a Pittsburgh hub: ALLEGHENY AIRLINES.  Allegheny Airlines. USAIR to American Airlines.
Original clue: [Defunct carrier with a Pittsburgh hub].  The decades of the airline’s existence offer useful information and I appreciate the addition

63. Assistance, with "a" ... and literal assistance in solving the four longest answers: LEG UP.
Original clue: [Assistance – and literal assistance for solving the starred clues]. The suggested method of using starred clues was ditched -- I can never figure out why or when the “starred clues” system will be accepted or rejected.  And of course, that mention of “a” is quite useful

Borrowing a page from Husker Gary's playbook, I'm linking the grid here:


1. Long-term astronaut's home: Abbr.: ISSInternational Space Station - NASA

4. Old TWA competitor: PAN AM.
Original clue: [TWA competitor].  TWA and Pan Am are both defunct and from the same era, so I didn’t think further definition was needed.  The editor provided the “old”

9. FBI figure: AGT.  Agent

12. Mauna __: KEA.   If it's fill in the blank and three letters, enter the A in the third square, and check the perps to determine LO or KE. I have had my clue (It is higher than LOA) rejected by Rich Norris, C.C. and Jeffrey, but I still like it).

13. Sister of Terpsichore: ERATO.  Did not know Terpsichore. I never knew it it was pronounced (/tərpˈsɪkəriː/; Τερψιχόρη, "delight in dancing") who is one of the nine Muses and goddess of dance and chorus.

14. "But, as he was ambitious, I __ him" : Brutus: SLEW. JW gets his Shakespeare in early this week.

18. Provides with an alarm code, perhaps: ABETS.  Loved this clue / answer. 

19. Timeworn phrase: BROMIDE.  e.g. "Every cloud has a silver lining",  i.e. a platitude.  Very similar to clichés, which you should avoid like the plague.

20. Judicial prohibition: GAG ORDER.
Original clue: [Judicial attempt at secrecy].  The editor’s clue is accurate and terse.  Good call Does look like an improvement. 

24. Party nudge: OPEN IT.    "C'mon, OPEN IT !"
Original clue: [Christmas morning encouragement].  The editor’s clue is much harder, I think.  A “nudge” could be physical, not a verbal suggestion, and lots of parties don’t involve gift-giving Much harder for me.

25. "Bambi" doe: ENA.
Original clue: [Bambi relative].   Putting “Bambi” in quotes marks it as a title, and “doe” makes the answer female.  Careful editorial definition

26. Andy is her nephew: AUNT BEE.   There's Aunt Bee,  Andy,  Clara and ???  No idea either, anyone?
Original clue: [One attending to Opie].  The editing change makes the clue much harder.  Andy who?  There are a lot of Andys out there

28. Boomer?: TNT.   CSO to Boomer!

31. Disco era adjective: GO GO.
Original clue: [Type of 1960s dancer].  Equivalent, to my mind – each clue comes from a slightly different direction This edit is also more difficult for me.

32. Robert of "The Sopranos": ILER. A.J. SOPRANO.

33. "Got it": I SEE.

36. Infant's place in Hyde Park: PRAM.   That would be Hyde Park, London,  not Hyde Park, Chicago.

44. Gloaming, in verse: EE'N.
Original clue: [Poetic contraction meaning “yet”].  Ah, the ubiquitous EE'N, one of the many poetic saviors/bugbears of the crossword constructor!  I can understand that editors crave new ways to clue such words.  I appreciate “Gloaming” as an exquisitely poetic clue, but it is also likely mysterious in meaning to many solvers and therefore rather hard

45. NAPA store item: FAN BELT.   NAPA is the initialism for National Automotive Parts Association. 
Original clue: [Occasional auto engine replacement].  I suppose you must be familiar with NAPA to get the editor’s clue.  If so, no problem.  If not, your solving just hit the brakes

47. Green span: LEA.  I thought of Alan first, but the space between told me no.
Original clue: [Grazing place]  Because many of my puzzles are considered by commenters to be among the most difficult at the LA Times, I often try to maintain a certain proportion of simple clues.  The editor created a somewhat harder clue, although it’s quite evocative

48. Bothers, as one's conscience: NAGS AT.

50. Ali, per Ali: GREATEST.
Original clue: [Ali, as self-described].  Proper editorial terseness.  Brevity is the soul of wit

52. Perch in a lullaby: TREE TOP. Why do we tell babies to go to sleep after landing on their heads?
Rock-a-bye baby, in the treetop
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
And down will come baby, cradle and all
Original clue: [Lullaby cradle perch].  Removing “cradle” makes it slightly harder, but not by much, given the well-known source.  Very reasonable

54. Fuming: IRATE.

59. Genre with hard-boiled characters: NOIR.   Many favorites for me in this category, and still discovering them on the old movie channels. Great books and graphic novels as well.
Original clue: [Moody film genre].  Removing the film reference makes the clue slightly harder, but quite gettable, especially given the frequency with which NOIR appears in crosswords.  Hey, maybe because the answer has four letters, the editor was trying to fool some solvers into inserting EGGS!

60. Greet the day: ARISE.
Original clue: [Greet the new day].  Terseness, terseness

61. Encumber, with "down": BOG.   Details are often the culprit. 

62. Letters replacing a list: ETC
Original clue: [List substitute]).  Equivalent, I’d say

64. Small amount of work: ERG.


1. Floral art: IKEBANA.  The  Japanese art of flower arrangement.

2. French-speaking African country: SENEGAL.
Original clue: [Neighbor of Mali]  Extra information provided -- sure, why not! Because we are geographically challenged and have no idea where MALI is. 

3. __ Domingo: SANTO.  The capital of the Dominican Republic.

I love how Tom presents parallel pictures.

4. Author: PEN.

5. Braz. neighbor: ARG.  Argentina.    Chile has the longest border with Aregentina.
Original clue: [Neighbor of Uru.]  No difference that I can see – I wonder why! More limited geography knowledge.

6. D.C. athlete: NAT.  The Washington Nationals

7. Small step: A TO B.
Original clue: [First stage of an ongoing pathway]   At the Crossword Corner, I often read comments like “Oh, that Wechsler is always creating tricky or difficult clues!”   Well, ultimately a puzzle’s degree of difficulty is often determined by the editor.  I was trying to make an unusual entry easier for the solver, but it was not meant to be

8. Louisiana Purchase negotiator who later became president: MONROE.
Original clue: [He helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase]  Here the editorial makes things easier for the solver.  I think he was quite right to do so

9. Utterly enrapt with: ALL INTO.  

10. Castrated equine: GELDING.
Original clue: Donkey or mule, for example)  Well, well, well!  There I was, trying to craft a clue that danced around the obvious definition – maybe making a pun with “fix” – and the editor cuts to the chase, gets down to the nitty-gritty, and simply writes “castrated”.  I really thought that word was going to be a no-no, a victim of the so-called “breakfast test” for disturbing crossword content.  All I can say is – Bravo, editor!”

11. Send a short message: TWEET TO.
Original clue: [Direct a short message at]   Hmm…. Interesting.  Yes, I can see that “send”, without an added preposition, can imply the word “at” that concludes the answer.  That’s very subtle and somewhat more difficult, I think

14. Vague quantity: SOME.
Original clue: [Not very many].  Ironically, I think the word “vague” is, in this instance, more precise!

15. Torus-shaped food: BAGEL.  (Pictured with a schmear)
Original clue: [Edible torus].   Equivalent -- although I think my clue sounds funnier

16. Nation since 1948: ISRAEL. Me too!

17. Deal: COPE.
Original clue: [Deal (with)].  Another instance of the disappearing preposition.  I’ve noticed this reductivism especially in clues for Saturday LA Times puzzles, where one-word clues are common.   I suppose “deal” and “cope” are synonyms, but I feel that the “with” makes the equivalency more natural

21. Sci-fi classic set on an arid world: DUNE.

22. Gridiron maneuver: END RUN.

23. GPS datum: RTE.

27. Hush money payer: BRIBER.
Original clue: [One involved with dirty money].    Again, terseness

30. Cratchit kid: TIM.
Original clue: [Cratchit family member].   More precision = easier to solve

31. Salon supply: GEL.

34. Large word on a mall sign: SALE.
Original clue: Word written large on a mall sign).  Sure, why not

35. Involve: ENTAIL.

36. Compound with five carbon atoms: PENTANE.
Original clue: [C5H12].  I knew this one would be changed.  The publishing format for producing the puzzles probably cannot create chemical numerical subscripts in the clues, but I figured I’d give it a try

37. Parking in back: REAR LOT.
Original clue: [Parking for a street-front store, perhaps].   Short but sweet – good work, editor

38. Like a sleeping baby: ANGELIC. A bit grumpy Jeffrey.
Original clue: [Like an ideal child].   I think the new clue falls short because I don’t think a sleeping baby necessarily looks angelic by definition – I seem to recall several who did not

40. "Notorious" court initials: RBG.
Original clue: [Initialism that titles a 2018 biopic of a U.S. Justice]) Besides being way too long, my clue was wary of whether the majority of solvers knew the phrase “The Notorious RBG” in reference to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  I’m glad the editor took this route

41. Franklin's wife: ELEANOR.
Original clue: [Franklin’s mate].  The editor was right to use the word “wife”.  After all, this is a tricky clue: I assume that most solvers will first consider Franklin to be the last name and might wonder: “So that rat Wechsler expects us to know the name of Benjamin Franklin’s mate?!”  And “wife” will at least deter people from considering Aretha Franklin as the subject

42. Financial planning target: NEST EGG.

43. Teen gossip fodder: DATES.

45. It's inevitable: FATE.

46. Without a key: ATONAL. This was not a lock for me.
Original clue: [Like music without a key].  Terseness that makes things a bit tougher

49. Very, in Vienna: SEHR.
Original clue: [Essex : “Excellent! :: Essen : ___ gut!”).   I thought the phrase “sehr gut” might help solvers recall the German word

51. Erie or Huron, but not Superior: TRIBEI like this clue.

53. Ritual heap: PYRE. Musical interlude.
Original clue: [Hindu ritual structure]).   Ritual heap?  Well, maybe so, but that does seem a bit indelicate.

56. 2008 bailout co.: AIG.
Original clue: [Global NYC-based insurance and finance corp.]).  By this point, we can all say the magic word together – terseness!

57. Ames sch.: ISU.   Originally in 1870 as the "Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm"
Original clue: [Sch. With an Ames campus]).  Remember, everyone!  Ters…  oh, enough already! Perhaps easy for the midwestern solvers, but does everyone know the Iowa State Cyclones are from Ames?

58. House fig.: REP.

The great tribute and experiment have come to an end, and I applaud each of you who stuck with this until it was finished. It may cut into your Jumble or KenKen solving, but hopefully, you now know some more and all will comment more and provide more insight. I hope this pleases the regulars and brings more of the quiet ones to join the ways.