Title: Over and Over Again
The odd clue ( - ) gave me a hint where I needed to look for the theme, but this was a challenge. It was great to have our LA pediatrician Peter back after a long absence. I blogged his debut puddle- I mean puzzle LINK and he has stopped by to talk with us some after his publications. With no fill longer than 9 letters, nothing jumped out. It was only by focusing on filling the downs that the light bulb came on and I 'saw' his theme in the sea of white. Very few short fill and so many interesting others like UP DRAFT, NAVARRE, SPLOTCH, DEAD SEA, SLEPT IN, APHASIA, WHEEDLED, UNWEANED, STEADIEST, SLY AS A FOX. Lots of French, many witty clues and much to chew on. Welcome back Peter; we hope you stop by and give us some thoughts.
14A. Art critic's phrase, literally : STYLE (5). OVER
17A. - : SUBSTANCE (9). This CONCEPT is called form over substance in the writing of legal briefs etc.
30A. Theme park near Dallas, literally : SIX FLAGS (8). OVER
36A. - : TEXAS (5). This THEME PARK was the response to Disneyland; it opened in 1961.
42A. Changes one's ways, literally : TURNS (5). OVER
47A. - : A NEW LEAF (8). This IDIOM appears to date back to the 1600s.
62A. Tumbles out of control, literally : FALLS HEAD (9). OVER
66A. - : HEELS (5). This PHRASE has its origin 700 years ago.
1. Test : ASSAY. I learned this word watching old westerns on TV when they brought their gold to the assay office.
6. Law degs. : JDS. Juris Doctor.
9. While-__: repair shop sign words : U-WAIT. These days they work on COMPUTERS.
15. Calendar pg. : OCTober. Random.
16. NBA's Jackson et al. : PHILS. Phil Jackson having a hard time succeeding in NY; week fill, Phil.
19. "10" co-star : DEREK. She is now with John Corbett from Cecily, Alaska
20. Send out : EMIT.
21. Pamplona's municipality : NAVARRE. I am confused, not only because I do not know geography but because I thought PAMPLONA is the city for this FESTIVAL..
23. Big stain : SPLOTCH.
25. Israeli border lake : DEAD SEA.
29. "Doubt it" : NAH.
31. "Conan" channel : TBS. Any of you watch him?
34. Dayan of Israel : MOSHE. He was a storybook hero for Israel.
37. Giants manager before Bochy : ALOU. Felipe, the oldest brother.
39. Like non-oyster months, traditionally : R-LESS. Try explaining this concept to a Thai woman where the letter that looks like "R" sounds like "L."
41. Ration (out) : DOLE.
44. "The Deep" director Peter : YATES. He directed BULLITT as well. The movie was based on a book by Peter Benchley, who also wrote JAWS. Jacqueline Bisset set the gold standard for a wet t-shirt SCENE.
46. Bottom line : NET.
49. Closing sequence : XYZ.
51. They're often numbered : STREETS. Random.
52. Bench warmers? : JURISTS. More legal misdirection.
56. Loss of speech : APHASIA. Aphasia is a communication disorder that results from damage to the parts of the brain that contain language (typically in the left half of the brain). Growing up around a doctor and a nurse I heard this term when I was very young.
58. Drive-__ : THRU.
59. Before, in Brest : AVANT. Literal French. No Brest milk.
64. "In the Bedroom" Oscar nominee : TOMEI. I never saw this movie, but Marisa is always a pleasure.
65. Passé : OUT.
67. "Surprise Symphony" composer : HAYDN. Wiki says it better.
68. Big tees : XLS. Not in a world of XXXL.
69. Matrix, e.g. : ARRAY.
2. Baffle : STUMP.
3. Prophetess : SYBIL. This is not a name but a description. There is much to learn if you like HISTORY and MYTH.
4. Longtime Dodger manager : ALSTON. Along with Tommy Lasorda, this MANAGER led the Dodgers through 4 world championships and the only one won in Brooklyn. If you love baseball you know this man.
5. Still : YET.
6. Whale of a guy? : JONAH. More of the wit in the cluing.
7. Half of MCDX : DCCV. Peter has used Roman Numerals as glue before.
8. Most constant : STEADIEST.
9. Kite aid : UPDRAFT. Soaring!
10. Cajoled : WHEEDLED.
11. Whistle blower? : AIR. Literal but deceptive!!!
12. Key for Fauré? : ILE. French for Island. hmm lots of French.
13. "For shame!" : TSK.
18. Run at the end : ANCHOR. The relay team in the race.
22. "Toy Story" dinosaur : REX.
24. Highland lid : TAM.
26. Ancient Germanic invader : SAXON.
27. Even, in Évian : EGALE. French mostly associated with equal. Liberté, égalité, fraternité (French pronunciation: [libɛʁte eɡalite fʁatɛʁnite]), French for "liberty, equality, fraternity", is the national motto of France and the Republic of Haiti, and is an example of a tripartite motto.W.
28. Valuable team member : ASSET.
30. Field unit : SHEAF.
31. Byes : TATAS. See below.
32. Not sharp : BLUNT.
33. More ticked : SORER.
35. Cunning : SLY AS A FOX. This is new stuff, only one other LAT appearance back in 2006.
38. Still breast-feeding : UNWEANED. Boobies next to...
40. __ orientation : SEXUAL.
43. Ignored the alarm : SLEPT IN. Good idea after sex.
45. Civil war site since 2011: Abbr. : SYRia.
48. E. African land : ETHiopia.
50. Dulcimer kin : ZITHER.
52. Crushes an altar ego? : JILTS. Very witty clue. You never know, but this sounds like some of Peter's earlier cluing.
53. Utter : SHEER.
54. Part of a skipping refrain : TRALA. LALA. I hope Linda is well.
55. Like some heads : SUDSY. Beer, both kinds.
57. King anointed by Samuel : SAUL.
59. Sports fig. : ATHlete. There is only one A in athlete.
60. U.S. govt. broadcaster : VOA. The fifth appearance this year in the LAT and the third on a Friday.
61. Acker of "Person of Interest" : AMY. She reappears soon enough that I recalled her.
63. Doo-wop syllable : SHA. Na Na after last weeks No no? No!
What a work out with some of the most fun cluing of the year. If you do not see the visual you lose the joy. I hope you all are having a wonderful December. Lemonade out.