Oct 12, 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017, J. Michael McHugh

Theme: Breakfast Surprise - scrambled OATS

17A. *What may put a fire in the belly? : HOT SAUCE. I've got quite a few varieties in my pantry. One of my favorites is a green habaƱero sauce I picked up at a market in Jalisco.

24A. *Commuter entertainment source : RADIO STATION

38A. *Slick trick : FAST ONE. Fast ones are always pulled. I might try and push a fast one and see how far I get.

52A. *Pre-release programs : BETA SOFTWARE. Full of bugs, typically.

64A. What young people may sow ... and what's literally hidden in the answers to starred clues : WILD OATS.

"Boys will be boys, young men must sow their wild oats, and women must not expect miracles." From Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

A pretty straightforward theme today, a word scramble. If the constructor lived in TAOS, NM that would be cool. It does appear to be an LAT debut for Mr. McHugh, so congratulations are in order for that. The stacked 6's at top and bottom are nice. There is a little "bitty" feel to the rest of the fill, but nothing to get too upset about. Maybe a slight surfeit of crossword-ese. More of a Monday feel to this one. Let's see what else we've got:


1. Part of BYOB and MYOB : OWN. Bring your own bottle/mind your own business. I first heard the term BYO in Australia, which described restaurants which did not have a license to serve alcohol, but you were welcome to bring your own wine.

4. Band name with a lightning bolt slash : AC/DC

8. Unlike a couch potato : ACTIVE

14. T'ai __ : CHI

15. Afrikaans speaker : BOER. Dutch origin. It's not the most mellifluous of languages.

16. 9Lives mascot : MORRIS. Thank you, crosses. No idea with this one.

19. Makes room on, as a schedule : CLEARS

20. Window part : SASH

21. Mother of Pollux : LEDA

23. She plays Crawford in FX's "Feud" : LANGE. Jessica Lange portraying Joan Crawford.

27. Regards with surprise : GAPES AT

30. Sped : TORE

31. Botch : MISDO. Hmmm. Really? "Don't misdo that!". "Darn, I misdid it!" Not convinced that would be the first phrase out of my mouth if I stripped a bolt.

32. Miracle-__ : GRO

33. One teaspoon, e.g. : DOSE

37. Sponsor's array : ADS

42. Pampering place : SPA

43. Lets hit them : NETS. Tennis. A let actually hit the net cord, not the net, but let's not get too picky.

45. Pi follower : RHO

46. Heroism : VALOR

48. In-land link? : LA-LA. You know no-one ever calls Los Angeles La-La land? Just as only tourists call San Francisco "Frisco" and only Guy Fieri calls the state "Cali".

50. Leopardlike cats : OCELOTS

56. Not right : AMISS

57. Commuter's expense : TOLL

58. Staff symbol : REST. Music.

62. Metaphorical state of agitation : LATHER

66. Like most Chaplin films : SILENT. This New Yorker article is an interesting read regarding Chaplin and his attitudes towards sound.

67. "Uh-huh" : I SEE

68. By way of : VIA

69. Gives a heads-up : ALERTS

70. Drag racing gp. : N.H.R.A. National Hot Rod Association.

71. Prompt a correction : ERR


1. "Draft Dodger Rag" folk singer : OCHS

2. Stop on the trail : WHOA!

3. Quibbles : NITS

4. "Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice" org. : ABA. American Bar Association. Second association of the day.

5. Might've : COULD'A. Would'a, could'a, should'a.

6. Con man's forte : DECEIT

7. Set of beliefs : CREDO. Had CREED first.

8. "The Walking Dead" channel : AMC

9. Nab : COLLAR

10. Pressure-__ : TREATED. Lumber that has chromated copper arsenate preservative forced into it under pressure.

11. Like two-time Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi : IRANI. More crosses to the rescue.

12. Late summer sign : VIRGO. That's me!

13. Steel city near Cologne : ESSEN. Food! It's also the verb "to eat" in German. All I know about Essen is what I learned from the friendly fictional family who populated the text book in high school German lessons. Herr Mueller was an executive at some kind of factory, and I recall the river was nice and the park was spacious.

18. Bit : SHRED

22. Orbit City pooch : ASTRO

25. Starting : AS OF

26. One in a cel block : TOON. Astro, for example.

27. FBI guy : G-MAN

28. Assistant : AIDE

29. "Wanna hear a secret?" : PSST!

32. '60s-'70s Pontiac : GTO

34. City that hosts an annual Norwegian Wood music festival : OSLO. Quick - name another Norwegian city of four letters. 3-2-1 Go!

35. Blind __ : SPOT

36. Elephant flappers : EARS

39. Singer Guthrie : ARLO

40. Golf club part : SHAFT. The shaft used to be made of good old hickory, then steel and now all kinds of fancy-schmancy carbon fiber, titanium and assorted rocket parts developed by NASA. Or something.

41. Even once : EVER

44. Cutting-edge horror film? : SLASHER

47. Olds compact : ALERO

49. Approval : ASSENT

50. Wide-eyed and wise-looking : OWLISH

51. Telemarketer : CALLER. Bleedin' nuisance, more like.

52. Light wood : BALSA. We used to make model aeroplanes out of balsa wood when we were kids.

53. It's often distributed in cc's : E-MAIL

54. Sir or sri : TITLE

55. Haul to the shop : TOW IN

59. Nesting site : EAVE

Oh - here we are at the end, I stumbled off the edge of the roof. Here's the grid!