Where do I begin in discussing this most perfect example of the constructor and his humor? JL begins with a shout out to himself, as his name Lampkin is a pet form of Lambkin. Kin was added in the 12th century when taxes began being collected from individuals rather than property and they needed surnames to keep track of who paid and who did not. (Opinion, not fact, as who really know?)
He created a 15x16 puzzle to fit in all of his whimsical reboots of famous pieces of music. John is an accomplished professional musician and piano teacher who I am sure is very familiar with each of these actually finished pieces. In contrast to the adding KIN to his name, John removes the end of each of the titles of the work and clues the result for maximum humor. The themers are presented in pinwheel with a center fill. He also adds NO CLUE, CAROMED, DESPOTS, FLEABAG, GYRATOR, the mini-theme added musical fill LULLABY and SAD SONG along with SLAMMER, UP A TREE, RECRUITS and TOOK CARE. So, here we go.
18A. Unfinished Puccini work a.k.a. "Homage to a Dairy"? : MADAMA BUTTER(
42A. Unfinished Beethoven work a.k.a. "Salute to Manning"? : FÜR ELI(
66A. Unfinished Beethoven work a.k.a. "Dracula's Boy"? : MOONLIGHT SON(
12D. Unfinished Mozart work a.k.a. "A Sorcerer's Bug"? : THE MAGIC FLU(
26D. Unfinished Vivaldi work a.k.a. "Water Music for the Mathematically Challenged"? : THE FOUR SEAS(
1. Meat of which Australia is among the largest producers: LAMB. Shamelessly crossing 1D. Hasty flight: LAM. The self-referential beginning to this over-sized effort is wonderful.
5. Down-and-out inn: FLEABAG. Such a fun ORIGIN.
12. Apt brew for a golfer? : TEA. A tee for two pun.
15. Healing Salve: ALOE.
16. Oral soporific? : LULLABY. More music, but not so fancy.
17. Solo with memorable lines: HAN. Very popular this week.The new Star Wars movie, without Han, opens today. It also is the 49th anniversary of my first corneal transplant and 44 years since I graduated law school.
20. Fertilization target : EGG. Ova last week. As most of you know, John Lampkin is also a world class photographer with insects his specialty. So, look at these insect eggs. The world is a fun place.
21. Cashed, as a forged check: KITED. It actually is THIS which has nothing to do with forgery. Juxtaposed with...
22. Hoosegow: SLAMMER. Where people can end up for kiting checks.
24. Completely filled: SATED.
27. Singers do it: SEW. A fake out addition to the mini-theme. My grandfather used a Singer like this
30. "Argo" setting: TEHRAN. The Movie.
32. It may make you 29-Across: SAD SONG.
Hey Jude, don't make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better
35. "All bets __ off": ARE.
36. Soak (up), as gravy: SOP.
38. They may be raw: RECRUITS. A new, inexperienced, or fresh recruit, such as someone just entering the army, navy, police, etc. Also, college athletes.
41. Whistle-blower: REF. Fun.
44. Cabin bed: COT.
45. Proceeded cautiously: TOOK CARE.
48. Arcing shot: LOB. Tennis.
50. Side dish piece: FRY. The "French" is being fazed out. Freedom never caught on.
51. Stuck: UP A TREE. Cats 1?
53. What the puzzled have: NO CLUE. And of course, we have lots of clues here.
55. Baseball commission? : ERROR. Tricky baseball clue/fill; not an investigative body.
57. Mex. distances: KMS. Kilometers also in Thailand.
59. Tie for cooking: TRUSS. Did you?
60. Dictators: DESPOTS. Unless they are benevolent.
63. Track bet: PLACE. Win, place, and show = 1, 2 and 3.
65. View: SEE.
71. Actress Gabor: EVA. Merv Griffin's beard and the Green Acres' wife.
72. "M*A*S*H" unit? : EPISODE. JL was an early creator of clechos.
73. "M*A*S*H" actor: ALDA.
74. Guitarist Paul: LES.
75. Held up: DELAYED.
76. Putin's refusal: NYET.
2. In the style of: À LA.
3. Stylish, '60s-style : MOD. The mods and the rockers. FLASHBACK.
4. Lab container: BEAKER.
5. Like day-old seltzer: FLAT. The bubbles burst.
6. Garage services: LUBES.
7. Dodges: ELUDES.
8. Key usually pressed and held: ALT. CTRL/ALT/DEL.
9. Takes cuts in a box: BATS. Another of the tricky baseball clues.
10. Slain brother: ABEL.
11. Belly dancer, e.g.: GYRATOR. You want to watch? LINK.
13. Gung-ho: EAGER.
14. Steamed: ANGRY. Coming out of your ears?
19. Gilt-ridden king? : MIDAS. There have been so many clues to this storied king, but this is perfect.
23. List of options: MENU. Not just food any longer.
24. Square one: START. GO?
25. Word on Spanish mail: AEREO.
28. Soft finish? : WARE.
31. Dietary watchwords: NO-FAT.
33. Farmer's habitat? : DELL. More baby stuff.
34. Boxy Toyota: SCION. They aren't anymore, but were in 2004.
37. Persian murmur: PURR. Another kitty cat for CED and the other feline fanatics.
39. Bagel shape: TORUS.
40. Eye sores: STYES.
43. Smell to high heaven: REEK.
46. "Gangnam Style" genre, for short: K-POP. LINK.
47. Ricocheted: CAROMED. A gimme to any billiard/pool player.
49. Make a mess of: BOTCH.
52. Use: EMPLOY.
54. Ancient Knossos denizen: CRETAN. Knossos is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and has been called Europe's oldest city. The citizens of Crete are Cretans, literally.
55. Collectible lemon: EDSEL. A fabulous CSO to yours truly!
56. "Still Me" memoirist: REEVE. LINK.
58. One way to come home: SLIDE. A cool baseball misdirection.
61. Hit the sauce: TOPE. Archaic, literary. Drink alcohol to excess, especially on a regular basis.
‘he was toping the while from a flagon of sack.’ Or perhaps, port.
62. Get dirty: SOIL. This has so many negative implications.
64. Like port, usually: AGED. It is one of this wine's ADVANTAGES. Something else our Renaissance Man knows about.
67. DOD division: NSA. Department of Defense oversees the National Security Agency.
68. Underhanded: SLY.
69. Keats forte: ODE.
70. 2017 NLDS player: NATional. One final baseball reference for C.C.
I have such fun doing these write-ups especially when the puzzles are as whimsical as this one was. Happy Chanukah to those who light the candles and get ready for Christmas- 10 more shopping days. Thanks, John Lampkin, nice baseball stuff: and all of you who come to the corner. Lemonade out.