Friday, March 18, 2022, Jamey Smith

Theme: A real work of art

Puzzling Thoughts:

Or maybe the theme should be: "A real piece of work" - as in weird, complex, different, and interesting! Jamey Smith - a U of Texas Longhorn - was last seen here at the Crossword Corner a couple of Saturday's ago. He's had a few themeless puzzles at the LA Times, and has been published in both Universal Crossword and the Wall Street Journel

Today's puzzle - while not themeless - did not need a reveal. As you complete the puzzle you notice the use of proper names (specifically, artists) as homonyms in the longest "across" entries. Using 5 of these entries (total of 55 letter spaces) forced Jamey to use a plethora of 3, 4, and 5-letter words in the grid. Typical Friday puzzles earn their "toughness" from longer words/phrases, but Jamey's earned toughness from the unusual puns. Would you like to see how he arrived there?

17-Across. Spanish artist's portrait of an American president?: DALI MADISON. The pun is for first lady Dolley Madison, wife of President James Madison. (See the image above) Had Jamey chosen a different tactic, could he have tried:

Clue: Spanish artist's favorite device to move furniture? SALVADOR DOLLY

31-Across. Swiss artist's painting of a bird?: KLEE PIGEON. A clay pigeon is a mechanically thrown target used in shooting skeet or trap - as the imbedded image describes. I wish Jamey had tried this, though:

Clue: Who carried Dutch artist to his grave? PAUL BEARERS. Moving right along ...

37-Across. American artist's condiment rendering?: SARGENT PEPPER.

Any Beatles fan out here?

But if Jamey really wanted a laugh, I would've suggested this:

Clue: What would you call an American artist who covers Beatles songs on the loo? JOHN SINGER

45-Across. American pop artist's drawing of an ulna?: HARING BONE

These just keep getting cheesier, don't they??!! I wasn't aware of Mr. Haring, but I do know a herringbone pattern. In an alternate universe perhaps Jamey might try:

Clue: American pop artist's family reunion? KEITH AND KIN. (they can't ALL be winners!!)

61-Across. Mexican artist's poinsettia painting?: KAHLO FLOWER. Ha, ha!! Cauliflower - which some pronounce "kaa·luh·flau·ur" - was Jamey's ploy for this entry, by using the similarly pronounced artist, Kahlo. But I would've thought that this "dad joke" about her might've made the cut:

Clue: Amazon Prime's offer to Mexican artist who ordered servant's clothes? FRIDA LIVERY

OK, enough already Moe!! Please just the facts for the remainder?!

I'll try ...

1. Westernmost African capital: DAKAR.

6. Ballroom dance: RUMBA.

This also inspired a Moe-ku:

What makes perfect sense
At a vacuum convention?
Dancing the ROOMBA

11. World's oldest natl. channel: BBC. I occasionally watch the BBC; my favorite is the Graham Norton show. His signature finale is to have audience members tell a story from the Big Red Chair ...

14. Historical 1960 John Wayne film, with "The": ALAMO. I didn't know that "The Duke" made a movie about rental cars

15. Ewoks' forest moon: ENDOR. All perps for this one. The only thing close to "ENDOR" that I recall is Samantha's mother, ENDORa:

16. Notable period: ERA. One of Jamey's twenty 3-letter words/abbr's in today's puzzle

19. What Marcie calls Peppermint Patty: SIR. #3 of 20. Peanuts comic strip characters:

20. Tokyo beer brand: ASAHI. How do you say "beer me" in Japanese? Bīru watashi You can't spell watashi without ASAHI

21. Up and about: MOBILE. [left blank on purpose for one of y'all to offer a pun]

23. "Just like that!": BAM. #4 of the 20 3-letter words, and Emiril Legasse's favorite comment

25. Charges too much: SOAKS. Another meaning of "charges too much" is: GOES INTO DEBT

28. Loaf: IDLE. Did I mention that this puzzle contains eighteen 4-letter entries?

29. Skill-measuring method: EXAM. #2 of 18

34. Do well on the test: GET A "B". That was about my average for four years at Pitt. I think I graduated with a 3.14 GPA. My personal reward was having a piece of pie

36. Press start?: PERMA. An abbreviation of PERMAnent press

42. Temple reading: TORAH. But only for the Jewish students at this Philadelphia school?

43. Vegas natural: SEVEN. A term used in the casino game, Craps. Rolling a SEVEN (or eleven) is considered a "natural". As wikipedia dot com confirms: "in craps, a natural is a roll of two dice with a score of 7 or 11 on the come out roll. This will lead to a win for the players who wagered money on the Pass or Come bet, but a loss for players betting Don't Pass or Don't Come"

50. Betray the gang: SING. As in "rat on" or "snitch"; a reference to a stool pigeon in a gang who "SINGS" when the cops interrogate

51. Dutch __: OVEN. I really wanted to use a certain definition /description for Dutch OVEN, but I'm running out of gas right now and need a brief break ...

52. Merciless: STONY. OK, I'm back. STONY for merciless? I wonder what the Thesaurusaurus has to say about this? Hmm. Not there. Guess that's why this made for a Friday clue

54. Elton's john: LOO. See my "daffy-nition" for 37-Across in the opening monologue for this recap

55. Opinion: BELIEF. Something you all should state in the comment section below this blog!

58. 66-Across arrival: GUEST. 66. 58-Across booking: INN.

60. Nectar collector: BEE. I think I lost count of the 3-letter words ...

67. Kids' refrain: EIEIO. "Old MacDonald had a farm ..." (Try to get THAT tune out of your head today!!)

68. Top-notch: PRIMO. This word would be good first guess at WORDLE. In fact, I might try using it someday

69. Kid: TOT. I'm back on track; #SEVEN of the 20 3-letter words

70. Cowgirl's ride: STEED. Merrium-Webster's defines STEED as: "a horse used or trained for riding; a spirited horse". I suppose "cowgirl" in the clue was added to make us overthink, perhaps?

71. Perceive: SENSE. I SENSE that this is the last of the "across" clues/answers for today's puzzle

1. __ joke: DAD. Pretty fitting for today's puzzle, don't you think??

2. __ mode: A LA. Pie à la Mode (literally "pie in the current fashion"/ "fashionable pie") is pie served with ice cream. The French culinary phrase à la mode used in the name of this American dessert is also encountered in other dishes such as boeuf à la mode (beef à la mode). Hmm; I've never tried beef à la mode, but since the milk in ice cream comes from cows, I imagine it would taste just fine

3. Greek olive named for its place of origin: KALAMATA. "Kalamáta is the second most populous city of the Peloponnese peninsula, after Patras, in southern Greece and the largest city of the homonymous administrative region. As the capital and chief port of the Messenia regional unit, it lies along the Nedon River at the head of the Messenian Gulf." Wikipedia

4. Côte d'Azur comrades: AMIS. Frawnch. AMI is a male friend; AMIE is a female friend. AMY is my daughter's name

5. Canning tomatoes: ROMAS. These:

6. Phone timesaver: REDIAL. For those who wondered how this could occur before cell phones:

7. Cambridge, colloquially: UNI. As in Cambridge UNIversity. Had this been clued as: "college in Cambridge", we could've used: MIT

8. Checkup pros: M.D.'S. Medical Doctors

9. Sailing spar: BOOM. Not too many puzzles ago we had the phrase: BOOM MIC. Many use the word "BOOM" in the phrase "lower the BOOM" which is a term for acting suddenly and forcefully

10. River through Florence: ARNO. Italy. Interesting that this river also goes through Pisa; it does "lean a little", doesn't it?

11. Not relevant to: BESIDE. Moe-ku #2:

M.D.s who practice
Non-relevant cases have
Good BESIDE manner

12. S.O.S alternative: BRILLO. As in the scouring pad

13. Turn recklessly: CAREEN. Does the ARNO river CAREEN, or is that the wrong definition?

18. "I see now": AH OK. I've heard of AOK and AH YES, but AH OK seems a bit "forced"

22. King Kong and Lady Kong: BIG APES. Yes they are

23. Beseech: BEG. My old mantra: "it is far better to BEG for forgiveness, than it is to ask for permission"

24. Plot lines: AXES. I couldn't find any images to post that weren't too graphic

26. Served in a chafing dish, say: KEPT HOT. Chafing dishes are usually found at all-you-can-eat buffets; but with the pandemic a lot of buffets in restaurants were shut down

27. Trickle: SEEP. But you never hear the term "SEEP-down economics", do you?

30. Bond holding?: MARTINI. Shaken, not stirred

32. TSA __Check: PRE. Explained here. A big time-saver for frequent fliers

33. Little devils: IMPS. I qualify for this definition. I'm barely 5'6" tall, and quite the little devil!!

35. Commercial letters after Bug or Weed: B-GON. Shouldn't we Round Up all weed killers and eliminate them?! ;^)

38. Small amount of work: ERG. Another 3-letter crossword staple

39. Slaps the cuffs on: NABS. NABS is also the term used to identify packaged snack crackers. But I noticed that these are made by Lance. Wouldn't you think they were made by NABisco??

40. Villain in Stephen King's "The Dark Half," e.g.: EVIL TWIN. I always think of EVIL TWIN as a "Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde" sort of thing

41. Silver State city: RENO. Nevada is known as "The Silver State". RENO is a casino town located near Lake Tahoe

44. Park __: airport facility: 'N GO. A popular alternative for frequent fliers. I wonder if there's a PRECheck for these facilities, too?

45. Halfling of Middle-earth: HOBBIT. I've worn out my HOBBIT limerick; I'm sure that many of you can recite it from memory ...

46. Olay rival: AVEENO. A must have for those of us who live in the desert. Great for adding moisture to the skin

47. Let up: RELENT. Hey Moe! Are you going to RELENT with your DAD jokes today? Not now. Moe-ku #3:

A lot of Christians
Let up before Easter. It's
Known, as to RE-LENT

48. Errant, as a field goal: NO GOOD. Don't ask Buffalo Bills' fans about errant field goals in their Super Bowl appearances

49. Sufficient, in texts: ENUF. Meh

53. Sounds from pounds: YELPS. Or, the name of an on-line restaurant rating app that shows dog-friendly venues

56. Barely makes, with "out": EKES. Eek!!

57. __ accompli: FAIT. FAIT accompli: "a thing that has already happened or been decided before those affected hear about it, leaving them with no option but to accept it." Like my blogs?

59. Ticked: SORE. IRED fits, too, but I like SORE better

62. Texter's chuckle: HEE. ENUF!!

63. Rest: LIE. Or in golf terms; play the ball as it LIEs. Right, Husker Gary?

64. Half a mammal?: EMS. There are 3 "EMS" in the word mammal. One half of six = three. Your mathematics lesson du jour

65. Sushi garnish: ROE. Last DAD joke: What do sushi fishermen sing as they troll for the catch? ROE, ROE, ROE your boat ...

The grid:

What are YOUR puzzling thoughts??

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