Wednesday, July 20, 2011 Scott Atkinson
Theme: DUCK-LING fling. Five common English words that can serve double duty as either nouns or verbs are adorned with a diminutive LING suffix, yielding another common English language noun, now in an off-beat, humorous diminutive form. Some of them are still verbs, as well.
17A. Very narrow fissure? : CRACKLING. N: 1) As per the clue, 2) A bit of fried pork or goose fat; V: producing a series of snapping noises.
26A. Landfill in a toy city? : DUMPLING. N: 1) As per the clue, 2) A lump of dough cooked in liquid.
38. Minuscule tattoo? : INKLING. N: 1) As per the clue, 2) A hint, 3) A vague notion, 4) (plural) An Oxford University literary discussion group whose members included C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien; V: Communicating in an undertone or whisper (obsolete.)
40A. Dollhouse dress adornment? : BOWLING. N: 1) Tiny BOW, as per the clue, 2) A game in which one knocks down wooden objects with a rolled ball. V: Playing that game.
49A. Where to wear a training bra? : BUSTLING. N: Per the clue, A, AA, or AAA miniscule bosom. (Dare I?) V: Moving energetically.
62A. Very young hobo? : TRAMPLING. N: Son of ON THE ROAD, perhaps. V: Treading in a heavy-footed, damaging manner
And the unifier, 67A. Waterfowl whose young inspired this puzzle's theme : DUCKS. Baby DUCKS are DUCKLINGS.
Wow! Six theme entries, plus a unifier, and very complex wordplay, with layered double, and sometimes triple meanings, a rich musical sub-theme, and a bit of DF. I am AGAPE, but will not DUCK out on you. Lets DUCK INTO the puzzle and see what we can find.
1. Birthday secret : WISH. We make our wishes known. Otherwise, you get what you get.
5. "Back in Black" band : ACDC. Of all the bands that (tried to ) sound like Led Zeppelin, I preferred Led Zeppelin.
9. Visibly amazed : AGAPE. Jaw-droppingly so.
14. __ Domini : ANNO. Latin: In the year of Our Lord.
15. Bodybuilder's supplement : WHEY. Dairy-based protein source.
16. Hand-dyeing craft : BATIK.
19. Vintage violin : AMATI
20. Michael Moore health-care film : SICKO. Unavoidably political, ergo: no comment.
21. Melody : TUNE. We opened the Jazz Fest with this TUNE. Hardest Big Band Chart I've ever played. I have a video posted on Facebook. If you're on and interested, send me an email, and I'll send you a link.
23. Rock 'n' roll middle name : ARON. Alvis ARON Presley
24. Didn't sell : KEPT.
28. CIA part: Abbr. : AGCY. Central intelligence AGENCY.
30. Arthur Fiedler et al. : MAESTRI. Pl. of MEASTRO - orchestra conductors.
32. Hamm of soccer : MIA. From the U.S Gold Cup Championship Team of a few years back.
33. Ryder rentals : VANS. TRUCKS doesn't fit.
34. Where eaglets hatch : AERIE. Alternate spellings of this word always leave me feeling eerily up in the air.
42. Opposite of perfect pitch : NO EAR. OK. But TIN EAR is more idiomatic.
43. Composer __ Carlo Menotti : GIAN. 20th Century Italian-American composer.
44. Transp. group in the Loop : CTA. CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY
45. Pago Pago people : SAMOANS
48. Did a farrier's job : SHOD. Installed horseshoes. A farrier is a specialist in equine hoof care, including the trimming and balancing of horses' hooves and the placing of shoes on their hooves. Now you know.
52. Lacking spice : TAME
54. Chain selling stacks : IHOP. International House of Pancakes
55. Clue in a case : LEAD
57. Dip for a chip : SALSA
60. Mila of "Black Swan" : KUNIS
64. "Fear of Flying" author Jong : ERICA
65. Sneaky trick : WILE. In theory, perhaps.
66. Luke's sci-fi sister : LEIA
68. Black stone : ONYX
69. Enjoys a smorgasbord : SUPS
1. WWII auxiliaries : WACS. Pl of WOMEN'S ARMY CORPS.
2. Calvary inscription : INRI. L. abbrv. "Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews." Calvary was the site of the crucifixion.
3. Twinkie or Ding Dong : SNACK CAKE. Empty calories.
4. Game with sticks : HOCKEY.
5. Pointy tool : AWL
6. Slip in a pot : CHIT. Slang for an IOU
7. Strips of leaves : DENUDES. Remember Agent Orange?
8. Swan constellation : CYGNUS. Use your imagination.
9. The N.Y. Nets were its last champion : ABA. American Basketball Association
10. Warren Harding's middle name : GAMALIEL. You all knew that - right?
11. Asteroids maker : ATARI. Ditto.
12. Spike for a mountaineer : PITON. Drive it into a CRACKLING.
13. Squeezing (out) : EKING
18. Keystone character : KOP. BUSTLING Bumbling gendarmes from the silent movie days.
22. Ambulance VIP : EMT. EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN. Note abbrv in cl & ans.
25. Bur. of Prohibition employee : T-MAN. Treasury Department officers out to collect alcohol taxes.
27. Shrimp relative : PRAWN. What's the difference?
28. Key with no sharps or flats: Abbr. : A MIN. Now this is tricky. A MIN is the relative minor of C MAJ - both with four letters, but no sharps or flats.
29. NFL Hall of Famer Marchetti : GINO. Old time Baltimore Colt.
31. Zambia neighbor: Abbr. : ANG. ANGOLA - also a city in Indiana.
33. Like megapopular web videos : VIRAL. Slang term, meaning passed from person to person, like a virus
35. Cardinal who was a foe of the Musketeers : RICHELIEU
36. Wild about : INTO. How long has it been since anyone asked you: "Are you INTO C B?"
37. "Zounds!" : EGAD. Slang from across the pond.
39. Unwanted playground game teammate : LAST PICK. Yes. That would be me.
40. Recycling vessel : BIN
41. Brewer's kiln : OAST. Crossword stalwart.
43. Yuri who was the first to orbit Earth : GAGARIN. Russian Cosmonaut.
46. Wire measure : MIL. Thousandth of an inch.
47. Punch sequence : ONE-TWO. Take that, and that . . .
48. Some tees : SMALLS. T-Shirt sizes.
49. Pedaled : BIKED. This guy gave his girlfriend a bicycle. Then she peddled it all over town.
50. Freedom, in Swahili : UHURU. Didn't we just see her last week?
51. Part of SST : SONIC. Super SONIC Transport
53. "Antony and Cleopatra" killer : ASP. Slithery crossword stalwart.
56. Tyne with a Tony and Emmys : DALY. The name is familiar, but not the face.
58. Salon sound : SNIP. Cutting hair
59. "What __!": "How fun!" : A GAS. Groovy slang, man. Far out!
61. Palindromic airline : SAS. Scandinavian Airlines System International, if you have an INKLING to travel.
63. Tex-__ cuisine : MEX. Burritos, fajitas, chile con carne, etc. OK. Now I'm hungry.
Fine, intricate puzzle. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I.