17 A. Hack : TAXI DRIVER. Or a political columnist, such as . . . no, we won't go there.
23 A. Heck : ANNOYED OATH. I believe this is a euphemism for H-E-double hockey sticks.
37 A. Hick : BACKWOODS NATIVE. Like the Beverly Hill Billies
45 A. Hock : EQUINE ANKLE. Or bovine, or porcine, or anything pawned.
57 A. Huck : BUDDY OF TOM. Finn and Sawyer, respectively.
Hi, gang. JazzBumpa here. Let's see what the HECK is going on.
1. Gem : JEWEL. Precious stone. Do you think she's a gem?
6. At least three : A FEW. When do we get into several and many?
10. Early late-night host : PAAR. Jack. PAAR or PARR; I can never remember. IIRC, he got in big trouble for making a toilet joke on TV. Those were such innocent times.
14. Doctoral exams : ORALS. For PhDs.
15. "__ Las Vegas" : VIVA. Elvis movie and song.
16. Comstock __: Nevada silver deposit : LODE. Recognized this right away. Seems like I've always known this, but have no idea how or why.
19. Weapons, in Latin : ARMA. Could this be where our words ARMS and ARMY come from?
20. Ocular woe : STYE. I know it all too well. Apply warm, moist compresses at the first sign, and you can avoid a lot of travail later
21. Abu Dhabi's fed. : U. A. E. Their Federation is the United Arab Emirates.
22. Bit of tomfoolery : ANTIC.
26. Suitable for marriage : NUBILE. According to the Free Dictionary, derived from the Latin nbere, to take a husband.
30. Eat too much of, as junk food : O.D. ON. Over Dose - We've seen this before
31. "I'm on __!" : A ROLL. That's what the butter said.
32. More navy than teal, say : BLUER. Shades of meaning.
34. Duck foot feature : WEB. What would the actor who played the Detective from Dragnet say if the duck stepped on a spider's silken creation?
40. Radical '70s gp. : SLA. The Symbionese Liberation Army operated from 1973-5 and kidnapped Patty Hearst. I'm not sure if they had an actual radical ideology, or were just a bunch of opportunistic thugs.
41. Charlotte __: dessert : RUSSE. A cold dessert of Bavarian cream set in a mold lined with ladyfingers. Sounds yummy.
42. Columnist Abigail Van __ : BUREN. The pen name of Pauline Esther Friedman Phillips, who passed away in January at the age of 94. In real life, she was the twin sister of Ann Landers, the pre-existing pen name taken over by Esther "Eppie" Pauline Friedman Lederer in 1955, following the death of the originator, Ruth Crowley . Pauline's column started in 1956, and caused a long estrangement between the two twins.
43. Grief counselor's subject : LOSS. I've been averaging about one funeral per month since last Fall.
44. Nobelist Camus : ALBERT. French Nobel Prize winning absurdist author
50. Stalin era prison : GULAG. We know this word because of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's non-fiction book, "The Gulag Archipelago," which won a Nobel Prize in 1970. Back to back Nobility.
51. Common letters in an email address : AOL. America On Line
52. Tennis legend : ASHE. Arthur.
56. Rice-A-__ : RONI. The San Fransisco treat.
60. Depot postings, briefly : E.T.A.'s Estimated Times of Arrival.
61. Sneaker brand : AVIA.
62. Long-legged flier : CRANE.
63. For whom the bell tolls : THEE. John Donne told us this in a well known poem, which is actually an excerpt from this longer work.
64. Quaint "Listen!" : HARK. Appropriate, though, when angels are singing.
65. Office cartridge contents : TONER. For the laser printer
1. Writes on one's palm, say : JOTS. Can be handy at odd moments in interviews or speeches.
2. Q.E.D. word : ERAT. The entire phrase is "quod erat demonstrandum," meaning "which had to be demonstrated". Bit of an upgrade from "Eureka!" I suppose.
3. Like begonias : WAXY. The leaves has a shiny appearance, as if waxed.
4. "A Jew Today" writer Wiesel : ELIE. He also wrote 56 other books, and gives the puzzle a Noble Prize Hat Trick. Or is it a trifecta?
5. "Dropped" drug : LSD. Lysergic Acid Diethylamide. I never tried it. Those who did were advised to "tune in, turn on and drop out." Seems a bit nihilistic. If the three-letter abbrv. looks a bit odd, that's because it actually comes from the German "Lysergsäure-diethylamid." Säure is the German word for acid.
6. Like doves and hawks : AVIAN. Relating to birds, not warfare
7. Danno's outfit, familiarly : FIVE-O. From the TV show.
8. 25-Down resident, for a time : EVE. She got into some sort of difficulty for inappropriate snacking and consorting with reptiles. Snakes and snacks - never a good combination.
9. Wouk's "The Winds of __" : WAR. Concerns WW II.
10. Set aside time for : PLAN ON. Saw a good quote today: "Expectations are future disappointments."
11. Vital blood vessel : AORTA. If I tell you this is an artery, would you think me vain?
12. Fess up : ADMIT. Back in grade school, the nuns called it "owning up."
13. Arrive at : REACH.
18. Mystical old letter : RUNE. These consisted mainly of straight segments suitable for inscribing in stone. They were used in Germanic languages from around the 2nd century A. D. until gradually being replaced by the Latin alphabet from about 700 on.
22. Cute as a button : ADORABLE. Like kittehs, I suppose.
23. Bad way to get it : ALL WRONG. I've done that.
24. Brooklynese pronoun : YOUSE. As in the phrase "YOUSE GUYSES."
25. Genesis place : EDEN. It was nice while it lasted. I always wondered if Eve didn't get a bum rap.
26. Takes into custody : NABS.
27. Russia's __ Mountains : URAL. ARAL is the sea -- see?
28. Resort north of the Keys : BOCA Raton. Doesn't "Rat's Mouth" sound so much nicer in Spanish?
29. Type : ILK. Remeber the old days of ILK writers? They didn't even have spel czek. Or did I stumble into some variety of ALL WRONG?
32. __ nova : BOSSA. Literally, "New Trend." A Brazilian aesthetic and musical movement from the 50's and 60's.
33. Church based in SLC, Utah : LDS. The Church of the Latter Day Saints is headquartered in Salt Lake City.
34. Speaker-to-stereo link : WIRE.
35. Always : EVER.
36. Crooked : BENT.
38. Yorkshire river : OUSE. YOUSE guyses EVER been there?
39. Oleo holder : TUB. The soft variety comes in a tub.
43. Get together (with) : LIAISE. The noun form, LIAISON refers to communication, cooperation, working together, but also to adultery.
44. Get together (with) : ALLY. To unite or form a connection. (But not in an alley.) Here the noun and verb forms are spelt the same, but pronounced differently. You alLY with an ALly. Also, note the contiguous clechos.
45. Long-legged flier : EGRET. A feathered friend to complete our second pair of clechos. Also sounds like the name of a wilding girl who was kissed by fire.
46. Repeated, like Poe's raven : QUOTH. "Nevermore."
47. Forearm bones : ULNAE. Along with the femurs. Funny thing is, at the elbow, they both join the humerus.
48. It's the pits : NADIR. This means the lowest point of some sequence or trajectory. Curiously, it came into English from Arabic around the 15th century.
49. "You press the button, we do the rest" camera company : KODAK.
52. High hair : AFRO. Retro, except for Cornell West.
53. Slugger Musial : STAN The Man played for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1941 until 1963, missing the 1945 season when he was drafted into the Navy. On Sept. 11, 1963 he became a grandfather for the first time, and hit a home run in his first at-bat that day. On September 29, the day of his retirement, he recorded two base hits, the same total as on his first day in the Majors, Sept 1, 1941. Statistician Bill James rates him as the 10th greatest player of all time.
54. Use a whetstone on : HONE. Sharpen.
55. 911 situation: Abbr. : EMER. Emergency.
57. Scrooge's scoff : BAH. Also, humbug!
58. Charlottesville sch. : U. VA. University of Virginia.
59. Mo. for opals : OCT. Opal is the birth stone for October.
Well, there you have it: quite a nice puzzle with an unusual feature, clechos, lots of prize winners, a fresh feel, and it's just a Z away from a pangram.