Theme: CUES AND CUDGELS. Each theme entry ends in a synonym for a round stave or pole.
20. Member of a "joint" military group : CHIEF OF STAFF. A decision maker with a walking sick. Two
disparate meanings of the word STAFF.
28. Franklin invention : LIGHTNING ROD. A conductive metal pole fixed to the top of a building and grounded to deflect the energy of lightning strike. In slang, a person or thing that draws a lot of criticism.
46. Make a relay race connection : PASS THE BATON. A relay is a race run in segments by a team of runners. Passing the BATON, which is just French for stick, from runner to runner is the connection
between the segments.
55. Cocktail accessory : SWIZZLE STICK. A small skewer used to hold garnishes and stir a drink, so named for the Rum Swizzle, the national drink of Bermuda. Bottoms up!
Hi gang, JazzBumpa here. I didn't recognize Joel's byline, but a quick Google search indicates he's been at it since at least 1988. It looks like this is his 5th LA Times entry since this blog started. Let's see if he passes the baton smoothly, or uses it to beat us up.
1. Urban rails : ELS. Elevated trains.
4. "__ life!" : THAT'S. Sinatra.
9. Self-satisfied : PROUD.
14. 2002 NBA Rookie of the Year __ Gasol : PAU. He played with Memphis until 2008, and since then with the Lakers.
15. Put back to zero : RESET. Back to square 1.
16. Total : RUN TO. Kind of an odd phrase, but legit.
17. " ... book by __ cover" : ITS. It's what's inside that makes the difference.
18. Author Jong : ERICA. Is she still afraid of flying?
19. Many times : OFTEN.
23. "__ evil ..." : SEE NO. At least when I cover my eyes.
24. Time of one's life : ERA. Nice word play. An ERA is a notable time span. The time of one's life is a notable event.
25. Pub. of an oft-quoted journal : AMA. American Medical Association.
33. Full of mischief : DEVILISH. But not usually in a malicious way.
36. Like much of King's work : EERIE. I wonder if he ever wrote a weird story about an eagle's nest near the shore of a Great Lake?
37. Verbalized sigh : ALAS. Woe is me.
38. Buddhist shrine : STUPA. Here is where Joel got out the cudgel and gave me a sharp rap between the eyes. The word comes from Sanskrit and literally means "a heap." The shrine is a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics and used as a place of meditation.
41. Injured, in a way : TORE. A muscle or ligament. Sounds awful.
42. Jazzman Jackson and cartoonist Gross : MILTS. MILT Gross was a popular American cartoonist from the 20's through the 40's. MILT Jackson was a vibes player discovered by Dizzy Gillespie in 1946 who was an original member of the modern jazz quartet in 1952, and went on to record well into the 80's. Milt.
44. More easygoing : MELLOWER.
49. Kalamazoo-to-Cincinnati dir. : SSE. South by South East. Wouldn't be a very good movie title.
50. Billion-year span : EON. A bit more than the time of your life
51. Waits : BIDES. I can't BIDE my time that long.
59. Traditional Islamic garment : BURQA. It's like wearing tent. The "Q" threw me.
62. Dough raiser : YEAST. Not a fund raiser, though both involve bread.
63. One of the Khans : ALY. Not AGA. Needed perp help.
64. Words before "Gave proof through the night" : IN AIR. I hope we all know what song this is.
65. Clerical residence : MANSE.
66. Short snooze : NAP. I haven't had one in a while.
67. Incessantly : NO END. Sometimes ON END, and that never seems right.
68. Like one's big brother : ELDER. I wonder if this is how my little sister thinks of me. I don't think I'll ask.
69. Chowed down : ATE. Or, perhaps, devoured.
1. "Lawrence of Arabia" and others : EPICS. The story, not the man
2. Bat maker's tool : LATHE. A small theme echo, perhaps.
3. "Wake Up, Little __" : SUSIE. The Everly Brothers, from back when I was a pre-teen
4. Girl Scouts emblem : TREFOIL. French for three leaves, it's a stylized clover image with three profiles superimposed. Also a cookie.
5. Protagonist : HERO. Is a protagonist sandwich made with provolone?
6. "Yeah, like that'll happen!" : AS IF. Sarcasm
7. Sleuths, briefly : TECS.
8. New York's __ Island : STATEN.
9. Hardly G-rated : PROFANE.
10. Win by trumping, in bridge : RUFF. That is the correct word. If you say, "I trumped it," some stuffy bridge player will look at you funny.
11. Que. neighbor : ONT. Quebec and Ontario, Canadian provinces.
12. Beehive State native language : UTE. And eponym for the state. Nice cluster of Native American words.
13. Put on : DON. As in, gay apparel.
21. Doesn't need to be drafted : ENLISTS. Two ways to get into the armed forces.
22. Bush spokesman Fleischer : ARI.
25. One-way sign shape : ARROW.
26. Wavy pattern : MOIRE. Looks MOIRE less like this.
27. "Doe, ___ ..." : A DEER. I still hate that awful song.
29. APO mail recipients : GI'S. American military service personnel.
30. FDR's successor : HST. Harry S. Truman was president after Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The S didn't stand for anything. It's true, man.
31. Opposable digit : THUMB. But I've never been opposed to THUMBS.
32. Start the assignment : GET ON IT. I associate these words with "right away."
33. Moistens : DAMPS. Dampens - sure; DAMPS - I dunno. Looks like gratuitous verberization.
34. Inventor Howe : ELIAS. He invented the sowing machine. HOWE 'bout dat!
35. Ballroom dance, in Burgundy : VALSE. Waltz, in Brooklyn. Ravel.
39. Green veggie : PEA. Comes in a pod.
40. Flight stat. : ALT. Altitude. Not the usual 3 letter flight abbrv.
43. Wine list presenter : STEWARD. Why did I want sommelier?
45. Maine dish : LOBSTER. Another nice word play. I've never been to Maine, but I did have LOBSTER in Rhode Island.
47. __ polloi : HOI. Greek to me, meaning "the many," and used in English to insultingly denote the unwashed masses comprising about 47% of the population.
48. Digestive protein : ENZYME. A protein molecule that acts as a catalyst in digestive processes.
52. Rigg who played Mrs. Peel : DIANA. Of course. Now Lady Olenna Tyrell, as you can see at the photo source link.
53. Brilliance : ECLAT. A learning moment. It comes into English via Old French.
54. Internet calling service : SKYPE. The next best thing to being there.
55. One of 16 in a 4x4 tile: Abbr. : SQ. IN. Square Inch - simple - no? But here is where Joel beat me severely about the head and shoulders with a stout cudgel. Having missing the "Q" in BURQA there was no way I could make sense of SKIN for this fill, no matter how hard I SQINted.
56. Enthusiasm : ZEAL. But my ZEAL did not wane.
57. Catch, as a fish : LAND. Can you LAND a fish if you're in a boat?
58. Being, to Brutus : ESSE. Latin
59. Storage receptacle : BIN. As, the dust bin of history.
60. Colorful card game : UNO. Good game to play with the grand kiddies.
61. Actress Charlotte : RAE. Edna Garrett, from the TV sitcoms "Diff'rent Strokes" and "The Facts of Life", which I never watched.
Well, I'm a bit bruised, but survived. How did you do?