Theme: THE I's HAVE IT, or I-YI-YI, or OH MY, MY I. If you noticed the somewhat unusual grid, you probably also spotted the big letter I in the middle. With my keen powers of observation, that was the LAST thing I noticed. But It's just the beginning. Every vowel in every fill word is the letter I. There are also a few vowel-less entries. I might nit-pick - instead I'll identify them as illustrious enhancements. Also, there's a unifier, though it's not identified as such in the cluing. I'll get to it in due time.
Jim and Jeff continue their assault on the alphabet. Just five weeks ago, I blogged their puzzle in which every entry contained the letter H. And just 11 days ago we had the no E puzzle by Bruce Haight. Is this a pattern?
Hi, Gang. There's no I in JazzBumpa, nor in team, but that doesn't mean that you and I can't team up to work our way through this I-mazing puzzle together. Let's have at it.
1. Conflict in FDR's presidency : WWII. Here, the I's become the Roman numeral 2. WW I was supposed to have been the war to end all wars. You can see how well that worked out.
5. Readies, as presses : INKS. Perfect job for a squid.
9. Pod prefix : TRI. Of course, I wanted cephalo-, not the three-legged camera holder.
12. Rise : HILL. Topography.
13. Carding at a door : I.D.-ING. Identifying those over/under age. I'll take the over. I got carded at a Lion's game a few years ago, thinning grey hair not withstanding.
14. Indian honorifics : SRIS. The don't spell SIRS properly.
15. Stops for Carnival custs. : ISLS. Carnival Cruise line customers and islands. Brief stops, come to think of it.
16. Finger, e.g. : DIGIT. Toe, too.
17. Elton's "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" duet partner : KIKI. I remember the song, but KiKi Dee is a long faded memory.
18. T'ai __ : CHI An exercise regimen consisting of graceful and slow movements that relax and strengthen both body and mind. It dates from the 11th century.
19. Billy clubs : NIGHT STICKS. Head breakers.
21. Indian language : HINDI. My massage therapist is married to an Indian guy from Goa, where they speak Portuguese.
23. User-edited site : WIKI. Even I could be an editor.
24. Model in a bottle : SHIP. Not necessarily.
27. Outer coating : SKIN. Should be bottle. See above.
29. Capital of Georgia : TBILISI. Not Atlanta, though it fits and has all wrong vowels. Say it three times real fast.
32. Works without a script : WINGS IT. Or a result of being unprepared.
36. "This tape will self-destruct in five seconds" fictional spy org. : I .M. F. Not the International Monetary Fund.
37. Architect Maya __ : LIN. She did the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial.
38. Bug : IRK. Irritate.
39. 24-hr. info source : CNN. There is no I in news.
40. Longing to see : MISSING. I am keenly aware of your absence.
42. Yellowish embellishment : GILDING. Thou shalt not embellish lilies yellowishly.
44. "Sent" folder contents: Abbr. : MSGS. Short, i-less messages.
45. Small cut : SNIP.
46. Tizzy : SNIT. Hissy fit.
48. Singer Minaj : NICKI. Seek a link if you are so inclined
52. Maintaining shoe gloss, in a way : SPIT SHINING. Instructions.
58. Popular show : HIT.
59. Friends and neighbors : KITH. Middle English, from Old English cȳthth; akin to cūth, meaning "known," recognizable today as it's antonym, uncouth.
60. "Lemon Tree" singer Lopez : TRINI.
61. S&P 500 bank : CITI.
62. NFL stats : INTS. Football Interceptions.
63. Easy two-pointer : TIP IN. Basketball. Just in time for March Madness.
64. Diner orders, briefly : BLTS. Bacon-lettuce-tomato [no I so far] sandwiches - [Darn!]
65. Letter before omega : PSI. It's all Greek to me.
66. Start of a library conversation : PSST. Could I have your attention, without batting an I?
67. Señor's assent : SI SI. I agree. Does C. C.?
1. Question of choice : WHICH. 'Round the cauldron - which witch?
2. Words often heard before may and might : WISH I. There is an I in WISH.
3. "You Be __": 1986 Run-D.M.C. hit : ILLIN'. Per 23A, The slang term illing means to "be uncool and unrelaxed", "be acting crazy", "be 'tripping' or 'bugging' ", or "be acting 'wack' "
4. They, in Tours : ILS. French. Is ILS Illin'?
5. "Got it, man" : I DIG. Retro 60's slang.
6. At hand : NIGH.
7. Make socks, e.g. : KNIT.
8. Pepper and Bilko: Abbr. : SGTS. There is no I in Sergeant.
9. Prank : TRICK.
10. __-Tikki-Tavi: Kipling mongoose : RIKKI. Cobra fighter from the Jungle Book.
11. Egyptian fertility goddess : ISIS.
13. Despot Amin : IDI. Very illin' dude.
14. Street sport : SKIING. Now, this is tricky. Olympic medalist Picabo Street.
19. Ones who reject established institutions : NIHILISTS. A bit understated. It's a belief that current conditions are so bad that existing society should be destroyed.
20. Instant : TWINKLING. I assume this is condensed from the phrase, "In a twinkling of an I."
22. One way to get online, briefly : DSL. Digital Subscriber Line. I's everywhere.
25. "Of Thee __" : I SING. Sweet land of liberty.
26. Sonar pulses : PINGS.
27. Way more than sips : SWIGS. Two ways to go at your Guinness. Before I caught on, I wanted GULPS.
28. Beer from Japan : KIRIN. It's also good for a sip or a SWIG.
29. "A Christmas Carol" boy : TIM.
30. Ratio involving ht. and wt. : B.M.I. Body mass index, briefly.
31. Suppositions : IFS. They occasionally travel with ANDS or BUTS.
33. __-fi : SCI. Science Fiction.
34. Accommodating place : INN. A place with accomodations. Nice, fresh clue
35. Series with Capt. Picard, to fans : TNG. There's no I in Star Treck: The Next Generat -- oops!
41. Horseshoe makers : SMITHS.
43. Printer spec. : DPI. Dots Per Inch.
46. Quick rides : SPINS.
47. Ness foe : NITTI. Gritty guy. Per 23A: Francesco Raffaele Nitti (January 27, 1886 – March 19, 1943), also known as Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti, was an Italian American gangster. One of Al Capone's top henchmen, Nitti was in charge of all strong-arm and 'muscle' operations. Eliot Paul Ness joined the U.S. Treasury Department in 1927, working with the Bureau of Prohibition, in Chicago. Fun times.
49. Spicy pepper : CHILI.
50. Saint __ and Nevis: Caribbean country : KITTS. More formally, St. Christopher. These neighboring West Indies Islands form a single country.
51. Formal "Who's there?" reply : IT IS I. Finally, it is the unifier
52. Miss on purpose : SKIP.
53. Web address letters : HTTP. HyperText Transfer Protocol.
54. "Elegy for __": memoir about writer Murdoch : IRIS. Per the font of all knowledge, she was an Irish-born British author and philosopher, best known for her novels about good and evil, sexual relationships, morality, and the power of the unconscious.
55. Pinches : NIPS. A word with many meanings, here I take it to be arrests, as by a police officer. You may ponder other meanings at your leisure.
56. Part of FDR: Abbr. : INIT. Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Initials.
57. Diarist Anaïs : NIN. Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell (February 21, 1903 – January 14, 1977) was an author born to Spanish-Cuban parents in France.
61. "Mike & Molly" network : CBS. Columbia Broadcasting System, which unfortunately contains an I.
That wraps it up. A pleasant journey, and quite an I full, with some musical interludes and interesting authors. Hope you injoyed it. I'll be off-line today, and will try to check in this evening.