Theme - THE WEARIN' O' THE GREEN. Nope - nothing to do with St. Pat - that was last month. In fact, this puzzle, for reasons that will soon become clear, is much more timely than that. I'm referring to the iconic item of apparel given to the winner of a sporting event which will be identified shortly.
17 A. Hold banned in amateur wrestling : FULL NELSON. This hold is more easily pictured than described.
Byron NELSON was the winner of the subject event in 1937 and 1942, the latter in a playoff with Ben Hogan - before my time.
24 A. Premier League athlete : SOCCER PLAYER. The English Premier League is where professionals play a sport known as "football" most everyplace except here in the U.S. Gary PLAYER, from South Africa was the winner in 1961, 1974 and 1978.
40 A. Innocents : BABES IN THE WOODS. This is the title of a gruesome traditional childrens' tale, first published in 1595, then passed into every-day speech to indicate any inexperienced or unwary persons thrust into hazardous situations. Tiger WOODS is perhaps more famous now for his adventurous personal life that his sporting feats; but he once dominated his sport, and won the subject event in 1997, 2001, 2002, and 2005. Looks like he will participate this year.
52. Influential teams : POWER COUPLES. From the Urban Dictionary: "A couple who seems to have a fairy tale romance. Also, both parties involved in the power couple have tremendous influence over people around them because of their devastating good looks* and seemingly perfect relationship with their significant other.
*the most common type of power couple is between a male athlete and an actress and/or singer."
Fred COUPLES, the only one-time winner in the puzzle, took the prize in 1992.
It should be obvious by now that the the sport is golf, and the unifier gives us the event. 65A. April golf tournament, four of whose winners appear in 17-, 24-, 40- and 52-Across : THE MASTERS tournament, an event held every April at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, GA. It is the first of golf's four major championships held in 2015. Each year the winner is awarded the iconic green blazer.
This year's MASTERS starts tomorrow, so the puzzle is right on time. And did you notice the constructors? Our own fearless leader and prolific puzzle maven C.C. along with Monday-Tuesday blogging stalwart, Santa Baby. More feathers in the corner cap. Yay team!
Let see if our friends have given us a rough time or treated us in a fair way.
1. Victorian : PRIM. As in prim and proper - what the Victorians would have you believe about their behavior. I have my doubts.
5. Like much 67-Down : ON TAP. [patience, we'll get there.]
10. Bay of Bengal setting : ASIA. Broadly speaking.
14. Extinct pigeon relative : DODO. Flightless bird native to the island of Mauritius, last seen in 1662. It was destroyed by sailors, their pets, and invasive species.
15. First name in puppetry : SHARI. Last name LEWIS. Real name Sonia Phyllis Hurwitz (January 17, 1933 – August 2, 1998)
16. __ jar: lab glass : BELL. Wikipedia says it is an approximately BELL-shaped vessel used to contain vacuum. There's something oddly oxymoronic about that concept. Also, a semi-biographical novel by Sylvia Plath.
19. Take one's leave : EXIT. Don't let the door hit you.
20. Make sure of : SEE TO.
21. Stretched to the max : TAUT. Not necessarily to the max, but without slack.
23. Reggae cousin : SKA.
28. Apply gently : DAB. What does Miss Piggy DAB onto her sunburn? Oinkment.
31. CBS-owned cable sta. : SHOwtime.
32. Pond gunk : SCUM. A type of green algae which could be a leading food source in the future. Yum!
33. Prefix with footprint : ECO-. The ECOfootoprint is a standardized measure of human demand on the planet's ecosystem.
34. Pulls down : EARNS, as income.
37. Winter pick-me-up? : T-BAR. Excellent misdirection. I was looking for something like a hot toddy, not a ski-lift.
44. Mite-sized : TINY. Even more wee than bite-sized.
45. "Tut-tut!" : SHAME. Expressions of disapproval.
46. Actress Tyler : LIV. Daughter of Aerosmith front man Steve Tyler.
47. Important stretches : ERAS. Of time, not yoga. Or so I've been TAUT.
50. Beef cut : RIB. Roast. More tasty than algae, I'm guessing.
51. Maple syrup source : SAP. You have to boil it down.
57. Louisville Slugger wood : ASH. Not exclusively anymore. The emerald borer has severely damaged the ash population. You can still find ash bats, but oak, birch and maple are also being used.
58. Comfy footwear : MOCS. Moccasins.
59. Jewish scholar : RABBI. I will leave the explanation to those who understand it better.
63. Swindle : SCAM.
68. Movie plantation : TARA. Abode of the O'Haras from Gone With the Wind.
69. Sea-born jewelry material : CORAL.
70. "Right now!" : ASAP. As Soon As Possible.
71. Song and dance : ARTS. Along with painting, sculpture, architcture and literature.
Probably not Elrond
72. Urgency : HASTE.
73. Snoopy : NOSY.
1. Sharable digital docs : PDFs. Portable Document Format files can be shared across platforms.
2. Libertine : ROUE. From 19th century French, literally "broken on a wheel" referring to the instrument of torture torture that this one's behavior deserved. Usage of the word peaked around 1850
3. Onetime Palin collaborator : IDLE. Eric IDLE and Michael Palin of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Surely, you weren't mislead?
4. Feathers one's nest, in a way : MOLTS. Birds of a feather losing their plumage at home.
5. Full of: Suff. : -OSE. Examples: grandiose - full of affected grandeur; verbose - full of verbs.
6. Gp. with Sharks and Penguins : NHL. San Jose and Pittsburgh teams in the National Hockey League.
7. Decorator's asset : TASTE. More so than for a chef?
8. Cheering like crazy : AROAR. Was the crowd AROAR at your favorite team's opener? It was for my Tigers.
9. Hangers in lockers? : PINUPS. Pictures of models pinned up in lockers and various other places. The practice started in WW II. Twentieth Century Fox provided over 5 million copies of this iconic picture of Betty Grable - the No. 1 pin up girl of her [and possibly any] era.
10. Justice Fortas : ABE. A Johnson appointee who served on the court form 1965 to 1969.
11. Figures in 9-Down : SEX SYMBOLS. No explanation needed.
12. "Very nice!" : I LIKE. Vide supra.
13. A proposal may ultimately lead to one : ALTAR. Wedding venue, and a clever clue.
18. Lasso loops : NOOSES. For someone on a wanted poster, no noose was good news.
22. Dr. Mom's forte : TLC. Tender Loving Care.
25. Spiced tea brewed in milk : CHAI.
26. Toe woes : CORNS. Painful areas of thickened skin resulting from pressure or abrasion.
27. Mustang, for one : AUTO. Did anybody else enter FORD and then get perplexed by the perps?
28. Chapter 11 factor : DEBT. Bankruptcy law.
29. Berry in faddish supplements : ACAI. About which there is actually nothing special.
30. Star of a classic sitcom set at a Vermont inn : BOB NEWHART. Aired from 1982 to 1990, the program was simply called Newhart.
35. Imprecise degree : NTH. But generally considered to be a very high degree.
36. Like provolone piccante : SHARP. Piccante means strong or spicy.
38. 1998 Sarah McLachlan ballad : ADIA. I had this recently and still couldn't remember it.
39. Initial request for an answer? : RSVP. The initial letters of Répondez S'il Vous Plaît - or, Please Respond - typical request to an invitee. I have no idea why we do this in French.
41. Brontë heroine : EYRE. Jane, the governess of Thornfield Hall, and eponym of the Charlotte Brontë novel which describes her life and times.
42. German actor Jannings : EMIL. A little bit of a mini-theme here with 53 D, since Jannings (23 July 1884 – 2 January 1950) received the first one ever awarded in 1929, as best actor in The Way of All Flesh and The LastCommand. He later went on to appear in a number of Nazi propaganda films.
43. Some outdoor grills : WEBERS. Brand name.
48. Slot machine part : ARM.
49. __ tape : SCOTCH. Magic mending tape. Is another clue possible?
52. Macaroni Grill selection : PASTA. Decent Italian chain restaurant, and partial clecho.
53. Acting honor : OSCAR. A statue awarded or movies, not stage performance.
54. Golfer Lorena : OCHOA. Staying with the golf theme, from Mexico.
55. AOLers, e.g. : USERS.
56. "Paradise Lost" figure : SATAN. The Devil, you say!
60. Spanish smooch : BESO. Like this.
61. Lingerie catalog buys : BRAS. Last time I had stockings.
62. Car trip game : I SPY. A game in which players attempt to guess what the spy is spying on. The spy starts by giving a hint such as the color of the object or the letter it starts with.
64. Some advanced degs. : M.A.'s. Masters of Arts.
66. Floor pad : MAT.
67. Part of IPA : ALE. India Pale ALE is brewed with an abundance of hops, because that stabilized the product for the long sea voyage from England to India. The thing ON TAP in 5a. And it provides a fitting ending, because after a hot game of golf, a nice cold beer is just the thing.
That completes this round. Right on par for a Wednesday, I'd say, with nothing to be teed off about, and not a bogey on the course.