Theme: Being in Agreement. Common expressions indicating agreement are reimagined as being directed to their most amusingly appropriate recipients. And, impressively, they are all grid spanners. Rather an unusual approach. Let's have a look.
17 A. Yes, to a cowboy? : YOU BET YOUR BOOTS. Evidently, this expression goes back to the old west ,where a good pair of boots was as important as a reliable horse. These days, they also make a fashion statement.
27 A. Yes, to an architect? : SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN. Bit of wordplay here, equating a plan of action with a design drawing of a proposed structure.
43 A. Yes, to a traffic court judge? : SUITS ME JUST FINE. The traffic court judge is likely to issue a FINE, but there are other possibilities with this one. Law SUITS are also settled in court, or one might obtain a SUIT of clothes from a haberdasher, and thus become SUITED in a FINE way.
Judges' suits are rather drab
54. Yes, to the Magic 8 Ball : IT IS DECIDEDLY SO. The Magic 8 Ball has been available since the 1950's and is manufactured by Mattel. It provides one of 20 possible answers to yes/no type questions. IT IS DECIDEDLY SO is one of the 10 positive answers that the Ball might provide. The other 10 responses are evenly divided between negative and non-committal.
Hi, Gang - JazzBumpa here, and in an agreeable frame of mind. My last Blog outing at the Corner was a hair raising experience, coincidentally, also with Bruce. Our stars also aligned back in January, so this is getting to be a bit of a habit. Let's see if we can have positive responses to all of today's crossword questions.
1. Vanna's cohort : PAT. Sajak, not my sister PAT. Cohort, originally a Roman military unit of 6 centuries, a 10th of a legion; hence, any group of people banded together; even more hence a supporter or companion.
4. Smidgens : IOTAS. Tiny quantities.
9. Thicket : COPSE. Originally a stand of small trees intended for cutting, presumably coming into English from the Latin colpaticum, via Old French copeiz, a cut over forest.
14. Boston Marathon mo. : APR. In APRil, always on Patriot's Day, this year falling on the 18th.
15. Meat and greet patio party? : BAR-B-Q. Another pun. Say hello to your animal part entree, cooked out of doors. Not especially vegan friendly.
16. Skylit courtyards : ATRIA. Generally having a glass roof.
20. Sunday service providers : CLERGY. Another nice word play. I'm starting to like this.
21. Switz. neighbor : AUStria. European geography.
22. Pollen carrier : BEE. Threatened by commercial pesticides. If the BEEs go, they'll take us with them.
23. "M*A*S*H" Emmy winner for acting, writing and directing : ALDA. Alan.
24. German autos : BMWs. Vehicles provided by Bayerische Motoren Werke AG.
26. Women's undergarment, briefly : CAMI. Shortened form of CAMISOLE, a sleeveless top, usually with thin straps and extending to about the waist. Not all are undergarments these days.
31. __ joint : HIP. Where the leg attaches to the torso; or possibly a very cool, up to date and popular club.
32. Cracker with a scalloped edge : RITZ.
33. [uh-oh] : GULP. Cartoonish display of dismay or fear.
34. Provides with a soundtrack : DUBS. Meshes the audio with the video.
35. Components of many tips : ONES. Dollar bills. It's been recommended to round up to the nearest five.
37. Give in to wanderlust : ROAM. It's the journey, not the destination.
39. Shakespeare's river : AVON. In the English midlands. Stratford-upon-Avon is the birthplace of some guy named Will.
40. Stockholm carrier : SAS. Formerly Scandinavian Airline System.
47. Author Rice : ANNE. Vampire stories. Who knew they'd be so popular?
48. Final, e.g. : EXAM. Test of learned knowledge at the end of the school term.
49. Medicine Hat's prov. : ALTA. Alberta. Somewhere up north and west.
50. Shoot the breeze : YAK. Gab.
51. Org. for docs : AMA. American Medical Association.
52. Exited quickly, in slang : BAILED. This is an old word with some alternate meanings. I associate this sense of it with making a parachute jump.
58. "Divine Comedy" poet : DANTE Alighieri.
59. "Fun, Fun, Fun" car in 1960s hit : T-BIRD.
60. Make faces for the camera : MUG.
61. Labor day doc : OBGYN. Obstetrician - gynecologist - a medical specialist in the care of specifically female body parts, also charged with the delivery of new born infants. Another pun, if you like that sort of thing. [I do!]
62. Church chorus : AMENS. The response from the crowd, not the choir in the loft. Bruce is a man after my own heart.
63. Mini-albums, briefly : EPs. Extended play recordings, either CD or vinyl, having more than one song, but fewer than a regular album.
1. Choose paper over plastic? : PAY CASH. Use folding currency instead of a credit card. Who does that any more? Though we always leave a paper tip, rather than charge it.
2. Ill-fated 1967 moon mission : APOLLO I. The mission never occurred. A fire in a launch rehearsal destroyed the Command Module and took the lives of the three crew members.
3. Made even, to a carpenter : TRUED UP. On the level, as it were.
4. "__ your pardon" : I BEG. Words spoken by somebody who elbows you. I always respond with, "I pardon your beggin'."
5. Cheerios descriptor : OATY. Whole grain goodness.
6. "Give it a go" : TRY. Make the effort.
7. Blood-typing letters : A-B-O. Based on the presence or absence of certain antibodies in the plasma and antigens in the red blood cells.
8. Kick up a fuss : SQUAWK. Sound like an ungreased wheel.
9. Uber competitors : CABS. Urban vehicular transportation.
10. Platte River tribe : OTO. The Platte is in Nebraska, a tributary of the Missouri River. The OTO [or OTOE] were a semi-nomadic people living in the Missouri basin, in what are now the states of Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.
11. The majors : PRO BALL. For baseball players -- and here we are with opening day coming up on Monday - finally. For men's professional golf, The Majors are a series of 4 tournaments: The Masters, in April at the Augusta National Golf Club; The U. S. Open,played at various U. S. locations in June; the Open Championship, played at one of 10 locations in the U. K. in July, and the PGA Championship, played at various U. S. locations in August.
12. Online guide : SITE MAP. Key to navigating a web site.
13. Enter gradually : EASE IN. As opposed to barging or crashing.
18. Muffin mix additive : BRAN. Might be OATY.
19. Con job : RUSE. A deceptive trick, usually to separate someone from their money.
24. Orders with mayo : BLTS. Tasty, crunchy sandwiches of Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato. Yum! I like mine on whole wheat toast, and prefer Miracle Whip to Mayo.
25. "Les __": musical nickname : MIZ. Les Miserables, based on the novel by Victor Hugo.
26. PCs' "brains" : CPUs. Central Processing Units
28. Karen Carpenter's instrument : DRUMS. She was actually quite good.
29. Member of the fam : SIB. SIBling = brother or sister, as Richard to Karen. I only have the one.
30. One who helps you find a part? : AGENT. For an actor, in this case.
34. Prom partner : DATE. Oh, my, that was a long time ago.
35. Fallopian tube traveler : OVUM. Part of the reproductive process. It's complicated.
36. Rejections : NOs. Words from those who were not your prom partners.
37. Drink on credit : RUN A TAB.
38. Noise from a 55-Down : OINKING. Porcine pronouncements.
39. Multi-platinum Steely Dan album : AJA. Pronounced "Asia." Don't ask me why. Here's the title track. [8:00 minutes]
40. "I was so foolish!" : SILLY ME. But have you ever known me to be silly? Seriously?
41. Pays for cards : ANTES UP. Puts in the initial bet for a poker hand.
42. Old salts : SEA DOGS. Grizzled old sea-faring veterans.
43. Get hitched : SAY I DO. Make a marriage vow.
44. Viral Internet phenomenon : MEME. An idea, behavior, or style that spreads through a culture. The internet makes it happen more quickly and frequently.
45. Two-horse wager : EXACTA. To win, the better must predict the first and second place finishers, in the correct order.
46. Go up in smoke : FAIL. Or down in flames. I love the English language.
51. Yemeni port : ADEN. Located near the south-west tip of the Arabian peninsula, on the Gulf of Aden.
52. Capital near Zurich : BERN. Back to the AUS neighbor, Switz.
53. Supplements, with "to" : ADDS.
55. Type of pen : STY. Home to hogs and sows.
56. Tech giant : IBM.