When the cold, harsh winter has given its last breath,
When the sky above shows life instead of death,
When the claws reaching to the frozen sky become decorated with leaves,
When the animals -long in hiding- scurry from trees,
We know winter has ended.
With spring in full bloom, what's better than to take a metaphorical roll in the hay! Parikshit has given us three words ending a two-word phrase denoting a bucolic area that "shows life instead of death" this time of year, at least for those of us north of the Mason Dixon Line. I wondered in what direction we were headed when I saw FLUSHING first but it was all good. I fully expected our crossword citizen LEA to show up too but was greatly entertained by this puzzle. MONGER, MENORCA and ICE UP slowed up the swift completion of my appointed rounds.
As best as I can determine, it appears that Parikshit is a PhD candidate in India where The LA Times Crossword runs in this newspaper below. I hope he will drop in to give us more info on himself and this lovely puzzle. It would also be interesting to know how he came about acquiring all these American cultural references.
17. New York City park that hosted two world's fairs : FLUSHING MEADOWS - The Unisphere of the 1964 World's Fair serves as a backdrop for this comedy opening
35. Rice cultivation lands : PADDY FIELDS - The 31st Infantry Regiment in a rice PADDY FIELD
54. More exciting circumstances : GREENER PASTURES - How they are made in Nebraska
1. Sleep lab study : APNEA - How do you sleep in these?
6. Dalí works, por ejemplo : ARTE - Art in español
10. Drug cop : NARC
14. Some storytellers : LIARS
15. Midday :
16. Chevy hatchback : AVEO
20. Current fashion : RAGE
21. Put on any old way : DAUB - One section has been DAUBED and the rest of the wattle awaits
22. Permissible : LICIT
23. Ordinal suffix : ETH and 34. Wks. and wks. : MOS - Our FIFTIETH anniversary is nine MOS. away
24. First-rate : A-ONE
25. Albania's capital : TIRANA - At the Mickey Dee's in TIRANA you'll get 38Lek in change for this bill when you buy a Big Mac meal
26. Dry out, so to speak : DETOX
28. Fall behind : LAG
29. Periodontist's deg. : DDS
30. "How Deep Is Your Love" group : BEE-GEES
37. Prefix with life or wife : MID
38. Star in Scorpius : ANTARES
39. Voice legend Blanc : MEL
40. U-verse provider : AT&T
41. "Not just a scooter, a way of life" brand : VESPA
45. Kind of surprise kick : ONSIDE - Football trickery
47. Popular berry : ACAI
50. Trawler's catch : COD
51. Present moment : NONCE - "For the NONCE, however, he (Queequeg) proposed to sail about, and sow his wild oats in all four oceans." Chapter XII Moby Dick
52. Farm implement : PLOW - My minimum tillage neighbor and many others sold their PLOWS years ago
53. Coil in a garden : HOSE
57. Tan tone : ECRU
58. Scale for rock hounds : MOHS
59. Alaskan native : ALEUT - The volcanic island homes of these subarctic Alaskans
60. Filing tool : RASP
61. Petty fight : SPAT
62. Señorita's parent : MADRE - I'll bet you can translate this truism about Mamas - "Si la MADRE no es feliz, nadie está content" (* translation at the end of the write-up)
1. Valet at Wayne Manor : ALFRED
2. Hand-washer of the Gospels : PILATE - ". . . took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. 27 : 24.
3. All for __: in vain : NAUGHT
4. Celtic language : ERSE - "Maidin mhaith" is "Good morning"
5. Volcanic cloud that can disrupt flights : ASH - Can rise from those islands of the ALEUTS
6. 1997-2006 U.N. leader : ANNAN
7. Disobedient way to go : ROGUE
8. Mummy's resting place : TOMB - Lord Carnarvon, a real occupant of Highclere Castle below, financed the 1923 opening of King Tut's TOMB and died the next year. Curse?
9. Yakima-to-Spokane dir. : ENE
10. Low point : NADIR
11. Guacamole ingredients : AVOCADOS
12. Goes back a scene or two : REWINDS
13. Bob of "Football Night in America" : COSTAS
18. Words before a kiss : I DO
19. Sacha Baron Cohen alter ego : ALI G - Talk about a POSEUR (43 Down)
24. Shown the office door : AXED
25. Stun gun brand : TASER
27. Bk. after Amos : OBAD - OBADIAH with only one chapter and 440 words is the shortest book in the Old Testament
28. Daughter of Darth : LEIA - Almost LEA
31. Bit of online courtship : E-DATE - I suppose
32. Ibsen's "Peer __" : GYNT - Surely some constructor has clued Oslo as "Where PEER GYNT premiered in 1876"
33. Young newt : EFT
34. Inventory: Abbr. : MDSE - Exchange students from the Baltic States are AWED by MerchanDSE in our American stores
35. Tapered beer glasses : PILSNERS
36. Big name in jeans : LEVI - LEES knew the wrath of my Delete Key
37. One of Las Islas Baleares : MENORCA - ENE of Valencia
39. Fish tail? : MONGER - A seller of fish. A WARMONGER?
40. Yemen coastal city : ADEN - Where the USS Cole was attacked in October 2000
42. Made a point : SCORED
43. One with affectations : POSEUR - also Poser
44. Carol opener : ADESTE
46. Acquire a winter coat? : ICE UP - Very dangerous on airplane wings
47. Omega's opposite : ALPHA
48. Move effortlessly : COAST
52. Pocket watch, to a hypnotist : PROP
53. Luau dance : HULA - Did MEL sing Aloha'Oe?
55. Ambulance letters : EMS
56. Edinburgh bonnet : TAM
*62 Across roughly - "If mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy!"
Now let's put me out to PASTURE and FIELD some of your comments: