Jan 18, 2018

Thursday, January 18 2018 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Hidden Critters: Some charming little folk nesting in the theme entries:

18A. *Acting like the locals : GOING NATIVE. Gnat. I'm in India this week. I've eaten nothing but curry this week, so I guess I've gone native. I love Indian food.

61A. *Try not to look bored : STIFLE A YAWN. Flea. Many meetings. Yikes, check out this guy!

3D. *Google Code of Conduct motto : DON'T BE EVIL Bee. Some people say that they've gone away from this ideal just a tad.

30D. *"The Imitation Game" subject : ALAN TURING. Ant. A brilliant man and a sad outcome.

Second Thursday in a row for C.C. and a nice-looking grid, especially top and bottom of the across theme entries. Nary a clunker to be found either. Let's see what else we've got:


1. It doesn't go off : DUD. Happily for someone, I'm sure.

4. Dugong or manatee : SEA COW

10. Friskies sister brand : ALPO

14. "Lookee here!" : OHO!

15. Turkey's second-largest city : ANKARA. I'm not sure if I can think of a third-largest. I know  Galatasaray are Turkish soccer team, but when I looked them up they're in Istanbul, so I'm still stuck.

16. Enjoyed People : READ. Note the capital "P" in "People".

17. Singer Fogelberg : DAN. Now why on earth did I want to put ANN in here?

20. Toughness : GUTS

22. Stage great Hagen : UTA. Thank you, ghosts of crosswords past.

23. White __ : NOISE

24. Site of Napoleon's exile : ELBA. "Able I was, ere I saw Palindrome." No, wait ....? I didn't know until fairly recently the pint-sized Emperor didn't stay exiled on Elba. He had a Bonaparte 2.0 reboot and returned to Paris as head of state, but that didn't work out either and ended up as a prisoner of the British and banished to the island of Saint Helena, his final abode.

25. Accessories for many lawn mowers : GAS CANS

27. Engrave with acid : ETCH

29. Dalai Lama, for one : TIBETAN

32. Sport with clay pigeons : SKEET

34. Canapé spread : PATÉ

35. Husky follower : SLED

37. Part of SASE: Abbr. : ENV.

38. Wartime prez : ABE. Not HST, which is the first guess.

40. Sci-fi aviators : ETS

42. Shapiro of NPR : ARI

43. Exertion : TOIL

45. Suburban trees : ELMS

47. Picker-uppers? : HANDS

49. Hole's starting point for skilled golfers : BLUE TEE. I wanted BLACK TEE, because that's the tee at the very back. I generally play from the blues, and I'm certainly not skilled!

51. Many a college graduate's burden : DEBT

52. Reel : STAGGER

54. Software glitches ... and, in a broad sense, small things hidden in the answers to starred clues : BUGS. Of course, I never introduced a bug into any code I wrote, ever. Well, maybe one or two.

57. Trouble greatly : EAT AT

59. LG competitor : RCA

60. First name at Woodstock : ARLO

64. Lithium-__ battery : ION

65. Pakistani tongue : URDU

66. Scoresheet slashes : SPARES. Bowling. Boomer would have had this filled without a thought. I don't bowl, so waited for some help from the crosses.

67. Find fault to a fault : NAG

68. Mandarin discard : PEEL

69. Siberian expanse : TUNDRA. "The Frozen Tundra" is an affectionate name for the Green Bay Packers field in Wisconsin. You can see why:

70. Some hot rods : GT'S


1. Sidestep : DODGE

2. Penske rival : U-HAUL. I had U and through UNSER for the motor racing teams, but something made me hesitate.

4. Succumb to gravity : SAG

5. "Cut it out already!" : ENOUGH

6. Curly-tailed dog : AKITA

7. Rummy game played with two decks : CANASTA

8. Suffix for NPR's website : ORG. Two NPR mentions today.

9. "You sure of that?" : WANNA BET?

10. Gallery VIPs : ARTISTS

11. Hawaiian wedding rings : LEIS

12. Tar : PAVE

13. Neruda's "__ to My Socks" : ODE

The moral
of my ode is this:
beauty is twice
and what is good is doubly
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool

in winter.

19. Top-ranked : A-ONE

21. Make full : SATE

26. Credits as a source : CITES

28. Commuter org. in the Loop : C.T.A. The Chicago Transit Authority, which is how these fellows started out before they decided it was too much of a mouthful:

31. Comic-Con attendee : NERD

32. Ready : SET

33. Door opener : KNOB

34. Pequod co-owner : PELEG

36. Belittle : DIS

39. Trial run designed to catch 54-Across : BETA TEST. The net is never fine enough, a bunch always slip through.

41. "__ Walks in Beauty": Byron poem : SHE

44. Satyrlike : LUSTFUL

46. "You've Got Mail" co-star : MEG RYAN

48. "Fernando" pop group : ABBA

50. Letters replacing unlisted items : ET AL

51. Bureau unit : DRAWER

53. Internet greeting : E-CARD

55. Be a bad sport : GLOAT

56. iTunes downloads : SONGS

57. Raison d'__ : ÊTRE. ÊTAT fits nicely in there too, but it's usually clued as COUP DE ___, not RAISON DE ___

58. West Wing staffer : AIDE

61. "How're things?" : 'SUP?

62. "The Simpsons" clerk : APU

63. Fort Meade org. : N.S.A.

As I mentioned, I'm in India this week. I'm taking a break from the Delhi smoke (AQI 188) for the Mumbai smog (158). This is the historic Mahalaxmi Racecourse from the Star TV building, not that you can see much. It's about 500 yards to the cellphone tower in the foreground according to Google Maps:

My lungs think I've smoked a pack of cigarettes a day since I got here. I can't believe in hindsight that I actually did used to smoke a pack a day, thank goodness I kicked that habit.

Have a good day all!

And here's the grid!