Friday, January 13, 2023, Tom Locke

Friday, January 13, 2023, Tom Locke

Theme: One by One

Today's constructor made his last LA Times appearance on on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. That puzzle featured phrases whose last word referred to one's tush. Today, Tom uses some interesting clues to refer to a person (the pronoun "one"). All of the clues are a form of play-on-words (go figure!!) which seems to be Patti's "m.o." for Friday puzzles. Hmm. M.O. (modus operandi) for Moe? Moi? Coincidence? Well regardless of whether this is intentional on our editor's part, I'm perfectly fine with it! Let's explore the 5 entries, shall we? Maybe "one" of them was your favorite ...

17-across. Wet one?: CRYING BABY. Maybe some of you have noticed my absence from the board lately. The reason was my grandson, daughter, and son-in-law were visiting us here in AZ for a 9-day stretch beginning on New Year's Eve. My daughter and s-i-l mixed pleasure with business (she had a five day conference in Tucson; he was playing a gig with the Tucson Symphony), and Margaret and I got to engage with my 2-1/2 year old grandson. Babysitting duty, yes, but also some wonderful playtime with a really cute kid! My grandson was a crying toddler at times, but not because of a "wet" diaper. Seems that kids at this age who are not yet potty trained actually prefer having a wet (or "loaded") diaper next to them. The "crying" was usually observed when we changed his diaper!

23-across. Day one?: MORNING PERSON. None of the five of us, grandson included, are MORNING PERSONs, thank god! I greet the day usually when I dang near please, thank you! Retirement brings me that "luxury"

35-across. Air Force one?: HELICOPTER PILOT. Yes, this fits. When the POTUS is flying via HELICOPTER, that vehicle is also known as Air Force One. The PILOT is the "one" in command of flying it from point A to point B. Don't believe me? Look it up!!

45-across. Number one?: TAX ACCOUNTANT. Well, after the University of Georgia took TCU to the woodshed this past Monday night in the College Football Playoff Championship game, THEY are "number one". But in today's puzzle, the CPAs rule. They are famously known as "number crunchers", and are always busiest during TAX season. I haven't used a TAX ACCOUNTANT in some years, but this Spring I might, as the purchase of a new house (with my partner, Margaret) may require a "number one" to accurately help us with the tax preparations

56-across. Cellular one?: BIOLAB TECH. This was MY favorite of the 5, as the play-on-words for "Cellular One" (a cellphone provider) fit very nicely with the "reveal" (BIOLAB TECH), as these ones study all sorts of animal and plant "cells"

Here is the grid, then on to the rest of the clues/entries:

Across:
1. Slightest: LEAST. The "st" ending for the clue made this entry easy. As with desper-otto, this one likes to start his puzzles with a correct answer

6. Knocks: RAPS. I snuck a peek at (6-down. Shabbat services leader: RABBI), to confirm that RAPS fit into this spot

10. Delicacy: TACT. I had to visit my Thesaurussaurus to confirm this interesting clue, but alas, he was of no help. Perps to the rescue!

14. Sign of autumn: LIBRA. The zodiac lists LIBRAs (or is it LIBRAns?) as those born between September 22 and October 23, clearly making them a "sign" of autumn

15. Arizona's __ Fria river: AGUA. [edf dot org] says: "The 120-mile long AGUA Fria River originates approximately twenty miles northeast of Prescott (pronounced "PRESS-kit", by the way; not "Pres-SCOTT") and flows generally south past the communities of Prescott Valley (where it is joined by Lynx Creek) and Dewey-Humboldt. A CSO, once again on a Friday, to our resident Arizonan and bilingual Cornerite, Lucina. She gets a second CSO with: (43-down. Una y __ vez: Spanish for "time after time":) OTRA.

16. Fish-eating duck: SMEW. This:

19. "Veep" Emmy winner Tony: HALE. [imdb dot com] says: "Tony Hale was born on September 30, 1970 in West Point, New York, USA. He is an actor and producer, known for Arrested Development (2003), Veep (2012) and Toy Story 4 (2019). He has been married to Martel Thompson Hale since May 24, 2003. They have one child

20. Parisian possessive: SES. Frawnch (a CSO to our erstwhile blogger, Splynter)

21. Streaming service acquired by Fox in 2020: TUBI. TUBI is one of the streaming channels I've downloaded on my Roku, but it's unknown to me as I've never watched it. So once again the perps came to the rescue

22. Seating request: AISLE. I always asked for an AISLE seat on my airline flights until I started traveling internationally. On longer flights I prefer a WINDOW seat, as I would rather be the one stepping across my fellow passengers when nature calls, and I need to do a "number one"

27. Big name in game shows: SAJAK. As in Pat SAJAK - the co-host of Wheel of Fortune. That show is in its 40th season, believe it or not

28. Lack of practice, metaphorically: RUST. Excellent clue

29. Fashion's Oscar __ Renta: DELA. Not too many other familiar phrases or names that begin with DE LA

30. Last of the Oldsmobiles: ALERO. This is becoming a crossword staple

32. CDs with three or four songs: EPS. "Vinyl" lovers would know this if the clue read "45's" with two or three songs"

39. Sun spot: SKY. Excellent clue

40. Made a choice: OPTED. It's been over two years since I OPTED to be a blogger here

41. "You're so right!": AMEN. Don't ask me why, but my first stab at this was "TADA"

42. Two piece?: DUET. Don't ask me why, but my first stab at this was "SUIT". Interesting that we have a clue with the word "two" in a puzzle that is all about number "one"

43. Tribute creator: ODIST. And it cleverly crosses (33-down. Ada Limón, for one:) POET.

50. Leave red-faced: ABASH. [dictionary dot cambridge dot org] says: "to embarrass someone or make them feel uncomfortable: Her elder cousins abashed her by commenting on her shyness. They tried not to be abashed

51. Senator Booker: CORY. If memory serves, CORY Booker was one of the 20+ candidates who ran for POTUS back in 2020

52. Like steak tartare: RAW. Here is a 5-star rated recipe for this dish

55. Astronaut Christina who spent 328 days in space: KOCH. Her bio

59. Art Deco master: ERTE. Another crossword puzzle staple, although some editors are now frowning on the use of this as it (ERTE) is not part of ones daily reference/usage. But if it fits, then sobeit

60. Hebrides isle: IONA. Also a college in New Rochelle, NY. Their current men's basketball coach is none other than Rick Pitino

61. More than most: EVERY. I know we have several golfers who visit this blog. When I saw the clue, "more than most", the first thing that came to mind was this iconic call from Gary KOCH at the Players Championship:

62. Sgts. and cpls.: NCOS. One of seven abbrs in today's puzzle. Hard not to have this many when you construct a puzzle with 5 long entries. My overall impression of Tom Locke's work, though, was pretty "clean"

63. "Guardians of the Galaxy" filmmaker James: GUNN. Whatever happended to PETER GUNN??

64. Sees: DATES. Do the current millennials refer to dating as SEEing someone? I liked this clue. And it fit nicely with (45-down. Spoken for:) TAKEN

Down:
1. Some bus. entities: LLCS. Limited Liability CompanieS. [irs dot gov] says: "A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business structure allowed by state statute. Each state may use different regulations, you should check with your state if you are interested in starting a Limited Liability Company. Owners of an LLC are called members." Digging further: What does LLC mean in simple terms? LLC stands for limited liability company, which means its members are not personally liable for the company's debts. LLCs are taxed on a “pass-through” basis — all profits and losses are filed through the member's personal tax return. I'm sure that they use a 45-across when filing

2. Word with a harp on some euro coins: EIRE. This is the reverse image of Ireland's euro coin; notice the harp

3. In a really bad way: ABYSMALLY. I found only two prior uses of this word in crossword puzzles

4. "__ Lanka Matha": South Asian national anthem: SRI.

5. Mystical Hindu text: TANTRA. [webmd dot com] also has a reference to TANTRA sex: "What is the real meaning of TANTRA? In Sanskrit, the word tantra means woven together. People who practice Buddhist and Hindu meditation may also practice tantric sex as a way to “weave” the physical with the spiritual. This practice brings together spirituality and sexuality and emphasizes the importance of intimacy during a sexual experience. An early form of foreplay?

7. Over: AGAIN. ABOVE was my first entry here and had me stymied for the longest time

8. Crawl space?: PUB. The "?" in the clue made me realize it did not refer to the "space" under a house/foundation. AGAIN, a very good clue

9. For example: SAY.

10. CafePress purchase: T-SHIRT.

11. Pile up: AMASS.

12. Instrument with an end pin: CELLO. When I googled for an image, the word endpin had no space in it. The endpin helps support the CELLO

13. Many a middle-schooler: TWEEN. Is 'TWEEN still a contraction for the word "between"?

18. Goopy buildup: GUNK. Use this to get rid of it, maybe?

22. Storyteller credited with the fable "The Wolf and the Crane": AESOP. Friday clue. I've heard of AESOP and his fables, but "The Wolf and the Crane" is not one that readily comes to mind

24. California town with an annual music festival: OJAI. Perps to the rescue

25. Avarice: GREED. Thesaurussaurus DID confirm this one

26. Contented rumble: PURR. The "rumble" part of this clue threw me off, but I am not a cat "lover"; more of a cat "tolerater"

27. Go for: SEEK.

29. MLB sluggers who don't play the field: DHS. Designated HitterS. This only used to be a position found in the American League, but is now used in the National League, too. This guy is the only Major Leaguer who is both a pitcher AND a designated hitter. And he is very good at both

30. Is __: likely will: APT TO. Easiest of the clues/entries today

31. Wireless standard initials: LTE.

32. Nightmarish movie location: ELM STREET. Appropritate entry for a "Friday the 13th" puzzle??

34. RR stop: STN. I never know when STN or STA is the better fit for the abbr for STATION

36. Sectional, e.g.: COUCH. Not a word often seen in crossword puzzles, but then again, it uses the lesser popular vowels (O and U), and two unpopular consonants (C and H)

37. Cartel HQ'd in Vienna: OPEC. Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Its history here

38. Armitage of "Big Little Lies": IAIN. IAIN Armitage (/ˈiːən/; born July 15, 2008) is an American child actor. He is known for starring as Sheldon Cooper in Young Sheldon, a prequel to The Big Bang Theory

42. Quick races: DASHES. SPRINTS was too long

44. Guest room piece: DAY BED. Based on its name - DAY BED - one might guess that your guests don't sleep at night. What are they? Vampires?

46. Multiple-choice choices: A, B, OR C. I LOVED multiple-guess, er -choice questions on quizzes and tests. True/False, OTOH, was sometimes like flipping a coin when you didn't know the answer

47. Blade for a hobbyist: XACTO.

48. NCAA school with the most first-round WNBA draft picks: UCONN. University of CONNecticut is also the alma mater for our erstwhile Friday blogger, Lemonade714 (aka, Jason). Both their women's and men's basketball teams have won multiple NCAA championships, and the WNBA and NBA are littered with their alumna and alumni

49. "Dunkirk" director Christopher: NOLAN. Perps. I wasn't thrilled by this one crossing 63-across as it was a Natick for me until I looked up one of them

53. Land parcel: ACRE.

54. __ and wherefores: WHYS. I thought I'd give the pigeons a shot at explaining this one

56. Generous: BIG.

57. Marker: I.O.U.. PEN fits, too, but if you had any part of BIOTECH LAB in the across word, then it didn't. Another great clue, as the word "marker" (in this context) is defined as: (see #4)

58. New Deal energy prog.: TVA. Last of the abbrs. Tennessee Valley Authority. Well dam!!

Ok, guys and gals, that's all for this session. I am going to end with a limerick today, written in the mind of a 2-1/2 year old. It kinda sums up the week+ I spent with my grandson. I'd insert a picture or video but my daughter prefers I limit my posts about him to Facebook. But I will tell you, one day he might be a great baseball player. The kid can hit from a T-Ball tee like nobody's business!! See y'all in a couple of weeks ...

I played t-ball with my favorite Gramps
Swung so hard that my arms felt some cramps!
We were all here in Tucson
Mom read "B is for Bison"
Followed up by "Lady and the Tramp(s)"
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