Monday February 20, 2023 Bruce Venzke


Happy Presidents Day, Cornerites!

sumdaze here. Today's puzzle comes to us from the desk of a well-known constructor, Bruce Venzke.

Our theme is:                

Cat lovers will get this one.

We have 3 starred clues and a reveal. Demonstrating an extra touch of skill, all are 15-letter entries. Let's start with the reveal:

63 Across. Reason for a courtroom objection, and what the start of the answer to each starred clue has: LEADING QUESTION.  a question that suggests the answer to the person being interrogated
Everybody conga!

Bruce is proposing we take the first word (the word in the 'lead') of each starred clue and add the word QUESTION to get a common phrase.

17 Across. *Sincere intention to be fair: GOOD FAITH EFFORT.

27 Across. *One who can't help but see the bright side: ETERNAL OPTIMIST.
ETERNAL QUESTION.  We can get pretty deep in this one. For many people, it boils down to, "What is the meaning of life?" Another version is posed by the great 21st century philosopher, W.A. Yankovic:

47 Across. *Private fashion consultant: PERSONAL SHOPPER.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
HAL's tone gives me the heebie-jeebies.

1. Sport played on horseback: POLO.  I liked last Thursday's clue, "Response heard during a pool game."

5. Make fun of: RAZZ.

9. Goes up: RISES.

14. Bibliography abbreviation: IBID.
Def.:  in the same source (used to save space in textual references to a quoted work which has been mentioned in a previous reference).

15. Furniture chain that also sells lingonberry preserves: IKEA.

16. Feeling of existential boredom: ENNUI.

20. Sight or smell: SENSE. or taste or hearing or touch

21. Granny: NANA.  CSO to all the Cornerite Grannies & NANAs!

22. Some Wall St. deals: LBOS.  Street is abbreviated, so is Leveraged BuyOutS.
the acquisition of another company using a significant amount of borrowed money (bonds or loans) to meet the cost of acquisition.  more from Investopedia

23. Joan of __: French heroine: ARC.
Jeanne d'Arc and the archangel Michael
Eugene Thirion 1876

25. Pampering place: SPA.

36. Assignment for a swimmer or a bowler: LANE. a nod to a champion Monday blogger

37. Ore deposit: LODE.  2018 gold mother LODE in Western Australia

38. Beat: TEMPO.  music -- not an eggs or sports or exhaustion reference

39. Chicago winter hrs.: CST.  Hours is abbreviated, so is Central Standard Time.

40. Central Pennsylvania city: ALTOONA.  and 45 Across. Salad fish: TUNA.
mascot for the ALTOONA Curve
(AA Minor League Baseball Team named for nearby Horseshoe Curve)

42. Luv: HON.

43. Go-to crew: A-TEAM.

46. Stud farm stud: SIRE.

50. Sunflower St. school: KSU.  According to this Kansas State University website, Kansas ranks 4th in the U.S. in sunflower production.

51. __-pitch softball: SLO.

52. See 64-Down: FLOE.  and 
64 Down. With 52-Across, floating Arctic sheet: ICE.
penguins chillin' on an ICE FLOE

55. Biblical ark builder: NOAH.  Need an ark?  I NOAH guy.

59. Songs for two: DUETS.  I used to own this bicycle for two.  Twice the fun!!
66. Silly activity: ANTIC.

67. Red gemstone: RUBY.
Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town
I chose Mel Tillis' 1967 version because he wrote the song.

68. Writer Bombeck: ERMA.

69. "Let's Make a Deal" host Brady: WAYNE. He was brilliant on Whose Line is it Anyway?  (4:24 min. clip)

70. Unworried state: EASE.

71. "Whoa, trippy!": DEEP.
Keanu Reeves played Ted in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989).

1. Green animals in Angry Birds: PIGS.  Fun clue!
Angry Birds is a 2016 animated movie based on a video game. (30 sec.)

2. Slender woodwind: OBOE. I suppose a saxophone would be a plump woodwind.

3. Zebra hunter: LION.  Here is a clip from Madagascar (2005) where zoo friends learn about "going savage".  (3:32 min.) Listen for the Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom music at 3:10.

4. "There's a nonzero chance ... ": ODDS ARE.  In Probability, if the chance is:
0 = impossible
1  = certain
There are an infinite number of numbers between 0 and 1.

5. Coastal inlet: RIA.
Types of Coastlines

6. Comparable (to): AKIN.

7. Oscar winner Catherine __-Jones: ZETA.
Captivating Catherine is a Welsh actress born 9/25/1969.

8. Journalist Paula: ZAHN.
Professional Paula has been in journalism for 50 years.

9. NFL official: REF.

10. Fill with passion: INFLAME.

11. __ appeal: SNOB.

12. Currency named for a continent: EURO.

13. Follows an obedience school command: SITS.

18. Houseplant with fronds: FERN.  and 
34 Down. 18-Down seed: SPORE.
This is my Boston fern. It is a happy plant.
19. Sunup direction: EAST.

24. Match a bet, in poker: CALL.  to put chips in the pot to match the bet of another player
more info.

26. Bread served with hummus: PITA. I make sourdough PITAs with honey, flax seeds, and whole wheat flour. Here is a pic of them puffing up on my pizza stone.

27. Rock formation in Yosemite, familiarly: EL CAP.  EL CAPitan stands over 3,000 ft. (914.4 metres) above the Yosemite Valley floor. Park visitors can enjoy vistas of its majesty from many locations. Talk about a granite countertop!

28. Have a spoonful, say: TASTE.

29. "The door's open!": ENTER. and 44 Down. Welcomed at the door: ASKED IN.
Here's a welcome mat for cruciverbalists!

30. Led Zeppelin's "Whole __ Love": LOTTA.  This was the first track of their second album, Led Zeppelin II, released in 1969.
official music video

31. Near-beer name: O'DOUL.
non-alcoholic beer

32. Lowly workers: PEONS.  If you are curious, here is its etymology.

33. Reply to "Ya dig?": I'M HIP.

35. Copier cartridge: TONER.

40. Songwriter Tori: AMOS.  I only know her from XWDs.

41. Slangy turndowns: NAHS.

46. Mouthed (off): SPOUTED.

In 1937, Soda Springs, ID residents hoped for a swimming pool for the town. However, when drilling started, hot water shot out of the ground “to more than 45 feet in the air.” Now the town of less than 3,000 caps the geyser off and sets it to a timer for every hour during winter, every half hour during summer. The city claims it’s the only captive geyser in the world.

48. Former Georgia senator Sam: NUNN.  This is his page.

49. Bygone GM line: OLDS.  General Motors is truncated, so is OLDSmobile.
1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Hotcars article

52. Imperfection: FLAW.

53. "Chocolat" actress Olin: LENA.  "LNA" seems like a good answer, too.

54. Like Cheerios: OATY.

56. Mythical menace: OGRE.

57. Teal shade: AQUA.
Confused? They are both blue.

58. Busy airports: HUBS.  United Airlines' North American HUBS are in Chicago, Denver, Guam, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington Dulles. With so many flights, it seems these HUBS have no caps!

60. Ireland, to the Irish: EIRE.

61. Heavy book: TOME.  I am currently reading Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat.  It weighs 2.72 lbs. (1.23 kilos).

62. Simple fastener: SNAP.

65. Potato spot: EYE.  as in a famous spot for potatoes, Eye-da-ho!

Here's the grid:

I will end with a link to an Isaac Asimov 1956 short story entitled The Last Question.

Have a great holiday, everyone!