Monday June 26, 2023 John Michael Currie


Hello Cornerites!

Theme:          Get in shape!  
sumdaze here. Today is shaping up to be another good day thanks to constructor John Michael Currie and his delightful puzzle!
There are four starred clues:

6 Down. *West Wing workplace: OVAL OFFICE.  The OVAL OFFICE is located in the West Wing of the White House.  
14 Down. *Multilevel investment swindle: PYRAMID SCHEME.  Investopedia explanation

24. *Pet's post-surgery device, facetiously: CONE OF SHAME.  

28. *Two, to four, e.g.: SQUARE ROOT.  The SQUARE ROOT of a number x is a number that, when multiplied by itself, equals the number x. So, in this clue, 2 is a SQUARE ROOT of 4 because 2 x 2=4. Likewise, 3 is a SQUARE ROOT of 9 because 3 x 3=9.  
The unifier sketches it out for us:

10 Down. Exceptional physical health, and a feature of the answer to each of this puzzle's starred clues: TIP TOP SHAPE.  

Each of these answers is written vertically, making the SHAPE (OVAL, PYRAMID, CONE, SQUARE) appear at the TIP TOP of the answer. I also noticed that two of the shapes are 2-dimensional (oval & square) and the other two shapes are 3-dimensional (pyramid & cone). No outliers. Well done, JMC!

Let's see what else we can round up.
1. 1997 crime drama "Donnie __": BRASCO.  "Osmond" also fit.
This mob-themed movie starred Al Pacino and Johnny Depp. Here is the trailer:

7. Demo stuff: TNT.  "Demo" is short for "demolition" and TNT is short for TriNitroToluene.  
Poor Wile E.! His ideas always 'backfire' on him!

10. Egyptian boy king: TUT.  I heard he was involved in a PYRAMID SCHEME.

13. Boxing film co-starring Sage Stallone: ROCKY V.  "Stallone" told me it would be one of the Rocky films. I was not surprised to learn that Sage is Sylvester's son.

14. Experts: PROS.

15. German pronoun: ICH.  

16. Light-sensitive eye layer: RETINA.

17. Mixed breed lapdog: YORKIPOO.  They are a cross between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Toy Poodle. They typically weigh 5-15 pounds.

19. Role in a Thanksgiving pageant: PILGRIM.  

21. The Rockies, e.g.: Abbr.: MTNS.  MounTaiNS

22. Some soft drinks: COCA-COLAS.

25. Hearty steak: T-BONE.

26. Parka part: HOOD
Artic gear, such as the fur-lined PARKA (to the left), is being tested by personnel
at the Natick Army Labs, Boston, MA, 1940's.
The Complete History of the Parka

27. Sibs, 'rents, etc.: FAM. Siblings and parents are FAMily.

28. Dish eaten with a spoon: SOUP.  Didn't the dish run away with a spoon?

29. Large coffee dispensers: URNS.

30. Thur. follower: FRI.  days of the week 
This cat looks like it might eat a Yorkipoo for brekky.

31. Knightly missions: QUESTS.  They say the knight who was only allowed to be on the edge of the round table was Sir Cumference.

34. "Feel Good" creator/star Martin: MAE.  ESP for this Netflix-less blogger.  more info.

35. Went extinct: DIED OUT.  
37. Beret, e.g.: HAT.

38. Irrationally afraid: PHOBIC.  
In this clip from A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965),
Lucy tries to help Charlie Brown identify his fears. (1 min.)

40. Doo-wop syllable: SHA.  In 1957, The Silhouettes released the song Get a Job. It began:
Yip-yip-yip-yip-yip-yip, bmm
Sha-na-na-na, sha-na-na-na-na-, ahh-do  (repeat 3 more times)
Twelve years later, a group of Columbia University students who shared a passion for 1950's Doo-wop formed a group and called themselves Sha Na Na.

41. Frilly fabric: LACE.

42. __ and fortune: FAME.

43. Automobile: CAR.

44. Knowledgeable about: UP ON.

45. Track legend Owens: JESSE.  
From @Olympics:  At the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, JESSE Owens won gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m, and Long Jump -- all in front of the watching Adolf Hitler.
As an African-American athlete, Owens set three world records, shattering Hitler's theories of Aryan superiority.

47. Most cunning: SHREWDEST.

49. Tylenol target: ACHE.

50. Picked up with a toothpick: SPEARED.  

51. Honey-glazed entree: ROAST HAM.

53. "Booksmart" director Wilde: OLIVIA.  Booksmart is a 2019 teen comedy movie. Looking at the cast list just now, I noticed that an actress named Beanie played a character named Molly and an actress named Molly played a character named Annabelle.

57. Shade tree: ELM.

58. "9-1-1: Lone Star" star Rob: LOWE.  This TV show originally aired on FOX in January 2020. Last month they announced that the show has been renewed for a 5th season.

59. Sea creatures with multiple arms: OCTOPI.  This link goes to the Giant Pacific Octopus cam at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. (Note:  depending on the hour you visit the site, you might need to scroll down a bit and click the play arrow.)

60. Lousy grade: DEE.

61. Chili __ carne: CON.  translates to "with" in English

62. Political nomination, informally: THE NOD.

1. [Shiver]: BRR.  
Get it? He's a stick figure. Haha!
2. Caviar: ROE.

3. Step into character: ACT.

4. Click past promos: SKIP ADS.  This might be a debut answer. I did not find it on the one sight where I know to look. Perhaps someone can double-check that and let us know.

5. Skeptical sort: CYNIC.  
Oh, wait, I think I accidentally Googled "scenic photos".

7. Un et deux: TROIS.  French  
8. Name shouted on "Cheers": NORM.  Three weeks ago I included a "NORM" clip from the 1982-1993 TV show Cheers. Let me see if I can find a different one....  

9. Sound of disapproval: TSK.

11. The Huskies of the NCAA's Big East: UCONN.

12. This and that: THOSE.

18. Fill (with): IMBUE.  From M-W dictionary:  Like its synonym infuseimbue implies the introduction of one thing into another so as to affect it throughout. Someone's voice can be imbued with pride, for example, or a photograph might be imbued with a sense of melancholy. 

20. Cause of squinting: GLARE.  No worries! Put on a pair of cool sunnies! 😎

22. __ change: CHUMP.  a small or insignificant amount of money

23. Marine Corps battle cry: OORAH.  CSO to Wilbur Charles and DH!

25. Promote aggressively: TOUT.

32. Food truck snacks: TACOS.  
While on my bike ride yesterday, I stopped at The Choke Coach to eat artichoke TACOS.

33. Surgical tube: STENT.

35. Thin coin: DIME.  See 22D.

36. Catherine of "Best in Show": O'HARA.  This movie is my fav of Christopher Guest's mocumentaries. Catherine O'HARA & Eugene Levy play a married couple, Cookie & Gerry Fleck. Here is the 2000 trailer (2 min.)  You will likely recognize many of the cast members.

39. Fenway Park corners: BASES.  Fenway Park is a baseball stadium located in Boston, MA. The Red Sox have been playing there since it opened in 1912. It is the oldest park currently in use by a MLB team. BTW, Fenway Park is 21.4 miles away from Natick, MA.

41. Technology shunner: LUDDITE.  NPR's Planet Money did an interesting podcast on LUDDITEs. If you are curious, and have some time later today, try this link. It will take you to that episode where you can click the "20-minute listen" icon.

45. "Guns, Germs, and Steel" writer Diamond: JARED.  Goodreads link

46. French school: 
ÉCOLE.  I am currently reading The Sympathizer (I think some of you recommended it recently because the author's name was in a puzzle). The word lycée appears often in that book so I patted myself on the back for knowing that one. Bzzzt! Eventually perps recued me. After researching this today, I learned that ÉCOLE is used for all the school years and lycée is more like "high school".

47. Breed, as salmon: SPAWN.  "Breed" is a verb here.

48. Big name in grape products: WELCH.  
Well, the font used for the name does look bigger....
50. "Get lost!": SHOO.

52. Extra-special attn.: TLC.  "Attention" is abbreviated, so is Tender Loving Care.

54. The __ Trapps: "The Sound of Music" family: VON.

55. Wall St. investment opportunity: IPO.  "Street" is abbreviated, so is Initial Public Offering.

56. Help: AID.  In case you were wondering, many GoFundMe donations are not tax deductible. Only charitable donations given to a 501(c)(3) organization are tax deductible. Likewise, political campaign contributions are not tax deductible.

Here's the grid:

That's all for today. Catch you again next week. Be there or be SQUARE!