Tuesday, May 3, 2022 Catherine Cetta

For Book Lovers Only:  The word Book can come at the End of the word that the letters spell out to give us a new concept.  The circles make a nice Bookend for the letters in-between.

17-Across. "Almost!": NOT QUITE.  Notebook.

22-Across. Bargain hunter's event: RUMMAGE SALE.  Rule Book.

38-Across. Rush hour woe: COMMUTER TRAFFIC.  Comic Book.  Odd man out, since there are 3 letters at the beginning, and only 2 at the end of the answer.

49-Across. Lingers: HANGS AROUND.  Handbook.

And the Unifier:

61-Across. Items found on library shelves, and what are literally found in each set of circled letters: BOOKENDS.

Here's the Grid:

1. Prickly desert plants: CACTI.

6. Oolong and rooibos: TEAs.  Who knew there were so many types of teas.  Rooibos is a red tea and is considered an herbal tea because it is caffeine-free.

10. "The Problem With __": documentary about Indian stereotypes on "The Simpsons": APU.

13. In order to: SO THAT.  In order to complete this puzzle ...  So that I can complete this puzzle ...

14. Puts on edge: UNNERVES.

16. Springs for dinner: TREATS.

18. Distant: AFAR.

19. "Gorillas in the Mist" animal: APE.  Gorillas in the Mist is a 1988 film about Diann Fossey (Jan. 16, 1932 ~ Dec. 26, 1985) and her work in Rwanda with mountain gorillas.  Sadly, Fossey was murder in her research cabin in Rwanda.

21. Answering to: UNDER.  Think chain of command.

26. Dairy farm animal: COW.

27. Majestic homes: PALACES.  Do you know the difference between a Palace and a Castle?

32. As good as it gets: IDEAL.

36. News inits.: UPI.  United Press International.

37. __ Beds National Monument: LAVA.  I was not familiar with Lava Beds National Monument.  It looks beautiful and you can explore caves there.

42. Actress Falco: EDIE.  Edie Falco (née Edith Falco; b. July 5, 1963) is probably best known for her role as Carmela Soprano on the television series The Sopranos.

43. "I'm __ ears!": ALL.

44. Iona College athletes: GAELS.  Iona College is a private Catholic college in New Rochelle, New York.  The mascot looks a bit like a creepy Abe Lincoln.

45. Major plot twist in "The Wizard of Oz"?: TORNADO.  Cute clue!

47. Happy __ clam: AS A.

55. Permit: ALLOW.

59. Syst. with hand gestures: ASL.  As in American Sign Language.

60. Away from shore: ASEA.

64. Ludicrous: ABSURD.

66. Response to someone saying 65-Down, perhaps: BUNDLE UP.  //  And 65-Down: "It's c-c-cold": BRR!!!

67. Hairstyle that may be maintained by a professional "loctician": DREADS.

Bob Marley (Feb. 6, 1945 ~ May 11, 1981)

68. Had a bite: ATE.

69. Relay race segments: LEGS.

70. "R u for real?": SRSLY.  Text speak for Seriously.

1. Resort island in the Ionian Sea: CORFU.

2. First-stringers: A-TEAM.

3. __ City: Baltimore's nickname: CHARM.  Is this an ironic nickname for Baltimore?

4. Skin art, for short: TAT.

5. "We're on!": IT'S A GO.

6. Melodies: TUNES.

7. Roxy Music co-founder Brian: ENO.  Brian Eno (né Brian Peter George Eno; b. May 15, 1948) makes frequent guest appearances in the crossword puzzles.

Then and Now.

8. "__-Man and the Wasp": ANT.

9. Title with a "II," maybe: SEQUEL.  Do you think that there will be a sequel to 8-Down?

10. Passionate: AVID.

11. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg: PETE.  Pete Buttigieg (né Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg; b. Jan. 19, 1982) was the 32nd Mayor of South Bend, Indiana before he became the 19ht United States Secretary of Transportation.

12. Icon tapper: USER.

13. Polaris or Betelgeuse: STAR.

15. Part of RBI: RUN.  As in the baseball abbreviation for Runs Batted In.

20. Chapel bench: PEW.

23. Rights advocacy org.: ACLU.  As in the American Civil Liberties Union.  The ACLU has been around for over 100 years.

24. Datebook entry: Abbr.: APPT.

25. Wild animal's home: LAIR.

28. Communications code word for "A": ALFA

29. Casual eatery: CAFÉ.

30. Really, really bad: EVIL.
31. Biological pouches: SACS.

32. "Rhyme Pays" rapper: ICE-T.  Ice-T (né Tracy Lauren Marrow; b. Feb. 16, 1958) is known as Detective Tutuola on one of the Law & Order series.

33. Knucklehead: DODO.  CSO to our dear friend Dodo, who certainly wasn't a knucklehead.

34. Dubai dignitary: EMIR.  This is becoming a crossword staple.

35. "Right on!": AMEN.

36. http follower: URL.  The Uniform Resource Locator appears with some frequency in the puzzles.

39. "And here it is!": TA DA!

40. Musk of SpaceX: ELON.  Elon Musk (né Elon Reev Musk; b. June 28, 1971) has been the news a lot recently.  Enough said.

41. Seaweed gelatin: AGAR.  Agar makes the base for growing bacteria in the laboratory.

46. "Can't be helped": AH, WELL!

47. Pack animal: ASS.  This is becoming a crossword staple.

48. Light lunches: SALADS.

50. "Oh my gosh!" reactions: GASPS.

51. Fertile desert spots: OASES.

52. Garden-variety: USUAL.

53. Square: NERDY.

54. Both parents, in some families: DADS.

55. "Mamma Mia!" pop group: ABBA.

56. Boor: LOUT.

57. Only: LONE.

58. Approved, briefly: OK'D.

62. Word before a maiden name: NÉE.  Today's French lesson.

63. Really grooved on: DUG.

Now it's time to get back to my reading.