May 24, 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015 Mark Bickham

Theme: "Hatch Job" - Nine birds are hidden in the theme answers.

25A. *Dreamt of : ALWAYS WANTED. Swan, a hard bird to hide, unlike OWL. The *S WAN* pattern phrases are limited.

27A. *Type of surplus store : ARMY NAVY. Myna. The one I visited is run by a private guy.

 32A. *Forgot the past : STARTED OVER. Dove.

64A. *Yellow Monopoly property : VENTNOR AVENUE. Raven.

94A. *School in-crowd : POPULAR KIDS. Lark.
 
101A. *Tape width, perhaps : HALF-INCH. Finch.

33D. *"Be My Baby" singers : THE RONETTES. Heron.

38D. *Alpine feline : SNOW LEOPARD. Owl, probably the easiest theme entry for Mark.

49D. *Like some flats : LOW RENT. Wren. Crossing the central Across theme answer. Expert gridding work.

 104. Signs of spring that are literally hidden in the answers to starred clues : NESTING BIRDS
  
I had no idea what the theme was until I came to the reveal. I love puzzles with reveal entries, provided that the gimmick was not obvious from the get-go.

Also loved the title, "Hatch job", very clever. Mark managed a low 138-worder despite a heavy 10 themers. I'm convinced that you've got to have themeless construction experience to pull off a 138 or lower.
  
Quite a few clue echos in this grid also.

Across:

1. Mound site : INFIELD. Pitcher's mound.

8. 1996 Olympic tennis gold medalist : AGASSI

14. Track fastener : SPIKE

19. Jim Brickman fan, perhaps : NEW AGER. Not familiar with the musician.

20. Gathered in a mass : LUMPED

21. Darlings' creator : BARRIE. Peter Pan.

22. Stay with doggedly : CLING TO

23. Dishes set in gelatin : ASPICS. My grandma always had fried tofu inside her aspics.

24. Canine coat? : ENAMEL. Nice clue.

29. Couple maker : AND

30. Equal : ARE

31. Question of concern : YOU OK?
 
37. Dope (out) : SUSS

38. Eponymous Belgian town : SPA. Good to know this trivia. And 75. Belgium-based imaging company : AGFA. Have not seen this brand for quite some time.

41. Nincompoop : SCHMO. Joe Schmo.

42. German article : DER

43. Word with dive or drops : NOSE. And 59. Words before dare or ever : DO I

44. War of the Ring force : ENTs. The Lord of the Rings.

45. Pact : TREATY

47. Fix, as a model airplane : RE-GLUE

51. Bleep : EDIT OUT

53. Discernible range : EARSHOT

55. Hinduism's Chandra, e.g. : MOON GOD. Never heard of Chandra. We have a moon goddess called Chang'e in Chinese fairy tales. Same name as China's lunar exploration program.

57. 2005 horror sequel : SAW II

58. Singer Tori : AMOS

61. Scottish export : TWEED

62. Where texts are often read : CELL. Cell phone.

63. ISP option : MSN

67. "Speak up" requests : EHs

70. Base path? : EVIL. Base ="Despicable"  here.

72. Cutting beam : LASER

73. Bouncer's handful : SOT

74. In short order : SOON

75. Some saxes : ALTOS

77. Law office visitors : CLIENTS

79. Part-time player : SEMI-PRO. Not AMATEUR.

81. "I'm outta here" : GOTTA GO. Tiny dupe with 48. Ship out : GO TO SEA

83. Potters' wheels, e.g. : LATHES

85. Home of Mandrake the Magician : XANADU.  Another unknown to me.

86. Part of BOGOF : FREE. "Buy one, get one free"

87. Annoyances : RUBS. "Ay, there's the rub" .

89. They're often found in mice : AAs. Computer mouse.

91. Sign of an omission : CARET. ^.

92. Spots : ADS

93. Deere rival : TORO. Based here in MN.

98. Look forward to : AWAIT

99. Game with an Angry Birds version : UNO

100. Cal. column : TUE

111. Tennyson's "lily maid of Astolat" : ELAINE

112. Cuthbert of "24" : ELISHA

114. Steak __ : TARTARE

115. Thought quite a lot of : ADORED

116. More promising : ROSIER

117. In : ELECTEE

118. Downed with a jolt : TASED

119. Wheelhouse : SPHERE

120. Elizabeth I or Prince Harry : REDHEAD. Prince Harry alone is enough for me. I hope he gets back to that pretty girl he used to date. They were a great couple.


Down:
 
1. Sapa __: ancient South American ruler : INCA. Guessable.

2. Jodie Foster title role : NELL. Nailed this one, though I never saw the movie.

3. Relative of IMO : FWIW

4. Collector's suffix : IANA. ANA is more common, right? Americana.

5. Like rich batter : EGGY

6. Sics on : LETS AT

7. Overwhelmed, with "out" : DROWNED

8. Jackson with a 2015 "Keepin' It Country" tour : ALAN. We also have 102. "The Aviator" actor : ALDA.

9. Austrian painter Klimt : GUSTAV. Marti saw his works in person.

10. Word in current news? : AMPERE. Not current news I had in mind.

11. Scorpion cousin : SPIDER

12. Texas A&M joined it in 2012 : SEC

13. "You're probably right" : I'D SAY SO

14. Some HDTVs : SANYOS

15. Trick : PRANK

16. "Joy of Cooking" author Rombauer : IRMA

17. Capital ESE of Warsaw : KIEV

18. Hard to control : EELY

21. In a fog : BEMUSED

26. Puff __ : ADDER

28. Woke up : ROUSED. Read this, guys.  So many LOL moments. Which is your favorite? Mine is #23.

32. Gets out : SCRAMS
 
34. Pile up : AMASS

35. "American Pastoral" Pulitzer-winning writer : ROTH (Philip)

36. City near Provo : OREM

39. Spitting sound : PTUI

40. Wine commonly served chilled : ASTI

41. Momentum : STEAM. Lose momentum/steam.

43. Beersheba's region : NEGEV. Hebrew for "dry".

44. Series ender : ET AL

46. Feature of some Roy Rogers numbers : YODEL
  
50. Expose : UNEARTH

52. "Understood" : I SEE

54. Weigh station unit : TON And 105. Weigh station concern : TARE

56. The __: Horace works : ODES

60. "__ be fun!" : IT'LL

62. Polish brand : CUTEX. And 65. Does masterfully : NAILS. Also 76. Master : LORD

64. Credit giant : VISA
 
66. Crunched things, for short : NOs (Numbers).

68. Large groups : HORDES

69. Weevil feature : SNOUT

71. Poll position? : VOTE. Great clue. Pole/Poll.

74. Egyptian peninsula : SINAI
 
77. Journalist who has been a host on all "Big Three" networks : COURIC. So sweet and cheerful.

78. 12-time NFL Pro Bowler Junior : SEAU

80. Connie __, winningest MLB manager : MACK. See this list.  He also lost more games than any other manager.

82. Responded to a bad joke : GROANED

84. U.S./Soviet pact : SALT I

88. Gets to : BOTHERS

90. Walk easily : SAUNTER

93. Twisted together : TWINED

94. Ground, say : PUNISH

95. Garment easy to get in and out of : ONESIE. For babies!

96. More swank : POSHER

97. Throw a big party for : REGALE

98. Burning : AFIRE

101. Cops, or pressure from them : HEAT
 
103. Landlocked land : LAOS. More sticky rice is eaten there than any other country.  I love mochi balls.


 
106. Brought up : BRED

107. Hard-to-ignore feeling : ITCH

108. Fixed __ : RATE

109. De Matteo of "Sons of Anarchy" : DREA. She's also in "The Sopranos".


110. Apple product : SEED. Real apple.

113. Cut off : LOP
 
C.C.