Our Friday maven JW is back. Once again we have a letter switch puzzle, with the resulting fill clued whimsically. We have five clues where an "A" is replaced with a "U." The initial three have the change in the first word, the remaining two in the second word. All of the new fill are witty - BUNK Robber my favorite and Exhaust FUN the most poignant. But wait ! There is More, each word has an N after each A/U. It is hard enough to to make a letter substitution work, but to have the consistency of the AN to UN is the cherry on top. I missed it my first time through. With 61 theme squares, JW still manages to include ARTEMIS, USED CAR, EPITHETS, FORENSIC, SNATCHING and WOOD SCREW to leave a very satisfying grid.
17A. Thief at a sleepaway camp? : BUNK ROBBER (10). The BANK robber downsized.
24A. People who wear "I'm with stupid" T-shirts? : DUNCE PARTNERS (13). Perhaps they will become DANCE Partners.
37A. Fail a jewelry class lesson? : BUNGLE BRACELETS (15). Not my favorite, BANGLE Bracelet while alliterative, just does not excite.
48A. What drives a fashionista? : CLOTHES HUNGER (13). Clothes HANGERS have not changed much in my lifetime.
59A. Run out of amusing things to do? : EXHAUST FUN (10). Every stove has an Exhaust FAN.
I hope you are not too exhausted to move on....
1. Itsy-bitsy critter : MITE. Dust mite anyone?
5. Caroler's accoutrement : SCARF. Accoutrement is such a classy word!
10. Farthest from the hole : AWAY. This is for golfers, determining who plays next.
14. Slangy "Got that?" : Y'SEE? This contraction of 'you see' is in the dictionary now.
15. Izu Islands city : TOKYO. Major learning moment for me. LINK.
16. Soda opener? : COCA. Cola.
19. Red cap? : CORK. Red wine - nice clue.
20. Vivid dye : AZO. The wiki-chemist says "aryl azo compounds have vivid colors, especially reds, oranges, and yellows. Therefore, they are used as dyes, and are commonly known as azo dyes."
21. Kibbutz entertainment : HORA. The dance. There are variations.
22. End sections of some Greek poems : EPODES. Epode, a verse form composed of two lines differing in construction and often in meter, the second shorter than the first. In Greek lyric odes, an epode is the third part of the three-part structure of the poem, following the strophe and the antistrophe. The word is from the Greek epōidós, “sung” or “said after.” Sure. Britannica.
27. __ Cruces : LAS. The crosses, Spanish, is located in New Mexico.
28. It may be a lemon : USED CAR. A clear CSO.
31. Lhasa __ : APSO.
36. LP maker : RCA.
41. Bali or Hanes product : BRA. Any other three letter products?
42. Bridge call : I PASS.
43. Boo-boo : OWIE.
44. Deity with bow and arrows : ARTEMIS. The Greek goddess of the hunt, etc. She and Diana are similar but not the SAME. 56A. Superhero with a hammer : THOR. Now we have a Norse god added.
46. Bot., e.g. : SCI.
54. Go over : REHASH.
57. Natural resource : ORE.
58. Tissue box access : SLIT.
62. Forest climber : VINE.
63. Three-time 20-game winner for the '70s Red Sox : TIANT. I will never forget his WINDUP or his STORY.
64. Cried : WEPT.
65. Classifies (as) : PEGS.
66. Trig functions : SINES.
67. Fine things? : ARTS.
1. "I'm the culprit" : MY BAD. Mea culpa before the millennials came along.
2. Brand once hawked by an eponymous "Joe" : ISUZU. He was a STAR.
3. Joinery element : TENON. Splynter? You agree joinery is the wooden components of a building, such as stairs, doors, and door and window frames, viewed collectively?
4. "I sure don't want that" : EEK. Two weeks in a row.
5. Retrieves dropped keys, say : STOOPS.
6. Hooded snake : COBRA.
7. Mogul emperor, 1556-1605 : AKBAR. Interesting MAN.
8. Bakery offering : RYE. It was rye bread that led to the Salem witch trials.
9. Like "CSI" work : FORENSIC. Which I may have learned from CSI.
10. Agreement : ACCORD.
11. Item in many an IKEA kit : WOOD SCREW. "Wood screws are better than drywall screws for woodworking projects. Drywall screws are made of hardened, brittle steel, and the shaft will often snap during installation, especially if they're screwed into hardwoods."
12. Lot division : ACRE. There are 640 acres in a Section, but most lots are smaller than an acre.
13. Shoots the breeze : YAKS.
18. Carla portrayer on "Cheers" : RHEA.
23. Actress/author Holly Robinson __ : PEETE. Ex-Detroit Lion QB Rodney Peete's wife.
RODNEY did not have a great career, but he found a great WIFE.
25. Obstruct : CLOG.
26. Marching band section : TUBAS.
29. When "Kansas City" is sung in "Oklahoma!" : ACT I.
30. Knock down, in Nottingham : RASE. The British spelling of the word we spell raze.
31. "SOS" group : ABBA.
32. Run smoothly : PURR.
33. Pickpocket's activity : SNATCHING. Actually it seems more like stealing to me.
34. Humiliate : ABASH.
35. Union address? : MRS. Fun clue/fill.
38. Oscar night arrivals : LIMOS.
39. Peter the Great et al. : EPITHETS. They are not always nice, the Terrible, the Mad etc.
40. Butcher's offering : LOIN.
45. Brings great pleasure to : ELATES.
46. Shows anger, maybe : SHOUTS.
47. Ornery sorts : CURS.
49. Vermont patriot Allen : ETHAN. More famous for his furniture.
50. Oscar-nominated western : SHANE. Alan Ladd was 5'4" I am told.
51. Menial assistant : GOFER.
52. Blow : ERUPT.
53. Flat fees : RENTS. Pun on British word for apartment.
54. "I'll be there" message, e.g. : RSVP.
55. Author Wiesel : ELIE.
60. Number on old dials : XII.
61. BOAC competitor : TWA. They both are gone.
We are in the good old summer time; hope you all had a fun day on the 4th. It feels right to have Jeffrey back in the Friday saddle. Thank you all for tuning in; see you next week gwatcdr.