Paul Coulter is back with very inventive and entertaining Friday theme sure to irritate those who do not like themes. He pairs two completely unrelated characters (they may be fictional) and posits a common bond. Natasha Fatale and Apollo Creed both battled foes named Rocky. Mr. Spock- Dr. Spock, Homer the Greek - Homer Simpson and Blondie Bumstead - Debbie Harry and her band are the other pairs sharing a commonality that can be expressed in 15 letters (grid-spanners). I am so impressed by the thought process and the execution of this theme. Thank you, Paul. He also squeezes in DABS AT, GETS AT, IN A WAY, SHANDY, BEDSIDE, PARSONS, HOTFOOTING and RAISE COSTS to complete the offering. Excellent. The themers:
27A. Two loves of Homer: POETRY AND MARGE (15). The Greek POET responsible for The Iliad and The Odessey, and Marge Simpson's LOVE. He is known for coining "D'Oh."
43A. Two specialties of Spock: LOGIC AND BABIES (15). We have Mr. Spock for LOGIC and Dr. Spock for BABIES.
54A. Two priorities of Blondie: DAGWOOD AND MUSIC (15). Blondie Bumstead loved DAGWOOD and Blondie (Debbie Harry) made some beautiful music.
1. "Yeah": UH HUH. Nailed it, felt good.
6. Whack: STAB.
10. They're corny: COBS. He tricked me here for a bit.
14. Spaghetti Western director Sergio: LEONE. He made CLINT (2:41) famous.
15. Refine: HONE. Hone your craft, not just your knife.
16. Spread for dinner, say: OLEO. Not at my house.
20. Request to go out, maybe: ARF. Cute.
21. Cease: END.
22. Airs: SONGS. The perps are solid but the choice of the clue is beyond me. I may have to use a Homer 'D'Oh' when it is explained.
23. Mountain nymph: OREAD. More from Ancient GREECE.
26. Form of love in Paris? : AIME. Je t'aime, je t'adore.
32. Implies: GETS AT.
33. One may accompany a finger snap: IDEA. Got it.
34. Small battery: AAA.
35. Mine entrance: ADIT. From the Latin ADITUS, this is old-fashioned crossword fill.
36. Meddle: PRY. Third time in recent memory- hmm.
37. Artist's array: OILS. If he is a painter.
38. Large brewer: URN.
39. Blunted blade: EPEE.
41. Blots: DABS AT.
46. "Heartburn" novelist Ephron: NORA. Nora Ephron was also the author of Wallflower at the Orgy. She received Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay for When Harry Met Sally..., Silkwood, and Sleepless in Seattle, which she also directed. Her other credits include the film Michael, I believe a John Travolta film and the play Imaginary Friends. She died in 2012
47. San Diego State athlete: AZTEC.
48. Advances: LOANS.
50. Chemical suffix: ENE.
51. Fertility clinic supply: OVA. Egg.
58. Between ports: ASEA.
59. Bridge site: NOSE. Very funny.
60. A lot: OFTEN.
61. Milk by-product: WHEY. I loved Moe's poem about helping Miss Muffit finding her whey.
62. Oracle: SEER.
63. Entourage: POSSE.
1. It parallels the radius: ULNA. In the arm, not a circle.
2. Get wind of: HEAR.
3. Hurrying, with "it": HOTFOOTING. A really fun word.
4. Acapulco article: UNA.
5. Cock and bull: HES. Male animals.
6. Sterne's Tristram: SHANDY.
7. Hopper on a pad: TOAD. Mr. Toad? I went with Frog at first.
8. Gothic novelist Radcliffe: ANN. Radcliffe is said to have influenced many later authors, including the Marquis de Sade (1740–1814), Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849), and Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832), and many lesser imitators of the "Radcliffe School", such as Harriet Lee and Catherine Cuthbertson. LINK.
9. Important place for good manners: BEDSIDE. Why is it bedside manner when it is no longer at home that you see the doctor?
10. Pupil's cover: CORNEA. My personal specialty, still working with two borrowed ones.
11. Cassini of fashion: OLEG. Father of Tini Cassini.
12. Honey bunch: BEES. Of oats?
13. Ground cover: SOD. Such language!
18. Soul mate? : HEART. I miss marti.
19. Feature of many a list: COMMA.
24. Common medical advice: REST.
25. In-flight info: ETA.
26. Name at the end of many a "60 Minutes" episode: ANDY. Rooney.
27. MLB Network analyst Martinez: PEDRO.
28. Put on: AIRED.
29. What supply shortages often do: RAISE COSTS. Supply and demand.
30. Big dos: GALAS. Not hairdos.
31. Bridge column word: EAST.
32. Caesarean section? : GAUL. "Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres"
36. Clinton transportation secretary Federico : PENA. LINK.
37. Tony relative: OBIE. Off-broadway awards.
39. Low-price prefix: ECONO.
40. Service aces? : PARSONS. Do parsons really run religious services?
41. Stunned: DAZED.
42. NYC dance troupe: ABT. Since 1940, American Ballet Theatre has performed in the greatest theatres around the world, creating a tradition of passion, innovation, and athleticism that transcends cultural boundaries and touches the soul of ballet lovers old and new.
44. Kind of: IN A WAY.
45. Stadium sign: BANNER.
48. Eye piece: LASH. No.
49. Arch type: OGEE.
50. Convenience: EASE.
52. Competes: VIES.
53. Bad marks in high school? : ACNE. A semi-cruel remark about those marks.
54. Margery of nursery rhymes: DAW.
55. Female antelope: DOE.
56. Floor cleaner: MOP. Which is my clue to mop up my comments.
57. Tabloid topic: UFO. But not without an Unidentified Flying Object.
I really enjoyed the puzzle, the solve, and Paul is one of the constructors getting regular Friday slots, with this his 4th this year, along with 5 Sundays. Thanks, Paul and thank you all for being here.
Notes from C.C.:
1) Here is our Lemonade enjoying his hamburger last Sunday. Great to see him healthy and happy. He's getting younger too!
2) Happy birthday to our cool Jazzbumpa (Ron), who's taking December off from blogging. Ron often has a packed December. Lots of rehearsals and performances during Christmas season. Have anyone in Detroit area attended Ron's concerts in the past?