THEME: "Angel (and Not Buffy's Vampire Boyfriend)"—Two unrelated angels and one Angel are all clued with the word Angel
- 20A: Angel is a HEAVENLY SPIRIT.
- 36A: It's also an AMERICAN LEAGUER playing for that Los Angeles of Anaheim team, the Los Angeles Angels (that translates to "the The Angels Angels") of Anaheim.
- 53A: And then there's the BROADWAY BACKER meaning of Angel, the one that I learned from crosswords. If you ever see a clue about a sign an angel likes, it's SRO, meaning "standing room only" tickets for a Broadway show that's sold out.
Crosswordese 101: Omigosh, look! It's the STOA! This 4D: Colonnade of ancient Greece is as old-school antiquity as crosswordese gets. It's the Greek word for "porch" but apparently the ancient Greeks knew how do up a porch right, as it's defined as "An ancient Greek covered walk or colonnade, usually having columns on one side and a wall on the other." I don't know about you, but my porch lacks a stately row of columns. Other key words and phrases you might see in STOA clues include "Greek portico," "ancient meeting place," "Plato's promenade," or "Where Zeno taught." Zeno, founder of the Stoic philosophy? "Stoic" comes from "stoa," and I never knew that until right this moment. "Keep a stiff, porchy upper lip, will ya? Be stoic."
An olio of answers and clues:
- 14A: Sonny and Cher, e.g. (DUET). Hang on. Can the two people be considered a DUET, or just their performance or the song they're singing? My dictionary says Sonny and Cher duetted but are not themselves a DUET.
- 17A: This, in Seville (ESTO). Sometimes it's the feminine ESTA. How will you know? By checking the crossing. I hope it always makes the O-vs.-A choice obvious.
- 25A: Asian counters (ABACI). Plural of abacus. I always think of ABACI as ancient Chinese things, but the word is a late Middle English word derived from Latin, related to Hebrew. So I guess the Latin plural makes sense—oh! Except that some dictionaries don't even bother with the ABACI plural, they just say "abacuses."
- 33A: Disney villainess __ de Vil (CRUELLA). She's from 101 Dalmatians. Remember when Disney cartoons depicted smoking?
- 41A: Portuguese capital (ESCUDOS). No, not the capital city—the unit of currency that is financial capital in Portugal. The clue is an anachronism, as Portugal uses the euro now. So make that Former Portuguese capital, eh?
- 48A: Lundi follower (MARDI). Lundi is French for Monday, and MARDI is Tuesday. Fat Tuesday = Mardi Gras, bien sûr.
- 60A: Egyptian fertility goddess (ISIS). Anyone in the same generation as PuzzleGirl, Rex, and me has fond memories of the Saturday morning live-action Secrets of Isis show in the '70s:
- 65A: Senator from Kansas or North Carolina (DOLE). Both Bob and Elizabeth are now former senators, as Liddy lost her reelection bid last November.
- 1D: Fruity drink (ADE). Yeah, don't try playing this word in Scrabble or Lexulous. It is merely a suffix.
- 2D: Grow exponentially (MUSHROOM). I don't like mushrooms. Apparently the ones that look like golden brains that grow on tree trunks are delicious, but I'll pass. (That link is to one the "Steve, Don't Eat It" posts that I love dearly. Check out the archives if you have a strong stomach and no class, and are curious about foods like fermented soybeans, huitlacoche, and silkworm pupas.)
- 8D: Boglike (MIRY). I can't say I've ever used this word, but I think I'll remember it the next time I'm bogged down in a crossword. "Och!" I'll exclaim. "She's a MIRY one, this puzzle!"
- 28D: New Brunswick's Bay of __ (FUNDY). Not to be confused with fundie, short for "fundamentalist."
- 33D: XXXV x X (CCCL). Do you do the Roman numeral math? I try to avoid it and let the crossings give me the answer. XXXV, that's 35. Times 10—oh, that's not so bad. 350, or CCCL. I could've done that math.
- 38D: Government finger-pointer? (UNCLE SAM). Terrific fill, that, and the clue's great, too.
- 39D: Put under (ETHERIZE). All right, this is way more anachronistic than the former Portuguese currency.
- 49D: "I'll Be Your Shelter" singer Taylor (DAYNE). Terribly rude of singer Taylor Swift to come along with her 5-letter last name when we already had singer Taylor Dayne.
Everything Else — 1A: Rock concert equipment (AMPS); 5A: Washington successor (ADAMS); 10A: Donations to the needy (ALMS); 15A: "The Many Loves of __ Gillis": old sitcom (DOBIE); 16A: Bug spray ingredient (DEET); 18A: Motionless (INERT); 19A: Swan lover of myth (LEDA); 23A: SFO datum (ARR.); 24A: Tint (HUE); 26A: Belt holders (LOOPS); 28A: Lady of Bavaria (FRAU); 31A: Small spasmodic reaction (TIC); 32A: Tablespoon, maybe (DOSE); 42A: Golden rule word (UNTO); 43A: Math subj. (ALG.); 46A: Supporter (ALLY); 47A: Snack chip (NACHO); 50A: Diamonds, to a fence (ICE); 52A: Rent (LET); 58A: Assess (LEVY); 59A: Honor with barbs (ROAST); 62A: First place? (EDEN); 63A: Arm of the sea (INLET); 64A: Ideal for tubing, as a river (LAZY); 66A: Minuscule (TEENY); 67A: Dark clouds, often (OMEN); 3D: Baseball's all-time leader with 4,256 hits (PETE ROSE); 5D: Bye that's bid (ADIEU); 6D: "Death, be not proud" poet (DONNE); 7D: Genesis victim (ABEL); 9D: Complete collections (SETS); 10D: Ignore the script (AD LIB); 11D: Watch in a lustful way (LEER AT); 12D: Florentine ruling family (MEDICI); 13D: Radio annoyance (STATIC); 21D: Beta alternative (VHS); 22D: Zahn of TV news (PAULA); 23D: He played Pierce on "M*A*S*H" (ALDA); 27D: Parisian pop (PERE); 29D: Move, to a Realtor (RELO); 30D: Bass and others (ALES); 34D: Fidel's successor (RAUL); 35D: Lago contents (AGUA); 37D: "I Am...__": Neil Diamond hit (I SAID); 40D: Origin (ROOT); 43D: Strolled lazily (AMBLED); 44D: Texas border city (LAREDO); 45D: Humble oneself shamelessly (GROVEL); 47D: Japanese computer giant (NEC); 50D: "A Doll's House" playwright (IBSEN); 51D: Spiteful (CATTY); 54D: Court order (WRIT); 55D: Top-notch (A-ONE); 56D: New Haven Ivy (YALE); 57D: Unit of mass, briefly (KILO); 61D: Thesaurus wd. (SYN.).