Wednesday, May 26, 2021 Winston Emmon


 Theme: Stagecraft.  The last lines of the theme entries construct a PLAY, from the ground up.

20 A. Reveal more than is acceptable, say: CROSS THE LINE.  Go to far, in almost any context

36 A. Bicker in public, say: CAUSE A SCENE.  Who would ever do this?

42 A. Avoid involvement: REFUSE TO ACT.  See no evil, avoid taking a side.

54 A. Miss a bunt sign, say: BOTCH THE PLAY.  Any sort of offensive or defensive mis-play in a sport

And the unifier: 63. The four longest Across answers can cause it, and their last words suggest it: DRAMA.

Each entry, in order, specifies a larger portion of a theatrical production - though, since all the world's a stage,  DRAMA can ensue independently with any of the theme clues.

Hi, Gang, JazzBumpa here to direct our way through this presentation.  Let's not miss any cues. 


1. Yearn: LONG.  Earnestly desire something

5. Son of Homer: BART.  On the long-running Simpsons TV show

9. New Zealand bird: KIWI. 

13. Decorate: ADORN.  Presumably enhance the beauty of.

15. Son of Isaac: ESAU.  Biblical twin.

16. Turkmenistan neighbor: IRAN.  In Western Asia, 

17. Homeland of Heraclitus: IONIA.   An ancient region on the central part of the western coast of Anatolia in present-day Turkey, 

18. The Heritage Foundation, for one: THINK TANK.  A research institute that advocates for program actions regarding economics, social policy, political strategy, etc.  

22. Philosopher __-tzu: LAO.  Commonly rendered as "Old Master,"  a semi-legendary figure taught to have live in either the 4th or 6th century BCE.  Read about him here.

23. Miami-to-Kingston dir.: SSE.  South-south-east to Jamaica.

24. Texting format, for short: SMS. Short Message Service.

27. __-bitty: ITTY.  Teeny tiny.

30. H.S. record: GPA. Grade Point Average from your Time in High School.

33. "Can we do this?": IS IT OK?   Are we allowed?

35. Crow call: CAW.  Sound of crows - if there is a crow call roll call, it could lead to murder.

38. Island greeting: ALOHA.  In Hawaii

40. Chiefs' org.: NFL. Kansas City tea in the National Football League.

41. Chillingly strange: EERIE.  Disturbingly mysterious.

45. Bottom line: NET.  The final total of a balance sheet or other financial document.

46. Password preceder: USER I D. You need both to get past a pay wall.

47. Messenger __: RNA.  A single-stranded molecule of RNA that corresponds to the genetic sequence of a gene, and is read by a ribosome in the process of synthesizing a protein. 

48. Reel holders: RODS. Fishing gear

49. Sun. speech: SERmon, delivered in church.

50. Never, to Nietzsche: NIE.  German.

52. Biol. or ecol.: SCI.  Sciences.

60. Sleeveless undergarments: CAMISOLES.  Usually made of satin , nylon, silk or cotton


64. Track shape: OVAL. A closed planar curve having a long axis and a short axis.

65. Hindu deity: RAMA.  The 7th avatar of Vishnu.  {more]

66. Peter, vis-‡-vis pumpkins: EATER.   From a nursery rhyme about revenge on a wayward wife. 

67. Like some basements: DANK.  Dark, cold and damp.

68. Recipe verb: STIR.  Blend with mixing device.

69. Await judgment: PEND. Remain undecided.


1. Not clerical: LAIC.  Not of the clergy.

2. Skunk tipoff: ODOR. The unpleasant aroma of butyl mercaptan.

3. Taboo: NONO.  Something to not do.

4. Like details that make you go "Eww!": GRISLY.

5. One of the March sisters: BETH.  She dies during the course of Little Women, an 1868 novel by Louisa May Alcott

6. Arthur of tennis: ASHE.  Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr. [1943-1993] won three grand slam singles titles, and was the first black player selected to the U.S. Davis Cup team. 

7. Train tracks: RAILS.

8. North African country: TUNISIA.  The northernmost country in Africa, along the Mediterranean Sea, bordered by Algeria to the west and Lybia to the east.


 9. Toy on a string: KITE.  Or could be a yoyo, as I first thought .

10. George's lyricist: IRA.  The Gershwin brothers

11. Pale: WAN. In an unhealthy way.

12. Printer fluid: INK.

14. "Apollo 11" org.: NASA. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the U.S. federal government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and space research. 

19. Israeli parliament: KNESSET.  The Knesset passes all laws, elects the president and prime minister (although the latter is ceremonially appointed by the President), approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government. In addition, the Knesset elects the state comptroller.

21. Frat party garb: TOGA. The toga, a distinctive garment of ancient Rome, was a roughly semicircular cloth, between 12 and 20 feet in length, draped over the shoulders and around the body. It was usually woven from white wool, and was worn over a tunic

24. Fondue fuel: STERNO.  Jellied denatured alcohol in a can, used for buffet heating.

25. Affluent: MONIED.  Wealthy.

26. Robot companion of superhero Booster Gold: SKEETS. More here, in case you care.

27. Wax-winged flier of myth: ICARUS.  He flew too close to the sun.  Could this be a metaphor?

28. "Unto the Sons" memoirist: TALESE. Gay Talese [b 1932] started as a sports writer in high school, and as a journalist for The New York Times and Esquire magazine during the 1960s, he helped to define contemporary literary journalism. 

29. BOGO offering: TWOFER. Buy One, Get One [at no extra charge}: two for the prices of one.

31. Fourth-down play: PUNT.  In American football, a play that gives up the ball by kicking it down the field to give the opposing team a less advantageous position.
32. Concerning: AS FOR.  In regard to

34. Drink cooler: ICE.  Frozen water.

36. Foxwoods and Caesars: CASINOS.  Gambling establishments.  Remember - odds always favor the house.

37. Vigorous spirit: ELAN.   Energy, style and enthusiasm.

39. Ben-__: HUR.  An epic 1959 film set in A.D. 26 about a Jewish prince in Jerusalem betrayed into slavery by a Roman commander who was his childhood friend.  After that, DRAMA happens.

43. Masthead names: EDITORS.   The masthead is a printed list, published in a fixed position in each edition, of a publication's owners, departments, officers, contributors and address details.

44. Credit alternative: CASH.  Money handed over.

48. Breakwater material: RIPRAP.  Loose stone piled in place to prevent shore erosion.

51. Dazzling display: ECLAT.  Brilliant success.

53. Surrender, as land: CEDE.  To yield or grant, typically by treaty.

54. Defraud: BILK.  Cheat.

55. Prefix with sphere: HEMI.  Indicating half of

56. Winter Palace resident: TSAR. Pre- WWI Russian despot.

57. Of __: recently: LATE.  Currently

58. Congregation cry: AMEN.  Utterance at the end of a prayer, meaning "so be it."

59. Very tall beer glass: YARD.  

60. "Sacred" fish carving in the Massachusetts State House: COD.   Read about it here.

61. "Selma" director DuVernay: AVA.  Ava Marie DuVernay [b 1972] is an American filmmaker. She won the directing award in the U.S. dramatic competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for her second feature film Middle of Nowhere, becoming the first black woman to win the award.

62. Hombre: MAN.  Spanish

And so we draw the curtain on another Wednesday.  Hope you found it worth the price of admission.

Cool regards!

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