Thursday, March 31, 2022, Lin Josephson



 A Multi-media Meta-theme
Today's constructor is Lin Josephson and I believe this is her debut in the LA Times.  I hope she stops by and tells us a bit about herself. 

Lin cleverly hides today's theme with 3 clues, sans circles or asterisks, that point to what turns out to be an implied reveal at 57A.  As we'll see each of these refers to an 18th Century innovation, but each also has at least one other meaning.  Here are the themers:

20A. Only way to tackle a 57-Across: PIECE BY PIECE.  An album/song by singer/songwriter Kelly Clarkson (lyrics) ...

28A. Question muttered while tackling a 57-Across: WHY WON'T IT FIT?"If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit" famously spoken by Johnnie Cochran, the defense attorney at the O.J. Simpson murder trial in September of 1995.

48A. Popular theme for 57-Acrosses: NATURE SCENES.  Who doesn't like NATURE SCENES?  Here's a recent picture of the Patapsco River that I took at sunset while we were hiking in Patapsco Valley State Park, Maryland.  I plan to have it made into a 57A ...
The Patapsco River

Which brings us to 57A, the implied reveal ...

57A. Challenge commercialized by mapmaker John Spilsbury circa 1760: JIGSAW PUZZLE.  I wonder if John had any idea how much enjoyment he would bring to the world with this simple "teaching tool".  I call this a "Meta-theme", because it is a puzzle about a puzzle, and "Multi-media", because it is about both words and images.

Here's the grid:

Now let's puzzle over some other clues and see what pictures we can conjure up ...


1. Day __: SPA

4. Door support: JAMB.  Door JAMBS are the top and sides of a door frame.  They also play an important part in the Book of Exodus, in the 33D.
Door Frame

8. Keep busy: OCCUPY.

14. China shop threat: OAFBULL wouldn't fit.

15. Native Nebraskan: OTOE.  A CSO to Husker. The Otoe are a Native American people of the Midwestern United States.  The Otoe tribe were historically a semi-nomadic people who lived on the Central Plains along the bank of the Missouri River in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri: 
Otoe Lands

16. Newcomer: ROOKIE.  Here's our favorite rookie, Cal Ripken. The "Iron man" played his entire career with the O's and holds the Major League Baseball record for consecutive games played.

17. Red crawler, perhaps: ANT.  Some but not all "red crawlers" are called FIRE ANTS, but they are not necessarily the same.
Red Fire Ant
18. Patient shopper's reward: SALE.  Better hurry, they might be 24A.

19. Bays, e.g.: INLETS.  We live near the Chesapeake Bay, which is an estuary, or "drowned river", the largest in the US.   Here are some other types of INLETS:

23. Paper bit: SCRAP

24. __ only: sale caveat: ONE TIME.  Until the next time.

32. Modern cash source: ATM.  Automated Teller Machines.  Here's a brief history of these ubiquitous devices, which Paul Volcker once described as the "only useful innovation in banking."

35. Barely flow: SEEP37A tends to move this way.

36. Back nine opener: TENTH.  The first of the last nine holes on a golf course?

37. Gunk: GOO.

38. Jackson Hole's county: TETONTETON county contains all of Grand Teton National Park and 40% of Yellowstone National Park.  One of my grandsons is attending Wyoming Catholic College in the adjacent Fremont County.  The country there is so beautiful that it wouldn't surprise us if he decides to stay.  If so we plan to visit him!

41. Salem's lot?: Abbr.: ORE. Not the novel by Stephen King, but rather Salem, OREGON.

42. Frottage artist Max: ERNSTMax Ernst (born April 2, 1891, Brühl, Germany—died April 1, 1976, Paris, France), German painter and sculptor who was one of the leading advocates of irrationality in art and an originator of the Automatism movement of Surrealism. He became a naturalized citizen of both the United States (1948) and France (1958).  Ernst used Frottage patterns (pencil rubbings of such things as wood grain, fabric, or leaves) as inspiration for his Surrealist works.  I'm afraid I couldn't connect with any of them.

45. 13-Downs heard in pairs: I DOSI Do being a synonym for YES.  Our nephew and his bride exchanged I DOs just a few weeks ago.

47. Contacts list no.: TEL.

52. Aptly named "Music From Big Pink" group: THE BAND.  A Canadian-American group, who played backup for Bob Dylan's first electric tour.  "Big Pink" was the house where they jammed.  Here's The Weight (lyrics), my favorite from that album: 

53. Enlighten: TEACH.  John Spilsbury started out simply to TEACH geography and ended up spawning an industry.

61. Novelist Graham: GREENEGraham Greene, (born October 2, 1904, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England—died April 3, 1991, Vevey, Switzerland), English novelist, short-story writer, playwright, and journalist whose novels treat life’s moral ambiguities in the context of contemporary political settings.
Greene in 1975

64. Sky-high stunt: LOOP.  Also a ubiquitous stunt in computer programs, which sometimes gets the programmer into trouble.

65. Shade on a beach: TAN.

66. Amazon delivery: PARCEL.  It has its faults, but this company has transformed commerce around the world:
67. About: OR SO.

68. PC rescue key: ESC.  As a lefty, I love where IBM decided to put this key.

69. Outpourings: SPATES.

70. First-time biology student, usually: TEEN.

71. Friend of Fidel: CHEFidel Castro that is.  Ernesto "Che" Guevara (14 June 1928 – 9 October 1967) was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia in popular culture.  This photo was cited by the Maryland Institute College of Art as "the most famous photograph in the world":
Che Guevara

1. Cakes not for eating: SOAPS.  Some British mothers did in fact feed their children SOAPS when they said certain words.  Just sayin'.

2. Kind of button or room: PANIC.

3. Time-telling word: AFTER.

4. Margaret of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey": JOSEPHSMargaret Katona Josephs is an American fashion designer, entrepreneur and television personality. She is the owner, founder and designer of a lifestyle brand called Macbeth Collection.  Everything you wanted to know about Margaret and maybe more.
Margaret Josephs

5. Run __: A TAB.

6. "Holy __!": MOLYCOW was too short.  GUACAMOLE was too long.  What else could it be?

7. Car talk?: BEEP.  What horns say?  Car Talk was also an NPR talk radio show broadcast from 1977 to 2012, offering auto repair advice from Click and Clack, alias the "Tappet Brothers".

8. Familiarize: ORIENT.

9. Downfall for Narcissus: CONCEIT.  A myth related by both by the Greek Conon and  the Roman Ovid in his Metamorphosis III.  Narcissus is also the source for the name of the psychological condition known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which seems to be pandemic among contemporary politicians and entertainers. 
John William Waterhouse

10. "Gigi" novelist: COLETTESidonie-Gabrielle Colette (28 January 1873 – 3 August 1954), known mononymously as Colette, was a French author and woman of letters. She was also known as a mime, actress, and journalist. Colette is best remembered for her 1944 novella Gigi, which was the basis for the 1958 film and the 1973 stage production of the same name.
Colette circa 1910
11. Usually four-stringed instrument: UKE.

12. Peach center: PIT.

13. "Without a doubt": YES.

21. Crow's cry: CAW.

22. Charged particle: ION.  There are two types of IONS.  An ANION is negatively charged, having captured an electron to its outer shell.  A CATION is positively charged, having given up an electron from its outer shell.

25. "__ for You": Dylan song to his first wife: IF NOT.  Dedicated to Sara Dylan, "If Not for You" was first released on Dylan's October 1970 album New Morning. It was also issued as the A-side of a single in Europe in early 1971. Here's George Harrison's cover (lyrics).

26. British bishop's headdress: MITRE.  I like to wear one of these when I'm pontificating.  Do they spell it that way in Canada CanadianEh!?
Bishop's Mitre

27. "I Love Lucy" role: ETHEL.  Played by Vivian Vance (née Vivian Roberta Jones; July 26, 1909 – August 17, 1979) was an American actress and singer. Vance was known for playing Ethel Mertz on the sitcom I Love Lucy (1951–1957), which won her the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress, among other accolades. In 1991, she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 
Vivian Vance
29. Up to now: YET.

30. Apt adjective for Stuart Little: WEEStuart Little is a 1945 American children's novel by E.B. White.  It was White's first children's book, and it is now widely recognized as a classic in children's literature.  Looks WEE to me ...

31. Eye-related: OPTIC.  Like much of our language this word is traceable back to Indo European roots.

32. CIA worker: AGENT71A met his fate in Bolivia at the hands of a CIA worker.

33. Synagogue scroll: TORAH.  The TORAH is comprised of the first 5 books of both the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. These books are foundational for both Judaism and Christianity.

34. Three-card con: MONTEThree-card Monte is a confidence game in which the victims, or "marks", are tricked into betting a sum of money, on the assumption that they can find the "money card" among three face-down playing cards. It is very similar to the shell game except that cards are used instead of shells.

39. Literary homage: ODE.

40. Prefix with binary: NON.

43. Sentence focus, grammatically: SUBJECT.  OTOH one could argue that the OBJECT is the objective of a sentence.

44. Newcomer: TRAINEE.  Same clue as 16A.  Identical clues are often used to indicate themers, but not in this case.

46. Attack: SET UPON.

49. Marx co-author: ENGELSFriedrich Engels, (born Nov. 28, 1820, Barmen, Rhine province, Prussia [Germany]—died Aug. 5, 1895, London, Eng.), German socialist philosopher, the closest collaborator of Karl Marx in the foundation of modern communism.
Friedrich Engels
50. '60s protest gp.: SDSStudents for a Democratic Society.  They didn't Weather too well.

51. "Word" with who or me: SEZ.

54. Montezuma follower: AZTECThe Aztecs were a Mesoamerican culture that flourished in central Mexico in the post-classic period from 1300 to 1521. The Aztec peoples included different ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica from the 14th to the 16th centuries.
Aztec Empire in 1519

55. Fail to match: CLASH.  Don't see eye to eye?   Also an English rock bandThe Clash formed in London in 1976 and were key players in the original wave of British punk rock. Billed as "The Only Band That Matters", they also contributed to the post-punk and new wave movements that emerged in the wake of punk and employed elements of a variety of genres including reggae, dub, funk, ska, and rockabilly.  Here's Rock the Casbah (lyrics).

56. Therefore: HENCE.

58. Dozens and dozens: A LOT.

59. Eroded: WORE.

60. "The Thinker" has an iconic one: POSE.  Here's one of my granddaughters POSING with the POSER at the Baltimore Museum of Art.  She is my only left-handed grandchild (see 68A).  "The Thinker" appears to be right-handed.
The Thinkers

61. Traveler's aid, briefly: GPS.  The  Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based radio-navigation system consisting of a constellation of satellites broadcasting navigation signals and a network of ground stations and satellite control stations used for monitoring and control. Currently 31 GPS satellites orbit the Earth at an altitude of approximately 11,000 miles providing users with accurate information on position, velocity, and time anywhere in the world and in all weather conditions.
GPS Satellites

62. Knock hard: RAP.  Sorry, I don't do RAP.

63. Time capsule time: ERA.   A time capsule is an historic cache of goods or information, usually intended as a deliberate method of communication with future people, and to help future archaeologists, anthropologists, or historians. The preservation of holy relics dates back for millennia, but the practice of preparing and preserving a collection of everyday artifacts and messages to the future appears to be a more recent practice. Time capsules are sometimes created and buried during celebrations such as a world's fair, a cornerstone laying for a building, or at other ceremonies.


Thanks as always to Teri for proof reading this review and making constructive suggestions.

I am happy to report that our nephew's wedding near the Gulf coast of Alabama was a truly wonderful experience.  Every person we met in Alabama was friendly, generous, and helpful.  We liked it so much we may go back there for a vacation.