Good luck to everyone competing at Boswords today. Lollapuzzoola is coming up in just under two weeks. I hope I’ll see you at the latter.
Solution to August 6, 2017 crossword, “Themeless No. 5”
No theme today, so let’s jump right to some notable answers and clues among this 128-worder:
- 27A: [Wild man’s facial hair, perhaps?] is PLAYOFF BEARD. This was one of my two seed entries for this puzzle and my wife inspired me to use it when she teased me for having one myself. It refers to a beard that an athlete grows out during the postseason and doesn’t shave until it’s over. It’s a hockey thing, but it has branched out to become an “other sports” thing too.
- 58A: [Ancient venue built between the Aventine and Palatine hills] is CIRCUS MAXIMUS. Site of chariot races.
- 63A: [It discourages singing] is CODE OF SILENCE. Singing doesn’t refer to music here, though it sounds like it should. Instead it’s about informing the cops or authorities.
- 67A: [Angel Trout, e.g.] is CENTER FIELDER. That would be Mike Trout, who’s considered by many to be the best player in baseball today. At first I was going to make this clue just [Trout, e.g.], but I threw in the Angel to sorta help you a little. Another famous center fielder from history is TRIS Speaker, although I didn’t clue him at 31D: [Narrator of the “Divergent” book trilogy].
- 99A: [Bodybuilder’s attire, perhaps] is STRING BIKINI. I thought it would be a little dull to clue it as [Beach attire] or some such, so this angle seemed interesting.
- 106A: [1972 hit covered by Thelma Houston and the Winans in the soundtrack to a 1989 film of the same name] is LEAN ON ME. They also sing it during a big auditorium scene in the movie.
- 4D: [“West Coast” singer] is LANA DEL REY. Give it a listen.
- 14D: [Exhibition football games] is FRIENDLIES. “Football” here refers to soccer. Hmm, that’s already a fair number of sports-related clues among the longer entries.
- 19D: [Joy ___ (2015 Oscar-winning role for Brie Larson)] is Joy NEWSOME. This was originally going to be a sports-related clue too, referring to NFL Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome, but then I found this.
- 61D: [Fast-food offering seen in many promotional farewell tours since 2005] is MCRIB. I’ve never had it, but I guess McDonald’s figured that periodically retiring the McRib and bringing it back is a good business move.
- 68D: [Breakout session?] is ESCAPE ROOM. My other seed entry for the puzzle. My wife, some friends and I escaped from an intergalactic-themed room last month. Here’s some silly proof of our success.
- 101D: [2000 Radiohead album that features “The National Anthem”] is KID A. It’s rare for me to get excited to use a four-letter entry, but this is one of my favorite albums of any band. Give “The National Anthem” a listen.
Heads up: Next week’s crossword has a metapuzzle. You’ve got this.