Tuesday, June 28, 2022, Taylor Johnson



Younger Cornerites, those of you who get your tunes from Spotify, Apple Music, or the ever edgy Pandora (I wouldn't open it if I were you!)  may not have heard of the hipster who is the subject of today's theme.  But those of us of a certain age may remember Spike Jones, who reminds us of a time when music was streamed over the radio or at a sock hop by an R&R impresario known as the

Disc Jockey ...


 ... aka the "Dee Jay" or simply "DJ".  Our Dee Jay today is constructor Taylor Johnson, who first appeared in this venue on May 22, 2022, and who has arranged for us a revealing

40A. Dance club compilation, and what the answers to the starred clues literally are: DJ MIX.

He accomplishes this through 2 pairs of two-word themers.  The first pair consists of an Across and a Down clue, each word beginning with
the letters D and J respectively:

17A. *"Let me enjoy my guilty pleasures!": DON'T JUDGE.  I'm sure many of our parents heard words to that effect from us when we were listening to rock and roll.

30D. *Move that captures two checkers: DOUBLE JUMP.  As the Spotify generation may not have ever played this game, here are the rules.

... and just to mix things up, the second pair of themers consists of an Across and a Down clue, each word beginning with the letters J and D respectively:

63A. *"Feelin' fine!": JUST DANDY.  "Candy's dandy, but liquor's quicker!".  Another phrase often heard during the DJ era.

11D. *Fruity treat often dusted with powdered sugar: JELLY DO-NUT.  A favorite food of the "Boys in Blue" and maybe a clecho to 43A?

To make this all work you might have to turn the puzzle upside-down for the vertical clues, much easier to do if you're solving on paper. 🙄

Here's the grid:

Here's the rest of the word mix ...


1. "Nope": UH UH.

5. Pointers: TIPS.  I wanted dogs.
9. City in northwest Missouri, informally: ST JOESt. Joseph, Missouri was named after the town's founder Joseph Robidoux and the biblical Saint Joseph.  St. Joseph is home to Missouri Western State University. It is the birthplace of 20th-century rapper and songwriter Eminem, but who grew up in and has made his career in Detroit, Michigan. In the nineteenth century, it was the death place of American hero Jesse James (a "dirty little coward" didn't quite see him quite that way). It was also the starting point of the Pony Express serving the West.

14. Kind: SORT.  Oh, THAT kinda SORT.

15. Words after count or sleep: ON IT.  After plugging away at a Saturday crossword early in the morning, sometimes I have to SLEEP ON IT before I can finish, but I can't always COUNT ON IT, because the puzzle's usually pretty wrinkly by the time I get up.

16. Sports complex: ARENA.

19. Shouts: YELLS.

20. Website revenue source: AD SPACE.   Space on a web page reserved for ads.  Somebody has to pay for all of those web developers and it turns out to be us..

21. Director Craven: WESWesley Earl Craven (August 2, 1939 – August 30, 2015) was an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and editor. Due to the cultural impact and influence of his work, Craven has commonly been recognized as one of the greatest masters of the horror genre.  I have not seen any of his films, but I understand that he's a scary guy.  He doesn't look very scary here though:
Wes Craven 2010

23. Chemical in potent drain cleaners: LYE.  Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH), used not only for cleaning drains but for soap making.  My plumber tells me that LYE based drain cleaners corrode not only the goop in your drains, but also the pipes themselves, both metal and PVC.  He recommends an enzymatic cleaner, however it's a lot more expensive.

24. Ankle-length skirt: MAXI.  It turns out that the selection, care, and filling out of MAXI dresses can be very confusing.  Here's some help.
Maxi Dress
26. PlayStation maker: SONY.

28. Contributes: ADDS IN.

32. Ready to go trick-or-treating, say: MASKED UP.   Or ready for a Masquerade Ball, say.  Here's a mask our son brought us back from a trip to Venice, Italy after college:

And here is The Vision Dance Co. performing a Masquerade Ball years later in that same city:

36. Figure of speech: TROPE.  Isn't this what constructors do?  Is this really a Tropeword Puzzle?
Oxford Languages Dictionary

37. Ginger __: ALE.  There is also Ginger BEER.  What's the difference?

38. Love who co-hosted "The Real": LONILoni Love (born July 14, 1971) is an American comedian, television host, actress, author, and former electrical engineer.  Here's the real deal on The Real.   And here's LONI:
Loni Love

39. Pixar film about a jazz pianist: SOULSoul is a 2020 American computer-animated comedy-drama film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.  In this clip jazz pianist Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) zones out during a pickup jam session, and leaves it to quickly find himself in an even stranger zone, where people go to get their personalities before birth:

42. Little cut: SNIP.  The above grid, as well as some of the other images were created with the utility SNIP and SKETCH.

43. Idris of "The Wire": ELBAThis award winning series, starring English actor Idris Elba, was filmed in my hometown.  I've never seen it because we don't subscribe to HBO, but more importantly because it has contributed to making Baltimore THE icon for THE dysfunctional American city.  As if it doesn't have plenty of competition.  Here are some zingers from the series (trigger warning - life is not pretty out on the streets):

44. "Insecure" star Issa: RAEJo-Issa Rae Diop (born January 12, 1985), credited professionally as Issa Rae, is an American actress, writer, producer, and comedian.  Rae first garnered attention for her work on the YouTube web series Awkward Black Girl. Since 2011, Rae has continued to develop her YouTube channel, which features various short films, web series, and other content created by black people.  She was married just last year to Louis Diame in the South of France:

Issa Rae 2021
45. GPS suggestion: ROUTE.

46. Elite athletes: ALL STARS.

48. Moderate gallop: CANTER.  Here's a short video of my granddaughter learning how to CANTER on a horse.

49. Website with tutorials: EHOW.  See 24A for an EHOW on MAXI dresses.

50. Overly confident: SMUG.

52. JFK successor: LBJLyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908 – January 22, 1973), often referred to by his initials LBJ, was an Texas politician who served as the 36th president of the United States from 1963 to 1969, assuming that position after the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22nd, 1963.
Lyndon Baines Johnson

54. Chicken __ king: ALA.

56. "Suppose so": I RECKON.  What LBJ said to JFK when the latter asked the former to to be his running mate.

61. Minestrone and chowder: SOUPS.

65. Allow to enter: ADMIT.

66. Italian bubbly: ASTI.

67. Apollo project destination: MOONOn May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced to a special joint session of Congress the goal of sending a man to the Moon before the end of the decade, thus launching the Apollo ProgramLBJ is on the left behind JFK.  I'm not sure but I believe the fellow to the right is John W. McCormick, then Speaker of the House.
The Decision to Go to the Moon
68. Uses a keyboard: TYPES.

69. Sunbeams: RAYS.  A CSO to Ray - O

70. Humble reply to a compliment: I TRY. And a lot of my friends agree that "I'm very TRYING!"


1. Organic certifying gp.: USDA.  Growing organic food is no longer a niche industry, but one that is rapidly growing.  Here's a place to start if you're considering becoming an organic grower.
2. Parka feature: HOOD.

3. Footed vases: URNS.  The most storied of these is the Sosibios Vase, the subject of poet John Keats' famous ODE.  Looks a little wobbly to me:
Sosibios Vase
Keats' actual sketch of the vase.  Ideals are always more beautiful than reality:

4. URL intro: HTTP.  As I blogged the same clue and fill less than a week ago,  I refer you to clue 61A of my June 23rd review.

5. Bird on Froot Loops boxes: TOUCANKellogg Company recently announced that it will split into three companies, thus anything I say about FROOT (sic) LOOPS may quickly become obsolete.  But it sounds like the TOUCAN, the product's iconic logo, will almost certainly survive its adoptive company.  Its conservation status of Least Concern is actually benefiting from the ongoing deforestation of the Amazon basin, due to the bird's preference for open areas.
6. Handy list in the back of a book: INDEX.  Works of fiction seldom have one, and not all non-fiction books have one.  Without an index the latter are not very handy.  After the Table of Contents, I usually read the Index next, before starting the main text.

7. Swine: PIG.  After the Three Little Pigs, the second most favorite swine is Babe, the sheep herder.

8. Hearty bowlful: STEW.  I think maybe the Goose in Babe might have ended up in one.

9. Gives permission: SAYS OK.

10. Three, in Italian: TRE.

12. "This is __ a test": ONLY.  They used to say that to us in the 6th Grade when we had to duck under our desks.  Too many times of late, it has not been a test.

13. Loosen (up): EASE.

18. Foxx who voices the pianist in 39-Across: JAMIE.  He plays Joe Gardner.

22. English county on the North Sea: ESSEXEssex is a county in the East of England. One of the home counties, it borders Suffolk and Cambridgeshire to the north, the North Sea to the east, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent across the estuary of the River Thames to the south, and Greater London to the south and south-west.  Sounds like it's surrounded.
Essex County, England

25. 11-Down eater's dismayed cry: IM A MESSDO NOT eat JELLY DO-NUTS without a NAPKIN!

27. Country singer Willie: NELSONWillie Hugh Nelson (born April 29, 1933) is an American musician, actor, and activist.  He is considered by many to be the greatest Country singer of all time:
Willie Nelson

Here he is, On the Road Again at the Grand Ole Opry (lyrics)

28. Gone fishing, say: AT SEA.

29. Dryly humorous: DROLL.

31. Frolic in the pool: SPLASHOr a 1984 movie about a Mermaid:

33. "Always Be My Maybe" actress/writer Wong: ALIAlexandra Dawn "Ali" Wong (born April 19, 1982) is an American comedian, actress, and writer. She is best known for her Netflix stand-up specials Baby Cobra (2016), Hard Knock Wife (2018), and Don Wong (2022).  She starred in the film Always Be My Maybe (2019), on which she also served as a writer and producer.  I reviewed several of her videos, and if you want to see one they can be had on YouTube; but I'm sorry to say that none passed Margaret Farrar's Sunday morning breakfast test.  The preceding link, by Maestro Will Shortz, may also be relevant to other discussions recently heard on the Corner.
Ali Wong
34. Bring together: UNITE.

35. Peter, the pickled-pepper picker: PIPER.

40. Feature of some Southern accents: DRAWL.  The Deacon at my Church tells a story about when he was practicing Homiletics (sermonizing) in Seminary.  His instructor had placed a 10 minute limit on the sermons, but Steve kept running over, and finally he was called out for it.  "But professor", Steve said, "it really is a ten minute sermon, but I'm from Hopewell, Virginia and we just talk slower down there".

41. Pickle container: JAR.  Where Peter kept his pickled-peppers.

45. Threw a tantrum: RAGED.

47. Browns lightly: TOASTS.

48. Mayfield of R&B: CURTISCurtis Lee Mayfield (3 June 1942 – 26 December 1999) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer, and one of the most influential musicians behind soul and politically conscious African-American music.  He first achieved success and recognition with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted group The Impressions during the civil rights movement of the late 1950s and the 1960s, and later worked as a solo artist.
Curtis Mayfield
Here's his Move on Up from his debut album Curtis (8:49 min) (lyrics):

Here's a shorter version released on a single (2:46 min) (no lyrics)

51. A bit foggy: MISTY.  A not at all foggy CSO to our Misty.

52. Future atty.'s exam: LSAT.

53. __ language: BODYBody language is a type of communication in which physical behaviors, as opposed to words, are used to express or convey the information. Such behavior includes facial expressions, body posture, gestures, eye movement, touch, and the use of space.  Strictly speaking it is not really a language, as it doesn't have a formal grammar, and it is subject to interpretation.  The "language" suffix is modern, having been added by popular culture.  But body language has been around for a long time:
The Tiff
Frances Carlyle, 1902

55. Slightly open: AJAR.  "When is a door not a door"?  "When it's a pickle container!"

57. Sleeveless top, for short: CAMI.  We had this last Wednesday and it's back by popular demand.

OOPS!  I almost completely forgot!  Today is Tuesday and Hahtoolah will be back soon.  What will she ever think!?

58. Pretzel shape: KNOT
59. Stench: ODOR.

60. Pt. of a B'way address: NY NY.
62. __ chart: PIE.

64. Mex. neighbor: USA.   Sorry, I couldn't find any cartoons on Mexico and its neighbor to the North sans politics.


And as always my thanks to Teri for proofreading and for her constructive criticism.

And finally my thanks to our constructor for his puzzle mix:
Taylor Johnson, you are invited to post anything you'd like to share about this puzzle, its evolution, the theme, or whatever, in the Comments section.  We'd love to hear from you.

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