“Pontification” by Joon Pahk – 14:08
March 15 is the Ides of March. March 17 is St Patrick’s Day. March 21 is the first day of spring. What about poor March 19? Well, it turns out March 19 is Pope Day. So ACPT B Division Champion and Co-Fiend Joon Pahk celebrates with a puzzle that adds the names of popes to various phrases.
23A. [Suave business dealings?] - URBAN E-COMMERCE. More famous than Pope Rural.
33A. [Totally stormy?] – ALL INCLEMENT. Popes love to play poker.
52A. [Ingredient for making gunpowder during Passover?] – KOSHER SALTPETER. Passover and the Pope…I better say no more on this one.
[And we're back. My laptop just overheated and did an automatic shutdown. I'm not sure why, but no more pope jokes just in case.]
71A. [Blessing from a Roman deity?] – SATURN BENEDICTION
88A. [Former Treasury secretary who couldn't keep to a budget?] – PRODIGAL PAULSON
121A. [Wondrous Bauhaus School founder?] – MIRACLE GROPIUS. Walter Gropius.
104A. [Game in which money talks?] – SIMOLEON SAYS. I don’t mean to be rude but…
14A. [Man of rags] – JOPLIN
25A. [Bowl with a lid] – TOILET. In a pope puzzle. Nice, Joon.
26A. [TV's "Uncle Miltie"] – BERLE
63A. [Birthplace of karate] – OKINAWA/40D. [Sony co-founder Morita] – AKIO. A rarely seen Japanese crossing.
77A. [CB sign-off] – TEN FOUR
117A. [March 14, to math teachers] – PI DAY. 3.14, get it? Those wacky math teachers.
125A. [Museo de El Greco setting] – TOLEDO. I’m waiting for the [Ohio birthplace of Jeffrey's mother] clue.
127A. [Jazz great Coleman] – ORNETTE
129A. ["The Queen of Tejano Music"] – SELENA
130A. [Unmentionable place?] – DRESSER. Hah.
3D. [Cuba ___ (rum drink)] – LIBRE. Is it me or has this appeared a lot lately?
7D. [Virtuoso pieces] – TOCCATAS
11D. [Busy mo. for CPAs] – APR. Shout out to accountants!
19D. [Tag line?] – NOT IT. Watch your parsing. There are popes present.
29D. ["Three ___ and One DJ" (Beastie Boys song)] – MCS
32D. [Cowardly Lion's portrayer] – LAHR
41D. [Hit on the head] – BONK. My word of the day. Everyone please say BONK at some point today.
42D. [Required H.S. course, often] – US HISTORY. I didn’t know that the history of a celebrity gossip magazine was taught in U.S. high schools.
49D. [Like some pricey headphones] – ANTI-NOISE. Are cheap headphones pro-noise?
82D. [Bro] – HOME SLICE. I’m not up on this groovy slang.
87D. [Stop up] – SEAL
90D. [“This ___ quest…” (“The Impossible Dream” lyric)] – IS MY
91D. [Makes big decisions for others] – PLAYS GOD. Careful. (See also 111D. [Changes some clues, perhaps] – EDITS)
94D. [Part of a Mountie's outfit] – STETSON
108D. [Roberto Duran's uncle?] – NO MAS
Nice job, Joon. How about famous rabbis next week?
I leave you, for no particular reason, with Petula Clark singing “Downtown“