After an 8-week dry spell – the longest interval I can remember — another Sunday puzzle completed with no errors. Though I completed several during that period, they contained one or two mistakes, stupid or otherwise.
Theme: Back to the Start
It wasn’t too difficult to figure out the meaning: In each of the theme answers, the last word is missing three letters, and going “back to the start,” they are the first three letters of the first word.
23A. Aide for a V.I.P. customer = Personal Shop(per)
25A. Multiple Grammy winner who was a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars” = Toni Brax(ton)
35A. Prozac, for one = Anti-Depress(ant)
59A. Freudian Concept = Pleasure Princi(ple)
78A. Mountains, rivers, plains, etc. = Physical Geogra(phy)
99A. Fancy salad ingredient = Artichoke He(art)
117A. London transportation = Undergro(und)
119A. Marlon Brando film = On the Waterfr(ont)
I didn’t have a clue about the following:
26A. Paper nautilus, e.g. = Octopod
89A. Actor Hill of “Moneyball” = Jonah (Michael saw the movie but I didn’t.)
92A. Spanish winds = Aires.
124A. Fastener patented in 1939 = Twist Tie
These I got quite easily:
20A. Stern taking a bow (in two senses) = Isaac
48A. Gore in fiction = Vidal
86A. “The Magnificent Seven” co-star = (Steve) McQueen. (My first thought was Yul Brynner. But though the number of letters in his last name fit, it became immediately apparent that they wouldn’t work with the surrounding answers.) .
122A. “Cheers” bartender Sam = Malone (I watched it during the early years.)