I'll bet no one got 1-Across (Theme of this puzzle) today...unless they had started with the downs.
The envelope, please.
And the answer is...The Oscar.
Nancy Joline's Sunday puzzle was both timely and clever. Each theme answer contained two Academy Award winners...the first as the theme answer itself, and the second in the circled squares within that answer.
It took me longer to crack that than I'd like to admit. I totally skipped the six across theme answers...but managed to figure it out on the first down.
And the theme answers are:
23A: Film (1954), actress (2003) (ON THE WATERFRONT)...with my girl crush, Charlize Theron, in the circles for her chilling portrayal of murderer Aileen Wuornos in "Monster."
37A: Director (2003), actor (1962) (PETER JACKSON)...with Gregory Peck for his role in "To Kill a Mockingbird."
61A: Film (1992), actor (1958) (UNFORGIVEN). David Niven won for "Separate Tables"...unfamiliar to me.
71A: Actor (1934), actor (1995) (CLARK GABLE). As much as I love Nicolas Cage, "Leaving Las Vegas" is not a movie I'd watch again. We had a discussion about it on this blog in the last week or two.
94A: Actress (1986), director (1962) (MARLEE MATLIN)...she for "Children of a Lesser God" and Sir David Lean for "Lawrence of Arabia."
112A: Actress (1983), supporting actor (1999) (SHIRLEY MACLAINE). Talk about tearjerkers...she was excellent in "Terms of Endearment" and I loved Michael Caine as the doctor in "The Cider House Rules." Incidentally, that's when I fell in love with Charlize Theron.
17D: Film (1993), actress (1987) (SCHLINDLER 'S LIST)...a powerful film. Cher was at her best playing Loretta Castorini in "Moonstruck"...which is when I fell in love with Nicolas Cage. This is the theme answer that I was able to crack.
46D: Song (1942), supporting actress (1994) (WHITE CHRISTMAS)...with Dianne Wiest for "Bullets Over Broadway."
Favorites include 15A: Is afflicted with sigmatism (lisps), 25A: Nothing, to Nero (nihil), 42A: Low tie (one all), 49A: Places for runners (sleds), 53A: Granny, in Gelsenkirchen (Oma)...I haven't a clue how I knew that, 73A: Destination of the Bounty in "Mutiny on the Bounty" (Tahiti)...its third appearance in the last few weeks, 79A: Troll dolls, once (fad), 120A: Jerks (spasms)...oh, those jerks, 15D: Jay that chatters (Leno), 16D: At first (initially)...a gimme, 29D: One flying over Hawaii (nene), 33D: Villa in Mexico (Pancho), 74D: "Didn't we just have that?" (again), 77D: Make the beds, dust, etc. (keep house), 88D: Late news? (obit), and 93D: Mother of Paris (Hecuba)...just because I like her name.
I have never heard of 33A: Fish in fish and chips (plaice), but I confirmed it in my trusty dictionary.
Also didn't know Lum and Abner...or their radio show...appearing as connected clues at 109A and 113D.
I do love the way 47D: Capital known as the Venice of the East (Bangkok) looks in the grid...that GK combination.
I remembered 104A: Kwik-E-Mart owner on "The Simpsons" (Apu)...wouldn't have had a clue BNYT (before New York Times).
I thought of several answers for 20A [Emphatic refusal] before I could bring myself to write no no no no...but it sure made me laugh every time I looked at it later.
It was a busy day at home, and I'm beat...so it'll be early to bed for me.
Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.