Theme: How to compose a movie pun. Each grid spanning theme answer began its life as a movie title, and by replacing a sound alike word (or words) with the name of a famous composer, a new movie title emerges to the guffaws of many. Having all the theme answers 15 letters obviously took lots of searching of movie titles, as well as undercurrents of more music, more movies and a sub-text of war. Let's see how it all turns out.
17A. Biopic about a time-traveling composer?: BACH TO THE FUTURE. JS BACH transforms from the Michael J. Fox series which began with BACK TO THE FUTURE. This one cheated a bit as the sound is off.
27A. Biopic about a composer who is unrecognized in public?: HAYDN PLAIN SIGHT. Another tricky one as you have to know the pronunciation of JOSEPH'S name sounds like HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT, a James Caan movie that may have started the genre of mysteriously disappearing wives. The music was the perfect lead into....
48A. Biopic about a composer from a WWII hero's perspective?: SCHINDLER'S LISZT. Where Franz replaces a very moving true story, SCHINDLER'S LIST. To lighten the mood, I suggest this rendition of HUNGARIAN RHAPSODY II.
63A. Biopic about a composer fighting his inner demons?: BATTLE OF BRITTEN. I was unfamiliar with the work of this British COMPOSER who wrote operas, but I enjoyed the movie BATTLE OF BRITAIN, which had a great CAST.
As you can see we already have direct and indirect references to World War II, and now to continue our tour of duty, corporal Lemonade here as your guide.
1. Pale: WAN.
4. Mozzetta wearer: ABBOT. This is the little cape worn by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.
9. Sat: POSED. As in, sat for the portrait.
14. "Exodus" hero: ARI. Played by the late Paul Newman, who many do not know was half Jewish. The war of independence for Israel.
15. Intimate: CLOSE. Well I guess you have to get close to be intimate.
16. Key scene for bursting bombs?: IN AIR. I love this misdirection, with Francis Scott Key and his famous lyric, music bonus #1. More war.
20. "... like __ buzzing in blind fury": Pyle: A BEE. The full quote is, " About every two minutes a wave of planes would be over. The motors seemed to grind rather than roar, and have an angry pulsation, like a bee buzzing in blind fury." Written by the Pulitzer prize winning World War II correspondent ERNIE PYLE who died on the battlefield in Okinawa. More war.
21. Go after: CHASE. Like when you play golf, you go after your ball.
22. Traveling, in a way: ASEA. Our favorite A word.
23. Builder's options: SITES. This actually may mean houses, or we can webify it into websites.
25. __ avis: RARA. Not rare around here, lately.
34. Heavy: SOLEMN. Like certain duty.
35. Rondeaux, e.g.: POEMS. I will let our resident expert CA explain more, but this is a formalized type of poetry. The most famous of which I have any knowledge is In Flanders Fields by John McCrae, which is about World War I.
36. Go astray: SIN. Hey, it was only an extra cookie.
39. Switch words: ON OFF. Simple, but I liked it.
41. Political pacifier: SOP. An old timey word, that I believe fits more than politics.
42. Ruled quarters?: ROOST. King of the hill, hence the name Rooster.
45. Devised, with "up": DREAMT. Like so many schemes in life.
53. Absorbed by: INTO. Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, what is the Corner into these days?
54. Legendary luster: SATYR. Love a good alliterative clue.
55. Tiny amount: IOTA. A Greek letter, which was like our little i, and to signify nothing would be changed, not a single IOTA would be altered.
57. Sting: SMART. This interesting synonym pair can mean both physical and mental pain.
62. Zilch: NADA. Zip, Zero, Nothing, Nil and on and on.
66. Grenoble's river: ISERE. Must for puzzle doing.
67. Put to the test: TRIED. Yes, the product was tried and true.
68. Former transp. regulator: ICC. Interstate Commerce Commission was charged with overseeing the railroads; created under President Grover Cleveland, it later regulated trucking, but it was discarded during the great deregulation wave of the 80's and 90's.
69. Itzhak Perlman choice: STRAD. The great violinist like his Stradivarius, a bonus music.
70. Takes to the cleaners: HOSES. Eh,
71. Canadian LPGA golfer Dawn __-Jones: COE. This was obscure, but very short, so it should not have been a problem.
On to the rest.
1. Indiana county or its seat: WABASH. Interestingly, the home of one of the rail companies regulated by the ICC, and the name of a famous train of song, the Wabash Cannonball.
2. Where Mecca is: ARABIA. Where the pilgrimage ends.
3. Civilized feature: NICETY. Yes, let us all play together and observe the niceties.
4. Put-on: ACT. The put-on, like Andy Kaufman, or Cliff Arquette as Charlie Weaver used to be more popular.
5. Alliance: BLOC. For example, the now defunct Soviet bloc.
6. This and that: BOTH. Another simple, but deceptive little clue.
7. Pub. of a "Distracted Driving" brochure: OSHA. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
8. Some shirts: TEES. Remember when they were just undershirts and not shirts?
9. More, in music: PIU. More bonus music, I wish I were JzB, but I think it just means more, like PIU Allegro, would mean faster.
10. Where London is: ONTARIO. Very nice, as Canada has its own London near Toronto.
11. Some links: SAUSAGES. I wanted a golf course, especially since there are so many links courses in....
12. Limerick land: EIRE. Ireland.
13. "The Sopranos" actress __ de Matteo: DREA. The poor waitress who hooks up with Chris, becomes a government spy and pays the ultimate price- working on a sitcom with Matt LeBlanc.
18. Doesn't ignore: HEEDS.
19. Spore producer: FERN. Ah, spring and Allegra not allegro.
24. Cat lead-in: SNO. Geez, again?
26. Old Egyptian symbol: ASP. This snake is back.
28. Abbas's gp.: PLO. Mahmoud Abbas took over the Palestine Liberation Organisation upon the death of Yasser Arafat, and won't let go, causing another rift between Fatah and Hamas.
29. He appeared in eight consecutive U.S. Open finals: LENDL. Ivan, a Czech star who along with countryman Petr Korda has raised a daughter who is looking to play professional golf.
30. Love overseas: AMORE. Sounds more romantic doesn't it.
31. Figure: INFER. Another stretch here, but I figured it out from the clue.
32. Ins. plan: HMO. Health Maintenance Organisation
33. 1/48 cup: Abbr.: TSP. When you read the recipe and it says a cup of sugar, remember it is 48 teaspoons.
36. Yearbook sect.: SRS. Seniors.
37. Games org.: IOC. International Olympic Committee.
38. Historic game: NO HITTER. usually a shut out as the opposition has no hits, from baseball where we also get, 47D. Three-time A.L. shutout leader of the '60s-'70s: TIANT. Luis, who had the unnerving motion where he completely turned his back to the plate before delivering the ball, making the batter wonder where it might come from, and maybe they did not sit comfortably as he pitched for the Indians and the Red Sox when they almost won. 60D. Sluggers' stats: RBIS. Which nobody gets if there is a shut out.
40. Musical syllables: FAS. More music.
43. 1953 Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner: SINATRA. Wow, music and war and another movie, all in one clue. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY is a very powerful war movie with another great cast.
44. Big bang producer: TNT. Not the CBS TV show after all, Penny and Raj! Shocking!
46. L.A. Galaxy's gp.: MLS. Major League Soccer; sort of like Charlie Sheen's Baseball movie.
49. Pharmacy concern: DOSE. and DESE, and DEM.
50. Trouble: STATIC. People used to say, "don't give me any static", I wonder if it was because they listened to the radio so much.
51. Louisiana folk music: ZYDECO. More music, Hahtool, you want to explain,as this was my learning moment as I did not know this STYLE.
52. Daze: TRANCE.
55. Wading bird: IBIS. Mascot for the Miami Hurricanes, why?
56. Brewery feature: OAST. Another recent regular clue.
58. Evening flier: MOTH. I do not believe Florida is a healthy climate for moths.
59. Full do: AFRO. Hairdo.
61. Corner: TREE. Hunting dogs often chase their prey up a tree; dogs are not great in trees.
64. Brought: LED. You got me supply your own explanation.
65. Some tags: IDS.
Well like I said this is Lemonade, back in the saddle, or the tank turret, after a week off when I left poor Marti with the whole blogging world in tatters. I do not know if that was fate protecting me, or teasing her, but I expect to be back again, you all take care.
Notes from C.C.:
1) Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary to Linda.
2) Happy Birthday to the wicked fun guy Mainiac & a belated Happy Birthday to Grumpy & M.J.
3) Safe travels, Dennis. Don't stray from the blog too long.