Tuesday, July 26, 2022 / Mary Lou Guizzo and Jeff Chen

Game Night.  The END word of each theme answer is a board GAME.

16-Across. *   "Now you see what I deal with every day": WELCOME TO MY LIFE.

26-Across. *   "Our goose is cooked": WE'RE IN TROUBLE.

40-Across. *   Tools that may make one say, "Damn you, autocorrect!": SPELL CHECKERS.

54-Across. *   "No idea": I HAVEN'T GOT A CLUE.

And the unifier:

62-Across. Last stage of a chess match, and what each answer to a starred clue literally has: ENDGAME. Everything you wanted to know about the Endgame, but didn't know to ask.

1. Rental for some exercise classes: YOGA MAT.  Yuck!  Sorry, but I would never rent a Yoga Mat.

8. Vice President Harris: KAMALA.

Kamala Devi Harris (b. Oct. 20, 1964)

14. Make move, as a cartoon: ANIMATE.

15. Grapefruit kin: POMELOS.  The Pomelo is native to Southeast Asia.

18. Clandestine org.: NSA.  As in the National Security Agency.

19. Shortfin shark: MAKO.

20. Facts and figures: DATA.  Hi, Picard!

21. EMT's skill: CPR.  The Emergency Medical Technician better know how to perform CardioPulmonary Resuscitation.

24. More than fix up: REDO.

32. Color selection tools: PALETTES.  One of Van Gogh's palettes as seen in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

33. Defeat badly: TROMP.

35. Extended a performance, in a way: ENCORED.

36. "The Good Doctor" actress Thomas: ANTONIA.  I have never seen The Good Doctorso was not familiar with Antonia Thomas (née Antonia Laura Thomas; b. Nov. 3, 1986).

38. "Their Eyes Were Watching God" novelist Zora __ Hurston: NEALE.  Zora Neale Hurston (Jan. 7, 1891 ~ Jan. 28, 1960) makes frequent guest appearances in the puzzles.

39. Stereo components: SPEAKERS.

43. Fly high: SOAR.

44. "Jeopardy!" co-host Jennings: KEN.  Ken Jennings (né Kenneth Wayne Jennings, III; b. May 23, 1974) has made a pretty good living with his trivia knowledge.  Not only was Jeopardy! good to him, both as a contestant and a host, but he has appeared on other trivia game shows, such as Masterminds and The Chase.

45. Regarding: AS TO.

49. Heavy burden: ONUS.

51. Cake mix need: EGG.

59. Desert illusions: MIRAGES.

60. Source of pint-sized beverages?: MINI-BAR.

61. Use: EMPLOY.

1. Show sleepiness: YAWN.

2. Tip jar bills: ONES.

3. __ monster: lizard: GILA.  //  And 8-Diwn. __ dragon: lizard: KOMODO.  What is the difference between a Gila Monster and a Komodo Dragon?

4. Theater chain initials: AMC.  As in American Multi-Cinema.

5. Chairman who led China's Cultural Revolution: MAO.

6. Bank drive-thru device: ATM.  The Automated Teller Machine is a crossword staple.

7. Swarm (with): TEEM.

9. "Vice" Oscar nominee Adams: AMY.  Amy Lou Adams (b. Aug. 20, 1974) portrayed Lynne Chaney in the movie Vice.

10. Blend: MELD.

11. "Search Party" actress Shawkat: ALIA.  Alia Martine Shawkat (b. Apr. 18, 1989) also portrayed Maeby Fünke on Arrested Development.

12. Hay storage area: LOFT.

13. Drifting aimlessly: ASEA.

15. "__ Face": Lady Gaga hit: POKER.

17. Small fruit pastries: TARTS.

21. New Orleans cuisine: CREOLE.  Creole versus Cajun cuisine.

22. Seabirds that often follow ships: PETRELS.  Everything you wanted to know about Petrels, but didn't know to ask.

23. Solemn ceremony: RITE.

25. Scene not meant to be seen: OUTTAKE.

26. Decreases in strength: WANES.

27. Yosemite peak, familiarly: EL CAP.  El Capitan, affectionally known as El Cap, is more than just a big rock.

28. "The Simpsons" neighbor Flanders: NED.

29. Kaput: BROKEN.

30. Solitary sort: LONER.

31. Kuwaiti rulers: EMIRS.

32. Ballpoint, e.g.: PEN.   A brief history of the Ballpoint Pen.

34. Faux __: PAS.  Today's French lesson.

36. Tailless primate: APE.

37. Bottle part: NECK.

39. "So what" shoulder gesture: SHRUG.

41. __ Tunes: LOONEY.

42. Leans to one side: CANTS.  Probably the most famous CANTer in the world ...

45. Je t'__: French "I love you": AIME.  More of today's French lesson.

46. Leveling device: SHIM.

47. Canvas cover: TARP.

Blue tarps after a hurricane

48. Avocado shape: OVAL.

50. A few: SOME.

51. Idris of "Luther": ELBA.  Idris Elba (né Idrissa Akuna  Elba;b. Sept. 6, 1972) also played Stringer Bell on The Wire.

52. "Where America's Day Begins": GUAM.  According to this article, Guam is not technically where America's Day Begins.

53. "Chicago" star Richard: GERE.  Richard Tiffany Gere (b. Aug. 31, 1949) starred in many, many movies.

55. Sense of self: EGO.

56. Metal container: TIN.

57. Plus: AND.

58. Smoke, briefly: CIG.

Here's the Grid:


Today would have been my mother's 92nd birthday.  Sadly, it is also the day that I lost my grandmother, who died 20 years ago today, just 1 week shy of her 96th birthday.