We're still reviewing it! Buckle up!
This month's theme: gods. Italicized clues either had the name of a god redacted before one could enter it in the puzzle, or was a concatenation of the three missing god names. Hence meta-clue 1A) GODFORSAKEN. Kaboom.
Theme answers, name of the god in bold:
- 28D) Unexpected loather of disgusting digs? (7)
LOATHER (anagram) = RATHOLE
Per Harper's style, the remainder word entered in the puzzle was/is itself a word. So what's a THOLE? Thole? Thole as a noun means a pin for oars; as a verb, "to endure [pain]."
- 38D) Statesmen of a sort break in as an underlying elected Democrat (9)
IN AS AN + (elected = IN) + (Democrat = D) anagram = INDIANANS
- 30A) Eastern elements can be less remote than anything (7)
EASTERN anagram = NEAREST
- 6D) Large portions of insects burrowing into oxhearts (8)
OXHEARTS anagram = THORAXES
Isn't it thoraci? Maybe? Maybe not!
- 3D) Wetting the floor of loo: dingy? Limitlessly! (8)
oF LOO DINGy = FLOODING
Maaaaaaaybe almost tacky for the scatological bent? Maybe? If we at Tackyharperscrypticclues.Blogspot.Com were really on the witch hunt, this would be the clue we would tie to the stake. In semi-related news, here's an episode of Mop Men, which is a spinoff of hilarious web series Ped Crossing. Get involved!
- 39A) Uproar when no garlic is spread around a bit of manicotti (9)
NO GARLIC + (big of manicotti = M) anagram = CLAMORING
- 33D) Grade-A school marms to get schoolbooks (8)
(Grade = G) + S + MARMS (anagram) = GRAMMARS
Maybe a little gauche to feature both Mars and Ares in the themes. Unrelatedly: we think "marm" is one of the greatest words out there, especially when used to describe a style of dress.
- 15A) Dress designer, American, a small maker of big scenes (8)
(Dress designer = DIOR)+ (American = AM) + A + (small = S) = DIORAMAS
20D) Operas, moving, expert—something really far-out! (9)
OPERAS (anagram) + (expert = ACE) = AEROSPACE
13A) Steroid perhaps extracted from moorhen (7)
MOORHEN anagram = HORMONE
We just love "moorhen." Moorhen moorhen!
- 7D) Kid comedian, finally entering less mean—greater, in a funny way (14)
(comedian finally = N) + (less mean = KINDER) + GREATER anagram = KINDERGARTENER
- 25D) Making things run smoothly when following CBS, either winding up really hot or making things dirty! (6)
OILING, where COILING = winding up, BOILING = really hot, SOLING = making things dirty
Such innovative cluing! Don't believe we've ever seen it before! Loved it!
- 29D) For me, is my French turning up first-rate, or cleaner? (7)
(For me = AM) + (my French = MON) + ((first-rate = A1 = AI) turned up = IA) = AMMONIA
- 11A) The biggest dress mother put on (7)
(dress = MAXI) + (mother = MUM) = MAXIMUM
Crosswords and puzzles insist that people say "maxi." Eh! We don't! Do you say it, Richard E. Maltby? Have you ever said to a woman or man, "you look very pretty in that maxi?" You haven't. We know it. You know it. Everyone knows it. The only time anyone says "maxi" is to refer to a pad. sidenote: MARMS wear MAXIS.
- 35A) Woman distributing our mail (7)
OUR MAIL anagram = MARILOU
Marilou = woman? Just kinda dum, and out there. Too vague. What about Henner? Evening Shade. Did you watch that show? We watched that show. Keep the faith.
5D) Uplifting, good, filling—nothing like starchy food (4)
(nothing = O) + (good = G) + (like = AS) reversed = SAGO
What's "sago"? A starch made from palm stems, popular in New Guinea. Tried to make "taco" work for several rounds.
And that's it, faithful solvers! Hopefully something juicy awaits us next month? Until then, tally ho :)