Themeless 15

puz | pdf | solution

How about a juicy, not too difficult themeless with references to con artists, schismatics, the best music documentary I’ve ever seen, and a classic novel of anti-colonialism?  You won’t find that just anywhere, you know.  Enjoy and share!

View from the back of the Summer Palace (St. Petersburg) (see 16 and 19 Across)

Two bits of housekeeping before my usual rambling notes:

First, a big thank you to my son Adam and to Josh Audibert for helping me through an annoying technical issue.  Plug time:  Adam’s iPhone and iPad app Albums – album focused player is a powerful, flexible, and engaging music player, available on the App Store at  Josh publishes fun, creative daily minis on his Odd Bear Puzzles site,  Solve them if you’re not already doing so!

Second, in an effort (vain in one sense but hopefully not in another) to drive more traffic to this site, I’ve ordered hats with my site’s logo on it (picture below).  If you’d like one —ABSOLUTELY FREE — before they hit the runway in Paris, email me at with your address.

25A:  I hope the 33/45 reference isn’t lost on too many solvers.  In a world where CDs are as outdated as calculators, the vinyls of my youth (almost all of which I still have, thank you very much, as well as a turntable to play them on) are just so many abaci.

27A:  This song charted well in the UK but got little air play in the US, apparently because it references cross-dressing.

38A:  The major monotheistic religions mostly share the same admirable ethical precepts.  But historically, and still today, many adherents of these religions have ignored their faith’s teachings and clashed violently over what, to the outside observer (e.g., anyone practicing a different religion) is doctrinal hair-splitting with little ethical import.  This answer is but one example.  Pedantic lecture over (until the next one).

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