Wow. These guys really know what they're doing! Full disclosure: One of today's constructors is my Fake Crossword Boyfriend. So right up front, just to let you know I'm not playing favorites I will say that NEEDLE HOLE stinks to high heaven. I mean, that's just pathetic. And the clue makes it even worse. Perhaps Doug or Brad will stop by and explain themselves. Now that we got that out of the way ….
Wow! Love the long answers, love the cluing — this is just an all-around excellent puzzle. As usual on a Saturday, there were several things that I just flat-out didn't know. Like:
- 1A: Single-season RBI record-holder since 1930 (HACK WILSON). Never heard of him, but that's a pretty awesome achievement. According to his Wikipedia page, Wilson played for the New York Giants, the Chicago Cubs, the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the Philadelphia Phillies. In the first game he ever played as a professional, he broke his leg. And he died at age 48. Sounds like he had an interesting, but unfortunately short, life.
- 16A: __ de soie: bridal gown fabric (PEAU). Let's just say I'm not an expert on bridal gown fabrics.
- 25A: Esmeralda's goat in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (DJALI). I didn't know this, but I think it's probably fair. That's a super unfortunate cross with 26D: Cryer in a sitcom though. JON Cryer? Seriously? For those of you who don't know, he's on "Two and a Half Men." Oh wait, he was also in "Pretty in Pink" back in the day. Maybe I should have known him. Whatever the case, that J was the last letter I put in the grid and I'm gonna guess I'm not alone.
A lot of medium and long sparkly fill in this grid. I particularly enjoyed IN RARE FORM and ONE-MAN ARMY (60A: Knocking 'em dead / 65A: Rambo, notably). BLUE PERIOD looks good in the grid, as does BAR SCENE (30D: Years in which Picasso's art took a somber turn / 40D: What eHarmony users can avoid). Oh and BATMOBILE (13D: Wheels in a cave)! And MOB RULE! Those are awesome! I'm not sure I've ever seen the word 39A: Ochlocracy before, but the answer materialized pretty easily nonetheless.
- 20A: "Cinderella" opener? (CEE). This is one of those literal letter clues that we see on occasion. The word "Cinderella" starts with the letter C (cee).
- 21A: Like season 8 of "Dallas" (DREAMT). Oh yeah, I had a misstep here too. I tried "a dream" first. At least I knew what the clue was getting at though! (By the way, we all still agree that whole dream thing was stupid, right?)
- 29A: Dealt with a fatal error, perhaps (REBOOTED). Since you're all reading this, I assume you didn't have any troublel catching onto the computer jargon.
- 37A: "Moriae Encomium" author (ERASMUS). I don't know this title, and I just barely know this author, but the answer became clear with a few crosses in place.
- 3D: "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming," e.g. (CAROL). See this is the difference between early- and late-week puzzles. On Monday this clue would be "Hark the Herald Angels Sing." But Saturday? Something you've never heard of. (And by "you," I of course mean "I.")
- 8D: Fed. loan source (SBA). Small Business Administration.
- 9D: GOP segment? (OLD). GOP = Grand Old Party.
- 12D: First actress to play Yente in Broadway's "Fiddler on the Roof" (BEA ARTHUR). Who knew? I loved Maude.
- 32D: Any of the "Ocean's" movies, e.g. (HEIST FILM). I'm a big fan of the "Ocean's" movies. Of course I'm the one who, when PuzzleSister asked me back in 1996 which movie I thought would win Best Picture, replied with no hesitation "The Rock."
- 34D: Ultra-reliable team members (MAINSTAYS).
- 55D: Big name in TV talk (TYRA). Tyra Banks. Can't say I'm a fan.
Well, it's supposed to be a gorgeous day here in the D.C. metro area, so I'm going to try to get outside. Oh, but one quick announcement before I go. Some of you may know that I typically don't solve the Sunday puzzles. I post the grid, the theme, and the answers for you, but there's no write-up. Well tomorrow (speaking of Doug Peterson!) Doug Peterson will be here to get the conversation started on the Sunday syndicated puzzle. So come on back!
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Everything Else — 11A: This ans. is one (ABBR.); 15A: Not beyond belief (IMAGINABLE); 17A: Elementary level (FIRST GRADE); 18A: Focus of some H.S. prep courses (SAT'S); 23A: Light-footed woman (SYLPH); 31A: Sched. gap letters (TBA); 32A: Skywalker player (HAMILL); 35A: Eastern theatrical style (NOH); 36A: Gambler's voucher (CHIT); 41A: Bulb output, maybe (IRIS); 42A: "... and too many to mention" letters (ETC.); 45A: Stray, in a way (SIN); 46A: Reacts to an affront, maybe (SPUTTERS); 48A: Living room sets (TV'S); 49A: Temporary tattoo dye (HENNA); 50A: Put forward (STATE); 54A: Less flabby (FITTER); 56A: Bad liar's giveaway (TIC); 58A: Lap dog, briefly (POM); 59A: "By Jove!" ("I SAY!"); 64A: About 5.88 trillion mi. (LT. YR.); 66A: High point in a Western? (MESA); 67A: Circumscribes (DELINEATES); 1D: Old living room sets (HI-FIS); 2D: Good relations (AMITY); 4D: Metric meas. (KGS.); 7D: I-35's southern terminus (LAREDO); 14D: Like many a jalopy (RUST-EATEN); 22D: Divested (of) (RID); 24D: Goody two shoes (PRISS); 27D: Quark's milieu (ATOM); 33D: Upstart (ARRIVISTE); 36D: It's rolled out at a patisserie (CRUST); 38D: Leave agape (STUN); 43D: UPS unit (CTN.); 46D: Byron's "__ Walks in Beauty" (SHE); 47D: Geisha's mat (TATAMI); 51D: Left on the bridge (APORT); 52D: "It Wasn't All Velvet" memoirist (TORMÉ); 53D: Pair on the réumé of 12-Down (EMMYS); 57D: Caspian Sea country (IRAN); 61D: Vane dir. (NNE); 62D: Seminary subj. (REL.); 63D: Govt. agency with a wing on its seal (FAA).