Donna S. Levin
Theme: Executive Animals — A quartet of well-known White House pets.
- 17A: Game played on a six-pointed star (CHINESE CHECKERS).
- 25A: 1964 Beatles hit (AND I LOVE HER).
- 37A: Trendy aerobics regimen (TAE BO).
- 44A: Diamond-patterned attire (ARGYLE SOCKS).
- 57A: Companion at the end of 17-, 25-, 37- and 44-Across (PRESIDENTIAL PET).
- 5A: Antony listener (ROMAN). The Romans lent Antony their ears.
- 21A: Smart club (MENSA). One of my favorite Columbo episodes, "The Bye-Bye Sky High IQ Murder Case," features a Mensa-like group called the Sigma Society. I have no idea what made me think of that.
- 34A: Peddle (VEND). And who hasn't gotten their hand stuck inside a vending machine?
- 6D: 1991 movie sequel subtitled "The Awakening" (OMEN IV). I don't remember this movie (I tried "Omen II" initially), but it was easy enough to figure out. There's a reason I, and probably you, don't remember it. "Omen IV: The Awakening" was a made-for-TV movie starring...some actors you've never heard of. "Omen V: Hitting Satan's Snooze Button" was a much better film.
- 23D: Coors malt beverage (ZIMA). They stopped selling this stuff in the U.S. in 2008. The wimpy drink mantle has been passed to Smirnoff Ice.
- 31D: "Old" chip producer? (BLOCK). A chip off the old block. Clever.
- 46D: Twinkler in a Paris sky (ÉTOILE). French word for star. And when I say it, it rhymes with "foil."
- 59D: 33 1/3 rpm spinners (LPS). I'm old enough to have owned LPs, and I even remember seeing some old 8-tracks in our garage. But now I've officially joined the 21st century. One of my favorite groups released an album yesterday, and I didn't buy the physical CD. I downloaded it from iTunes. *gasp* I've bought a couple of songs on iTunes in the past, but this was my first full CD. The excitement never stops at my house.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
- 24A: She played WKRP's Jennifer (LONI).
- 60A: Jai __ (ALAI).
- 8D: Turkish honorific (AGHA).
- 9D: At birth (NÉE).
- 51D: He sang about Alice (ARLO).
Everything Else -- 1A: Classifies, in a way (PEGS); 10A: Envelope abbr. (ATTN); 14A: Beige-like shade (ECRU); 15A: Representation (IMAGE); 16A: Dealer's dispenser (SHOE); 20A: Keystone lawman (KOP); 22A: Cry to strike up the band (HIT IT); 23A: Penne relative (ZITI); 24A: She played WKRP's Jennifer (LONI); 30A: Time Warner "Superstation" (TBS); 33A: Capacious (ROOMY); 35A: The tan in a Black and Tan (ALE); 36A: One of five states in which same-sex marriage is legal (IOWA); 39A: Fort with many bars (KNOX); 40A: Apparel retailer Taylor (ANN); 41A: Legatee (HEIR); 42A: In abeyance (ON ICE); 43A: La + la, in Lille (LES); 47A: Volunteer st. (TENN.); 49A: "Let's leave __ that" (IT AT); 50A: Producer Ponti (CARLO); 52A: "My Name Is Asher Lev" author Chaim (POTOK); 54A: Restorative place (SPA); 60A: Jai __ (ALAI); 61A: Pentium producer (INTEL); 62A: Brand with a pony in its logo (POLO); 63A: A few (SOME); 64A: Seacoast (SHORE); 65A: Stern's counterpart (STEM); 1D: Chaste kiss (PECK); 2D: Reverberate (ECHO); 3D: Stagehand (GRIP); 4D: Heliocentric universe center (SUN); 5D: __ the occasion (RISE TO); 7D: Apple products (MACS); 8D: Turkish honorific (AGHA); 9D: At birth (NEE); 10D: Be hospitable to (ASK IN); 11D: White Star Line's ill-fated steamer (THE TITANIC); 12D: Actress Spelling (TORI); 13D: Place to brood (NEST); 18D: Agent Prentiss on "Criminal Minds" (EMILY); 19D: Bit of guitar music (CHORD); 24D: His show has a "Jaywalking" segment (LENO); 25D: Serif-free font (ARIAL); 26D: Nary a soul (NO ONE); 27D: How things flow (DOWNSTREAM); 28D: Each partner (EVERY); 29D: Right-to-left lang. (HEB.); 32D: Proverbial battlers (SEXES); 37D: Gull relative (TERN); 38D: 2008 govt. bailout recipient (AIG); 39D: Granny, for one (KNOT); 41D: Red River capital (HANOI); 42D: Honshu metropolis (OSAKA); 45D: Roadside trash (LITTER); 48D: Borden's spokescow (ELSIE); 50D: Pros who work on schedules, for short (CPA'S); 51D: He sang about Alice (ARLO); 52D: Phnom __ (PENH); 53D: Suspicious of (ONTO); 54D: Catch a glimpse of (SPOT); 55D: Soccer great (PELE); 56D: Elemental unit (ATOM); 58D: Put down, slangily (DIS).