March 2, 2011
- 23A: *Poker holdings (STRAIGHTS).
- 31A: *Subdued (SQUELCHED).
- 38A: *Prepared to jog (STRETCHED).
- 45A: *Stained (SPLOTCHED).
- 11D: *Pocketed the cue ball (SCRATCHED).
- 30D: *Fortes (STRENGTHS).
- 17A: Feature of the answers to starred clues (NINE LETTERS).
- 55A: Feature of the answers to starred clues (ONE SYLLABLE).
There are a few things I like about this grid. For example a couple of the long downs are pretty cool: like WHO'S THERE and EAST-SIDER. The grid is fairly Scrabbly, or maybe it just looks that way because of all the Qs. No, we've got a K, a W, and a V lurking down in the southern hemisphere, so that counts. NOTCH, SKEIN, and POSSE are all colorful entries. I'd probably add MALLRAT to that list as well. Overall, though, I've just gotta believe that Dan would have created a much smoother grid if he had cut back on the theme density.
Crosswordese 101 Round-up:
- 34A: First N.L. 500 home run club member (OTT).
- 37A: "__ pales in Heaven the morning star": Lowell (ERE).
- 51A: Ship of Greek myth (ARGO).
- 57A: Morse unit (DAH).
- 5D: Sushi fish (EEL).
- 10D: One-third of ninety? (ENS).
- 18D: ER tests (ECG'S).
- 55D: John Lennon Museum founder (ONO).
Everything Else — 1A: Sierra Nevada resort (TAHOE); 6A: Like some checking accounts (NO-FEE); 11A: Scand. land (SWE.); 14A: Observe Yom Kippur (ATONE); 15A: Neptune's realm (OCEAN); 16A: When repeated, a Latin dance (CHA); 19A: Children's author/illustrator Asquith (ROS); 20A: Icky stuff (GLOP); 21A: Common flashlight power source (C CELL); 22A: Endure (LAST); 25A: Actor Dillon et al. (MATTS); 26A: Hwys. (RDS.); 27A: Chinese discipline (TAI CHI); 28A: Cut's partner (PASTE); 34A: First N.L. 500 home run club member (OTT); 35A: Indictment (ACCUSAL); 37A: "__ pales in Heaven the morning star": Lowell (ERE); 40A: Less refined (RUDER); 42A: Degree requirements, at times (THESES); 43A: Convert to leather, as a hide (TAN); 44A: Minor cost component (CENTS); 51A: Ship of Greek myth (ARGO); 52A: European toast (SKOAL); 53A: Fit (HALE); 54A: Living in Fla., maybe (RET.); 57A: Morse unit (DAH); 58A: Racket (NOISE); 59A: More repulsive (VILER); 60A: Many IRA payees (SRS.); 61A: Landlord (OWNER); 62A: Really dumb (INANE); 1D: Zesty flavors (TANGS); 2D: Leaning (ATILT); 3D: __ society (HONOR); 4D: Cocktail preparation phrase (ONE PART); 5D: Sushi fish (EEL); 6D: Tally symbol (NOTCH); 7D: Large wedding band (OCTET); 8D: Strikes one as (FEELS); 9D: Viscount's superior (EARL); 12D: Obligatory joke response (WHO'S THERE); 13D: Park Avenue resident, e.g. (EAST-SIDER); 18D: ER tests (ECG'S); 22D: Secular (LAIC); 24D: Imagines (IDEATES); 25D: Young food court loiterer (MALLRAT); 27D: Afternoon service (TEA); 28D: Gift shop items on a rotating stand (POSTCARDS); 29D: Where to see a caboose (AT THE REAR); 31D: USC or NYU (SCH.); 32D: Prov. on James Bay (QUE.); 33D: Amer. currency (USD); 36D: IV units (CC'S); 39D: __ perpetua: Idaho's motto (ESTO); 41D: "__ My Heart": 1962 #1 R&B hit for Ray Charles (UNCHAIN); 43D: Going rate? (TOLL); 45D: Coil of yarn (SKEIN); 46D: Western chasers (POSSE); 47D: Ply (LAYER); 48D: "&ques;__ usted español?" (HABLA); 49D: Paula's "American Idol" replacement (ELLEN); 50D: Steel plow developer (DEERE); 52D: Winter forecast (SNOW); 55D: John Lennon Museum founder (ONO); 56D: VII x VIII (LVI).