June 4, 2011
Theme: None — It's Saturday.
What a workout! Really enjoyed this puzzle. Tough but fair — I think that's my favorite kind. We had PuzzleSon's birthday party this evening (laser tag!) and then I got distracted by a thing for a while and now it's almost 1:00 in the morning so I might not get to say everything I want to say about this awesome puzzle, but I'll do my best. Here we go ….
I started by reading the across clues and just kept getting farther and farther down the puzzle without coming up with anything. Then, all of a sudden: LON CHANEY, JR. Could that entry be any cooler? No. No, it could not. From there the bottom broke open pretty well. Slow and steady, but I definitely knew I was getting somewhere. With the bottom in good shape, I could see THREE-DOLLAR BILL (3D: Symbol of phoniness) and HENRY FORD MUSEUM (11D: Dearborn attraction) which gave me some traction in the top half. The most trouble I had was in that SAAB / ALDO / SLAB section. I tried MALIA where SASHA was supposed to go (5D: White House girl), thinking that LOIN would work for 18A: Side of beef part. (Correct answer: SLAB.) I also had STOLES for SABLES (22D: Luxury furs), which made LATOYA hard to see. I'm still a little puzzled about that one. LATOYA Jackson? She had a record in 1988? Who knew? (I'm guessing hardly anybody.) It also took me an embarrassingly long time to get BOB DYLAN, but I'm going to say that's because it's a vertical answer which, as you may know, is often a lot more difficult for me to "see" than a horizontal answer (8D: Winner of a 2008 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for his "profound impact on popular music and American culture"). Okay, what else?
- 1A: Candy vehicle (SCTV). John Candy was a member of the Second City comedy group and became well-known through the group's television show (Second City Television, or SCTV).
- 9A: Gone crackers? (HI HOS). They're gone because they don't make them any more.
- 25A: Initial response to a yenta? (M.Y.O.B.). The word "initial" in the clue doesn't mean "first." It means we're looking for an abbreviation. Someone might say Mind Your Own Business to a yenta.
- 28A: Part of psi?: Abbr. (LBS.). Pounds per Square Inch? I couldn't let go of "psi" referring to the Greek letter and thought it was going to be something that I just didn't know.
- 35A: Celebrity mentioned in Warren Zevon's 1978 hit "Werewolves of London" (LON CHANEY JR.). Oh yeah.
- 38A: World Chess Champion after Botvinnik (TAL). Chess? Three letters? Yep, that's TAL alright.
- 46A: Blend (IMMIX). Um … what?
- 57A: Daughter of Muhammad (LAILA). Not the prophet, the boxer.
- 59A: Green (GELT). Are these both slang words for money? It's too late for me to look it up.
- 51D: Sorbonne heads? (TÊTES). Oh thanks goodness. French!
- 14A: Education acronym (ELHI).
- 16A: Certain Yemeni (ADENI).
- 61A: Fonda's beekeeper (ULEE).
- 7D: Hersey setting (ADANO).
Everything Else — 5A: Imported wheels (SAAB); 15A: Brad's role in "Inglourious Basterds" (ALDO); 17A: Brings out (AIRS); 19A: Like some raincoats (LINED); 20A: Line before "Et tu, Brute?" (SPEAK HANDS FOR ME); 23A: Tailless mammal (APE); 24A: Self-titled 1988 R&B album (LATOYA); 26A: Skyscraper feature (LEDGE); 30A: Dom alternative (FRA.); 31A: Metaphors, e.g. (TROPES); 33A: Ice cream parlor order (MALT); 34A: "... lay the sod __ me": "Streets of Laredo" lyric (O'ER); 40A: Valley in the first book of Samuel (ELAH); 41A: Heavy hitter (SLEDGE); 44A: Santa __ (ANA); 45A: Some signatures (X'ES); 47A: "Beetle Bailey" cartoonist Walker (MORT); 49A: Members of an Afrocentric movement (RASTAS); 53A: Exhaust (USE); 54A: Ethical concern for a bar association (AMBULANCE CHASER); 58A: Court ritual (OATH); 60A: Coty Award winner Perry (ELLIS); 62A: Golden __ (RULE); 63A: Willowy woman (SYLPH); 64A: Polanski film based on a Hardy novel (TESS); 65A: Wrote, as an AOL buddy (IM'ED); 1D: Epicure's condiment (SEA SALT); 2D: Fast ship (CLIPPER); 4D: Traveler's need (VISA); 6D: __ once (ALL AT); 9D: Game division (HALF); 10D: Way of putting things (IDIOM); 12D: Encore, basically (ONE MORE); 13D: News supplement (SIDEBAR); 21D: Box for a cold (KLEENEX); 27D: Mail hub: Abbr. (GPO); 29D: In (STYLISH); 32D: White of the eye (SCLERA); 33D: __-jongg (MAH); 36D: Isn't trapped (HAS AN OUT); 37D: "To Kill a Mockingbird" brother (JEM); 38D: Cantina servings (TAMALES); 39D: Unusual occurrence (ANOMALY); 42D: Princess in Disney's "Enchanted" (GISELLE); 43D: Applied (EXERTED); 48D: __ mania, 17th-century Dutch phenomenon (TULIP); 50D: Model aspect (SCALE); 52D: Inflammation symptoms (ACHES); 55D: Tie securely (LASH); 56D: Business intro? (AGRI-).