July 7, 2011
- 17A: Fine print in Yogi's contract? (BEAR CLAUSE).
- 25A: Court allegations requiring consideration? (ATTENTION PLEAS).
- 42A: Product liability problems for Willy Wonka? (CHOCOLATE TORTS).
- 57A: Vague religious law? (LOOSE CANON).
Come to think of it, there seemed to be quite a bit of strange cluing in this one. Between the ugh-ily-pluraled INS (8D: Good tennis returns) and NILS (33A: A lot of nothing), the unwieldy partial IN AT (53D: __ the finish), and the for-some-reason-suffixized -ION (22A: Exempt attachment?) … well that's a lot of awkward cluing and at least half of it could have been easily avoided (NILS Lofgren, anyone?).
To be fair, there were several clues that I really liked too. I'm sure I'm not the only one whose first thought was CLINTON instead of TAFT at [1A: President known as "Big Bill"]. And [1D: Big band wind] is all kindsa tricky. First of all, I don't think most people think of a TUBA as a wind instrument (I know I don't) and, again, I can't be the only one who thought "Wait, big bands don't have TUBAs, do they?" not realizing that the "big" modified TUBA and not "band." Let's see … what else can we talk about?
- 5A: Beat it (SPLIT). I love the phrase "Beat it." In my head it's said with an old-timey gangster movie sound to it: "Beat it, kid."
- 20A: Body in a belt (ASTEROID). Another good, tricky clue.
- 23A: Tab, for one (COLA). I get a little bit nauseous just thinking about it.
- 56A: America's first spy (HALE). Apparently this is one of the few things PuzzleDaughter's Virginia history book got right, because I remembered it from a recent study session.
- 60A: Sat rocking, say (IDLED). Hmm. I don't think I like this one. Is there a definition of "rocking" I'm not thinking of? I mean if you're rocking (like in a rocking chair), your … rocking, not IDLing.
- 7D: More than just eye-catching, clotheswise (LOUD). I think I'm getting old because a lot of clothes I see these days seem pretty LOUD. I saw a magazine article recently that purported to explain how to mix and match different colors and patterns. I looked at what those models were wearing and all I could think was "Really?"
- 28D: Firth or fjord (INLET). Yes, as a matter of fact I did enter COLIN before actually reading the whole clue. You wanna make something of it?
- 14A: Jamaican tangelo (UGLI).
- 16A: Wheelset piece (AXLE).
- 5D: Oater joint (SALOON).
- 25D: Silly (APISH).
- 55D: City west of Tulsa (ENID).
Everything Else — 10A: Shady growth (MOSS); 15A: Stag (ALONE); 19A: "Swell!" ("NEAT!"); 21A: Abby and Martha, to Mortimer, in "Arsenic and Old Lace" (AUNTS); 32A: Clip (SPEED); 34A: Many a '50s-'60s pop act (DUO); 35A: Fine cotton (PIMA); 36A: Moving aid (DOLLY); 38A: Douglas and Fraser (FIRS); 39A: Medium power? (ESP); 40A: Show enthusiasm (RAVE); 41A: Hershey's raw material (CACAO); 46A: Biblical middle child (ABEL); 47A: Jamaican spirits (RUM); 48A: Thin (SPARE); 51A: Get the most out of (MAXIMIZE); 59A: Elects (OPTS); 61A: Ivory Coast neighbor (MALI); 62A: New Mexico resort (TAOS); 63A: Spanish filmmaker Almodóvar (PEDRO); 64A: Hardly at all (A TAD); 2D: Gets along in years (AGES); 3D: Place to take 27-Down (FLAT); 4D: Turnpike roller (TIRE); 6D: Lament (PLAINT); 9D: Where to start playing a round (TEE); 10D: Guide (MANUAL); 11D: Team with a lot of pull? (OXEN); 12D: Blind section (SLAT); 13D: Directors' milieus (SETS); 18D: Exclaimed (CRIED); 21D: Range in seven countries (ALPS); 23D: DNA shape (COIL); 24D: Singular (ONLY); 26D: A conductor sets it (TEMPO); 27D: See 3-Down (TEA); 29D: Proclamation (EDICT); 30D: Subtle qualities (AURAS); 31D: Not too hot (SO-SO); 32D: What houses may be built on (SPEC); 36D: Valley (DALE); 37D: Like the lenses on some granny glasses (OVAL); 38D: Considerably (FAR); 40D: Courtroom cover-up (ROBE); 41D: Book with drawings (COMIC); 43D: Tender touch (CARESS); 44D: Test-taking tip? (ERASER); 45D: Prom dress (TUXEDO); 48D: Tavern measure (SHOT); 49D: Senior Smurf (PAPA); 50D: Chorus line (ALTO); 51D: Bread concern (MOLD); 52D: 49-Down's partner (MAMA); 54D: "J'accuse" author (ZOLA); 57D: Sass (LIP); 58D: Writing on an urn (ODE).