August 30, 2011
- 17A: *Sydney's locale, familiarly (DOWN UNDER).
- 21A: *Man, according to a longtime Desmond Morris best-seller (NAKED APE).
- 33A: *Bluntly (STRAIGHT OUT).
- 42A: *Skip-over-ads button (FAST FORWARD).
- 55A: *Hosting squad (HOME TEAM).
- 61A: Overachievers, and a hint to a word that can precede both words of the starred answers (GO-GETTERS).
- 1A: Beat to a pulp (MASH). This amused me. To me, the phrase "beat to a pulp" is 100% figurative. I mean, that's how you talk about the victim of a bar brawl, right? But taken literally, it's about cooking! Ha!
- 9A: Very cold (GELID). Can't remember if it was the LAT, but I do recall seeing this word in a puzzle sometime in the last year or so. I still don't like it.
- 20A: Ain't right? (AREN'T). The word "ain't" is, of course, not a "proper" word. If you fix it up right, it becomes "aren't."
- 29A: Doggone (DADGUM). Best word in the grid. Made me LOL.
- 66A: Case for notions (ÉTUI). I'm sure we all have our favorite crosswordese (and by favorite, of course, I mean most dreaded). This is mine. I don't know why it bothers me so much, but I can tell you right now I'm never putting it in a puzzle. (Doug: We haven't put ÉTUI in a puzzle, have we?)
- 12D: "No need to wake me" ("I'M UP"). Great colloquial phrase.
- 22D: Twisty-horned antelope (KUDU). I like the way this looks in the grid. I would like it more if it was something I'd ever heard of.
- 40D: Popular Dixie drink (SWEET TEA). I was in North Carolina last year for a girls' weekend and at lunch one day one of the girls ordered unsweetened tea. Our horrified host immediately apologized to the waitress and, even though they were trying to keep the ensuing conversation to themselves, I'm pretty sure I heard the word "yankee" a couple times.
Everything — 1A: Beat to a pulp (MASH); 5A: Dapper Dans (FOPS); 9A: Very cold (GELID); 14A: Mental block buster (IDEA); 15A: Guinness who played Obi-Wan (ALEC); 16A: Memorable mission (ALAMO); 17A: *Sydney's locale, familiarly (DOWN UNDER); 19A: Bantu-speaking South Africans (ZULUS); 20A: Ain't right? (AREN'T); 21A: *Man, according to a longtime Desmond Morris best-seller (NAKED APE); 23A: WWII bond designation (SERIES E); 26A: Mental block buster (MUSE); 27A: Spoiled-rotten kids (BRATS); 29A: Doggone (DADGUM); 33A: *Bluntly (STRAIGHT OUT); 37A: Sun Devils' sch. (ASU); 38A: Work like a dog (TOIL); 39A: Clumsy dummy (OAF); 40A: Iditarod racer (SLED); 41A: "I'm with ya" ("YUP"); 42A: *Skip-over-ads button (FAST FORWARD); 46A: Like porn (X-RATED); 48A: Very strange (EERIE); 49A: Skyline-blurring phenomenon (HAZE); 51A: One begins parallel parking in it (REVERSE); 55A: *Hosting squad (HOME TEAM); 59A: Lucy's landlady (ETHEL); 60A: "It was you," in a Verdi aria (ERI TU); 61A: Overachievers, and a hint to a word that can precede both words of the starred answers (GO-GETTERS); 64A: Odom of the Lakers (LAMAR); 65A: Pianist Gilels (EMIL); 66A: Case for notions (ÉTUI); 67A: Annapolis frosh (PLEBE); 68A: Smelling awful (RANK); 69A: "Look __, I'm Sandra Dee": "Grease" song (AT ME); 1D: Big name in muffler replacement (MIDAS); 2D: Love to bits (ADORE); 3D: Runoff collector (SEWER); 4D: Memorable Alps crosser (HANNIBAL); 5D: Bleacher creature (FAN); 6D: Stale (OLD); 7D: Rounded hammer part (PEEN); 8D: "Get outta here!" ("SCRAM!"); 9D: Feasts one's eyes on (GAZES AT); 10D: Gave the slip (ELUDED); 11D: Tra-__ (LA-LA); 12D: "No need to wake me" ("I'M UP"); 13D: Two caplets, say (DOSE); 18D: Wombs (UTERI); 22D: Twisty-horned antelope (KUDU); 24D: Droop (SAG); 25D: Cultural credo (ETHOS); 28D: Hillary's department (STATE); 30D: Big shindig (GALA); 31D: Web browser (USER); 32D: Emmy-winning newsman Roger (MUDD); 33D: River of Hades (STYX); 34D: Take to the road, as a rock band (TOUR); 35D: Philbin co-host (RIPA); 36D: "I'm gonna make him an __ he can't refuse" (OFFER); 40D: Popular Dixie drink (SWEET TEA); 42D: Main movie (FEATURE); 43D: Wood-shaping tool (ADZE); 44D: Rock in a seam (ORE); 45D: Transfix (RIVET); 47D: What a treater picks up (THE TAB); 50D: Gung-ho (EAGER); 52D: Suave Butler (RHETT); 53D: Red Cross supply (SERUM); 54D: Borden's spokescow (ELSIE); 55D: "SOS!" ("HELP!"); 56D: Like some vaccines (ORAL); 57D: Play charades (MIME); 58D: NYC gallery (MOMA); 62D: Bathtub booze (GIN); 63D: "Benevolent" fellow (ELK).