Theme: "Out of Gas" — Three theme answers are phrases that start with words that can describe the level of a gas tank.
Crosswordese 101: There are so many ways to clue ERIE. And it's such a handy crossword word! If it's four letters and the clue refers to a body water relative to Ohio (Toledo, Cleveland, or the Cuyahoga River) or upstate New York (Buffalo, Niagara, or the super super tricky Rome), chances are the answer is going to be ERIE. It can also be clued with reference to the ERIE Lackawanna Railroad, the Indian tribe (or the language of the Iroquois), the city or county in Pennsylvania, the canal, or (in late-week puzzles) the site of a siege during the War of 1812. ERIE is extremely useful is what I'm saying.
Hey, guys. PuzzleGirl here again covering for the vacationing Rex Parker, and this is going to be quick. I apologize in advance if I don't get to everything, but you guys can hash it all out in the comments, okay?
- 20A: Conceited (FULL OF ONESELF).
- 38A: Plan not completely thought out (HALF-BAKED IDEA).
- 57A: Much campaign rhetoric (EMPTY PROMISES).
When I saw the FULL and HALF, I thought we were in for another moon-themed puzzle, but I guess that was just to throw us off the scent. Overall, this was a solid Monday puzzle that I pretty much breezed through. I hope it didn't give you too much trouble either.
- 9A: Treasure map measures (PACES). My first thought was yards, but it seemed wrong. Which it is.
- 15A: __ Domini (ANNO). Latin!
- 17A: Like NBA centers (TALL). For some reason, this really cracked me up.
- 18A: Composer Stravinsky (IGOR). I learned about him in a music theory class my second year in college. Pretty sure "The Rite of Spring" ("Le Sacre du Printemps," for SethG) featured prominently in the Disney movie "Fantasia."
- 19A: Parisian river (SEINE). Now this river I know.
- 23A: Brit. record label (EMI). I always have to think about whether this is EMI (right) or BMI (wrong). BMI is often in the puzzle too — it's one of two unions for professionals in the music industry (the other being ASCAP — they are frequently clued with reference to each other).
- 24A: Former Egypt-Syria alliance: Abbr. (UAR). United Arab Republic. Included Syria and Egypt from 1958 to 1961. When Syria seceded from the union, Egypt continued with the official name of UAR until 1971.
- 37A: Scott who sued for his freedom (DRED). Pretty sure I saw him in another puzzle ... was it just today?
- 44A: Retirement org. (SSA). Remember how we just talked about this the other day?
- 45A: "Slippery" tree (ELM). "Slippery Elm" is a kind of tree. I'm not sure if it really feels slippery or what.
- 52A: Prefix with sphere (STRATO). The other possibilities — hemi- and atmo- — didn't fit.
- 61A: Count with a keyboard (BASIE).
- 64A: Med. school class (ANAT). Anatomy. A future Crosswordese 101 lesson.
- 66A: Stroll in the shallows (WADE). Hi, Wade!
- 67A: Head over heels in love (GAGA). Have you all seen this Lady Gaga person who appears to be fairly popular right now? Not exactly my cup of tea but ... interesting.
- 69A: Canonized Mlles. (STES). The French abbreviation for mademoiselles indicates that the answer will also be a French abbreviation (for saints).
- 9D: Charlatan (POSEUR). Two great words that go great together.
- 10D: Journalist __ Rogers St. Johns (ADELA). Learned her from crosswords.
- 12D: Coastal bird (ERN). We're talking quintessential crosswordese here. Sometimes spelled erne and sometimes tern is clued the same way (although I don't really know if they're the exact same thing).
- 22D: Cheerleading groups (SQUADS). Unfortunately, I just don't have time to go digging for a picture of me cheerleading in high school. Maybe some other day.
- 26D: Dog collar target (FLEA).
- 27D: Benchmark: Abbr. (STD). This one always makes me chuckle. I bet BEQ would clue this a different way.
- 46D: Tampa neighbor, briefly (ST. PETE). St. Petersburg. Didn't Tampa used to be called Tampa Bay? Am I making that up?
- 47D: Pooh-pooh (DERIDE). Basically, "to scoff at," right?
- 49D: Shoot again (RE-SNAP). Taking pictures.
- 51D: Marquee name, often (COSTAR). I kept trying to think of a longer word for star. D'oh!
- 53D: Gallic girlfriends (AMIES). Gallic = French.
- 58D: Swerves at sea (YAWS). Try not to confuse with HAW (the command to turn left to, say, a mule) and MAW (mouth or a gaping hole).
- 59D: Juniors' H.S. exam (PSAT). Preliminary SAT Reasoning Test. SAT used to be an acronym but it's not any more. Kinda like KFC.
Everything Else — 1A: Put below, as cargo (STOW); 5A: Potentially painful precipitation (HAIL); 9A: Treasure map measures (PACES); 16A: Smells (ODORS); 25A: Beers and ales (QUAFFS); 28A: Enjoy something immensely, with "up" (EATIT); 30A: French love (AMOUR); 33A: Last: Abbr. (ULT); 34A: Bawl (SOB); 36A: Miss. neighbor (ALA); 42A: Suffix with hard or soft (WARE); 43A: Seashell seller, in a tongue twister (SHE); 46A: Archaeological fragment (SHARD); 48A: Like some poetry (LYRIC); 52A: Prefix with sphere (STRATO); 54A: Memorable period (ERA); 56A: "Foucault's Pendulum" author Umberto (ECO); 63A: Warts and all (ASIS); 65A: Group of eight (OCTET); 68A: Out of fashion (PASSE); 70A: Phone button abbr. (OPER); 1D: Fixed charge (SETFEE); 2D: Psychological injury (TRAUMA); 3D: Like many old-fashioned lamps (OILLIT); 4D: Wishing place (WELL); 5D: Israeli port city (HAIFA); 6D: Mohair-bearing goat (ANGORA); 7D: Aware of (INON); 8D: Passed-down tales (LORE); 11D: Hairdo (COIFFURE); 13D: 180 degrees from NNW (SSE); 21D: Words before sight and mind (OUTOF); 29D: Dot on an ocean map (ISLE); 31D: Manufacturer (MAKER); 32D: Bullfight shout (OLE); 35D: Air rifle ammo (BBSHOT); 37D: June 6, 1944 (DDAY); 38D: "Stop right there!" (HALT); 39D: Sofa sides (ARMRESTS); 40D: "I've got it now!" (AHA); 41D: Faith of more than one billion (ISLAM); 42D: Craven of horror (WES); 50D: Frigid epoch (ICEAGE); 55D: Thorny flowers (ROSES); 60D: "Othello" fellow (IAGO); 61D: '40s jazz (BOP); 62D: Here, in Spain (ACA).