Hey everyone, it's a double dose of PuzzleGirl today if you read Rex's blog too. Hope you don't get too sick of me. Awesome looking grid today, right? Looks like some kind of alien head in a cartoon or a video game or something. Awesome long answers today.
- 1A: Jealous reaction to a witty remark (I WISH I'D SAID THAT).
- 16A: Broad-based statistical standard (NATIONAL AVERAGE).
- 17A: "The Dreadful Story of Pauline and the Matches" and others (CAUTIONARY TALES).
- 24A: Sousa subject (STARS AND STRIPES).
- 44A: Headed for home (ROUNDED THE BASES).
- 59A: Tried to escape (MADE A BREAK FOR IT).
- 62A: FDR's Fala, e.g. (ABERDEEN TERRIER).
- 63A: Didn't just dive in (TESTED THE WATERS).
Other crossworthy government agencies:
- EPA: Environmental Protection Agency
- SSA: Social Security Administration
- NSA: National Security Agency
- NEA: National Endowment for the Arts (although sometimes it's the National Education Association)
It also helps to have a little foreign language under your belt today:
- 36A: Overseas okay (OUI): You all know that means yes.
- 25D: Abril-mayo zodiac sign (TAURO): Abril = April, mayo = May (in Spanish, names of months aren't capitalized), Tauro = Taurus.
- 26D: "Farewell, François!" (ADIEU): See how the French name is in the clue hinting to the French answer?
- 56D: __-dieu (PRIE): Had to look this one up. It's a type of prayer desk. The French means, literally, "pray [to] God."
- 27D: U.S.-Canada defense acronym (NORAD). North American Aerospace Defense Command. They're the ones who track Santa at Christmas time. I'm sure they do other stuff too.
- 37A: Sheepdog in "Babe" (REX). Shout-out to Mr. Parker! Right in the middle of the damn puzzle. Awesome.
- 38A: Cleo portrayer of 1963 (LIZ). That's Elizabeth Taylor. I'm sure I don't need to point this out to you, but the clue shortens Cleopatra's name, which hints that the answer will also be the short form of a name.
- 39A: Its parts may be eaten separately (OREO). Don't think I've seen this particular clue for this extremely common crossword word before.
- 49A: Ones wanted by the mil. (AWOLS). It used to really rub me the wrong way when AWOL was used as a noun. But I'm used to it now.
- 2D: WWII female (WAAC). Well this is interesting. I always thought the acronym was just WAC (without one A). Turns out, according to Wikipedia, the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WACC) was created in 1942 but converted to full status as the Women's Army Corps (WAC) in 1943. Regardless of what it means, it always reminds me of this song (if you don't know the song, you won't know what I mean until about 1:43):
- 4D: Jobs for teens (SITTERS). Does this work for you? I think the job is sitting. The job title is sitter. Am I being too picky?
- 6D: Theban queen of myth (INO). Never heard of her. This is Greek mythology and she was ... not a very nice woman.
- 10D: Brown, but not white? (IVY). Brown University.
- 22D: Bucky of "Get Fuzzy," for one (CAT). What the heck is "Get Fuzzy"? Oh, it's a comic strip. There's advertising executive Rob Wilco and his two pets: Satchel Pooch and Bucky Katt.
- 50D: "Did gyre and gimble in the __": "Jabberwocky" (WABE). This is a poem of nonsense verse by Lewis Carroll. Okay, look. I know he was brilliant with the wordplay. But the whole thing with the little girls? I'm sorry, he just creeps me out.
- 53D: Phnom __ (PENH). The capital of Cambodia.
Everything Else — 18A: Shoppers' savings?: Abbr. (RCPTS); 19A: Roadie's burden (AMP); 20A: Unique folks (ONERS); 21A: More of the same, briefly (ETC); 23A: Ger. neighbor (AUS); 33A: Paw parts (PADS); 34A: Namely (TOWIT); 35A: Meter site (TAXI); 41A: Flavors, in a way (SALTS); 43A: Starlet's goal (ROLE); 47A: 1946-'75 nuclear agcy. (AEC); 48A: Marker's end (TIP); 52A: 120/70, 130/80, etc.: Abbr. (BPS); 55A: Dr. visits (APPTS); 1D: Rise: Abbr. (INCR); 3D: Words after live or give (ITUP); 5D: Derricks and cranes (HOISTS); 11D: Roundabout route (DETOUR); 12D: What mailed packages are in? (TRANSIT); 13D: Healthy (HALE); 14D: Golden __ (AGER); 15D: Polanski film based on a Hardy novel (TESS); 23D: Verizon rival, initially (ATT); 24D: Hound's find (SPOOR); 28D: Lived (DWELT); 29D: Like Friday or June (SIXTH); 30D: California's __ Verdes Peninsula (PALOS); 31D: Dictator's fate, perhaps (EXILE); 32D: Label data (SIZES); 40D: Vigilant (ONALERT); 42D: Seinfeld's apartment, say (SET); 43D: Camaraderie (RAPPORT); 45D: Marquis of note (DESADE); 46D: Former African secessionist state (BIAFRA); 49D: Latin 101 word (AMAT); 51D: Praiseful verses (ODES); 52D: Writer Harte (BRET); 54D: Fill to the bursting point (SATE); 57D: Large cake layer (TIER); 58D: Narrow waterways: Abbr. (STRS); 60D: Where Goldilocks was discovered (BED); 61D: Royal Botanic Gardens locale (KEW).