THEME: The Saturday puzzle is themeless—the game is decoding tougher clues and figuring out a slew of longer words and phrases. This time, there are two "triple-stacks"—sets of three 15-letter answers stacked together
Crosswordese 101: 15D: WWII arena is ETO, or the European theater of operations. Guess who was in charge of the ETO for the USA? That's right: Another three-letter abbreviation, DDE, or Dwight D. Eisenhower. Can you guess the initials of the candidate who lost the presidency to DDE twice? That's AES, or Adlai E. Stevenson. These are all solidly established crosswordese.
You know those mashups, where someone takes two artists' songs and somehow merges the two entities into once? Somebody ought to combine ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) and BTO (Bachman Turner Overdrive) into ETO.
Among the more difficult stuff to grapple with:
- There are two song titles in one triple-stack. 16A: Song that's acted out is a specific tune, "I'M A LITTLE TEAPOT," while 17A: Song also known as "Cowboy's Lament" is "STREETS OF LAREDO."
- 19A: Shadow (UMBRA). This is mostly an astronomy term.
- 48A: Decimal meas. (CEN). I don't know what this is short for. A centimeter is abbreviated as cm.
- 61A: Vague putoff (AT SOME OTHER TIME). I don't much care for this answer. "Vague putoff" means a vague remark aimed at putting someone off. Have you ever said to someone, "At some other time"? I'd say that "Some other time" is the vague putoff.
- 62A: Post under a hood (BATTERY TERMINAL).
- 5D: Stickpin kin (TIE TAC). Also spelled tie tack. It's usually TIE TAC in crosswords.
- 10D: NYC hospital since 1858 (STLUKES). With the crossings, gettable. Without the crossings? Ouch.
- 34D: Dynasty after the Qin (HAN). From oldest to newest, we have the following: Xia, Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han, Wei, Shu, Wu, Jin, Southern and Northern, Sui, Tang, Liao, Song, Xia, Jin again, Yuan, Ming, and Xing, in case you were wondering.
I'm heading out of town for Mother's Day weekend, so PuzzleGirl will be minding the store and tackling the Sunday puzzle. I'll be back on call next Wednesday, but will see you in the comments before then.
Everything Else — 1A: Makes some progress (GETSTOFIRSTBASE); 18A: Took care of (SAWTO); 20A: Gig component (AMP); 22A: Turner of music (IKE); 23A: Groovy toy? (SLOTCAR); 27A: Knocks off (DEDUCTS); 32A: Record for later (TIVO); 33A: Radar purchases? (NEHIS); 35A: "Humboldt's Gift" author Bellow (SAUL); 36A: Skip (OMIT); 37A: Eastern philosophy (TAO); 38A: "Young Frankenstein" lab assistant (INGA); 39A: Drawn things (LOTS); 40A: Monopoly deed sextet (RENTS); 42A: Corner (NOOK); 43A: Agents of biochemical change (ENZYMES); 45A: Contemporary of Lucille (IMOGENE); 47A: Me. summer setting (EDT); 49A: Got to (IRKED); 52A: Lassie was rarely seen on one (LEASH); 56A: Responded in kind, in a way (COUNTERATTACKED); 1D: Grunts (GIS); 2D: Lifesavers, for short (EMTS); 3D: Plantation near Twelve Oaks (TARA); 4D: Plethora (SLEW); 6D: Place to put your dogs up? (OTTOMAN); 7D: NBA scores (FTS); 8D: 1969 Peace Prize-winning agcy. (ILO); 9D: Ring leader? (REF); 11D: Joined (with) (TEAMED); 12D: Comeback, perhaps (BARB); 13D: One who's often not himself? (APER); 14D: Scotch partner (SODA); 21D: Course admission requirement, perhaps (PRETEST); 22D: Dumb (IDIOTIC); 23D: Ripped off (STOLE); 24D: Dancer José (LIMON); 25D: Short-lived '90s Disney president (OVITZ); 26D: Hotsy-__ (TOTSY); 28D: Exploiting (USING); 30D: "You don't __ Superman's cape": Jim Croce lyric (TUGON); 31D: Quench (SLAKE); 40D: Venison source (REDDEER); 41D: Place of refinement? (SMELTER); 44D: Lover's message (MEETME); 46D: Bandit feature? (ONEARM); 49D: Greek vowel (IOTA); 50D: Sign of disuse (RUST); 51D: Boater's unit (KNOT); 53D: When Romeo spots Juliet (ACTI); 54D: Large organ (SKIN); 55D: Blood: Pref. (HEMA); 56D: Semi-attached compartment? (CAB); 57D: 2003 A.L. Cy Young Award winner Halladay (ROY); 58D: NYSE ticker symbol changed to "T" in 1930 (ATT); 59D: Everyday article (THE); 60D: V.P. Biden's state (DEL).