Theme: "On the Golf Course" — Four theme answers are phrases that start with words describing where you might, or might not, want your golf ball to land.
- 17A: Golfer's java-dispensing target? (CUP OF COFFEE).
- 62A: Drawing of the area next to the fairway? (ROUGH SKETCH).
- 11D: Mound near a sand trap? (BUNKER HILL).
- 29D: Really large putting surface? (GREEN ACRES).
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Crosswordese 101: We're kickin' it old skool again today with ÉTUI [2D: Needle case]. This is a word that I have never — ever — said out loud. Even in conversations about crossword puzzles. I'm not even 100% sure I know how to pronounce it, although my guess would be something along the lines of eh-TWEE. Wikipedia defines an ÉTUI as "a woman's ornamental case, usually carried in a pocket or purse. It holds small tools for daily use such as folding scissors, bodkins, needles, hairpins, tweezers, makeup pencils, etc. Some étuis were also used to carry doctors' lancets." In CrossWorld, étuis are most often described as cases that are decorative, ornamental, fancy, or special. And there is generally a reference to sewing (e.g., the clue will include the word pins, needles, thimble, or flat-out sewing).
- 27A: "Who cares?" ("BIG DEAL"). Meh. (That's another synonym; not a commentary on the entry.)
- 30A: Sesame Street grouch (OSCAR). Everybody's favorite grouch.
- 32A: Correct, as text (EMEND). What's the difference between EMEND and amend?
- 34A: Dispenser of theater programs (USHER). Don't love the word dispenser in this context, but the answer is so much better than ush, which, believe it or not, appears in puzzles from time to time.
- 42A: Calendario page (ENERO). Spanish! Calendario = calendar; enero = January.
- 64A: "__ Got a Secret" (I'VE). A game show from the 1950s-60s that sounds pretty cool. One of the show's regular panelists was Rex Crush Teri Garr.
- 65A: Nurse, vis-á-vis medication (DOSER). Ouch.
- 1D: Apples with screens (MACS). You never can be sure if they mean fruit or computers.
- 5D: Football official (REFEREE). Interesting to see the whole word in the puzzle. Usually, we just see ref.
- 30D: Ukrainian port (ODESSA). Also where Yakov Smirnoff was born. Which I learned from crosswords.
- 33D: Org. for Bucks and Bulls (NBA). National Basketball Association teams, Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls.
- 50D: Horse stable (LIVERY). Not sure why I gave this one a bullet. I think I just like the word. And I was all "A horse stable is a ... stable? That can't be right."
- 56D: Bit of deception (RUSE).
- 58D: Harrow rival (ETON). They're both boarding schools in the U.K. They've been rivals for more than two centuries. Apparently they've had a big cricket match every year since 1805.
- 60D: "__ Gotta Have It": Spike Lee film (SHE'S).Excellent flick. Unfortunately, can't find any good clips of it. So here's Spike as one of the movie's characters, Mars Blackmon.
Everything Else — 1A: Cab fare calculator (METER); 6A: Old saw (ADAGE); 11A: Jazz style (BOP); 14A: One at __ (ATIME); 15A: __ dancer (BELLY); 16A: Game with Skip and Reverse cards (UNO); 19A: "If I Ruled the World" rapper (NAS); 20A: Woman with a habit? (SISTER); 21A: Motorists' org. (AAA); 22A: "Saturday Night Live" bit (SKIT); 23A: Build (ERECT); 25A: Distance runners (MILERS); 31A: Discount rack abbr. (IRR); 37A: Open or pigeon add-on (TOED); 39A: Curved sword (SABER); 41A: What to do just before the surprise party starts (HIDE); 44A: Stunning weapon (TASER); 47A: Guitar parts (NECKS); 49A: Detected, as a rat? (SMELLED); 51A: Cascades peak (SHASTA); 53A: Port-au-Prince's country (HAITI); 54A: Bodybuilder's pride, briefly (PECS); 55A: Lingerie buy (BRA); 57A: Command used when creating a new file name (SAVEAS); 61A: Dory propeller (OAR); 66A: Wear away (ERODE); 67A: Avignon article (LES); 68A: "I'm with you, Reverend!" shouts (AMENS); 69A: Lip-__: mouths the words (SYNCS); 3D: Server's rewards (TIPS); 4D: Hammed it up (EMOTED); 6D: Blood classification letters (ABO); 7D: Skim, as soup (DEFAT); 8D: __ Romeo: sports car (ALFA); 9D: Sparkles (GLEAMS); 10D: Storm center (EYE); 12D: Studio sign (ONAIR); 13D: Internet forum messages (POSTS); 18D: Skin softeners (CREAMS); 22D: Symbol after "http:" (SLASH); 24D: Soccer player's shoes (CLEATS); 26D: Post-op section (ICU); 27D: Light meal (BITE); 35D: Pop singer Brickell (EDIE); 36D: Sax or oboe (REED); 38D: Bride's purchase (DRESS); 40D: Careless (REMISS); 43D: Halloween mo. (OCT); 45D: Hollywood do-overs (RETAKES); 48D: Explosion sound (KABOOM); 51D: Go bad (SPOIL); 52D: Throw with strain (HEAVE); 59D: Elec. designation (ACDC); 62D: Nutrition abbr. (RDA); 63D: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., e.g. (HRS).