Theme: Tennis, Anyone? — Theme answers are familiar phrases each ending with a word that describes part of a tennis competition.
- 18A: Grand Theft Auto, e.g. (VIDEO GAME).
- 27A: Sterling afternoon serving pieces (SILVER TEA SET).
- 44A: Ideal mate (PERFECT MATCH).
- 55A: Annual English sports event that begins today, and a hint to this puzzle's theme (WIMBLEDON).
Easy, breezy puzzle today. I hope it went well for all of you too. I know a lot of you are just starting out, or just getting serious about improving your solving skills. I really hope these Monday puzzles are coming together for you and are helping to build your confidence. That's what Mondays are all about! That said, if I hadn't known that Wimbledon started today, this puzzle probably would have taken me a bit longer. How did I know, you ask? Oh, I knew because Rainn Wilson tweeted about it this evening. Yes, I follow Dwight Schrute on Twitter. Also the American Idols. And I'm not ashamed of it! They're adorable!
There were a few Bible references in today's puzzle, which I tend to dislike, but these were easy enough.
- 39A: Rachel's sister (LEAH). I actually knew this one from reading Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. In fact, I kinda wish 3D: HAND had been "Word after nurse or maid" (instead of milk). That would have tied together nicely for me.
- 60A: 52-Down son (ABEL). If it's the Bible and it's a son and it's four letters, it's most likely Cain or ABEL. You just have to check the crosses.
- 52D: Sixth-day creation (ADAM).
- 10A: Drive in reverse, with "up" (BACK). Is there anybody besides the guys that drive big trucks on a regular basis that can back up calmly and smoothly? I suck at it.
- 15A: State with assurance (AVER). Like Cain and Abel, this clue and four letters has to be either avow or AVER and you just have to check the crosses.
- 14A: McCain beater (OBAMA). I don't particularly like the word beater in this clue.
- 36A: Best poker pair (ACES). Yes, it's the best pair, but don't be fooled! It doesn't mean you will automatically win the hand! And man it sucks to have pocket aces and then lose the hand. Not that that's ever happened to me.
- 40A: Golfing standard (PAR). The U.S. Open typically ends on Father's Day, but will continue into Monday this year because of the rain delay during one of the early rounds.
- 62A: Bucky Beaver's toothpaste (IPANA). Some of us are old enough to remember this brand of toothpaste. Others of us learned it from crosswords.
- 5D: Final race segment (LAST LEG). I admit, I entered LAST LEG confidently and then stopped for a split second and wondered if it might turn out to be last lap.
- 6D: Frolic (CAVORT). CAVORT is a great word. It sounds like a noise a robot would make when its wires are crossed. For some reason, it also reminds me of this awesome blooper clip. (Oh, and I have a standing deal that if you can watch this clip all the way through without laughing, I will send you $10.)
- 11D: Addis __ (ABABA). It's the capital of Ethiopia.
- 41D: Tennis great Ivan (LENDL). Bonus non-theme theme answer!
- 44D: Zuni or Hopi home (PUEBLO). PuzzleDaughter made an awesome picture of a pueblo in school this year. Maybe I'll scan it tomorrow and post it here.