Theme: Hit List—Each theme answer's first word begins with a syllable used in comic books to indicate physically hitting someone.
- 17A: Overnight millionaire, probably (POWERBALL WINNER).
- 25A: One-time East Asian barrier (BAMBOO CURTAIN).
- 47A: Pacific swimmer (SOCKEYE SALMON).
- 62A: Unintended upshot (BOOMERANG EFFECT).
- 39A: Smite, and hint to this puzzle's theme (HIT).
I really like this theme and think the theme answers are awesome, but I'm not really crazy about a lot of the fill. Too many prefixes/suffixes and abbreviations (some of which were awkward, e.g., GENL for General [11D: Grant, for one: Abbr.]) for my taste. I also noticed a slangy vibe with 22A: "Right back AT YA, dude!," BEAV [25D: Theodore, to Wally], and 'VETTES [42A: Sting Rays, briefly]. Did you all know ACTH [23D: Pituitary hormone]? That was a tough one for me and it feels obscure, but maybe it's just one of my blind spots. I didn't hate the puzzle though. There was some interesting stuff too (or, at least stuff to talk about!).
Stuff to talk about:
- 8A: Veronica's pursuer, in comics (REGGIE). I know Rex got this right, but raise your hand if you entered Archie first.
- 32A: Training site?: Abbr. (STN.). This is the abbreviation for station, as in "train station." Except when they decide to use STA as the abbreviation for station instead. You never know when that's going to happen. You really just have to check the cross (which, in this case, was that pituitary hormone, so I just guessed).
- 58A: One sitting in your lap, perhaps (TOY DOG). All I could think was "lap dog." Obviously, that would not have worked. Reminds me of the first crossword PuzzleDaughter made last year. The first clue/answer pair she came up with was [The name of the spider in Charlotte's Web], which is, of course, CHARLOTTE. She was 7.
- 64A: "Get Shorty" novelist Leonard (ELMORE). I liked both the book and the movie.
- 67A: Filled pastry of Asia (SAMOSA). Oh man. Used to eat a samosa pretty much every day in college at the co-op. Yum!
- 68A: Fashion monogram (YSL). Yves Saint Laurent.
- 1D: Former Bruin all-star, familiarly (ESPO). That's Phil Esposito, a Hall of Fame hockey player, whose #7 jersey was retired by the Boston Bruins in 1987.
- 10D: Pop singer Vannelli (GINO). Oh sure, why not.
- 18D: Tiller opening (ROTO-). Someday I'll tell you the story of the time I traveled to Costa Rica with two other adults, four young children, nine large suitcases and a roto-tiller. On second thought, it's not actually an interesting story.
- 19D: Costar with Bolger and Haley (LAHR). Ray Bolger plays the Scarecrow, Jack Haley plays the Tin Man, and Bert LAHR plays the Cowardly Lion in "The Wizard of Oz."
- 29D: Pig-poke link (IN A). Are you guys all caught up on this kind of clue? You're just looking for words that "link" the words pig and poke: "Pig IN A poke."
- 34D: Target's target, say (LOGO). Had to wait for the crosses for this one. My first thought was the store, but couldn't figure out what the clue was looking for. Target demographic? Well, that's everybody, right? My first job was at Target, by the way. I was a Touch Key Professional at Target Store #61 in Fargo, North Dakota, when I was in high school. That was, like, a hundred years ago. Back before they had all these cushy scanning doo-hickeys they have nowadays—we actually had to key in all the numbers! Now get off my lawn!
- 40D: Prefix with logical (THEO-). I can never remember if it's idio- or ideo-, and in this case it was neither.
- 55D: ICC part: Abbr. (COMM.). Interstate Commerce Commission. I recall people have complained about having to know this governmental agency for crossword purposes. I used to work in a law firm that did some transportation law work, so it's totally familiar to me. Not sure if the COMM stands for Commerce or Commission, but I suppose it doesn't really matter.