Theme: "Triple Threat"—Theme answers are based on two-word phrases that start with the word triple. But instead of using using the whole phrase (with the word triple), the second word of the phrase appears three times. Clear as mud? Here, this will help....
- 17A: Horse racing coup, literally (CROWN CROWN CROWN) [Triple Crown].
- 23A: Baseball rarity, literally (PLAY PLAY PLAY) [Triple play].
- 45A: Rhythm for waltzing, literally (TIME TIME TIME) [Triple time].
- 54A: Text layout specification, literally (SPACE SPACE SPACE) [Triple space].
Crosswordese 101: In CrossWorld we don't say that the cookies cost $1.00 individually. Or that you'll need to lay out $5.00 for each latte. No, we like our consumer goods divided into pops. That's right. The cookies are $1.00 A POP [32A: Each] and you'll need to lay out $5.00 A POP for the lattes. It's ridiculous really—the cost of a latte. But that's not the point. The point is, if the clue is simply each or per or individually—anything along those lines and you know you're looking for A POP.
But hey, I wasn't really done talking about the theme. Who liked the theme? Who thought it was solid, elegant, and well-executed? Show of hands, please. Okay, hands down. (See how I did that?) I thought it was okay. Actually, I thought half of it was great and the other half ... not so much. Triple time? I'm sure there's some musician out there who will chime in about his 30 years' experience with the New York Philharmonic where they always call 3/4 time "triple time." But me? No, as a matter of fact, I have not played the piano for more than 20 years, but when I did play I was good and back then we called 3/4 time "3/4 time." Triple time means fast to me. One faster than double time. And then there's triple space. Again, I'm sure there's someone out there who's retired from Kinko's and can verify that triple spacing is extremely common. But I don't buy it. I've typed a large number and wide variety of documents in my day (dexterous fingers from all the piano playing, you know) and can't say that I've used triple spacing more than, oh, twice. I was a secretary. For years. Typed a lot. Not much call for the triple spacing. Just sayin'.
Bullets Bullets Bullets:
- 1A: Sitcom set in Korea (M*A*S*H). One of the best sitcoms of all time. You know you cried when Radar walked in and told everyone that Henry Blake's plane had crashed. Don't try to convince me that you didn't.
- 10A: Late-night talk pioneer Jack (PAAR). Did anybody watch Conan last night?
- 33A: Gag response (HA-HA). I read the clue as "gag reflex" and thought "Well, that's pretty gross."
- 39A: Apple MP3 player (IPOD). It's definitely Tuesday if they're gonna give you that much detail in the clue like that. Oh, and looky-here, more product placement at 1D: Computer choices (MACS).
- 62A: Reader of Seventeen (TEEN). As I was flying through the acrosses I saw this clue and thought "Teen. Wait. No, that can't be right. TEEN can't be the answer for a clue with the word sevenTEEN in it." Anyone else catch that? I would call that a mistake.
- 6D: Just free of the bottom, as an anchor (ATRIP). Never heard this word and, in fact, wasn't sure if was supposed to be "at rip." But no, it's just ATRIP.
- 18D: Mystery writer Marsh (NGAIO). Learned about her in crosswords. She was from New Zealand.
- 19D: Guitarist's gadget (CAPO). That's the little doo-hickey they put around the neck of the guitar to, basically, change the key. Unfortunately, that's as much detail as you're going to get from me about that. You know what I'm talking about though, right?
- 25D: It might be applied while puckering (LIP BALM). Hmm. I feel like I'm complaining a lot today and want to remind you all that I'm a very nice person. But I just don't believe that you pucker up to apply lip balm. If you pucker up, you don't really get the proper lip coverage and everyone who knows me knows that I'm a staunch advocate of proper lip coverage.
P.S. I almost forgot. The post below this one is a summary of our daily Crosswordese 101 sessions. We'll be updating the list as we go and you can always find your way back to it by clicking on the link that says CW101 up there at the top of the blog.
Everything Else — 5A: Pub diversion (DARTS); 14A: Spots in high school? (ACNE); 15A: Group cultural values (ETHOS); 16A: Funny Bombeck (ERMA); 20A: Work on seams (SEW); 21A: Moo goo __ pan (GAI); 22A: Draw a bead on (AIM AT); 28A: Strait of Dover port (CALAIS); 30A: Prefix with -syncratic (IDIO-); 31A: University of Maine town (ORONO); 37A: Lecherous (LEWD); 38A: Book in a hotel room (BIBLE); 40A: Lad's love (LASS); 41A: Bakery buy (LOAF); 42A: More than sufficient (AMPLE); 43A: Hood's gal (MOLL); 44A: Chews out (SCOLDS); 49A: Aptly named Renault (LE CAR); 50A: Blazed a trail (LED); 51A: McDonnell Douglas product (JET); 59A: Prefix with dynamic (AERO-); 60A: Fanatical (RABID); 61A: Flu symptom (ACHE); 63A: Coasters with runners (SLEDS); 64A: Refs' fight-ending decisions (TKOS); 2D: Meadow measure (ACRE); 3D: Drift removers (SNOWPLOWS); 4D: Cut with an ax (HEW); 5D: Turns to compost (DECAYS); 7D: Letter after pi (RHO); 8D: Pull off the road (TOW); 9D: Nine-digit ID (SSN); 10D: Jeopardy (PERIL); 11D: Coffeehouse lure (AROMA); 12D: Big name in multilevel marketing (AMWAY); 13D: Vehement speech (RANT); 24D: Comes down to earth (LANDS); 26D: German violinist Busch (ADOLF); 27D: Cry of surprise (YIPE); 28D: Prof.'s employer (COLL.); 29D: Length times width (AREA); 32D: Garlicky mayo (AIOLI); 34D: Brandy distilled from cider (APPLEJACK); 35D: Place for cargo (HOLD); 36D: Fruity drinks (ADES); 38D: Sponge up (BLOT); 42D: Litmus reddeners (ACIDS); 43D: "... for a __ pittance" (MERE); 44D: Rides for knights (STEEDS); 45D: Home often made of canvas nowadays (TEPEE); 46D: Sympathetic words (I CARE); 47D: City SE of Atlanta (MACON); 48D: 11th century Spanish hero (EL CID); 49D: Future atty.'s exam (LSAT); 52D: Canyon rebound (ECHO); 53D: Casual shirts (TEES); 55D: Prom gp. (SRS.); 56D: Buddy (PAL); 57D: Civil War nickname (ABE); 58D: Soft touch (PAT).