THEME: BUTTERFLY BLANKET PENCIL — last words of theme answers are BUTTERFLY, BLANKET, and PENCIL, respectively
Finished the puzzle and had no idea what the theme was. Saw that SOCIAL BUTTERFLY and SECURITY BLANKET were both S.B. phrases, and thought that might be part of it, but no. Nothing to tie S.B. to NUMBER TWO PENCIL. Then I noticed that the last words of the theme answers, when read in order, created the phrase BUTTERFLY BLANKET PENCIL, which is a special pencil used by lepidopterists for all their labeling and cataloguing needs. Very clever.
- 17A: One who goes from party to party (SOCIAL BUTTERFLY)
- 37A: Comforting carry-along for kids (SECURITY BLANKET)
- 58A: Test taker's writing implement, often (NUMBER TWO PENCIL)
Broke the three-minute mark on this one, despite a slow opening (blanked on ASSAD — 1D: Syria's Bashar al-_____) and not being able to make sense of 24D: Diagram tops, in bridge columns (NORTHS) til the very end. Love the phrases CITY HALL (9D: You can't fight it, in a saying) and PLAY FAIR (5D: "No cheating!"), though the latter took some crosses to ferret out. Entire western section has a very militaristic feel, what with the NCOS and LSTS. Also, you might LAUD a fallen soldier who TROD the beach at Normandy. I also like how S.O.S. is pointed right at ICEBERGS. Danger!
Crosswordese 101: LANAI (32A: Hawaiian veranda) — Aargh. I had STOA here at first, then realized that STOA had already been featured as a Crosswordese 101 answer, so I'm changing to LANAI, one of my favorite Hawaiian words, if only because it evokes "The Golden Girls," and I loves me some Betty White. Those Girls loved to sit out on their LANAI and drink and gab. LANAI = A patio with a roof or veranda, common in tropical locations. We had one of these in the house we rented in Costa Rica in April. Very nice. LANAI is also the sixth largest of the Hawaiian Islands.
- 6A: Autodom's Sable or Grand Marquis (MERC) — "Autodom," HA ha. It's right near "Truckdom."
- 20A: Water-carved gully (ARROYO) - common in southwestern U.S.
- 51A: In one's bare feet (SHOELESS) — [Like Joe Jackson] might have worked better here.
- 13D: Stone and Stallone (SLYS) — never seen it in the plural. Really don't like it.
- 19D: Site for cyberbidders (EBAY) — "cyberbidders," really? There's virtually no support for this as a word (though it's obvious what it means).
Enjoy your week. I'm back on Friday.
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Everything Else — 1A: "The Fox and the Grapes" fable writer (AESOP); 6A: Autodom's Sable or Grand Marquis, for short (MERC); 10A: Seeks answers (ASKS); 14A: Pint-size (SMALL); 15A: Mine, in Montréal (AMOI); 16A: Spring shape (COIL); 17A: One who goes from party to party (SOCIAL BUTTERFLY); 20A: Water-carved gully (ARROYO); 21A: Tofu source (SOY BEANS); 22A: Make blond, say (DYE); 23A: Marshy area (FEN); 25A: Contains (HAS); 26A: Early September observance (LABOR DAY); 29A: __ Angeles (LOS); 32A: Hawaiian veranda (LANAI); 35A: Rod attachment (REEL); 36A: Dinghy movers (OARS); 37A: Comforting carry-along for kids (SECURITY BLANKET); 40A: Walked all over (TROD); 41A: Sonny's partner (CHER); 42A: Contests with pistols (DUELS); 43A: Seaman's "Help!" (SOS); 44A: Saviors (MESSIAHS); 46A: Confer knighthood on (DUB); 47A: Sault __ Marie, Mich. (STE.); 48A: Gave a thumbs-up (OK'D); 51A: In one's bare feet (SHOELESS); 56A: Delphic prophet (ORACLE); 58A: Test taker's writing implement, often (NUMBER TWO PENCIL); 60A: Touched down (ALIT); 61A: Shot into the net (GOAL); 62A: Poke fun at (TAUNT); 63A: Butter squares (PATS); 64A: Beach surface (SAND); 65A: Shrek et al. (OGRES); 1D: Syria's Bashar al-__ (ASSAD); 2D: Atlanta university (EMORY); 3D: "__ bleu!" (SACRE); 4D: Hodgepodge (OLIO); 5D: "No cheating!" ("PLAY FAIR!"); 6D: Shakespeare's fairy queen (MAB); 7D: Aussie birds (EMUS); 8D: __-Rooter (ROTO); 9D: You can't fight it, in a saying (CITY HALL); 10D: Farmland units (ACRES); 11D: Couch potato's spot (SOFA); 12D: Ceramist's oven (KILN); 13D: Stone and Stallone (SLYS); 18D: Leopold's co-defendant (LOEB); 19D: Site for cyberbidders (EBAY); 24D: Diagram tops, in bridge columns (NORTHS); 26D: Sing the praises of (LAUD); 27D: California's Point __ National Seashore (REYES); 28D: Remains of a wreck (DEBRIS); 29D: Erie or Huron (LAKE); 30D: Pitcher Hershiser (OREL); 31D: Concordes: Abbr. (SSTS); 32D: D-day ships (LSTS); 33D: Prefix with -nautics (AERO-); 34D: Sgts. and cpls. (NCOS); 36D: Burden (ONUS); 38D: North Atlantic hazards (ICEBERGS); 39D: Follow, as a principle (ADHERE TO); 44D: Backless slipper (MULE); 45D: Perched on (ATOP); 46D: Borrower's burdens (DEBTS); 48D: Happen (OCCUR); 49D: Oscar winner Kevin (KLINE); 50D: Shoulder muscles, for short (DELTS); 51D: Lose one's cool (SNAP); 52D: Wahine's dance (HULA); 53D: Skip over (OMIT); 54D: Ancient Greek meeting spot (STOA); 55D: Ugly duckling, in time (SWAN); 57D: Wordplay in the Jumble: Abbr. (ANAG.); 59D: Worn-out (OLD).