THEME: "Glass Things"—Five phrases begin with words that can follow GLASS. I know my co-bloggers have a knack for making up a fun title for the puzzle but "Glass Things" is the best I can do at the moment. Have you got a catchier description?
Hey, did you watch the "literal video" I posted a week ago of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Under the Bridge"? I'm quite fond of that song so I was inordinately pleased when the plumber put me on hold and that song was the hold music! (It's the bathtub. It's draining slowly.)
- 17A: Paintings and such are WORKS OF ART. Glassworks are factories where glass or glass things are made. I have a small collection of glass paperweights, so I do like the output of certain glassworks.
- 26A: If something's Causing heads to turn, it's EYE-CATCHING. Glass eye! Let's get some Sammy Davis Jr. in here:
- 38A: BLOWING OFF STEAM means Releasing stress, in a way. There may well be a lot of glassblowing going on at the glassworks.
- 52A: JAR JAR BINKS was a Gungan general of "Star Wars" films? Apparently he did get promoted in Episode 1. I had a college boyfriend named Binks. Oh—glass jars are handy for storing spaghetti sauce.
- 61A: Yes, a JAWBREAKER is a Very hard candy. A boxer with a weak, easily broken jaw who is particularly susceptible to being whomped by an opponent's blows is said to have a glass jaw.
- 72A. Dinnerware item that can precede the start of 17-, 26-, 38-, 52- or 61-Across is GLASS.
- 1A: World-weary (BLASÉ). Who doesn't like French accents from time to time? "Marion Cotillard was blasé about updating her résumé, even though it was quite passé."
- 67A: Its state bird is the common loon: Abbr. (MINN). I daresay it is much easier to buy knickknacks with loons on them in Minnesota than to buy cardinal trinkets in Illinois. Some states get more worked up than others about their state birds.
- Speaking of birds, 70A: Early birds? are EGGS.
- 11D: Like fascination with the dark side (MORBID). Morbid curiosity and a morbid sense of humor are also fun.
- 27D: Gigantic statues (COLOSSI). Did you pencil in an S at the end and eventually have to switch to a Latin plural ending? Yeah, that'll happen. As the week progresses towards Saturday, you need to be more wary of assuming -S and -ED word endings.
- I thought of Winnie the Pooh's pal when I read the clue 30D: Piglet's mother, so the answer, SOW, was a little jarring. No, there's no A.A. Milne character named Sow.
- ZAFTIG is from the Yiddish and means 46D: Alluringly plump. The Yiddish word derives from the German saftig, meaning "juicy." Anyone else getting hungry for a peach now? (Sculpture by Fernando Botero. I love his work!)
- 48D: Islamic genies (DJINNS). This is a variant of jinns or jinnis. We don't have a lot of words that start with DJ. Django Reinhardt, Djibouti...
- 55D: "Shrek!" author William (STEIG) also wrote the C D B! books.
Good gravy, I almost forgot today's Crosswordese 101: ARNE is clued as 42D: 18th century composer Thomas. He was British. He composed the patriotic tune Rule, Britannia! as part of an opera called Alfred. I get the idea he's far more important to crosswords than to the classical music world. ARNE! Be on the lookout for Obama's secretary of education, Arne Duncan, to make an appearance in the puzzle some day.
I'll be back on screen Saturday. Behave yourselves in the meantime, will ya?
Everything Else — 6A: After a short time (SOON); 10A: Feature of a bad air day (SMOG); 14A: Bay Area county (MARIN); 15A: Fairy tale opener (ONCE); 16A: Heart (CORE); 19A: Ship of Greek mythology (ARGO); 20A: Offended (HURT); 21A: House party convenience (WET BAR); 23A: Roll of dough (WAD); 29A: Alimony recipients (EXES); 31A: Negatives (NOS); 32A: Watch readouts, briefly (LEDS); 33A: Lament (BEMOAN); 36A: Soup bean (LIMA); 44A: Kinfolk: Abbr. (RELS); 45A: A flat counterpart (G SHARP); 46A: Ending letters, in Leeds (ZEDS); 49A: Suffix with expert (-ISE); 51A: Sicilian spouter (ETNA); 56A: Sargasso, for one (SEA); 57A: Kilimanjaro site (AFRICA); 58A: River islets (AITS); 60A: "Put __ writing" (IT IN); 68A: Fourth person (ABEL); 69A: Wishful words (I HOPE); 71A: Hydrant attachment (HOSE); 1D: Munich-based automaker (BMW); 2D: __-tzu (LAO); 3D: Bus depot posting: Abbr. (ARR); 4D: Punjab sect member (SIKH); 5D: Happen next (ENSUE); 6D: Ease (SOFTEN); 7D: "__ clear day ..." (ON A); 8D: Text-scanning technology, briefly (OCR); 9D: Contents meas. (NET. WT.); 10D: Verbally attack (SCATHE); 12D: Instruments with stops (ORGANS); 13D: Conductor Szell (GEORG); 18D: Direct ending? (-ORY); 22D: Mercedes sedan category (E CLASS); 23D: LPGA star Karrie (WEBB); 24D: Skating maneuver (AXEL); 25D: Part of a rep's spiel (DEMO); 28D: "Like, no way!" ("AS IF!"); 34D: Respiratory cavity (AIR SAC); 35D: Dir. from Wichita to Omaha (NNE); 37D: Factory work: Abbr. (MFG); 39D: Smooth-talking (GLIB); 40D: First word of many titles (THE); 41D: Vittles (EATS); 43D: Film-rating org. (MPAA); 47D: Getting it wrong (ERRING); 50D: Empower (ENABLE); 52D: "My Name Is Earl" Emmy winner Pressly (JAIME); 53D: Indian prince (RAJAH); 54D: Cassis cocktail (KIR); 59D: Humorist Mort (SAHL); 62D: Blood-typing system (ABO); 63D: Unseld of the NBA (WES); 64D: Campground org. (KOA); 65D: Mini-albums, briefly (EPS); 66D: Legal thing (RES).