Are you guys sick of me yet? Rex is off on vacation today. I think he'll be updating his own blog today but asked me to cover for him here. Orange is scheduled to be back here (and at her own blog) tomorrow, so we can all look forward to that!
Super-quick write-up again today. I have a doctor's appointment this morning that I totally forgot about. Bad day to forget about a filled up 2-hour chunk of time. I'm putting PuzzleKids on a plane this afternoon to go visit their grandma in New Mexico. They're traveling "unaccompanied" so we have to get there early and I can't leave the airport until their plane is in the air. So there goes my afternoon. (Just observing, not complaining. I'm glad they have policies in place that ensure they'll take good care of my babies!)
Theme: TERrific — Theme answers are familiar phrases with the letters TER tacked onto the end creating new wacky phrases which are clued "?"-style.
- 17A: Megaphone for a ghost? (BOO BOOSTER).
- 27A: Fault-finding artist? (NAGGING PAINTER).
- 44A: Reason to bring in a relief pitcher? (FALLING STARTER).
- 58A: Drunk-as-a-skunk skunk? (LIT CRITTER).
- 10A: "Goodbye, Columbus" author (ROTH). That's Philip Roth, right? I enjoyed his The Plot Against America.
- 15A: Senate garb (TOGA). HAha. Hope they mean ancient Romans here and not, for example, Arlen Specter.
- 20A: Part of a flight (STEP). I've seen this clue several times lately and — finally! — it didn't confuse me. (The answer could be stair, by the way.)
- 38A: Programme shower (BBC). If you just can't make sense of a clue, see if one of the words can be pronounced a different way than you're thinking.
- 2D: __ suiter: '40s dude (ZOOT). It's a good look.
- 4D: Wikipedia article, e.g. (WEBPAGE). I had a pleasant "aha!" moment with this one. (Sometimes "aha!" moments aren't pleasant. Or maybe those aren't really "aha!" moments but [groan] moments instead. Not enough time to do an in-depth analysis right now!)
- 5D: Words on an initial reference volume (A TO). The first volume of a series might be captioned, for example, A TO F. Next would be G to O. Then P to Z.
- 11D: Offered (ON THE TABLE). This is a pretty sparkly clue/answer pair.
- 18D: Katz of "Dallas" (OMRI). Wow. No idea. He's been in a couple things this millennium but nothing I've actually heard of.
- 25D: Actor Tognazzi (UGO). Another "huh?" for me.
- 50D: Lion tamer's prop (HOOP). With the P in place, I wanted whip here. But OGEE (61A: S-shaped molding) straightened that out.
- 56D: Falklands War gun (BREN). If someone could 'splain the different between a BREN and a STEN, that would be awesome.
- 60D: "Hope __ good breakfast": Bacon (IS A). Ya know what else is a good breakfast? Bacon. (Thank you very much, I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your bartenders and waitresses.
Everything Else — 1A: Longtime Boston Symphony conductor (OZAWA); 6A: Pack (CRAM); 14A: Rental sign (TO LET); 16A: Grammy winner for the New Age album "Amarantine" (ENYA); 19A: Key not used by itself (CTRL); 21A: Mike holders (MCS); 22A: "Over here!" ("YOO-HOO!"); 24A: Special something (AURA); 26A: Fill (with) (IMBUE); 32A: San __, Calif. (MATEO); 33A: Negative link (NOR); 34A: Far from exciting (TAME); 36A: Questionable (SHADY); 41A: Released (OUT); 42A: Speck in the ocean (ISLET); 48A: Refreshing spot (OASIS); 49A: City on the Irtysh River (OMSK); 50A: Talk incessantly about (HARP ON); 52A: Novelist Grafton (SUE); 53A: Foot in a line (IAMB); 57A: GM line until 2004 (OLDS); 62A: Oratorio highlight (ARIA); 63A: Put away (STORE); 64A: Pal in a Stetson (PARD); 65A: Tip off (WARN); 66A: White poplar, e.g. (ASPEN); 1D: Gambling outlets, for short (OTBS); 3D: Flowering succulent (ALOE); 6D: Diagnostic pic (CT SCAN); 7D: Gets spoiled (ROTS); 8D: Just a number, it's said (AGE); 9D: Gospel duo with the single "Shackles" (MARY MARY); 10D: Election extender (RECOUNT); 12D: First-timer (TYRO); 13D: Saintly symbol (HALO); 23D: Sash traditionally tied with a bow (OBI); 26D: Apple in your pocket (IPOD); 27D: First name in Olympics perfection (NADIA); 28D: One difficult task (A TALL ORDER); 29D: Pesky swarm (GNATS); 30D: Fireplace bit (EMBER); 31D: Geometric fig. (RECT.); 32D: Rub the wrong way (MIFF); 36D: Acquired kin (SON-IN-LAW); 37D: Follows tightly, as a curve (HUGS); 40D: Slipped by (ELAPSED); 42D: Stimulus check org. (IRS); 43D: Nevis's sister island (ST. KITTS); 45D: Prefix with therm (ISO-); 46D: Froot Loops mascot (TOUCAN); 47D: Made in the U.S. (AMER.); 51D: Rootless plant (ALGA); 52D: Move a muscle (STIR); 54D: On the crest of (ATOP); 55D: Like mortals? (MERE); 59D: "Mad About You" cousin (IRA).