THEME: "Scope of a thorough search" — same clue used on four different theme answers, all of which fit a "[blank] AND [blank]" pattern
I took one look at the constructor's name and thought, "Well, if that's not a pseudonym, I don't know what is." PuzzleGirl agreed. Then she did some digging and found an actual person with that name (not from fiction, not from the 19th century), and so we now think he's real. This puzzle is very real, and very fine for a Monday. Simple, and with a theme that is consistent in two dimensions (every theme answer has same clue, same syntax). I tripped a few times, going with HIGH AND DRY instead of HIGH AND LOW, and NEW TERMS instead of NEW DEALS (9D: Renegotiated contracts), but still managed to come in under 3 minutes, which is well on the fast side for me.
I would happily drink at a FEMINIST WETBAR (52A: Gloria Steinem, for one + 57A: Home beverage counter with a sink)
- 17A: Scope of a thorough search (HIGH AND LOW)
- 27A: Scope of a thorough search (INSIDE AND OUT)
- 44A: Scope of a thorough search (HITHER AND YON)
- 60A: Scope of a thorough search (FAR AND WIDE)
Crosswordese 101: EIRE (53D: Emerald Isle) — this one is so Crosswordtastic that I think we've all been assuming one of us has written about it before. One of the great challenges in my speed-solving life is the ERIN / EIRE dilemma. It's kind of like the APEX / ACME dilemma, only greener. When you get to late-week puzzles, there's also the EPIC (14A: "Iliad" or "Odyssey") / EPOS dilemma. But back to Ireland — generally, "ERIN" is clued in some way that relates to poetry, or the word's poetic quality, whereas EIRE is just the Irish word for Ireland, and tends to get somewhat more literal cluing. Although today's clue completely confounds that distinction, so perhaps you should ignore me and work out your own ERIN / EIRE-distinguishing mojo.
- 62A: Very dry (ARID) — when I typed in HAIRDO (45D: Arrangement of locks), I miscalculated and ended up typing the letters in the wrong squares (when you type in a letter in AcrossLite, the cursor will skip to the next empty square, so sometime the cursor hops letters but your fingers instinctively forget to hop letters and so everything gets screwy). So I had "R" for the final letter of [Very dry]. Then I wrote in SEER, which makes no sense whatsoever (I meant "SERE," which is also wrong, if somewhat less so). This is how I know I can get my times even lower ... I just have to quit having these little typing wipe-outs.
- 66A: Dressed like a superhero (CAPED) — Like the CAPED Crusader, Batman (who is not, I repeat not, a "superhero" — but this clue doesn't specify Batman, so it's off the hook).
- 12D: Physician Walter for whom an Army hospital is named (REED) — love this clue, even if the reason I know the answer (the relatively recent tales of substandard care for Iraq War veterans) is depressing.
- 28D: Made trenches (DUG IN) — I would accept this clue for DUG; DUG IN means something else to me — conveys mule-like resistance, e.g. DUG IN one's heels.
See you Friday — I'll let PuzzleGirl tell you all about this past weekend's crossword tournament tomorrow.
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Everything Else — 1A: Dogie-catching tool (ROPE); 5A: Looking like you've seen a ghost (ASHEN); 10A: Poi base (TARO); 14A: "Iliad" or "Odyssey" (EPIC); 15A: Not a soul (NOONE); 16A: Greek war god (ARES); 17A: Scope of a thorough search (HIGH AND LOW); 19A: Rod's companion (REEL); 20A: Sweater wool (ANGORA); 21A: Mythical city of gold (EL DORADO); 23A: Ottoman governor (BEY); 24A: Nightmare street of movies (ELM); 26A: One having a little lamb (EWE); 27A: Scope of a thorough search (INSIDE AND OUT); 33A: Planetary shadow (UMBRA); 36A: Thinks (over) carefully (MULLS); 37A: Partner of a tournament "am" (PRO); 38A: Chat (TALK); 39A: Roman senators' attire (TOGAS); 40A: Immense (HUGE); 41A: Previously (AGO); 42A: Pine product (RESIN); 43A: Headquartered (BASED); 44A: Scope of a thorough search (HITHER AND YON); 47A: Walking on __: elated (AIR); 48A: Doo-wop horn (SAX); 49A: Play segment (ACT); 52A: Gloria Steinem, notably (FEMINIST); 57A: Home beverage counter with a sink (WET BAR); 59A: One with burning pants? (LIAR); 60A: Scope of a thorough search (FAR AND WIDE); 62A: Very dry (ARID); 63A: Up in arms (IRATE); 64A: Bad day for Caesar (IDES); 65A: Lottery-like game (KENO); 66A: Dressed like a superhero (CAPED); 67A: Keeps after taxes (NETS); 1D: Post-op treatment (REHAB); 2D: Offer one's view (OPINE); 3D: Word with bank or back (PIGGY); 4D: Canyon phenomenon (ECHO); 5D: Historical records (ANNALS); 6D: Instant lawn (SOD); 7D: Digger's creation (HOLE); 8D: Carbon compound (ENOL); 9D: Renegotiated contracts (NEW DEALS); 10D: Paved (TARRED); 11D: Vicinity (AREA); 12D: Physician Walter for whom an Army hospital is named (REED); 13D: Norway's capital (OSLO); 18D: Venue for games (ARENA); 22D: Has title to (OWNS); 25D: Champagne and orange juice cocktail (MIMOSA); 27D: Bug (IRK); 28D: Made trenches (DUG IN); 29D: Spiral-horned antelopes (ELANDS); 30D: Numbered work (OPUS); 31D: Encourage (URGE); 32D: __ the line: obeyed (TOED); 33D: Brigham City's state (UTAH); 34D: Wise men (MAGI); 35D: Stain (BLOT); 39D: Fabulous (TERRIFIC); 40D: Solo played by Harrison (HAN); 42D: Jockey strap (REIN); 43D: Put in cartons (BOXED); 45D: Arrangement of locks (HAIRDO); 46D: Acted sleepy (YAWNED); 49D: Put up with (ABIDE); 50D: West Point undergrad (CADET); 51D: Rapunzel feature (TRESS); 52D: Anti-aircraft fire (FLAK); 53D: Emerald Isle (EIRE); 54D: Common street name (MAIN); 55D: "Nobody doesn't like __ Lee" (SARA); 56D: Mouth, in slang (TRAP); 58D: Duplicate (TWIN); 61D: Had lunch (ATE).