Theme: "Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner" — The first word of each theme answer can follow the word baby in a familiar phrase.
- 17A: *Nitpick (SPLIT HAIRS). Never heard the term "baby split" before, but now I've got some new jargon to use when getting killed by the PuzzleKids at Wii bowling (4D: Nintendo system involving physical exertion).
- 27A: *Take no action (SIT TIGHT). "Babysit." Now that's more like it. I know what that is. Wasn't ever very good at it, but that's a whole 'nother story.
- 46A: *Gold rush phenomenon (BOOM TOWN). "Baby Boom." My parents are Boomers, which I guess makes me a Gen Xer. Whatever that means.
- 60A: *B.B. King's genre (BLUES MUSIC). Ow, it hurts! Sorry, but this one doesn't work for me at all. B.B. King's genre is Blues. Period. Plus I think the phrase "baby blues" really minimizes the phenomenon it's trying to describe. Just like "morning sickness." Of course if they described it accurately, no one would ever get pregnant.
- 11D: *Group that might indict (GRAND JURY). I always thought that if I was ever going to get a fancy piano, I wouldn't waste my time on a "baby grand" but go right for the grand.
- 35D: *Hits the gas (STEPS ON IT). I was just telling someone recently how I'm not good at "baby steps." I'm pretty much an all-or-nothing gal. If I'm going to start exercising, I need to buy new shoes, join a gym, and sign up for some classes. I can't just go walk around the block.
- 55D: Word that can precede the starts of the answers to starred clues (BABY).
I feel like I said a lot about the theme and gave you some good information in CW101 and ya know what? Looking through the clues, absolutely nothing jumps out at me as worth expanding on. I liked the puzzle. Simple theme, executed very smoothly. Perfect Tuesday. But nothing else to talk about. If anything grabbed you, please bring it up in the comments. ...
Now it's, like, half an hour later and my search for the perfect PATTI LaBelle (50D: Singer LaBelle) video took me down a winding path that led me instead to Patti Austin, Brian McKnight, and Take 6 singing a Quincy Jones production of one of my favorite songs of all time, "Moody's Mood for Love." So, even though I planned to leave you with Ms. LaBelle, I'm going to take you out with something a little more mellow than "Lady Marmalade." Hope you like it.
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Everything Else — 1A: Muscleman's quality (BRAWN); 6A: Prefix with sphere (HEMI-); 10A: Taj Mahal site (AGRA); 15A: Smooth out (EVEN); 16A: Rugged outcropping (CRAG); 19A: Detest (HATE); 20A: Rage (IRE); 21A: Neil Simon's "The Goodbye __" (GIRL); 22A: Did some pressing work? (IRONED); 24A: Must-miss movie rating, probably (NO STARS); 26A: Well-behaved (GOOD); 30A: Slim __: snack sausage (JIM); 33A: Scottish singing sensation Boyle (SUSAN); 36A: Boozer (SOT); 37A: "You bet!" ("SURE!"); 38A: Galileo's sci. (ASTR.); 39A: Boston team, briefly (CELTS); 41A: Quickie haircut (TRIM); 42A: Professional charges (FEES); 43A: Classic TV brand (RCA); 44A: Final authority (SAY SO); 45A: Eerie ability, briefly (ESP); 49A: Places for facials (SPAS); 51A: Train track foundation (ROADBED); 55A: Puffs up (BLOATS); 57A: German industrial area (RUHR); 58A: Parisian pal (AMI); 59A: Bee, to Opie (AUNT); 63A: Londoner, e.g. (BRIT); 64A: Assents at sea (AYES); 65A: Use TurboTax, say (E-FILE); 66A: Furry Himalayan legend (YETI); 67A: Take a breather (REST); 68A: Parceled (out) (DOLED); 1D: Washroom tub (BASIN); 2D: Copy, for short (REPRO); 3D: Where Van Gogh painted "Sunflowers" (ARLES); 5D: Bottom line (NET GAIN); 6D: Publisher with a castle (HEARST); 7D: Wicked (EVIL); 8D: La Méditerranée, e.g. (MER); 9D: Moments of clarity (INSIGHTS); 10D: Cold outburst? (ACHOO); 12D: Lender's charge (RATE); 13D: Like fine wine (AGED); 18D: Trumpeter Al (HIRT); 23D: Spoil (ROT); 28D: Sunni's faith (ISLAM); 29D: Caught on to (GOT); 31D: Spring blossom (IRIS); 32D: Note to the staff (MEMO); 33D: Ump's outstretched-arms call (SAFE); 34D: Depletes, with "up" (USES); 37D: Easel, e.g. (STAND); 39D: Goalpost part (CROSSBAR); 40D: Green prefix (ECO-); 44D: Moved like bees (SWARMED); 46D: Cave dweller (BAT); 47D: Most loyal (TRUEST); 48D: Sounds of surprise (OOHS); 52D: Herb garden staple (BASIL); 53D: "Nana" author Zola (ÉMILE); 54D: Chopped into cubes (DICED); 56D: Entice (LURE); 57D: Feels sorry about (RUES); 61D: Chemical in Drano (LYE); 62D: Sighting in the sky, for short (UFO).