Theme: "Your Table Is Ready" — Ends of the theme answers can be used to describe various types of tables.
- 18A: *Singly (ONE AT A TIME).
- 20A: *Gathering of reporters (NEWS CONFERENCE).
- 31A: *Workplace gambling group (OFFICE POOL).
- 40A: *Furthermore (IN ADDITION).
- 52A: *Negotiating for a lesser sentence (PLEA BARGAINING).
- 57A: *Credit company with a "Priceless" ad campaign (MASTERCARD).
- 61A: Postpone, as a motion (and word that can follow the last word of answers to starred clues) (TABLE).
This is one of Dan's "why-didn't-I-think-of-that?" themes. I mean, really, so simple with examples relatively easy to find. Notice the seven (!!) theme answers. With a dense theme like this, however, the fill is bound to suffer. I'm a solver who appreciates a little crosswordese thrown into every puzzle. It gives me a little hint to the crosses, which is sometimes all I need. But in today's puzzle, I count ten (!!) words that we've already covered in CW101. And that's too much for a 15x15 puzzle. I also count two really ugly plurals. Look. I get it. There's only so much you can do. And sometimes plurals are just fine. I believe it was Mr. Naddor who recently clued JANETS as "Jackson and Reno." I mean, that's a thing of beauty. But OTTS (1A: Giant Mel et al.) and STEELES (13D: TV's Remington et al.)?? Et al.? That means and others. Which raises the question: What others? Is there another OTT? Oh, wait a minute. I forgot all about Rachel Ott, one of the 2002 Pierce County Daffodil Princesses. Dang. I'm sorry.
Before you start calling me Negative Nellie, though, I have to say that all was forgiven when I got to OLD GOAT (42D: Nasty geezer). Now that is the kind of fill that takes a solver by surprise and has a pretty good chance of causing a chuckle or two. Love it!
- 15A: Euripides tragedy (MEDEA). I started the puzzle doing the downs, and entered limb for 8D: Tree growth (LEAF). When I quickly scanned the crosses I saw media here and thought I was doing just fine. So that took a little time to straighten out when I saw the B wouldn't work in 20-Across.
- 34A: "The Swiss Family Robinson" author Johann (WYSS). Today PuzzleGirl learns that there's a difference between "The Swiss Family Robinson" and "Robinson Crusoe." No, of course I knew that already, but I do get them mixed up.
- 46A: Stereotypical parrot name (POLLY). Shout-out to my friend Polly who's partially responsible for the best pizza in Iowa City.
- 26D: Catcher Carlton __, who famously homered to win Game 6 of the 1975 World Series (FISK). Okay, this is funny. I went to check out Fisk's Wikipedia page and the first thing I see is that he's a pitcher and his nickname is "Pudge." And I think to myself "I know there's another catcher nicknamed 'Pudge.'" Sure enough, I keep reading and learn that Fisk's record of most games played at the position of catcher was actually broken by Ivan Rodriguez. Also known as "Pudge."
- 37D: Janitor's tool (DAMP MOP). I think damp mop is more in the language as a verb. Just sayin'.
- 49D: Grammy-winning country star Steve (EARLE). Lucky you! You get an awesome musical interlude today!
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Everything Else — 5A: Skating jumps (AXELS); 10A: Ballpark figs. (ESTS.); 14A: Beat to a froth (WHIP); 16A: Predicament (SPOT); 17A: Pre-euro denaro (LIRE); 22A: Authorized, briefly (OK'D); 23A: "... the morn ... Walks o'er the dew of __ high eastward hill": "Hamlet" (YON); 24A: Olympian's quest (MEDAL); 25A: Sources of overhead costs? (ROOFS); 27A: Highchair feature (TRAY); 30A: GPS suggestion (RTE.); 35A: Game for one (SOLITAIRE); 37A: Barbecue site (DECK); 44A: "I love," in Latin (AMO); 45A: Topple (over) (KEEL); 47A: __ jumbo (MUMBO); 49A: Cote occupant (EWE); 51A: Mormon initials (LDS); 58A: Boardroom VIPs (CEOS); 60A: Director Preminger (OTTO); 62A: Morales of "NYPD Blue" (ESAI); 63A: Lowly laborer (PEON); 64A: German industrial city (ESSEN); 65A: JFK arrivals, once (SSTS); 1D: Big-eyed bird (OWL); 2D: Envision (THINK OF); 3D: Fed up with (TIRED OF); 4D: Gush (SPEW); 5D: Gas giant that merged with BP (AMOCO); 6D: One of the noble gases (XENON); 7D: First garden site? (EDEN); 9D: Fill to the gills (SATE); 10D: Lauder of cosmetics (ESTEE); 11D: Washer setting (SPIN DRY); 12D: Alley prowlers (TOMCATS); 19D: Military force (ARMY); 21D: Big name in food service (SYSCO); 27D: Bottom line amount (TOTAL); 28D: Turnpike, e.g. (ROAD); 29D: "Put __ on it!" (A LID); 32D: Author Wiesel (ELIE); 33D: Woodsy aerosol scent (PINE); 34D: "What are __ believe?" (WE TO); 36D: Turn red, perhaps (RIPEN); 38D: Try to equal (EMULATE); 39D: Regains consciousness (COMES TO); 41D: Reason to miss work (ILLNESS); 43D: Where Hillary was sen. (NYS); 45D: Lakers star Bryant (KOBE); 48D: It's passed in relays (BATON); 50D: Add lanes to (WIDEN); 53D: Johnson of "Laugh-In" (ARTE); 54D: Victrolas, e.g. (RCAS); 55D: Ties up the phone, say (GABS); 56D: Chills, as bubbly (ICES); 59D: Bro's sib (SIS).