THEME: UU YOUR HEAD — Theme answers have their first word represented by a double letter, which represents a homophone if read as a plural, e.g. PP = Ps = PEASE; GG = Gs = JEEZ, etc.
I've seen this theme before, but that doesn't mean that the resulting answers weren't entertaining. Loved GGLOUISE and IIWIDESHUT. The others I could take or leave. The non-theme fill is rock solid throughout. Still far too easy for a late-week puzzle, but overall, reasonably delightful.
- 17A: Nursery rhyme dish? (PP PORRIDGE) — at first I thought the initial three Ps went together. Only after getting the next theme answer did I figure out that the Ps needed mental separating in order for the answer to make sense.
- 25A: "Time is fleeting" philosophy? (CC THE DAY)
- 38A: Reasons? (YY AND WHEREFORES)
- 49A: "Good grief!"? (GG LOUISE)
- 61A: 1999 Kidman/Cruise film? ("II WIDE SHUT")
Crosswordese 101: ANYA Seton (29D: Romance novelist Seton) — no idea. Learned this name from crosswords and now see it not infrequently. "ANYA — the one beer to drink when you're not drinking ENYA." WIKIpedia (39D: Web site that users can edit) tells me that ANYA Seton "was the pen name of the American author of historical romances, Ann Seton." Nice pen name. Creative. No one will ever suspect your true identity. Genius.
- 55A: Brest milk (LAIT) — my eye did not pick up the missing "a" in "Brest" and I thought "... really? Is there a technical word for that?"
- 3D: Well-groomed guy (DAPPER DAN) — DAPPER DAN is a doll to me. An ugly, big headed doll. I have a very, very clear memory of him from childhood and the universe of stuffed animals/dolls that my sister and I would create names / identities / stories for. Good times. DAPPER DAN was about the most normal-sounding name in the whole doll universe. There was a rabbit named RONNEX and two bears named RIGABEE and SUGABEE, respectively. We were
messed upcreative kids.
- 44A: Three-timed pairs skating gold medalist Rodnina (IRINA) — yeah, NOOOO idea.
- 62D: Cyclades island (IOS) — this could just as easily been the "Crosswordese 101" word today. NAXOS is another Cyclades island you might see.
- 13D: Grier of the Fearsome Foursome (ROSEY) — here he is at his fearsome foursomest:
See you Monday,
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]
Everything Else — 1A: Alaska's state gem (JADE); 5A: Sonora natives (PIMAS); 10A: Soup du __ (JOUR); 14A: Shepard in space (ALAN); 15A: Designer Simpson (ADELE); 16A: Biblical preposition (UNTO); 17A: Nursery rhyme dish? (PP PORRIDGE); 19A: Island garlands (LEIS); 20A: Uncanny ability, for short (ESP); 21A: Blond Wells race (ELOI); 22A: Pained reaction (WINCE); 23A: Toaster Swirlz brand (EGGO); 25A: "Time is fleeting" philosophy? (CC THEDAY); 28A: Tumblers and tongs, e.g. (BARWARE); 31A: Booty (LOOT); 32A: Beneath (UNDER); 33A: Bloke (CHAP); 35A: One of a cup's 48: Abbr. (TSP); 38A: Reasons? (YY AND WHEREFORES); 42A: Cio-Cio-__: Madama Butterfly (SAN); 43A: Actress Skye (IONE); 44A: Three-time pairs skating gold medalist Rodnina (IRINA); 45A: Gag (JOKE); 47A: Reaganomics principle (TAX CUTS); 49A: "Good grief!"? (GG LOUISE); 53A: "Just the facts, __" (MA'AM); 54A: Posture-perfect (ERECT); 55A: Brest milk (LAIT); 57A: Garb for dreamers, briefly (PJS); 60A: Really smell (REEK); 61A: 1999 Kidman/Cruise film? (II WIDE SHUT); 64A: Pencil puzzle (MAZE); 65A: Pothole sites (ROADS); 66A: Mother of Pollux (LEDA); 67A: Sit tight (STAY); 68A: Up to now (AS YET); 69A: Sign that something has turned? (ODOR); 1D: Wisecrack (JAPE); 2D: Heidi's home (ALPS); 3D: Well-groomed guy (DAPPER DAN); 4D: "Ambient 1: Music for Airports" composer Brian (ENO); 5D: Game room (PARLOR); 6D: Prefix with -syncratic (IDIO); 7D: Military physician (MEDIC); 8D: African country on the Med. Sea (ALG.); 9D: Understand (SEE); 10D: "'Tis but thy name that is my enemy" speaker (JULIET); 11D: Interminably (ON END); 12D: Erie Canal city (UTICA); 13D: Grier of the Fearsome Foursome (ROSEY); 18D: Think highly of (REGARD); 22D: Identity question (WHO); 24D: Singer Stefani (GWEN); 26D: Bordeaux wine (CLARET); 27D: Drink excessively (TOPE); 28D: Purchases (BUYS); 29D: Romance novelist Seton (ANYA); 30D: Bounces back (ECHOES); 34D: Farm female (HEN); 35D: Came out on top (TRIUMPHED); 36D: On its way (SENT); 37D: Awareness-raising TV spots, for short (PSAS); 39D: Web site that users can edit (WIKI); 40D: Focus intently (on) (FIXATE); 41D: Large ocean predator (ORCA); 45D: Silks wearer (JOCKEY); 46D: Fast asleep (OUT); 48D: In the thick of (AMIDST); 49D: Verminophobe's fear (GERMS); 50D: Splendid (GREAT); 51D: TV host Gibbons (LEEZA); 52D: Legendary Broncos quarterback (ELWAY); 56D: Helper (AIDE); 58D: Japanese martial art (JUDO); 59D: Paparazzi prey (STAR); 61D: Savings vehicle for later yrs. (IRA); 62D: Cyclades island (IOS); 63D: __-pitch softball (SLO).