Theme: As usual for a Saturday, no theme today. (Of course, I could be wrong. I've missed themes before.)
Hi, everyone. I believe Orange is still stuffing herself with turkey in some God-forsaken Internet-less place. I believe she'll be back blogging at her place on Monday, and will be back in the rotation here next Wednesday. In the meantime, you're stuck with me. Let's just make the best of it.
I thought we might have a theme going with the two double-Z answers: MEZZO-SOPRANO and JACUZZI (22A: Carmen, for one / 38A: Maker of many jets). But no. Then when I saw more Scrabbly letters, and thought we might have a pangram on our hands. But no again. All it needs is an effin' F. Bummer.
Stuff I did not know:
- 19A: Zen enlightenment (SATORI). Sometimes considered the first step toward Nirvana.
- 10D: Belgium winter hrs. (CET). Whoa, what? That would be Central European Time.
- 13D: Former Tennessee Titans tight end Kinney (ERRON). Insert your own err-on-the-side-of-caution joke here.
- 24D: Sprites of Persian mythology (PERIS). Apparently they rank between angela and evil spirits. Kinda like humans, I guess.
- 50D: "The Hustler" author Walter (TEVIS). I didn't know "The Hustler" was originally a novel.
- 62D: Knotted pile carpet (RYA). It's a traditional Scandinavian rug. If you do a Google image search, you see a wide variety of colors and designs, so I'm not sure what it is that makes these rugs their own category. Something about the wool or the knots I think.
Other stuff I noticed:
- 20A: Certain theater, for short (REP). Short for REPertory.
- 28A: "__ for Evidence": Grafton novel (E IS). Y'all know about the Sue Grafton novels, right? They all start with letters: A Is for, I don't know, Alibi or something. B Is for Blood. I'm making these up, but you get the point.
- 33A: Inexpensive kids' toy (PAPER DOLL). I'm pretty sure toy makers have discovered a way to make paper dolls expensive.
- 47A: Classic Jag (XKE). I always want there to be a J in this answer. And there never is.
- 56A: Company with a kangaroo on its logo (QANTAS). Q without a U? Crossword gold.
- 4D: Derby town (EPSOM). Epsom, Essex, Sussex ... they're all the same to me unfortunately.
- 34D: Dallas Mavericks owner before Cuban (PEROT). Kept reading this as "Dallas Mavericks owner Cuban" and couldn't figure out why Mark wouldn't fit.
- 39D: Golfer Babe who was a six-time AP Female Athlete of the Year (ZAHARIAS). So, yes, I know her name was Babe, but "Golfer Babe"? That doesn't seem right somehow.
- 52D: Vocally twangy (NASAL). I should be able to find something twangy for you ....
Crosswordese 101: R.U.R., which stands for Rossum's Universal Robots, is a play that premiered in 1921 credited with introducing the term robot. It was written in Czech by Karel Capek. Obviously, the play is considered science fiction. And with all that knowledge, you should be able to recognize R.U.R. the next time it's clued in a puzzle.
Everything Else — 1A: King overthrown by William of Orange (JAMES II); 8A: Breaks out (ESCAPES); 15A: Conversion gadget (ADAPTOR); 16A: Was humbled (ATE DIRT); 17A: Dennis the Menace's neighbors, with "the" (WILSONS); 18A: "Told you!" ("SO THERE!"); 21A: Berkshire school (ETON); 25A: Bad start? (MAL-); 29A: Fork in the road (VEE); 30A: Caribbean cruise stop (ARUBA); 40A: Asmara is its capital (ERITREA); 41A: One in a box (SPECTATOR); 43A: Nutritious beans (SOYAS); 44A: "I'm so clever" sound ("HEH"); 45A: Big affairs (DOS); 48A: Spinach is high in it (BETA-CAROTENE); 54A: U.S. dept. with a windmill on its seal (ENER.); 55A: Robot play (RUR); 60A: Daydream (REVERIE); 62A: Decay, as pipes (RUST OUT); 63A: "Sleepless in Seattle" studio (TRISTAR); 64A: One who aches (YEARNER); 65A: Party leader (HOSTESS); 66A: Brisk, to Brahms (ALLEGRO); 1D: 1975 thriller shot largely on Martha's Vineyard (JAWS); 2D: 1998 Sarah McLachlan hit (ADIA); 3D: Brewer's supply (MALT); 5D: Supply (STORE); 6D: Create charged particles in (IONIZE); 7D: Org. that gets a lot of returns (IRS); 8D: Uncomplicates (EASES); 9D: Short stay (STOP OVER); 11D: Didn't deviate from, as plans (ADHERED TO); 12D: Michelangelo masterpiece (PIETÀ); 14D: Court figure (STENO); 20D: Santa __: Sonoma County seat (ROSA); 23D: "Shh!" ("ZIP IT!"); 25D: Some mil. brass (MAJS.); 26D: Give __: care (A RAP); 27D: Fortune founder (LUCE); 31D: Romania's capital (BUCHAREST); 32D: Ancient Valley of Mexico native (AZTEC); 35D: Antelope that often has nearly upright horns (ORYX); 36D: Pipe problem (LEAK); 37D: Cut with light (LASE); 42D: It may be fishy (ODOR); 46D: Film follow-up (SEQUEL); 48D: Distance maintained between vessels (BERTH); 49D: Hot time in Chile (ENERO); 51D: Who's sorry now? (RUERS); 53D: Between: Fr. (ENTRE); 57D: Half a patio pair (TONG); 58D: "Violin Playing as I Teach It" author Leopold (AUER); 59D: Houston pro, locally ('STRO); 61D: 66, e.g.: Abbr. (RTE.).