THEME: "Give it a tRY" — "RY" is added to end of first word of a familiar phrase, creating the usual wackiness...
Hey, it's (yet) another array of phrases enwackified by added letters. Today: "RY." I see what the theme answers R? But Y? Why "RY?" Talk about your arbitrary letter combos. The best thing I can say about this puzzle is that the answers are truly impressively long. Five of 13+?? Wow. After that ... not much good to say. I feel like a puzzle that crosses EAT with EAT does not deserve a full write-up. That's a new kind of sloppy/lazy. Just astonishing. Makes crossing pronoun "I" with pronoun "I" (see middle of grid) seem like a negligible infraction by comparison. Honestly ... EAT x/w EAT. I await your defenses of that one.
- 17A: Battlefield success strategy? (infant RY formula)
- 21A: Church pool table features? (vest RY pockets)
- 35A: Downside of grits and chicken-fried steak? (count RY calories)
- 43A: Armed guard? (sent RY packing)
- 50A: Customs of dessert chefs? (past RY practices)
Crosswordese 101: EES (54D: Some Caltech grads) — Electrical Engineers. Bottom-of-the-barrel but occasionally necessary bit of crosswordese. SST and EES like to hang out together, as they have much in common.
[Please god let this song title become crosswordese]
- 5D: Dada, to many of its critics (NON-ART) — still don't believe this is a valid word. I *know* it's not a good word.
- 44D: Suffix with law (YER) — it hurts.
- 21D: 1970s fugitive financier Robert (VESCO) — Who The !@#$? This scandal was (largely) before my time. Sounds really interesting. I like the part at the end of his Wikipedia entry where it says, "Vesco reportedly died of lung cancer in November 2007 and was buried at Colon Cemetery in Havana. However, these reports of his death have been disputed." I love a good faked death legend.
- 31D: Pre-A.D. (BCE) — just ... no. If you are using "BCE," then you are also using "CE," not "A.D."
- 36D: "How dare they!" ("THE NERVE!") — far far far and away the best answer in this puzzle. Fantastic.
See you Monday, and please, if you haven't read it yet, please read Orange's follow-up to yesterday's puzzle. It's ... just the best thing I've read in a while.
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]