Theme: Looong answers — Theme answers are familiar phrases, the first word of which means, roughly, elongate, with the second word lengthened by adding an extra vowel.
- 20A: Too long a ride? (STRETCH LIIMO).
- 37A: Too many relatives? (EXTENDED FAAMILY).
- 54A: Too much information? (SPREAD SHEEET).
Oh, you want to talk about the puzzle? Well, I thought the theme was a little on the weird side. I get it that the words are stretched, extended, and spread, and that they all do that by adding a vowel but ... why? It just seems kind of random to me. Maybe if there had been just one more theme answer it would have magically come together. I don't know. It didn't thrill me, but there were still some interesting parts.
A couple things about the puzzle:
- 1A: Spare underwear (THONG). Okay, that clue is so weird that it's hilarious. I'm all "Spare underwear? Do people keep spares in their office desk drawer or their car or something?" But in this case, spare means "not liberal or profuse," which I guess is an accurate way to describe a thong. Yikes.
- 14A: Joyous shout (WAHOO). Just received a holiday card today from an old friend who always had a vanity license plate that said WAHOOOOO (or however many O's were allowed). I don't know if he was always having fun, but he liked people to think so!
- 17A: Mideast language (IRANI). I'm pretty sure we've talked about this before and I'm going to call foul on this answer. I'm no expert, but from the little bit of poking around I did, IRANI is a person, not a language. In fact, there are a whole mess of languages spoke in Iran, but not a single one of them is called IRANI. Also, according to the Cruciverb.com data base, IRANI has never been clued as a language in any of the major publications. I think this might be a mistake that slipped through the cracks. But feel free to edjumicate me if I'm wrong.
- 24A: Presidential pollster John (ZOGBY). Being something of a politics geek, this was a gimme for me.
- 34A: Swinger's cry (WHEE). I think the THONG answer must have directed my mind down to the gutter because this clue had me thinking of a whole different kind of swinger (that would, obviously, have a whole different kind of "cry").
- 36A: Fox hunt call (HALLO). No idea. I was thinking tally-ho for some reason. I guess it's been a long time since I've been fox hunting.
- 61A: Good way for dreams to come (TRUE). This feels off to me too. Seems like TRUE would be a good way for good dreams to come. I don't think I'd really want to be finding myself in random homes that aren't mine but at the same time they are (ya know?) and walking around having random people from my past showing up with different names. That would not be good.
- 2D: Roaring Camp chronicler (HARTE). Got this one from crosses. Apparently it was his story, "The Luck of Roaring Camp" that "propell[ed] Harte to nationwide fame."
- 3D: Hub near the Loop (O'HARE). See ya soon, O'Hare!
- 4D: Large chamber groups (NONETS). That would be a group of nine.
- 5D: Thyroid problem (GOITER). Ew! Ew! Breakfast test!
- 8D: DXXX ÷ X (LIII). I know some of your are going to whine about this roman numeral clue/answer pair, but I really don't mind the kind — like this one — where I can do the math in my head.
- 30D: Brown sauces (SOYS). No idea what this means.
- 38D: City SSE of Las Cruces, NM (EL PASO, TX). Okay, this is awesome. I have a cousin who's a musician and has a song called "Las Cruces." It had never occurred to me before right now to go see if there was a video of him performing the song and guess what! There is!
Crosswordese 101: There are three primary ways puzzle constructors clue RES.
- A short form of resolution (as in, "hi-res monitor").
- The plural of the second syllable in solfeèe (do re mi, etc.).
- The Latin word for thing.
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Everything Else — 6A: Thermometer part (BULB); 10A: Farm female (MARE); 15A: Most of Ohio's northern boundary (ERIE); 16A: Cameo gemstone (ONYX); 18A: A 66-Across lacks one (TAIL); 19A: Nureyev's negative (NYET); 23A: Sway (TEETER); 27A: Sellout signs (SROS); 29A: Orders (DECREES); 41A: Inscribed monument (STELA); 42A: Piano piece with "primo" and "secondo" parts, e.g. (DUET); 43A: Plural feature, usually (ESS); 44A: Sends a check with the order (PREPAYS); 46A: Columnist Barrett (RONA); 49A: Chop-chop (APACE); 50A: Calendar divisions (MONTHS); 58A: Weaponless self-defense (JUDO); 62A: Board for nails (EMERY); 63A: "__ happens ..." (AS IT); 64A: Diet label word (LITE); 65A: Some closet contents (LINEN); 66A: Critter with no 18-Across (MANX); 67A: Son of Seth (ENOS); 68A: So yesterday (PASSÉ); 1D: Peel in a drink (TWIST); 6D: Aleph follower (BETH); 7D: River through Kazakhstan (URAL); 9D: Mexico neighbor (BELIZE); 10D: LBJ or JFK (MONOGRAM); 11D: Whichever (ANY); 12D: Ham site (RYE); 13D: Request to an oper. (EXT.); 21D: Stand very close to (CROWD); 22D: Chocolate-flavored coffee (MOCHA); 25D: Misrepresent (BELIE); 26D: Sounds angry (YELLS); 28D: Lets the fur fly? (SHEDS); 29D: Postpone (DEFER); 31D: Breathing: Abbr. (RESP.); 32D: More than usual (EXTRA); 33D: Prohibitive, perhaps (STEEP); 35D: University Web site ending (EDU); 39D: Civil rights org. (NAACP); 40D: Matter components (ATOMS); 45D: Seuss turtle (YERTLE); 47D: Useless (NO HELP); 48D: Lack of vitality (ANEMIA); 51D: Soon-to-be adults (TEENS); 52D: Word spoken with a raised glass (HERE'S); 53D: "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" composer (STYNE); 55D: Joyce's motherland (ERIN); 56D: Focus opening (AUTO); 57D: Substandard marks (DEES); 58D: Dilemma (JAM); 59D: "Royal Pains" network (USA); 60D: Loud noise (DIN).