Theme: PLUG (63A: Ad, or word that can follow the end of 17-, 26-, 43- or 55-Across)
- 17A: "Imagination at work" company (GENERAL ELECTRIC).
- 26A: Fried-dough carnival treat (ELEPHANT EAR).
- 43A: The Doors #1 hit covered by José Feliciano (LIGHT MY FIRE).
- 55A: "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" author (DAME MURIEL SPARK).
This is going to be super quick today. I have a stupid Room Mom meeting this morning and, as much as I'd love to skip it, I really shouldn't. What with the Winter Party just around the corner and all.
I had a few stumbling blocks in this puzzle, so I would guess it was a little on the tough side for some of you too. On the other hand, it seems like there were an awful lot of times that a wrong answer popped into my head first making the right answer hard to get to, and maybe that was just my experience and you breezed through this one. However it went for you, let us know in the comments! This puzzle also had the added benefit of reminding me that I've been meaning to get in touch with Barry Silk for, like, three months now. Ouch!
Very early on in the solving process, I threw RACIER in at 9D (More risqué) and then erased it because I thought the R didn't work for 9A: Like some potatoes, which turned out to be RICED (with an R!) in the end. Even though I'm not really a football fan, I do know that the 33A: Fiesta Bowl site is TEMPE, Arizona. So, why did I enter TAMPA? It's anybody's guess. I wanted CALICO for OCELOT at 47A: Spotted cat, but I had a lot of crosses already so knew it wouldn't work. With ?O?E in place for 45A: Innermost part, I thought to myself "But that's the wrong kind of SOLE." Turns out it was CORE.
- 38A: Actress Blakley (RONEE). I'm sure I've seen her in crosswords, but I have no idea who she is. Hey! She was born on the exact same day as PuzzleDad! From the looks of her Wikipedia page, she's the real deal. When I have more time, I'll find out more about her!
- 59A: Doughnut shapes (TORI). Prediction for one of today's comments: "Could someone please explain TORI for doughnut shapes?" It's a weird word that I learned from puzzles and some others learned from math. A torus is a geometric shape that looks like ... wait for it ... a doughnut. And TORI is the plural.
- 7D: Puzzle center? (ZEES). You were not tricked by this.
- 40D: Artistic merit (VIRTU). You were, however, completely stumped by this. And by you, of course, I mean me.
- 44D: Large game fish (MARLIN). Shout-out to Marlin Bill and his wife Pam, who makes a mean key lime pie for the folks in Nosara, Costa Rica. Not that either one of them is probably reading this. But, hey, down in Nosara, I bet they know a 54D: Surfboard fin is called a SKEG. I sure didn't.
- 45D: 1950s-'60s Yankee Boyer (CLETE). I know early Yankees and I know recent Yankees. I do not know 1950s-'60s Yankees.
- 38D: Stop and shop, e.g. (RHYMES). Clever!
- 1A: Cheese town in the province of Noord-Holland (EDAM).
- 34A: Work units (ERGS).
- 62A: School founded in 1440 (ETON).
- 19D: Inventor Howe (ELIAS).
- 26D: Singer James et al. (ETTAS).
- 49D: Mideast bigwig (EMIR).
Everything Else — 5A: Cooper's tool (ADZE); 14A: Snare __ (DRUM); 15A: Powerful 19th century Virginia family (LEES); 16A: Positive terminal, at times (ANODE); 20A: N.Y. summer setting (EDT); 21A: Sale condition (AS IS); 22A: Deceived (LIED TO); 23A: Stranded motorist's aid (JACK); 25A: Cambodian money (RIEL); 30A: General on a Chinese menu (TSO); 34A: Work units (ERGS); 35A: Group including flower children's children, briefly (GEN X); 36A: Pants fabric (TWILL); 37A: Big conflict (WAR); 39A: Je t'__: Parisian's "I love you" (AIME); 40A: Bouquet holder (VASE); 41A: Drambuie ingredient (HONEY); 46A: Grant and Vanderbilt (AMYS); 50A: Exceptional (RARE); 52A: Subway alternative (BUS); 58A: Cream of the crop (ELITE); 60A: Merrie __ England (OLDE); 61A: Begat (SIRED); 1D: Slight advantage (EDGE); 2D: Stowe novel (DRED); 3D: Quaker Oats trademark (AUNT JEMIMA); 4D: Marseille Mrs. (MME.); 5D: Mount McKinley's state (ALASKA); 6D: Sub station? (DELI); 8D: Subj. taught bilingually (ESL); 10D: Spy's briefing contents, briefly (INTEL); 11D: Firewood order (CORD); 12D: Correct, perhaps (EDIT); 13D: Empire State Building style (DECO); 18D: "Silent Spring" author Carson (RACHEL); 24D: Winesap, e.g. (APPLE); 25D: Contrition (REGRET); 27D: Explorer aided by Sacagawea (LEWIS); 28D: Dogma-rejecting spiritual genre (NEW AGE); 29D: Junk (TRASH); 30D: Court bouncer (TENNIS BALL); 31D: Show contempt (SNEER); 32D: Kind of daisy (OXEYE); 35D: Silly (GOOFY); 43D: Came menacingly into view (LOOMED); 47D: Laudatory poems (ODES); 48D: City SW of Bogotá (CALI); 50D: Scream (RIOT); 51D: Opening for dynamic (AERO-); 53D: Pakistani tongue (URDU); 56D: Way to go: Abbr. (RTE.); 57D: How the weasel goes? (POP).