THEME: "Sex! Sex! Sex! What, here? Oh, no. Never!"—Three phrases that normally include SEX change a vowel to be something altogether not lewd
Yeah, it's me, Orange, again. You were expecting PuzzleGirl, but this work thing and getting sick have, I dunno, made her want to get to bed before midnight or something. So here I am. It's Wednesday night, and I have largely metabolized the cosmo I finished two hours ago. Yay! I'm waking back up now.
So. The puzzle? Yes. Fun theme, definitely on the small side. Two 12s and a 13 equals 37 theme squares. That leaves room for some chipper fill, and then there are Donna's clues, which tend to be on the fresh/fun side.
- 20A: [Music lessons for Bill Clinton?] are SAX EDUCATION. Nine band directors out of ten do not recommend the abstinence-only sex education. If you don't pick up the sax and play it, how are you gonna be any good at it?
- 39A: [Documentary about Chicago's relationship with its team?] clues SOX AND THE CITY. Horrors! See that tall building looming behind the Wrigley Field scoreboard? It casts a shadow over my building at midday in the winter. We are Cubs fans here. Yes, some Chicagoans are White Sox fans, but that singular "its team" chafes. A good friend of mine flew out to Mesa, Arizona, this week to interview Cubs legend Ron Santo. She said he was "as great as you think."
- 57A: THE FAIRER SIX are the [More equitable of two civil case juries?]. So...civil cases have six-person juries, I gather? I guess it would be unseemly to suggest that half of a 12-person jury could be patently unfair. Could also have gone with [Blonder third of the Duggar family's kids], except I think they surpassed 18 recently.
- 43A: [Stuffing stuff] is EIDER down. Do not, I beseech you, use this in your Thanksgiving stuffing. Pillows, yes. Turkey, no.
- 60A: [With alacrity] clues APACE, which is a word Merl Reagle included on his list of flansirs, or words that are "familiar looking although never seen in reality." Anyone else actually start using this word after seeing it in crosswords for years? I know I have. So has Joon, I believe.
- Recent movies! 2D: REMADE is clued as being [Like "The Day the Earth Stood Still," in 2008]. "Klaatu barada nikto!" There's a generic ICE AGE, sure, but there's also 37D: [2002 movie with Manny the Mammoth].
- 7D: AFTA is essentially a crappy brand-name answer. Not because it's a brand name, but because it's a not-a-household-name brand name that happens to be 4 letters long and half vowels, so it finds its way into crossword grids despite its non-prominence. But it's got a clue that rescues it: [Aptly named shaving lotion]. "Aptly" because it's an aftershave, an or aftashave in a Long Island accents.
- 48D. LES MIZ is the [Musical based on an 1862 novel, for short]. (The novel in question is the Victor Hugo book by the same name.) Who here has not seen the show? I saw it around 1990. Spectacle! Bombast! "Look down! Look down!"
- 49D. EDIBLE gets a slightly twisty clue: [Safe to put away].
Everything Else — 1A: Trip with much hardship (TREK); 5A: Ampule (VIAL); 9A: Bikini blast, briefly (HTEST); 14A: Prefix with port (HELI); 15A: FAQ responses, e.g. (INFO); 16A: Belittle (ABASE); 17A: Send out (EMIT); 18A: "Gosh darn it!" (RATS); 19A: Language that gives us "floe" (NORSE); 23A: Oscar-winning role for Forest (IDI); 24A: PC backup key (ESC); 25A: Corrosion-resistant metal (IRIDIUM); 29A: Letter flourish (SERIF); 31A: Sgt. Snorkel's pooch (OTTO); 33A: An A will usually raise it: Abbr. (GPA); 34A: Science opening? (NEURO); 36A: Most congenial (NICEST); 42A: Event with a piÒata (FIESTA); 44A: "Exodus" hero (ARI); 45A: At the top of the heap (BEST); 47A: Roman __: thinly disguised fiction (ACLEF); 51A: Often scandalous book genre (TELLALL); 54A: Dawdle behind (LAG); 56A: Old name of Tokyo (EDO); 63A: Ruminate (MUSE); 64A: Prefix with dextrous (AMBI); 65A: Its capital is Apia (SAMOA); 66A: Performing __ (ARTS); 67A: Despicable (VILE); 68A: Almost boil (SCALD); 70A: Israeli statesman Weizman (EZER); 1D: One of Luther's 95 (THESIS); 3D: Alchemist's creation (ELIXIR); 4D: Hawk family bird (KITE); 5D: High-tech invader (VIRUS); 6D: Of one mind (INACCORD); 8D: Became unhinged (LOSTIT); 9D: Capital on the Red River (HANOI); 10D: Govt. security (TBOND); 11D: Otologist's concern (EAR); 12D: Org. dodged by draft dodgers (SSS); 13D: Driver's starting point (TEE); 21D: Take down (DEFEAT); 22D: Did a laundry chore (IRONED); 26D: "__ a Kick Out of You": Cole Porter (IGET); 27D: "__-daisy!" (UPSY); 28D: Welcome spot (MAT); 30D: "What You Need" band (INXS); 32D: Carryalls (TOTES); 35D: Lacking capacity (UNABLE); 38D: Newspaper concern, esp. lately (CIRC); 39D: Bold Ruler, to Secretariat (SIRE); 40D: Versailles eye (OEIL); 41D: Schedules of problems to be dealt with (HITLISTS); 42D: More than plump (FAT); 46D: Jenna of "Dharma & Greg" (ELFMAN); 50D: More artful (FOXIER); 52D: Henry Blake's title on "M*A*S*H" (LTCOL); 53D: Good place to get? (AHEAD); 55D: "Give it __!" (AREST); 58D: Surrounding glow (AURA); 59D: Uninhibited party (RAVE); 60D: The law, according to Mr. Bumble (ASS); 61D: Lobbying gp. (PAC); 62D: Org. for GPs (AMA).