Theme: You Light Up My Life — Theme answers are familiar phrases that begin with something that provides light.
- 17A: Instant of realization (LIGHTBULB MOMENT).
- 33A: Lyrical lament of lost love (TORCH SONG).
- 38A: Idaho ski resort (SUN VALLEY).
- 53A: Elton John tribute to Marilyn Monroe (CANDLE IN THE WIND).
Smooth Tuesday puzzle for me, which is exactly what I expect from Donna. Cute theme, good fill, nothing completely out of place and nothing super sparkly either. Except maybe BABKA (9A: Yeast cake highlighted in a "Seinfeld" episode). "You sold us a hair with a cake around it!" HAha. Also SMOOCH (46A: Lay a wet one on). I don't recall seeing that one in a puzzle before.
- 20A: Slow start? (ESS). The word slow starts with the letter S (ess).
- 29A: Texas __: oil (TEA). I seem to recall the last time this showed up in a puzzle someone here had never heard of it. Did you get it this time? Are you out there? Hello? Hello?
- 32A: Word with trap or prize (BOOBY). Heheh. You said booby.
- 49A: Ed of "The People's Court" (KOCH). Now that is really sad. He was once the mayor of what a lot of people consider the greatest city in the world. And now he's known as a judge on a cringeworthy reality show.
- 9D: Devoted to reading (BOOKISH). I know this is totally legit, but to me, bookish connotes more than just a devotion to reading, so it was hard for me to get this one.
- 23D: Former Internet-on-the-tube co. (WEBTV). Just read an article this morning about television manufacturers integrating Skype into their new TVs. Awesome.
- 29D: Fabric with a repeated scenic pattern (TOILE). One of these days we'll do a CW101 on fabric.
- 39D: In one sitting (AT A CLIP). I had no idea that's what this phrase means. I thought it meant "quickly," but that's "at a good clip."
- 43D: Loaded (RICH). My first thought was more along the lines of drunk.
Bonus Puzzle: Today is Merl Reagle's birthday. It's a big one. You know, one of those that ends in a ZERO. Andrea Carla Michaels and Michael Blake constructed a puzzle in honor of this momentous occasion. Go solve it!
Everything Else — 1A: Hip-hop headgear (DO-RAG); 6A: Aral, for one (SEA); 9A: (BABKA); 14A: Treat badly (ABUSE); 15A: European peak (ALP); 16A: Ancient theater (ODEON); 21A: "M*A*S*H" star (ALDA); 22A: Dogs from Japan (AKITAS); 23A: The Big One: Abbr. (WW II); 24A: Move like moths (FLIT); 25A: Like many Quechua speakers (ANDEAN); 28A: Clark's crush (LOIS); 35A: Throw __: fly off the handle (A FIT); 36A: Social division (CASTE); 37A: Telegram (WIRE); 40A: Cantaloupe, e.g. (MELON); 41A: Official lang. of Malawi (ENG.); 42A: Peculiar mannerisms (TICS); 43A: Beaver or hamster (RODENT); 44A: Small pouches (SACS); 45A: Tiny parasite (MITE); 50A: Xbox 360 competitor (WII); 56A: Holy Roman emperor crowned in CMLXII (OTTO I); 57A: Caviar, e.g. (ROE); 58A: Prepare beans, Mexican-style (REFRY); 59A: Thrash (WHOMP); 60A: Cobbler's tool (AWL); 61A: Superman's makeup? (STEEL); 1D: Racing legend Earnhardt (DALE); 2D: Geisha wardrobe items (OBIS); 3D: Toupees (RUGS); 4D: Volcanic residue (ASH); 5D: Escape (GET AWAY); 6D: King Abdullah subject (SAUDI); 7D: Jazz great Fitzgerald (ELLA); 8D: SFPD broadcast (APB); 10D: Own up to (ADMIT); 11D: Borscht need (BEET); 12D: Hawaiian coffee-growing district (KONA); 13D: Aardvark's dinner (ANTS); 18D: St. Petersburg pancake (BLIN); 19D: Evil intent (MALICE); 24D: Two score (FORTY); 25D: Humiliate (ABASE); 26D: Like a wet blanket, so to speak (NO FUN); 27D: "Nothing __!" (DOING); 28D: Goes down to defeat (LOSES); 30D: 2000s symbol of corporate misconduct (ENRON); 31D: Ten percenter (AGENT); 33D: After-bath powders (TALCS); 34D: Garbo, by birth (SWEDE); 36D: Trite expression (CLICHE); 40D: May honorees (MOTHERS); 44D: City of sin in Genesis (SODOM); 45D: Econo Lodge, e.g. (MOTEL); 46D: Flat-bottomed boat (SCOW); 47D: Course requiring calculations (MATH); 48D: Not fooled by (ONTO); 49D: Be sure of (KNOW); 50D: Marital partner, perhaps (WIFE); 51D: Memo phrase (IN RE); 52D: Pastoral poem (IDYL); 54D: 401(k) alternative, for short (IRA); 55D: Soaked (WET).