Theme: Head to Head (to Head) — Theme answers are three-word phrases where each of the three words can precede the word head in a familiar phrase.
- 17A: Detectives assigned to unsolved mysteries? (COLD-CASE HUNTERS).
- 38A: Intermission queues? (RESTROOM LINES).
- 61A: Shower gifts for brie lovers? (CHEESEBOARD SETS).
- 65A: Word that can precede each word in 17-, 38- and 61-Across (HEAD).
Liked this puzzle very much. I'm pretty sure we just had a puzzle recently where the theme worked like this one except that the theme answers were two-word phrases. I remember it because I didn't get it that the theme involved both words. *head slap* So, yeah, good theme. Theme phrases aren't sparkly at all, but I still thought it was fun to try to put them together. And the rest of the fill was very good. One or two clunkers — "Just a coupla SECS"?!? — but overall, good stuff.
- 16A: Court cry (OYEZ). Love this word. It always makes me think of "Night Court," which I never watched regularly and I don't even know if the bailiff (what was his name again?) ever used this particular cry.
- 26A: Quarterback Roethlisberger (BEN). Crosswords really do help you know stuff without really knowing it, right? No idea what team this guy plays for or anything, but his name popped right into my head.
- 33A: Siesta shawl (SERAPE). Let's start a new fashion trend.
- 44A: Ring setting (CIRCUS). Was listening to the PuzzleFamiliy watching "Jeopardy!" in the other room last night and heard an answer that was about a Vegas casino that was "so nice they named it twice." I blurted out "Circus Circus!" Um, no.
- 2D: Kay Thompson's impish six-year-old (ELOISE). Again with the knowing and not knowing. PuzzleHusband asked me the other day if I knew anything about this series of books. I said she lives in the Plaza Hotel. He's all, "What do you mean, lives there? Do people live there?" I don't know! I just do crossword puzzles!
- 3D: Mobile maker (CALDER).
- 29D: House call? (YEA). As in "yeas and nays." This is the only possible interpretation for this particular spelling. Yea ≠ Yeah ≠ Ya. Seriously.
- 48D: Actress Dahl (ARLENE). I don't know who this is. I'm sure someone will enlighten me in the comments.