Theme: "Get a Room!" — The second word of each theme answer is a type of room.
- 18A: Laundry room device (STEAM PRESS).
- 27A: Nonmember's club amenity (GUEST LOCKER).
- 34A: Place for a dip on the road (HOTEL POOL).
- 47A: Patient strategy (WAITING GAME).
- 57A: Indisputable evidence (SMOKING GUN).
- 66A: Dorm unit, and word that can follow each word in 18-, 27-, 34-, 47- and 57-Across (ROOM).
I did notice several attempts at misdirection in the clues, which is always welcome:
- 23A: Havana residue (ASH). What kind of residue would you find in the city of Havana? I don't know ... sand? Ohhhhhh, you mean the cigar!
- 24A: Organ with a hammer (EAR). Not a musical instrument type of organ.
- 50A: Jones or Johnson (SURNAME). Were you trying to think of a first name to go with both of those last names? Did the number of possibilities make your head explode?
- 52A: West in old films (MAE). Not the direction, but the sexpot.
- 56D: Practice on canvas (SPAR). Painting, right? Wrong. Boxing.
- 17A: Links goals (PARS). I know this is perfectly legit and I've seen clues like this many times, but it makes me laugh every time. PuzzleHusband is a golfer and, while par is certainly cool, I think his goal a number a little lower than that. I can imagine it might also be a problem for golfers who have no chance of ever making par and are satisfied with a goal of, I don't know, 100? That seems to be a magic number for some golfers.
- 64A: Lead singer with The Police (STING). I met him once. Very briefly. Probably shouldn't even bring it up but, yeah. I met him.
- 8D: Triton's realm (SEA). PuzzleSon is into this book series right now that involves Greek Gods. Maybe you've seen the ads for the upcoming movie "The Lightning Thief"? that's the first book in the series. It's cool because now when I'm stuck on a mythology clue I just ask my ten-year-old. Gotta love that.
- 12D: Ilie of tennis (NASTASE). Pretty cool to see his last name instead of his first.
- 25D: Partner of hop and jump (SKIP). Funny story. I was looking for a clip of a song that has the line "you've got AMNESIA" (55A: Mental blackout). I can't remember anything else in the song except that one line and it sounds (in my head) like it might be Kix. So I went to Kix's website and look at their gateway page (it'll only take a sec). Pretty funny.
- 39D: Nose-dive (PLUMMET). Plummet is an excellent word.
- 40D: Trattoria dessert (TORTONI). Raise your hand if you got down to the S in tiramisu and realized it had too many letters.
- 49D: Family nickname (NANNIE). I'll be interested to know if any of you have ever heard NANNIE used as a family nickname. Maybe it's just because I live in a town where there are lots of NANNIEs, but I can't imagine anyone using that as a nickname when it already has its own family-relationship-type meaning. (As an aside, my eight-year-old daughter informed me the other day that she would like to have an au pair. I think I've got her running in the wrong crowd.)
- 15A: Film beekeeper (ULEE).
- 30A: "__ Beso": Anka song (ESO).
- 41A: Harem chamber (ODA).
- 65A: Graceful molding (OGEE).