Theme: People that Like Something (this is how tired I am) — The second word of the two-word theme answers is a synonym for someone that really likes something (and again with the tired).
- 17A: Devotee of a Sistine Chapel feature? (CEILING FAN).
- 24A: Devotee of green ice cream? (PISTACHIO NUT).
- 44A: Devotee of thunderstorms? (LIGHTNING BUG).
- 54A: Devotee of a classical language? (LATIN LOVER).
Best story of the weekend for me? I left my phone in the bathroom at the hotel bar and really the only reason I got it back is because Andrea Carla Michaels gave Elizabeth's chicken to a blind man on the subway. That's the kind of crazy weekend it was. I must remember next year to take the Monday off as well. I could have definitely used another day to recover before going back to a place where people expect me to work hard and be efficient. I intend to do a full write-up of the tournament for you all, but there's no way I can do it today.
The puzzle? Frankly, I enjoyed it very much. (See what I did there? Too much Merl.) Awesome, awesome theme. I don't recall seeing it before. Okay, CEILING FAN isn't the most exciting entry, but for some reason the rest of them tickled me.
Just poke me if I start snoring:
- 1A: Have status (RATE). Ya know who has some serious status after this weekend? That's right: Dan Feyer. It was amazing to watch him tear through that final puzzle. The man is a freak of nature.
- 38A: Top of the glass (BRIM).
- 2D: Suit toppers (ACES). Suits as in clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades.
- 6D: Special lingo (ARGOT). I always have trouble with this word. It seems like it should mean something else. Like some kind of snail or maybe a small piece of treasure. (Random!)
- 13D: Best man's offer (TOAST). I tried rings first.
- 33D: Rock star Clapton (ERIC).
- 35D: Metal band's equipment (AMPS). I believe several other types of bands use AMPS as well.
- 19A: Charles Lamb's nom de plume (ELIA).
- 39A: __ out: barely make (EKE).
- 42A: Capital where "Aida" premiered (CAIRO).
- 49A: Fish eggs (ROE).
- 4D: Sushi choice (EEL).
- 8D: "Bambi" doe (ENA).
- 9D: Oater landowners (RANCHERS).
- 55D: Class clown, often (APE).