Theme: Smooch! — First words of the theme answers are KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID.
- 20A: Park warning (KEEP OFF THE GRASS).
- 25A: 1971 hit for Ringo (IT DON'T COME EASY).
- 43A: Bone injury in which the skin is intact (SIMPLE FRACTURE).
- 48A: Regular Letterman show segment (STUPID PET TRICKS).
- 55D: Popular version of a design principle acronym spelled out by the starts of this puzzle's four longest answers (KISS).
Quick write-up from me tonight. I'm in Omaha getting ready for the NCAA wrestling championships, which start tomorrow morning. It's been a long day of traveling and I still have to pore over the brackets for an hour or two (do I have time to make a spreadsheet??) before bed. So, yeah, I'm a little distracted. Also, I'm on my laptop and forgot to pack my mouse so I have to use the stupid touchpad which I hate. But enough about me. What did I think of the puzzle?
I solved the puzzle just now and I will say that I sure did enjoy it. I had no idea what was going on with the theme, but IT DON'T COME EASY and STUPID PET TRICKS both made me smile. Speaking of Stupid Pet Tricks, I've been looking for a video of my favorite Stupid Pet Trick ever and haven't been able to find it. It's the one where the little Boston Terrier attacks the vacuum cleaner. Anyone remember that one? I'm pretty sure I have it on a VHS tape somewhere in my basement. I've watched it many times and every single time it makes me laugh so hard I cry. If you ever see it, make sure to let me know. In the meantime, you can enjoy this one:
- 1A: Relatives of odds (ENDS). The hotel we're staying at tonight is attached to a casino, so I was definitely tricked into thinking about gambling odds on this one. (True story: The ATM in the hotel lobby is "out of order," so when we need cash it looks like we'll have to go to the casino. I'm sure they didn't plan it that way.)
- 14A: Marjorie Morningstar's creator (WOUK).
- 38A: First professional musician to become Chairman of the Board of Lincoln Center (SILLS). Sometime in the last couple years there was a puzzle memorializing Beverly Sills. One of the clues asked for her nickname and for some inexplicable reason I knew it. (It's "Bubbles.")
- 41A: 2009 "Survivor" setting (SAMOA). If you have kids and haven't seen it yet, I strongly recommend the television show "Endurance" — it's kind of a "Survivor" for kids. I don't think it's in production any more, but the Discovery Kids airs old episodes every night. Really fun show.
- 3D: Shore thing (DUNE). I entered erne and thought, "that's weird to refer to a bird as a thing."