Theme: Horsing Around — Familiar phrases are clued wackily as if the word horse has been added to them.
- 20A: Uneasy about a farm team member? (DODGING THE DRAFT).
- 37A: Uneasy about a long shot? (AFRAID OF THE DARK).
- 54A: Uneasy about an aquarium fish? (CHICKEN OF THE SEA).
- 67A: Word to add to 20-, 37- and 54-Across to make sense of the answers (HORSE).
Hey, one more thing before we get to the puzzle. Somehow, the one-year anniversary of this blog completely snuck by me, I guess because March is always super busy for me. In fact, I remember last year when Rex, Orange and I were emailing each other about putting this thing together and I was all "Sure, sign me up, whatever, I'm watching wrestling right now …." So Happy Bloggiversary to Us! And a big thanks to you all for coming along on this adventure. Being a part of the online crossword community has been a blast for me and has made this little hobby a lot more fun. I hope it's done the same for you.
So. The puzzle. Really enjoyed this one! This is one of those puzzles where you really have to wonder how the theme came about. I mean, it's perfect. Three phrases (all 15 letters!) starting with "uneasy" words that, coincidentally, end with a word that can be a type of horse. (Stop right there. Step away from the keyboard. I know a seahorse isn't actually a type of horse, so please don't email me about it.) I'd love to know if this theme arrived like a bolt of lightning or if it required a lot of time and attention. So Jascha Smilack — if that's your real name! — let us know, would you?
- 6A: "Iron Chef America" chef Cat __ (CORA). Sounds more like a stripper than a chef.
- 43A: Hi or lo follower (RES). Just, now this very minute, is the first time I've ever thought about Hi & Lois as a play on "hi and lo."
- 45A: "Analyze That" star (DENIRO). Could not remember who was in this. I'm going "Robin Williams? Jack Nicholson? Billy Crystal?"
- 60A: Casual top (POLO). Tried really, really hard to stretch TEE out to four letters.
- 3D: Stockholm native (SWEDE). I just finished the second book in Steigg Larsson's trilogy, The Girl Who Played With Fire. It all takes place in Sweden. It's one of those books that's just about impossible to put down.
- 4D: Colored a bit (TINGED). Could have been tinted. I left the G's square open until I could confirm through crosses.
- 8D: Act like fools? (RUSH IN). Cute clue.
- 10D: Honored with a crown of foliage (LAURELED). Clunk!
- 12D: Go for a Masters? (GOLF). Timely!
- 33D: "__ hollers, ..." (IF HE).
- 34D: __ matter (GRAY). The very first thing that came to my mind was … "It don't matter." Sometimes I wonder what the heck is wrong with me.
Everything Else — 1A: Must (HAS TO); 10A: Trails (LAGS); 14A: Dickens's mysterious Mr. Drood (EDWIN); 15A: Fidel's successor (RAUL); 16A: "__ Named Sue" (A BOY); 17A: Israeli ambassador Moshe (ARENS); 18A: Like some profs. (ASST.); 19A: Web links (URLS); 23A: Michael Phelps sponsor (SPEEDO); 24A: "Dies __" (IRAE); 25A: Humble (DEMEAN); 28A: Play footsie, say (FLIRT); 32A: It may be up (JIG); 35A: Plus (AND); 36A: Shoe part for Astaire (TOE TAP); 41A: Maps (CHARTS); 42A: Fair-hiring abbr. (EOE); 44A: "Flowers for Algernon" author Daniel (KEYES); 48A: Top-shelf (A-ONE); 50A: Where Caligula reputedly tried to seat his 67-Across (SENATE); 59A: Winery prefix (OENO-); 61A: Stock phrase (AT PAR); 62A: Exploit (DEED); 63A: Etonic competitor (AVIA); 64A: Peachy (SWELL); 65A: Wood shaper (ADZE); 66A: Appear dramatically (LOOM); 1D: Call before the game (HEADS); 2D: __ in the bucket (A DROP); 5D: Like some daring football kicks (ONSIDE); 6D: Steep outcropping (CRAG); 7D: Brewery feature (OAST); 9D: Let out, say (ALTER); 11D: Start of a spell (ABRA); 13D: CBS part: Abbr. (SYST.); 21D: Roaming types (NOMADS); 22D: Green Goblin portrayer in Spider-Man films (DAFOE); 26D: Rock producer Brian (ENO); 27D: Newspaper revenue component (AD FEE); 29D: __-Tass: news agency (ITAR); 30D: Red inside (RARE); 31D: I-90 in Mass. et al. (TPKS.); 32D: Magic harp thief (JACK); 36D: Believer (THEIST); 38D: First three numbers, in some directories (AREA CODE); 39D: "Not a problem!" ("IT'S OK!"); 40D: Cargo unit (TON); 45D: Again, to Gaius (DE NOVO); 46D: Talk out again (REHASH); 47D: "Old" punches? (ONE-TWO); 49D: High country (NEPAL); 51D: According to (AS PER); 52D: Dabbling ducks (TEALS); 53D: Bogart's "High Sierra" role (EARLE); 54D: Musical ending (CODA); 55D: Follow (HEED); 56D: Don Juan's mother (INEZ); 57D: Random collection (OLIO); 58D: Fire suppressant (FOAM).