Theme: Just a Second — Each theme answer is a definition of the word SECONDS.
- 17A: Seconds (AIDES FOR DUELERS).
- 24A: Seconds (EXTRA HELPINGS).
- 41A: Seconds (INFERIOR GOODS).
- 55A: Seconds (TICKS OF THE CLOCK).
Some people don't like this type of theme, but I'm a big fan. The argument, I believe, is that the answers aren't stand-alone phrases. But I think if they're inferrable from crosses, it's a nice way to do something a little different now and then. And in this case, Dave snazzed the grid up with a lot of Scrabbly letters which is always welcome. (Look at all those Xs and Ks!)
My solving experience was about what I expect from a Thursday LAT. Not particularly speedy, but steady with no major hang-ups. I finished the puzzle over in the northern California area where ENOKI and XENON crossing IONA were completely hidden until I finally came up with KNEES and that broke the whole section open.
- 5A: Kelly's cohort (REGIS). I went looking for a clip of Dana Carvey doing an impression of Regis, but ended up with this instead (which I think is even better):
- 21A: Privacy metaphor (CLOSET). My first thought was the phrase "coming out of the closet" and I was all, "well, that's about a little more than just privacy" (not that there's anything wrong with that!). Then I realized it's more likely referring to the phrase "skeletons in the closet," which reminds me of Aerosmith's "Toys in the Attic," which sucked me into YouTube for, like, half an hour and I wasn't able to find the Exact Perfect video to post here so it was just a big waste of time. Welcome to my world.
- 22A: Troubled insurance giant (AIG). If by "troubled" you mean … well, I was going to go on and on about crooks and criminals and obscene amounts of money, but then I realized that the whole financial meltdown was really complicated and I don't know enough about it to rant. But you know what? I'm going to go study up on it because I would really like to rant and feel justified.
- 31A: Enjoy New York, say? (READ). I guess this means the magazine New York, which I've never heard referred to as anything but "New York Magazine," even though its name is simply "New York."
- 35A: Received, as a salary (DRAWN). Nice, tricky clue here. I had the N in place and thought the answer would be a two-word phrase ending with "in" or "on."
- 46A: Sound from Sandy (ARF). I believe Sandy is Little Orphan Annie's dog. Anyone?
- 58A: "One for My Baby" composer (ARLEN). I don't know this song but I found this awesome video.
- 3D: "Crimes and Misdemeanors" actor (ALDA). PuzzleHusband had the TV on in the next room the other night and I kept hearing Alan Alda's voice but couldn't figure out what show it was. Then it occurred to me that the only thing I've ever seen him in is M.A.S.H. and The West Wing. How is that possible?
- 11D: Places in la mer (ILES). French!
- 23D: Did in (SLEW).
- 40D: Cinematic opening, but not ending? (SOFT C). Yeah, I fell for it. Was trying to think of a prefix to go with cinematic until it became clear that I had been tricked. Damn you, Dave Eckert! ::shaking fist at sky::
P.S. Oh, hey, one last thing. My esteemed colleagues and I have been kicking around an idea for a change on the blog and we've decided to go ahead and make it happen. Starting June 1, Rex and Amy will be retiring from this blog and giving their full attention to their own blogs (and whatever the hell else they feel like doing with their time). So, you're gonna be stuck with me every day. Let's just make the best of it, shall we?
Everything Else — 1A: Thick piece (SLAB); 10A: __ bath (SITZ); 14A: Corduroy feature (WALE); 15A: "West Side Story" role (ANITA); 16A: Flowering succulent (ALOE); 20A: Appreciative (GRATEFUL); 23A: Dry, like some Spanish wine (SECO); 30A: They have caps (KNEES); 32A: Hit hard (RAM); 37A: "See ya" ("TA-TA"); 38A: Ring decision (TKO); 39A: Part owner of Chrysler since 2009 (FIAT); 40A: Nasal spray brand (SINEX); 45A: Env. directive (ATTN); 47A: "Jeopardy!" clue, e.g. (ANSWER); 50A: They may be felt on the range (STETSONS); 57A: Tribe related to the Iowa (OTOE); 59A: Samoan seaport (APIA); 60A: Seats with kneelers (PEWS); 61A: Some designer dresses (DIORS); 62A: Discreet attention-getter (PSST); 1D: Ill-gotten gains (SWAG); 2D: Place to hibernate (LAIR); 4D: Sugar source (BEET); 5D: Weaver's fiber (RAFFIA); 6D: Once, perhaps (ENOUGH); 7D: Madonna's "Material __" (GIRL); 8D: "__ be my pleasure!" (IT'D); 9D: Its home is on the range (SAUCEPAN); 10D: Oater setting (SALOON); 12D: Went like the dickens (TORE); 13D: Citrus peel (ZEST); 18D: Chicago tower builder (SEARS); 19D: 1961 Heston role (EL CID); 24D: Japanese mushroom (ENOKI); 25D: It's a gas (XENON); 26D: Some like it hot (TEA); 27D: Troubadour's Muse (ERATO); 28D: Piano type (GRAND); 29D: Stuffs (SATES); 30D: Frontiersman Carson (KIT); 33D: "Mad __": 1979 Gibson film (MAX); 35D: Rural route (DIRT ROAD); 36D: Showers, e.g. (RAIN); 37D: Uncle, in Uruguay (TIO); 39D: Regales (FETES); 42D: United Kingdom's Guy __ Night (FAWKES); 43D: To a certain extent (RATHER); 44D: Salad makings (GREENS); 47D: Straddling (ATOP); 48D: Evening, informally (NITE); 49D: Harbor vessel (SCOW); 50D: WWII battle site (ST.-LˆO); 51D: Reaction to freshness? (SLAP); 52D: "My bad!" ("OOPS!"); 53D: Mark Harmon TV series (NCIS); 54D: Game using only cards higher than six (SKAT); 56D: Part of T.G.I.F.: Abbr. (FRI.).