MONDAY, June 7, 2010 — Gail Grabowski

Theme: Access — Theme answers are familiar phrases that end with a word that can be an item you use to gain access.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: "Just what we need!" ("THAT'S THE TICKET!").
  • 38A: "Thanks, but none for me" ("I'LL HAVE TO PASS").
  • 57A: "Furthermore ..." ("BY THE SAME TOKEN …").
This is a fine Monday puzzle. I solved it smoothly and quickly — so much so that I didn't notice the theme until I was done. The theme is fine. The cluing is fine. Everything about this puzzle is just … fine. But here's the thing. With only three theme answers, it seems to me that should give you enough leeway to throw in some sparkle. When "HERE GOES" (11D: Words before an attempt) and HUMVEE (47D: Square-bodied military vehicle) are the most exciting entries in the grid, well, there's just not a whole lot to say. Oh and SNAFU (27A: Chaotic situation). People usually have a few things to say about SNAFU.

There isn't really anything that looks like it needs to be explained, so I'm kind of at a loss here. I tell you what. The phrase IN PUBLIC (38D: For all to see) always reminds me of a story Ron White tells that's pretty funny. So if you have a few minutes, take a listen to this. Then let me know in the comments what you think is noteworthy about this puzzle.

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Everything Else — 1A: Rarely read e-mail (SPAM); 5A: Edible pockets (PITAS); 10A: Bottled model (SHIP); 14A: Contemporary of Ella and Sarah (LENA); 15A: Make up (for) (ATONE); 16A: Verne skipper (NEMO); 17A: Hardwood trees (OAKS); 18A: "Buzz off!" ("SCRAM!"); 19A: Extremely dry (ARID); 23A: "Love __ Madly": Doors hit (HER); 24A: Caustic substance (LYE); 25A: Stately (REGAL); 29A: Fraidy-cat (SISSY); 33A: Extra NHL periods (OTS); 34A: Approximate fig. (EST.); 36A: "Uh-uh" ("NAH"); 37A: Follow the advice of (HEED); 42A: Irksome swarm member (GNAT); 43A: Place to apply gloss (LIP); 44A: Elephant's floppy feature (EAR); 45A: Mil. base enforcers (MPS); 46A: Shrubby landscape (HEATH); 48A: Like Dylan Thomas, by birth (WELSH); 52A: Sweetie pie (CUTIE); 54A: NAFTA signatory (USA); 56A: "Sands of __ Jima": 1949 film (IWO); 62A: Stein fillers (ALES); 63A: Find the answer to, as an equation (SOLVE); 64A: High point (PEAK); 65A: "The King and I" setting (SIAM); 66A: Engaged in, as a trade (PLIED); 67A: Dog of old mysteries (ASTA); 68A: 220-by-198-foot plot, e.g. (ACRE); 69A: Classroom jottings (NOTES); 70A: In need of a map (LOST); 1D: Slow-moving leaf eaters (SLOTHS); 2D: Pheasant female (PEAHEN); 3D: Turkish capital (ANKARA); 4D: One of a yawl's pair (MAST); 5D: Pale (PASTY); 6D: Rash reactions? (ITCHES); 7D: Verbally attacked, with "into" (TORE); 8D: Medical school subj. (ANAT.); 9D: Rig on the road (SEMI); 10D: Boa or cobra (SNAKE); 12D: Copies (IMITATES); 13D: Pea's place (POD); 21D: Partly melted snow (SLUSH); 22D: Have a bawl (CRY); 26D: Source of a hippie's high, perhaps (LSD); 28D: Sensed (FELT); 30D: All thumbs (INEPT); 31D: Took a load off (SAT); 32D: Pump or clog (SHOE); 35D: Tall story (TALE); 37D: Fabled runner-up (HARE); 39D: During 2009 (LAST YEAR); 40D: Itinerary word (VIA); 41D: Play with, kitten-style (PAW AT); 42D: Yukon automaker (GMC); 46D: Sly chuckle sound (HEH); 49D: In this way (LIKE SO); 50D: Workout wear (SWEATS); 51D: Greet with a beep (HONK AT); 53D: "Who's there?" response (IT'S ME); 55D: Watermelon discards (SEEDS); 58D: Channel for jocks (ESPN); 59D: New pilot's milestone (SOLO); 60D: Touched down (ALIT); 61D: Play-of-color gem (OPAL); 62D: Quick-wink link (AS A).


Sfingi said...

Quick and easy.

I did have a problem cluing MPS using the word "military."

Had "wasp" before GNAT and "beer" before ALES, mostly because I've become more daring.

Van55 said...

Nice, if unremarkable puzzle.

David L said...

Surely 2D is wrong. PEAHEN is a female PEACOCK, which is an entirely different bird from a PHEASANT.

And 14A: Who are Ella and Sarah and their friend/rival/enemy Lena? I just don't know this one.

David L said...

@Al: thanks for cluing me in. Not a jazz fan, and although I know those names I wouldn't have come up with them from the first names alone.

And on further research (wiki), I discover that the peacock is in fact a member of pheasant family. Did Not Know That. The creature I know as a pheasant turns out to be just one example of a whole bunch of pheasant-y birds. Different from the Partridge Family, of course.

Tinbeni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tinbeni said...

45A could have been clued "Base enforcers" which would have provided some mis-direction to Ump. for the MPS.

Puzzle was a typical easy-breezy Monday. 3 themes seem too few. I could not SOLVE faster.

Excellent write-up of a simple Monday offering.
The Ron White clip reminds me they call me "Noodle salad!"

Rex Parker said...


Had trouble seeing theme. Easy to get first and last theme answer — built them from front. Harder to get middle — built it from back. Surely there's a lesson there in how to solve more efficiently.

chefbea said...

Easy puzzle.

I'll be absent for about a week. See you when I return

Anonymous said...

I was a little worried by "fraidy-cat" since I started with the last 3 letters, and was drawn in by the cat reference... but, of course she wouldn't!

gespenst said...

LOL 10:06 Anonymous!

I haven't been stopping in every day since little gespenstsbaby arrived, but I'm VERY glad I came by today ... worth every minute of the Ron "Tater Salad" White video (which helped distract me from pumping, bonus!)

I couldn't figure out the theme once I had the answer, but I agree that 3 is too few (though they were long ones).

Didn't see anything too exciting, but nothing too lousy, either. I agree w/ the bland assessment of this puzzle.

chefbea said...

@gespenst - congrats on new baby!! Girl? Boy? How big? etc etc

Tinbeni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shrub5 said...

Did anyone put SNAILS before SLOTHS? I did and then went on to put NINA (Simone) instead of LENA. Once I cleaned up that mess, the rest of the puzzle went smoothly. I think the longness and the "in the language"-ness of the theme clues more than made up for being few in number.

@gespenst: glad to hear from you! Hope you and the little CUTIE are doing well...and that big sister is being a good helper.

chefbea said...

@tinbeni - thanx for the baby info. Some how I missed it.

appelipp = what you get when someone throws an apple in your face

Sfingi said...

@Anon1006 - Haha.

@Shrub5 - New puzzle!

@John'sHome - I've been called worse (than pasty), but wouldn't ever wear 'em. 3/18 comments are yours? Doesn't count.

A crossword baby was 14 pounds? Yow.
I feel your pain.

Tinbeni said...

I meant to type 7 lbs, 14 oz.
SEVEN pounds.

I guessed it was going to be a girl, on 6/1, 7 lbs, 7 oz at 4:28 am.

@gespenst reported I was only half right. I got day, date, off by 7 oz (its all in the extra cuteness) and off by 14 hours (ladies like to be a little late).

You were missed ... missed ,,, missed, but where was the ELLA embed?

NJ Irish said...

51D had toot at before HONK, that’s because
I started from the bottom. Very nice Monday

Love the comments about 5D. A little risqué
for a Monday.

46A is my WOTD, never heard of HEATH for
shrubby landscape.

mac said...

Nice little puzzle, easy and smooth.
Save travels, ChefBea! Enjoy CT and your daughters.
@Gespenst: go get some sleep!

CrazyCatLady said...

Nothing to not like about this puzzle. Had a SNAFU with my daughter's car today which took me away from crossworld world most of the day. FELT, PAW AT, PASTY - hmmm...ILL HAVE TO PASS. Liked LIP next to EAR.
@JNH Welcome back. People have been wondering where you were.
@Gespenst Glad things are going well with baby #2.