- 17A: Program that uses certain Sun Microsystems software (JAVA APPLICATION).
- 25A: Messy contest in a pit (MUD WRESTLING).
- 42A: Al Gore's 2000 running mate (JOE LIEBERMAN).
- 56A: Living room reading that includes this puzzle's theme (COFFEE TABLE BOOK).
Relatively smooth solve from the Silk-Man today. (I was just going to say "Barry, I hope you don't mind me calling you the Silk-Man," but I'm pretty sure he does, so I'm not even going to ask.) Lovely Tuesday theme. The timing is funny for me because I just finished Steig Larsson's The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, and was talking with a friend about how someone in that book drinks coffee at least every other page. The only huge clunker in the puzzle for me was NORIA (59A: Bucket wheel used for irrigation). I'm gonna guess that caused some gnashing of teeth with you all too. And I must say I would prefer not to see AGEE and OGEE in the same grid (14A: Pulitzer-winning author James / 46A: Curved molding). But I did get a kick out of the LOOFAS / MOOLAH / RAOUL string for some reason (43D: Shower sponges / 45D: Dough / 48D: Holocaust hero Wallenberg). Say it a couple times "Loofas, Moolah, Raoul." Now "Loooofas, Moooolah, Raooooul." HAha.
- 1A: Earth neighbor (MARS). I think it's kind of sad that my very educated mother has to serve nachos now instead of pizza.
- 16A: Super Bowl held in MCMLXXXVIII (XXII). By the time I got to OXTAIL (10D: Beefy soup ingredient), I had noticed, and was enjoying, the scrabbliness. Not so much when I saw what the X crossed. Random Roman Numeral! At least this one has a funny clue though. I mean, come on! MCMLXXXVIII? That's just ridiculous!
- 38A: "__ 101": Former Nickelodeon sitcom (ZOEY). Like all the other teen TV shows, this one has its moments, but if you can nudge your kids toward iCarly, you'll be happier and possibly even entertained.
- 5D: Like a procrastinator's bills (UNPAID). I really wanted it to be "in a pile."
- 36D: Exercise involving squatting (KNEE BEND). Singular! I believe this gives me license to do one knee bend today and call it good.
- 40D: Panthère relative (TIGRE). French!
- 52D: Something to miss or rock (BOAT).
Crosswordese 101: HADJ is pretty much always clued straightforwardly, like today's 30D: Muslim pilgrimage. There's just not much you can do with HADJ, right? The trick is that it's also sometimes spelled hajj and there's no difference in meaning between the two spellings. So you're at the mercy of crosses.
Other crosswordese in this puzzle that we've already covered:
- 14A: Pulitzer-winning author James (AGEE).
- 46A: Curved molding (OGEE).
- 48A: Classic TV brand (RCA).
- 2D: Tequila plant (AGAVE).
Everything Else — 5A: One of the four chief angels (URIEL); 10A: Crew hands (OARS); 15A: Nabisco wafer named for its flavor (NILLA); 20A: An off-ramp may lead to one (OVERPASS); 21A: Banquet entrées (ROASTS); 22A: Buddhism, e.g.: Abbr. (REL.); 23A: __ Fáil: Irish coronation stone (LIA); 24A: Actress Spelling (TORI); 30A: Privileged folks (HAVES); 33A: Greek peak (OSSA); 34A: Washington Sq. campus (NYU); 35A: Came to earth (ALIT); 36A: 1971 Sutherland title role (KLUTE); 39A: High-speed www hookup (DSL); 40A: Letter-shaped fastener (T-NUT); 41A: Dollar fractions (CENTS); 47A: Popular ISP (AOL); 51A: Soak up (ABSORB); 54A: Mainly (ABOVE ALL); 58A: Wine region near San Francisco (NAPA); 60A: Like one with a full schedule (BUSY); 61A: LAX postings (ETDS); 62A: Third dimension (DEPTH); 63A: Flexible Flyer, e.g. (SLED); 1D: Student's focus (MAJOR); 3D: Celebrate boisterously (REVEL); 4D: Blacken (SEAR); 6D: Carpentry tool that cuts with the grain (RIPSAW); 7D: Maladies (ILLS); 8D: Inventor Whitney (ELI); 9D: Sport with sticks (LACROSSE); 11D: The Earth turns on it (AXIS); 12D: Real comedian (RIOT); 13D: Transgresses (SINS); 18D: Top grade (A-PLUS); 19D: Vital body line (AORTA); 24D: Grade factor (TEST); 25D: Bumped into (MET); 26D: GPS suggestion (ROUTE); 27D: Involved with, as a plot (IN ON); 28D: Da's opposite (NYET); 29D: Fellows (GUYS); 31D: Too (ALSO); 32D: Repulsive (VILE); 37D: Garage job (LUBE); 38D: Satori-seeking sect (ZEN); 41D: Have a cow (CALVE); 44D: White Carroll critter (RABBIT); 49D: Shut (CLOSE); 50D: Adhesive resin (ALKYD); 51D: High school breakout? (ACNE); 53D: Dirty Harry's org. (SFPD); 54D: Lobbying group for seniors (AARP); 55D: Recedes (EBBS); 57D: Little piggy, so to speak (TOE).