- 17A: Fitness center array (STATIONARY BIKES).
- 26A: Instruments that often have chord buttons (ELECTRIC ORGANS).
- 43A: Seamstresses' aids (SEWING MACHINES).
- 56A: Birdlike crafts for lake rides (SWAN PADDLE BOATS).
- 65A: Parts of 17-, 26-, 43- and 56-Across (PEDALS).
Smooth Wednesday puzzle from T-Mac today. That's the second day in a row I've referred to the puzzle constructor by a stupid nickname. I might try it again tomorrow too. Maybe not though. I guess you'll have to come back and see. Anyway, nice puzzle. Theme answers aren't particularly sparkly, but they'll do. I was thrown off by SWAN PADDLE BOATS, thinking that was some sort of generic term for paddle boats that I'd never heard before. Then I Googled it and viola:
I don't believe I've ever actually seen one of these in person, but I must have seen one in a movie or something because I didn't freak out and think it was completely ridiculous. And it is pretty ridiculous, so the absence of that response must mean that it's relatively reasonable. If that makes any sense.
Hmm. What else? The only real misstep I had was plopping mango right in the middle there where BERRY goes (37A: Smoothie fruit). AZERA (49A: Hyundai sedan) also gave me pause. Had to get that one through crosses.
For the record, ALOMAR (6D: Baseball family name) was a gimme for me. That's because I'm a huge baseball fan. I'm not one of these fair-weather fans who only gets excited when someone like, oh I don't know … Stephen Strasburg rolls into my town. I'm a fan from way back. 61 in '61!
We had a bunch of stuff going on tonight and now it's late and I need to get to bed. So that's enough babbling from me. What did you guys think of this puzzle? About right for a Wednesday? Was it a smooth solve for you? Or did it give you problems? I wanna hear about it in the comments!
Crosswordese 101: I was trying to decide whether to feature ORLY or NEHI in CW101 today when it was pointed out to me that people fly to ORLY but no one drinks NEHI any more. So there you have it. NEHI (18D: Classic fruit soda) was a flavored soft drink introduced in 1924. Chero-Cola, the company that sold NEHI, eventually changed its name to the Royal Crown Company. Classic NEHI flavors include grape, peach, and orange. I always associate grape NEHI with Radar O'Reilly and, indeed, he is sometimes used in the clue for NEHI, but I can't for the life of me find a picture to illustrate this fact anywhere on the interwebs. SethG, are you around? You can usually find stuff! See what you can do!
Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
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Everything Else — 1A: Entertainer in a kimono (GEISHA); 7A: Chew like a chipmunk (GNAW); 11A: Triumphed (WON); 14A: Netanyahu's nation (ISRAEL); 15A: Seat of Georgia's Floyd County (ROME); 16A: Words before testimony (I DO); 20A: Spray-on salon treatment (TAN); 22A: Speaker's asset (POISE); 23A: Former 3-Down leader (SHAH); 24A: Medieval invader's obstacle (MOAT); 32A: 30-day trial versions, e.g. (DEMOS); 33A: Mete (out) (DOLE); 34A: Hankering (YEN); 36A: Admit openly (AVOW); 39A: Muse of history (CLIO); 40A: Charles River sch. (MIT); 41A: ___ boots: '60s fashion (GO-GO); 42A: Head-turning swimwear (THONG); 47A: Numbers in photo album captions (AGES); 48A: Genesis forecast (RAIN); 52A: Soccer star Mia (HAMM); 53A: "___ Misérables" (LES); 60A: According to (PER); 61A: Shorten, perhaps (EDIT); 62A: "Tracey Takes On..." comedian (ULLMAN); 63A: Wrong (SIN); 64A: Anna of "Fringe" (TORV); 1D: Basic idea (GIST); 2D: Esteban's "this" (ESTA); 3D: OPEC founding member (IRAN); 4D: Didn't play (SAT); 5D: Hilltop (HEIGHTS); 7D: __ Torino: 1970s Ford (GRAN); 8D: "__ gloom of night ..." (NOR); 9D: "Rehab" singer Winehouse (AMY); 10D: E-tailer's creation (WEB PAGE); 11D: Collaborative Internet project (WIKI); 12D: Sapphic verses (ODES); 13D: Clown costume piece (NOSE); 19D: Tiny amount (IOTA); 23D: Garbage transport (SCOW); 24D: "Wuthering Heights" setting (MOOR); 25D: Air France destination (ORLY); 27D: Jeans giant (LEVI'S); 28D: Push the envelope, theatrically (EMOTE); 29D: Software installation source, perhaps (CD-ROM); 30D: Tent material (NYLON); 31D: View from the Louvre (SEINE); 35D: Nutmeg-flavored drinks (NOGS); 37D: Dog biscuit shape (BONE); 38D: Caviar, basically (EGGS); 39D: It may be stroked in thought (CHIN); 41D: Compu Kitty or Digital Doggie (GIGA PET); 42D: Monopoly token (THIMBLE); 44D: Shout "Fore!" to (WARN); 46D: Arose (CAME UP); 49D: Nile dangers (ASPS); 50D: German couple? (ZWEI); 51D: Collect from work (EARN); 52D: Home theater component, briefly (HDTV); 53D: Dalai __ (LAMA); 54D: Class action lawsuit abbr. (ET AL.); 55D: Work IDs (SSNS); 57D: Commotion (ADO); 58D: Dept. head (DIR.); 59D: Told too often (OLD).