- 17A: *Prepare to drink, as a can of beer (CRACK OPEN).
- 21A: *Say goodbye, quaintly (BID ADIEU).
- 26A: *Betrayal (STAB IN THE BACK).
- 44A: *Do what others prefer (GO WITH THE FLOW).
- 49A: *Nixed (SHOT DOWN).
- 59A: *It involves a lot of writing (ESSAY TEST).
- 61D: Synonym for the starts of the answers to starred clues (TRY).
Before we get started, I just want to mention that I created a FAQ for this blog. There are only a few questions there now, but I'll add to it as more come up. The link is up there on top of the page. I also added some links over on the sidebar to help you find other crossword puzzles if you're interested. One other thing I was thinking about. Would you all be interested in knowing which clues people are Googling for? I probably wouldn't be able to update you on that daily, but maybe weekly. The most Googled clues of the week? Let me know what you think about that. Now, the puzzle ....
I flew through this puzzle like a hot knife through butter. I didn't even see a lot of the clues because I got all the crosses before I needed them. The only thing that slowed me down at all was STRAIT (24D: The Dardanelles, e.g.). All you intelligent people probably know that The Dardanelles is a STRAIT in northwest Turkey. I, on the other hand, thought it might be the name of a Girl Group from the 1960s and wanted the answer to be quartet or quintet or … something like that. But no. I wouldn't have had any problem if STRAIT had only been clued a little more like this:
Since I was solving so quickly, I didn't catch the theme until I was done. I'm pretty sure I didn't know ESSAY was another way of saying TRY. So that's two big D'oh Moments™ for me today. And it's only Wednesday! Yikes!
Let's talk about …
- 9A: Hekzebiah Hawkins's daughter (SADIE). This is one of the clues I didn't see. I would have gotten it, though, even though I didn't know the guy's first name was … whatever the Hekzebiah that is.
- 23A: Affirmative answer (YES). Can't really ask for a clue that's more straightforward than that!
- 35A: GP's soc. (AMA). The American Medical Association is a society for General Practitioners.
- 41A: When doubled, a number puzzle (KEN). If you were at the ACPT in 2009, you can't help laughing when you see a reference to Ken-Ken.
- 42A: "__ Swear": 1959 Skyliners hit (THIS I). Part of the reason I slowed down on STRAIT is because I don't know this song. I'm sure it's lovely.
- 48A: "__-haw!" (YEE). Thankfully, I already the Y in place here so I didn't have to wait for it (never know if it's going to be YEE or HEE).
- 65A: Ziti cousin (PENNE). I had some wonderful Penne Amatriciana the other night at a local restaurant. Thank goodness you don't have to be able to pronounce a dish to enjoy it.
- 1D: Start of a learning song (ABC).
[If you can listen to this without dancing even a little bit, there's something wrong with you!]
- 5D: Two-time U.S. Open winner Retief (GOOSEN). I even knew this! Occasionally, PuzzleHusband's golf obsession helps me out.
- 11D: Spanish surrealist (DALI). Weren't we just talking about him yesterday in CW101?
- 26D: Billet-doux letters (SWAK). A billet-doux is a love letter, which might be Sealed With A Kiss.
- 29D: 1972 Michael Jackson hit (BEN). I'm glad I already picked a Michael Jackson clip for this post because I am so not a fan of this song.
- 43D: Touchy-__ (FEELY). Awesome colloquial phrase. I don't even mind that it's a partial.
- 50D: __ to: halted, nautically (HOVE). I do not know what this means.
- 15A: Melville novel (OMOO).
- 13D: Birthright-for-pottage trader (ESAU).
- 51D: Asian sultanate (OMAN).
- 57D: Ivan IV, for one (TSAR).
Everything Else — 1A: Perching on (ATOP); 5A: Coated with a precious metal (GILT); 14A: Cotton field sight (BALE); 16A: Phillips et al.: Abbr. (ACADS.); 19A: Revolutionary Pancho (VILLA); 20A: Moppets (TYKES); 25A: Priest in I Samuel (ELI); 33A: They lack Y chromosomes (WOMEN); 34A: Agitated speeches (RANTS); 38A: Like "Beowulf," e.g.: Abbr. (ANON.); 39A: Shire horses' burdens (CARTS); 40A: Israeli statesman Abba (EBAN); 43A: Lucky shot (FLUKE); 47A: Recycle receptacle (BIN); 54A: Caught a few z's (SLEPT); 58A: Itinerant (NOMAD); 62A: Be of use (AVAIL); 63A: Moore of "G.I. Jane" (DEMI); 64A: Intro for John? (DEAR); 66A: Scoot along, as clouds (SCUD); 67A: Showing no sign of slowing down (SPRY); 2D: Sharp-tasting (TART); 3D: Skin care brand (OLAY); 4D: Eat like a bird (PECK); 6D: Little devil (IMP); 7D: 1924 co-defendant (LOEB); 8D: Singer Braxton (TONI); 9D: Telly on the telly (SAVALAS); 10D: Like orange juice (ACIDIC); 12D: Just hanging, so to speak (IDLE); 18D: Enter, as data (KEY IN); 22D: Obligations (DEBTS); 27D: Work on, as abs (TONE); 28D: In the thick of (AMONG); 30D: Draconian (HARSH); 31D: Thing (ENTITY); 32D: Capital WNW of Islamabad (KABUL); 36D: Powerful shark (MAKO); 37D: Freshly (ANEW); 39D: Twilled pants material (CHINO); 40D: Little trickster (ELF); 42D: Move about absently, as one's thumbs (TWIDDLE); 45D: Get hold of (OBTAIN); 46D: One half of a tiff (HE SAID); 49D: Clicking fastener (SNAP); 52D: Gets hitched (WEDS); 53D: Infinitesimal time period: Abbr. (NSEC); 55D: Data on airport skeds (ETD'S); 56D: Bo follower? (PEEP); 60D: Dallas sch. (SMU).