- 20A: Apple hater's purchase? (DELL COMPUTER).
- 37A: 2004 Daytona 500 winner (DALE EARNHARDT, JR.).
- 56A: "Wichita Lineman" singer (GLEN CAMPBELL).
- 49D: Geological depression, and what the first word of 20-, 37- and 56-Across is (VALLEY).
Although I do like the way DALE EARNHARDT, JR. looks in the grid, I have to say this theme left me a little chilly. Not totally cold, but definitely on the chilly side. Two of the theme answers sound alike but the third one … doesn't. Two are names of people and the other … isn't. It's this kind of inconsistency that nags at me. And then there was the crosswordese. Yikes! that's a lot of crosswordese.
There were a couple of entries that made me smile. HAYMAKER is awesome (6D: Powerful punch) and I'm always happy to see TOQUE (9A: Chef's topper). Unfortunately, for me, both those entries put together just don't make up for UDINE (36A: City of NE Italy). Come on! That doesn't even look Italian. And please don't get me started on MANURE (8D: Farm fertilizer). Hello! Breakfast test!
Crosswordese 101: EERO Saarinen (34D: Dulles Airport terminal designer Saarinen) was a Finnish American architect and designer. He is sometimes clued in relation to his father, Eliel Saarinen, also an architect. He is often clued as "First name in design" or "First name in architecture," and if one of his works appears in the clue, it's almost always the Gateway Arch.
Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
- 17A: Pins and needles holder (ÉTUI).
- 42A: Gaming pioneer (ATARI).
- 48A: Eggs in labs (OVA).
- 5D: Normandy town decimated in WWII (ST.-LÔ).
- 12D: Ocean State sch. (URI).
- 30D: JVC competitor (RCA).
- 41D: Shapiro of NPR (ARI).
- 45D: Before, before (ERE).
- 50D: "What's My Line?" panelist Francis (ARLENE).
- 60D: 1921 sci-fi play (RUR).
Everything Else — 1A: Urge (SPUR); 5A: It's not what it pretends to be (SHAM); 14A: Vesuvius flow (LAVA); 15A: O'Hara home (TARA); 16A: Prevent (AVERT); 18A: Capital of Rhône department (LYON); 19A: Military lifesaver (MEDIC); 23A: Grind, as teeth (GNASH); 24A: Prefix with -naut (AERO); 25A: Bygone French coin (ECU); 28A: Aliens, for short (ET'S); 29A: Drive up the wall (IRK); 31A: Guerrero y Oaxaca (ESTADOS); 34A: Run the show (EMCEE); 43A: Mends, as socks (DARNS); 44A: Divided differently, as city land (REZONED); 47A: 10 mi. on a clear day, e.g. (VIS.); 51A: Principal tonality, as of a concerto (KEY); 52A: Ploy (RUSE); 54A: __ artery: forearm blood vessel (ULNAR); 59A: Bordeaux brother (FRÈRE); 62A: Biblical physician (LUKE); 63A: Qualified (ABLE); 64A: Mystiques (AURAS); 65A: Life sentences? (OBIT); 66A: Nothing, in Normandy (RIEN); 67A: Takes a look inside? (X-RAYS); 68A: Homes, colloquially (PADS); 69A: Ocular malady (STYE); 1D: Heavy hammer (SLEDGE); 2D: It may be pending (PATENT); 3D: Tonsil neighbors (UVULAS); 4D: Vagabonds might ride them (RAILS); 7D: Soap-on-__ (A-ROPE); 9D: Bring under control (TAME); 10D: No longer hung up on (OVER); 11D: Logical abbr. (QED); 13D: Mail Boxes __ (ETC.); 21D: Give one's two cents (CHIME IN); 22D: How-__: instruction books (TOS); 25D: Change text (EDIT); 26D: Because, e.g.: Abbr. (CONJ.); 27D: One at a keyboard, often (USER); 32D: Uncovers, as evidence (TURNS UP); 33D: Inserts (ADDS); 35D: Stop (END); 37D: Nyctophobe's fear (DARK); 38D: Suit to __ (A TEE); 39D: Like a couch potato (LAZY); 40D: Give birth (HAVE A KID); 46D: Longtime tire brand (DUNLOP); 48D: At all (ONE BIT); 53D: Explore reefs, in a way (SCUBA); 55D: Construction pieces (L-BARS); 56D: Confederate color (GRAY); 57D: Take away (LESS); 58D: Beneficiaries of Bill Buckner's famous World Series error (METS); 59D: Phoned document (FAX); 61D: Nostalgic period (ERA).