Happy Saturday, everybody. Nice to start off the weekend with a challenge like this one. I knew I was in a good place to solve when I looked at 1A: Hawaiian for "strong," saw that it was four letters, and thought, "Hmm … I wonder if it might be MAHI." Totally random! Confirming through crosses, I wasn't thrilled with the clue for MARE, but knew right away that it was right. 1D: Colt source? Source? I don't know. Just seems like a weird word to use. I had the same feeling about the clue for DNA TEST (19A: Proof of ownership?). Not exactly sure what that's all about, but assume it has something to do with my feminist upbringing.
- 17A: Libertines (RAKES). I know we've talked about this before, but all these words for undesirable people are awesome: cad, scoundrel, knave, scalawag, varlet. Today we come up with words like asshat, which is fine but doesn't quite have the same aura of condescension.
- 21A: Ranch handle (TEX). "Handle" in this case means "name." So a person working on a ranch, might be called Tex.
- 31A: Punched-out pieces (CHADS). So funny that this word has become part of the country's consciousness.
- 33A: 16-time Gold Glove-winning pitcher Jim (KAAT). No idea.
- 38A: Old-time soprano Lehmann (LOTTE). No idea.
- 39A: A lime-flavored version of it came out in 2004 (DIET COKE). I was thinking this was going to be a beer. I remember when Gen. McChrystal did that interview with Rolling Stone, he and the interviewer were drinking some type of lime-flavored beer.
- 42A: Stanley of "Julie & Julia" (TUCCI). Love him.
- 58A: Iowa Straw Poll city (AMES). Home of the Iowa State University Cyclones. Booooooo!
- 3D: Driver's ultimate destination? (HOLE). Golf!
- 4D: Noted 19th-century lithographer (IVES). I had the Exact Same reaction to this clue as I had last time I saw it, which was just over a month ago. Here's what I wrote back on September 17:
This made me laugh. I'm all "I'm supposed to know lithographers now?!" And then it's our old friend from Currier & IVES, who I most certainly do know.
- 11D: Nueve's square root (TRES). Spanish!
- 12D: Subtle signal (PSST). Here's the thing. I totally get this clue and I totally get why people do this. Hell, I've done it myself. But come on. There's nothing subtle about it. When you try to get someone's attention with "psst," everybody within earshot looks, amirite?
- 26D: One might be dedicated to Mom, briefly (TAT). Short for tattoo. I'm still kinda mad at myself for never acting on my impulse to get a tattoo of the name Joey. I don't know anyone named Joey or anything, I just thought it would be funny.
- 31D: Where a small hand might get caught (COOKIE JAR). In our house, it's big hands (i.e., PuzzleHusband's) that get caught in the COOKIE JAR.
- 38D: Slightly (LITTLE). I had some trouble with this. When it became clear that the answer was LITTLE, I thought "But that needs an a at the beginning." There are times when it doesn't though. Maybe someone can give us an example in the comments.
- 45D: Chihuahua howdy (HOLA). Did you think this was going to be a dog sound? I did.
- 47D: Pod opening? (DECA-). I don't know what a DECApod is, but I assume it's a pod with a whole bunch of sides. [before you start correcting me in the comments, I'm kidding!]
Everything Else — 5A: In __ (A FOG); 9A: Internet letters (HTTP); 13A: Positive (ABOVE ZERO); 15A: Many are imagined (FEARS); 16A: A great teacher might be one (ROLE MODEL); 18A: Urban renewal target (EYESORE); 22A: River through New Mexico (PECOS); 23A: Castigates (BASTES); 27A: Environmentalist's goal (CLEAN AIR); 30A: Stock phrase (AT PAR); 32A: 'Hood handle (BRO); 34A: Layers (COATS); 35A: Aero-X automaker (SAAB); 36A: Commit catcher's interference, e.g. (ERR); 37A: Faulkner's "__ for Emily" (A ROSE); 41A: Acted after a coin toss, maybe (WISHED); 43A: Chocolatier's container (VAT); 44A: Takeout option (CHINESE); 46A: Style revived in the '60s (ART DECO); 51A: 1961 Best Actress (LOREN); 52A: In disorder (JUMBLED UP); 54A: Umiak builder (ALEUT); 55A: Metaphorical victim of an upset (APPLE CART); 56A: Stinger (WASP); 57A: Spring (from) (RISE); 2D: "About __": Hornby novel (A BOY); 5D: São Miguel is the largest of them (AZORES); 6D: Golf's __ Cup (FEDEX); 7D: Bauxite, for one (ORE); 8D: Oscar's covering (GOLD PLATE); 9D: Romano's "Everybody Loves Raymond" co-star (HEATON); 10D: Loses big (TAKES A BATH); 14D: One acting badly? (EMOTER); 15D: Donnybrook (FRACAS); 20D: They're not optional (NEEDS); 23D: Potato choice (BAKED); 25D: Rolls seen at the beach? (SPARE TIRES); 27D: Go after (CHASE); 28D: Burning up (IRATE); 29D: Dressed for court (ROBED); 34D: Holey footwear (CROCS); 35D: One might be picked up in a storm (SOS); 37D: Stress (ACCENT); 40D: Mechanic's offer (TUNE-UP); 41D: Bird's song (WARBLE); 43D: Sirens (VAMPS); 44D: Scratch (CLAW); 49D: Salt, perhaps (CURE); 50D: Gets off the fence (OPTS); 53D: Gp. co-founded by publisher E.W. Scripps (UPI).