July 11, 2011
- 17A: Rhetorical question on a sultry day (HOT ENOUGH FOR YOU?).
- 26A: Shellfish order (STEAMED CLAMS).
- 38A: Pitcher's malady (SORE ARM).
- 48A: Off one's rocker (MAD AS A HATTER).
- 63A: What you're solving (in more ways than one, based on the starts of 17-, 26-, 38- and 48-Across) (CROSSWORD PUZZLE).
Despite a clunker here and there (I'm looking at you ACRED), the theme is what really makes this puzzle shine. First of all, it's totally tight. The "angry" words are all used in a "non-angry" context, and the phrases are all well-known. Okay, SORE ARM just kinda sits there, but the reveal answer more than makes up for that little nit. It's a CROSSWORD PUZZLE and the theme is CROSS WORDS. Love it.
- 6A: Partner of a mani, salon-wise (PEDI). Just had one yesterday. Aaaaahhhhhhh.
- 21A: Illness suffix (-OSIS). I tried -OTIS here first.
- 23A: Enjoy a chaise longue, say (LAZE). There is apparently a rule now that every grid has to include either LAZE or LOLL.
- 43A: "Sexual Healing" singer Marvin (GAYE). A man that could even make the National Anthem sexy.
- 71A: U.S.-Canada defense acronym (NORAD). I'm sure someone will be kind enough to tell us in the comments what this stands for. This is the organization that tracks Santa Claus every year, isn't it?
- 7D: Vet (EX-G.I.). This one was tough for me. I first went down the "animal doctor" road, then switched to the "investigate" definition and really only got to "veteran" once I had the whole thing pretty much filled in by crosses.
- 10D: How lovers walk (ABREAST). Heh heh. You said breast.
- 18D: Slimy stuff (OOZE). Goopy stuff!
- 24D: Writers Lowell and Tan (AMYS). And, of course, crossword blogger and all-time cool chick Reynaldo.
- 47D: "What craziness!" ("IT'S A ZOO!"). Another great colloquial phrase. Extra points for its exclamatory-ness.
- 25D: Neet rival (NAIR).
- 30D: Hawaii's Mauna __ (LOA).
- 40D: "The Crying Game" actor Stephen (REA).
- 58D: Folk singer Guthrie (ARLO).
- 60D: Drug kingpin (CZAR).
Everything Else — 10A: "Dancing Queen" group (ABBA); 14A: Hawaiian hi (ALOHA); 15A: Neural conductor (AXON); 16A: Area outside the city, briefly (BURB); 20A: Appear to be (SEEM); 22A: Blood lines (VEINS); 25A: Subtlety (NUANCE); 31A: Striped cat (TABBY); 32A: __ polloi (HOI); 33A: Deck swabbers (TARS); 37A: Cavity fillers' org. (ADA); 42A: Tennis do-over (LET); 45A: Meaning of a wd. (DEF.); 46A: Shrek's love (FIONA); 52A: Boutonniere spots (LAPELS); 55A: Striped fish (BASS); 56A: Earthy tone (OCHRE); 57A: Lion's den (LAIR); 59A: West Point, e.g.: Abbr. (ACAD.); 66A: Lottery-like game (KENO); 67A: Look at leeringly (OGLE); 68A: Italian white wine (SOAVE); 69A: Original sin site (EDEN); 70A: Carpenter's supply (WOOD); 2D: Natural balm (ALOE); 3D: Shopping bag (TOTE); 4D: Class with flasks and beakers (CHEM LAB); 5D: Solo in "Star Wars" (HAN); 6D: Stopped briefly (PAUSED); 9D: Having one flat, musically (IN F); 11D: Poker tournament entrance fee (BUY-IN); 12D: Rodeo bucker (BRONC); 13D: Nasty treatment (ABUSE); 19D: Latin egg (OVUM); 26D: Party without women (STAG); 27D: Exclamation with a flourish (TA-DA); 28D: Cybermarketplace (EBAY); 29D: Master slicers and dicers (CHEFS); 34D: Scads (A LOT); 35D: Russo of "Get Shorty" (RENE); 36D: Marquee luminary (STAR); 39D: Las Vegas numbers (ODDS); 41D: Advanced degs. for writers (MFA'S); 44D: "Nature" author (EMERSON); 49D: Brewpub pints (ALES); 50D: Tolerated (ABIDED); 51D: Heavenly music maker (HARP); 52D: "Social contract" philosopher John (LOCKE); 53D: Like a big landowner (ACRED); 54D: Call up (PHONE); 57D: Nike's Swoosh, e.g. (LOGO); 61D: Edison's middle name (ALVA); 62D: Ownership document (DEED); 64D: "Golly!" ("WOW!"); 65D: Mil. branch with ships (USN).