September 21, 2011
- 17A: *Title role in the 2009 Tony winner for Best Musical (BILLY ELLIOT).
- 24A: *Advantage of some military goggles (NIGHT VISION).
- 45A: *Freetown is its capital (SIERRA LEONE).
- 11D: *Unauthorized stories written by devotees (FAN FICTION).
- 28D: *Pro shop freebie (GOLF PENCIL).
- 55A: "That's exactly how I feel" ... or what each starred clue's first word can do? (JOIN THE CLUB).
And would you look at all this awesome fill? Hard to pick a favorite, but I'm gonna go with FULL TILT, especially clued to the online poker site. The only problem, of course, is that the FBI has shut the site down. I even had a few dollars in an account with them. It looks like I should be able to get it back, but I don't know. When the FBI shuts down an illegal gambling operation, I'm not sure it's a good idea to just stroll back in and ask for your money back.
Other fun fill includes TETRIS (love me some TETRIS!), FILCH, and the Scrabblicious I.Q. TEST, LOGJAMS, JITTERS and IDIOT BOX.
- 30A: Not hard to grasp (BASIC). Love this clue.
- 36A: SkyMiles airline (DELTA). I spent some time in airports last weekend, so this came easily.
- 38A: Ethiopia's Selassie (HAILE). This is some pretty high-end crosswordese. If you've never heard of him, you might want to peruse his Wikipedia page just to help solidify his name in your brain.
- 40A: Creepy-crawly (BUG). Another great clue.
- 58A: Stat for Ryan Howard (RBI). For some reason, I had an inkling that Howard was a pitcher, but I didn't write in ERA right away because I just wasn't sure. Crosses showed me RBI, so it was a good move to wait.
- 13D: Confine again, as swine (RE-PEN). Clunk!
- 41D: Stormy weather gear (PONCHOS).
- 45D: Give the creeps (SCARE). This clue doesn't exactly work for me. Someone can "give me the creeps" without "scaring" me. But it's a fine distinction and likely just personal.
- 31A: Plaza Hotel imp (ELOISE).
- 50A: Actor Morales (ESAI).
- 4D: Gardner of mysteries (ERLE).
- 27D: Bar from a dairy case (OLEO).
- 46D: Sonnet line fivesome (IAMBS).
- 47D: Maritime birds (ERNES).
Everything — 1A: Its median score is 100 (I.Q. TEST); 7A: Weapon for Tyson (FIST); 11A: Christmas choice (FIR); 14A: Former drug giant (SEARLE); 15A: Sans employment (IDLE); 16A: Enjoyed hors d'oeuvres, say (ATE); 17A: *Title role in the 2009 Tony winner for Best Musical (BILLY ELLIOT); 19A: Drop off briefly (NAP); 20A: Shoe with a swoosh logo (NIKE); 21A: Tex-Mex snack (TACO); 22A: M-16, e.g. (RIFLE); 24A: *Advantage of some military goggles (NIGHT VISION); 26A: Bottlenecks (LOGJAMS); 30A: Not hard to grasp (BASIC); 31A: Plaza Hotel imp (ELOISE); 32A: Write quickly (JOT); 33A: Sports car roof option (T-TOP); 36A: SkyMiles airline (DELTA); 37A: Make, as a sandwich (FIX); 38A: Ethiopia's Selassie (HAILE); 39A: Like flannel and fleece (SOFT); 40A: Creepy-crawly (BUG); 41A: Tiered Asian temple (PAGODA); 42A: Butterfly's perch (PETAL); 44A: Noble headpiece (CORONET); 45A: *Freetown is its capital (SIERRA LEONE); 48A: Response to a dare (CAN SO); 49A: __ II razor (TRAC); 50A: Actor Morales (ESAI); 54A: Film buff's channel (AMC); 55A: "That's exactly how I feel" ... or what each starred clue's first word can do? (JOIN THE CLUB); 58A: Stat for Ryan Howard (RBI); 59A: Having the knack (ABLE); 60A: Tough leather (OXHIDE); 61A: Subj. that helps people assimilate (ESL); 62A: Niggling things (NITS); 63A: "Enough already!" ("STOP IT!"); 1D: Publisher's ID (ISBN); 2D: Royally named liner, briefly (Q.E. II); 3D: Heart-to-heart (TALK); 4D: Gardner of mysteries (ERLE); 5D: Shrewd (SLY); 6D: When strokes begin to count (TEE TIME); 7D: Rip off (FILCH); 8D: Couch potato's fixation (IDIOT BOX); 9D: Pavement warning (SLO); 10D: Game with tumbling blocks (TETRIS); 11D: *Unauthorized stories written by devotees (FAN FICTION); 12D: Author Calvino (ITALO); 13D: Confine again, as swine (RE-PEN); 18D: Trails (LAGS); 23D: "Did we get the bid?" ("IS IT A GO?"); 24D: Orion Mars mission gp. (NASA); 25D: Acid container (VAT); 26D: Some arena displays, briefly (LED'S); 27D: Bar from a dairy case (OLEO); 28D: *Pro shop freebie (GOLF PENCIL); 29D: Pre-speech obstacle (JITTERS); 32D: St. Patrick's Day dance (JIG); 34D: Ye __ Shoppe (OLDE); 35D: Bog fuel (PEAT); 37D: Big name in online poker (FULL TILT); 38D: March __: Carroll character (HARE); 40D: Sound at a shearing (BAA); 41D: Stormy weather gear (PONCHOS); 43D: USC athlete (TROJAN); 44D: Cold weather wear (COAT); 45D: Give the creeps (SCARE); 46D: Sonnet line fivesome (IAMBS); 47D: Maritime birds (ERNES); 50D: Footsteps-in-an-empty-hallway sound (ECHO); 51D: Blunder (SLIP); 52D: BMW rival (AUDI); 53D: "Yeah, sure!" ("I BET!"); 56D: Shizuoka sash (OBI); 57D: Phone no. addition (EXT.).