Author: Doug Peterson and Barry C. Silk
- 7a: Bunk (CLAPTRAP). Claptrap is a great word, apparently deriving from its attempt to gain applause.
- 16a: It has many layers (HENHOUSE). Gosh CATHOUSE would fit, too, in a way. Of course, we already have BORDELLO (36d: House with a lot of johns), which is also a fantastic clue.
- 35a: Test requirement, at times (NUMBER TWO PENCIL). This should have been way easier than it was. I guess it's been too long since I've had to take a standardized test that was not on-line.
- 56a: Wedge alternative (STILETTO). Excellent.
- 2d: 1890 Henry James novel, with "The" (TRAGIC MUSE). The fact that I didn't know this one does not detract at all from its awesomeness.
- 3d: What this clue have (BAD GRAMMAR). This one's part grin and part grimace. But the grin wins.
- 7d: Team with the 1980s mascots Ribbie and Roobarb (CHICAGO WHITE SOX). Nice fill, with interesting trivia associated with it.
- 28d: It fell on Neil Armstrong in the summer of '69 (TICKERTAPE). Superb.
- 29d: Where some dissections are performed (SCIENCE LAB). I actually had BIOLOGY LAB to start, but this is almost as good.
- 1a: Turns up (AT BATS). Excellent deception here. A turn being "up", in baseball, is an "at bat". Actually, that's not officially correct, since walks, errors, and a few other sundry events do not count as at bats, even thought the batter was, in fact, at bat.
- 17a: Nuts (MADMEN). It seems a shame not to reference the TV series of the same name that is up for more than a dozen Emmy Awards this year.
- 18a: "Don't mind that" (IGNORE IT).
- 19a: Encourage (EGG ON). Goes well with HENHOUSE, don't you think?
- 20a: Intel collectors (SCOUTERS).
- 21a: Old-style letter opener (SIRS). Admit it, you were picturing some kind of desk knife. I know I was, but I'm in the middle of a Lawrence Block novel where such a device has been used as a murder weapon, so maybe it's just on my mind.
- 31a: Steak-___ (UMM). I had -UMS, which slowed me down on the BAD GRAMMAR fill.
- 32a: Northern Italian city (VERONA).
- 38a: Aoki of the links (ISAO). Gimme for me. This is a name I knew before crosswords, and it shows up enough to keep it fresh. He was (is?) a hell of a putter.
- 39a: Azadi Tower city (TEHRAN). I've never heard of this tower, but the city name was easy enough to discern with a few crossings.
- 41a: ___ verte (grayish-green pigment) (TERRE). I'm assuming this means "green earth".
- 43a: Discovery of Daniel Rutherford (NITROGEN). There's a Rutherford Physics Building at McGill University, but that's named for Ernest Rutherford, who discovered protons and postulated the orbital theory of atoms. I can't find anything that indicates they're related.
- 45a: The WHO used it to fight malaria (DDT).
- 47a: Winter holiday of southeast Asia (TET). Gimme.
- 48a: Vancouver Canucks logo animal (ORCA).
- 50a: Mourned in meter (ELEGIZED).
- 53a: Ticket's target (VOTER). As in a political ticket. Good clue.
- 54a: New Orleans sweets (PRALINES).
- 57a: Shell holder (PIE PAN). Pralines and pie shells. You're killing me here. Don't you know I'm on a diet?
- 58a: Certain aerophone (TENOR SAX).
- 59a: Having a mortgage, e.g. (IN DEBT). Seems to me there's a difference between having debts and being in debt. The latter tends to imply a negative overall balance, doesn't it?
- 1d: Tops (ACMES).
- 4d: Tops (AT MOST). I confidently filled in UTMOST here, which was really hard to change, except that ATBUTS wasn't making any sense at all for 1a.
- 6d: Fig. that never ends with four zeros (SSN). Gimme.
- 8d: Bionicle brand (LEGO).
- 10d: X-ray particle (PHOTON). Also a type of Star Trek torpedo.
- 12d: Penitent (RUER). One who is penitent is called a penitent. Don't you love the English language?
- 14d: Sulky state (PET).
- 26d: Did a line, say (SNORTED). This kind of blatant drug reference would never see the light of day at the Times.
- 30d: "Labor omnia vincit" is its motto: Abbr. (OKLA). This is basically, find an abbreviation that fits and makes sense. Any state would do, but OKLA fit.
- 31d: Second, e.g. (UNIT). Unit of time, to be exact.
- 37d: "Here Come the Warm Jets" musician (ENO). Thank God for these crosswordy gimmes; they gave me a foothold.
- 44d: Pinched the cheek of (GOOSED). Sassy clue.
- 50d: "La Tosca" sculptor (ERTÉ). Add this to the gimme pile.
- 52d: Hellenic consonant (ZETA).
- 53d: Silver streak, say (VEIN). As in a vein of (silver) ore.
- 54d: Yukon Terr. setting (PST). Pacific Standard Time.
- 55d: Sch. with a Hartford campus (RPI). The only school I knew was in Hartford is Trinity College. I tried TRI for a bit, but it didn't last.
Suns of Bitches:
- 23a: City between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem (LOD). I was thinking NOD, which I think is mentioned in Genesis, or was that NOB? You know, the land that Cain was banished to.
- 40a: White, to a wahine (KEA). Well, it's a step up from the Mauna ___ guess that we usually have. Apparently, Mauna Loa means "long mountain", while Mauna Kea means "white mountain" (as it is typically snow-capped). Makes sense now.
- 13d: 1985 William M. Hoffman play about AIDS (AS IS). My feeble brain thought this clue said William H. Macy. I blame Stephen Colbert, who coined the name Filliam H. Muffman to describe Macy and his wife, Felicity Huffman. Damn you, Colbert... Either way, I had no clue what this was.
You know, there are remarkable few SOBs in the puzzle, considering it's a Weekend Warrior. We've had Tuesday puzzles recently with more. All in all, I'd say this was a very nice themeless. Not as challenging as they can be (I was easily able to complete it in a single sitting), but entertaining for sure. Nice job.
Thanks for listening.
- Pete M.