Author: Edward Alch
Theme: The four elements of taste, as follows:
- 3d: Result that is hard to accept (BITTER PILL).
- 9d: Cocktails made with gin or vodka (SALTY DOGS).
- 31d: Face-saving disdain of something unattainable (SOUR GRAPES).
- 35d: Ideal area to hit a ball with (SWEET SPOT).
- 14d: Yummy thing (and a hint to this puzzle's theme) (TASTE SENSATION).
Good Monday theme, which requires a 15x16 grid to accommodate the 14-letter hint entry down the middle. Actually, I think I've read somewhere that there are really more than just the four so-called basic tastes, but that doesn't really bother me.
- 25a: Event with drastically cut prices (FIRE SALE). Good one.
- 59a: Heat source? (JALAPEÑO). Continuing with a little fire in the mouth.
- 63a: Heat source (OVEN). Nice clue doubling here.
- 50d: IBM offerings of the '80s (PC JRS). As fills with no vowels go, this one's pretty cool. I like the PCJ letter combination.
Actually, all of the theme entries I thought were excellent. In addition:
- 1a: Sworn-upon stack (BIBLES). Easy, but evocative.
- 13a: Camden Yards ballplayer (ORIOLE). I'll be seeing the Red Sox at Camden Yards in another month. Beautiful ballpark.
- 29a: Othello's lieutenant (CASSIO). I probably should have known this right off the top, but I needed a couple of crossings before it hit me.
- 41a: Gumption (SPUNK). Both gumption and spunk are great words.
- 43a: Dragon roll fish (EEL).
- 44a: Got the lead out? (ERASED). Cute. As in erased pencil lead.
- 47a: "Close to the Edge" band (YES). I never even saw this clue as I was solving.
- 48a: One who adapts orchestral music for marching bands, say (ARRANGER).
- 50a: 1992 also-ran (Ross PEROT).
- 53a: Terry Bradshaw was one (STEELER). Quarterback didn't fit.
- 54a: Liquid-Plumr targets (CLOGS). Never saw this clue, either.
- 56a: Andean animal (LLAMA). Easy.
- 61a: One of golf's majors (US OPEN). The golf majors I know: Masters, British Open, U.S. Open, and PGA Championship.
- 62a: 66, e.g.: Abbr. (RTE). I've never driven on it, that I recall, but I know several versions of the song. Here's a classic by the Rolling Stones.
- 64a: Shampooing step (REPEAT). Okay, a show of hands: how many of you actually do the repeat step when shampooing?
- 66a: Feather's partner (TAR).
- 1d: Gaucho's weapon (BOLA). Also a type of necktie.
- 2d: "Persepolis" setting (IRAN). Nominated for Best Animated Feature Film this year. It lost to "Ratatouille". Here's a trailer.
- 4d: Like some bad marriages (LOVELESS).
- 5d: Passes over in pronouncing (ELIDES).
- 8d: Western Native American (UTE). Super-common crossword fare.
- 20d: Disease transmitted by mosquitoes (MALARIA).
- 26d: 2005 #1 album by Ashlee Simpson (I AM ME).Didn't know this off the top, but was easy enough.
- 32d: Photographer Leibovitz (ANNIE).
- 33d: Cardroom game (POKER). My favorite card game after bridge.
- 42d: Wife of Odysseus (PENELOPE). This was like CASSIO to me. I couldn't come up with off the top, but I knew it once I had a few crossings.
- 52d: Luxury watch brand (ROLEX). Pretty much the epitome of luxury watch brands.
Suns of Bitches:
- 10d: Mexico's Oscar (ARIEL).
- 60d: LaRue of "CSI: Miami" (EVA).
Luckily, I didn't need to know either of these.
All in all, a very decent Monday puzzle.
Thanks for listening.
- Pete M.