Today's puzzle went down easier than yesterday's. Must be that Richard Silvestri added a spoonful of sugar. Y not?
The four theme answers were common words/phrases, except the last word of each had a variation on the spelling -- changing the I to Y.
20A: Stealing some computer memory? (taking a byte)
54A: Always use the term "coloring agent"? (never say dye)
11D: Ways to make lefts and rights? (turnstyles)
29D: Assorted hydroxides? (pack of lyes). Especially interesting in that it followed Tuesday's Leader of the Pack theme.
Nice to see Kelly Clarkson clued (along with Taylor Hicks) at 17A (Idol). I'll confess that I've never seen an episode of American Idol, but I've seen some of the winners perform since they won. Kelly Clarkson is more than the first winner--she's the best of them. I was hoping to see her in Las Vegas as part of her tour, but it conflicts with our Hawaii trip. Now it looks as though I'll have to drive to Denver to see her in July. Maybe we can get a hotel within walking distance of The Pepsi Center.
There were several words in this puzzle that I absolutely did not know, although I was able to get them with crosses.
9A: Perfume from petals (attar)
13D: Basketball's Tomjanovich (Rudy). Never heard of him, but I like his last name.
32D: Cordwood measure (stere). It's a cubic meter.
57D: Sledge (dray). We've had sledge before as an answer, but I don't remember how it was clued. I'm fairly certain it wasn't clued as "dray."
Words I really liked seeing in the puzzle, or clues that I thought were 51D: First-rate (primo). That's one of them.
3D: Running __ (amok). For as long as I can remember, I have liked that expression. One of my favorite movies is The American President. Annette Bening's character, Sydney Ellen Wade, apologizes to President Andrew Shepherd (played by Michael Douglas) for behavior she describes as "vanity run amok." Love the expression...love the movie. Come to think of it, I'm about due to watch it again.
22D: Get to the point? (taper). That clue ties in with the more graphic 19A: Like unfortunate bullfighters (gored).
26D: Outfielder's asset (arm). It's simplicity makes it great.
34D: Makeshift screwdriver (dime). Now I know that it's perfectly fine to use something else in a pinch. It's been validated by the New York Times! I would have preferred that it referred to a knife, since I tend to use that more often, but...
43D: Audio receiver (ear). They used to get me with this one...time and again. No more.
63A: Tiger club (iron). I thought they were looking for Tiger Beat, but that wasn't working out. A couple of the downs...and...voilà!
Alas (25A: "Too bad!"), it's getting late, and I have much to do before bed.