The long ride home from Denver must have taken a toll on me. I struggled through Barry Silk's Tuesday puzzle, although I did manage to finish.
The theme was revealed at 38A: 1964 #1 hit by the Shangri-Las...or this puzzle's theme (Leader of the Pack). I sang along with it, but it was never a favorite of mine. The theme answers, all clued as "38-Across, in a sense," are:
18A: Ace of Spades.
28A: Alpha Male. My personal favorite. We have two male dogs. When they get territorial, we remind them that Don is the alpha male, not either of them.
45A: Den Mother.
59A: Marlboro Man. My least favorite...my mother and too many friends died as a result of smoking. I remember the Marlboro ads well--they were intended to make filtered cigarettes seem less feminine. Apparently nothing said MAN like a cowboy. Two of the men who depicted him died of lung cancer. You can read more about it here. Of special interest...The Marlboro Man was listed on USA Today's list of Imaginary Luminaries: the 101 most influential people who never lived.
Leader of the Pack and Marlboro Man weren't the only answers from the sixties. Others were:
14A: Actor Gulager (Clu). I had a major crush on him. I think he played on The Virginian.
57A: "Uncle" of old TV (Miltie). That's Milton Berle, for those who don't know him.
5D: One-named singer for the 1960s Velvet Underground (Nico). Did not know this, but got it from the crosses.
10D: "Little" '60s singer (Eva).
55D: Guthrie who sang about Alice (Arlo).
58D: "Mockingbird" singer Foxx, 1963 (Inez).
I guess I could also include 2D: Friend since high school, say (old pal), since that was also in the sixties.
That's quite a blast from the past.
I'm finally wise to the time clues--they used to throw me, but not any more. 9A: Morning hour (ten am).
If 24A: Secular (laic) isn't in the Pantheon, it should be. It's been in several puzzles in the last couple of months. Other words making a reappearance include:
35A: Verdi aria (Eri tu)
52A: Five-star (A-one)
65A: Being of service (utile)
69A: Tibetan beast (yak)
29D: War god on Olympus (Ares)
37D: Prefix with space (aero)
There were probably an equal number of words that I don't recall ever having seen in a puzzle.
16A: Throat dangler (uvula). That has to be one of the funniest looking words.
42A: Excite (arouse). This is when I realized how tired I was. I had everything except the O and couldn't see the word. It didn't help that I completely spaced on 40D: Gmail alternative (AOL).
43A: Italian flowers (fiori). Conversely, it looks and sounds beautiful.
Was happy to see 11D: Hosiery shade (nude), only because that clue is typically used for ecru. I have never even seen ecru hose and would never wear them, although I would never wear nude hose either. Gimme a little color.
The English-major-shoulda-been in me liked seeing 36D: Often-misused pronoun (whom). I also liked 54D: Categorical imperative philosopher (Kant). I remember very little from Philosophy, which I foolishly took as an honors class, but I remember Kant. I hope you're reading this, Dr. Matchett.
The cortisone shot is beginning to do its magic. I have more movement in my left arm than I've had in six months. I'll start physical therapy next Monday. I hope that one shot will do it and that I can avoid surgery, but only time will tell.
It's time to think about getting ready for bed. Tomorrow...