What a busy day! After being on the go since 10:00, it was nice to sit down in my favorite chair (with Barnabas) and do the Monday puzzle.
Today we learn HOW TO FIX / YOUR HAIR, revealed at 25D and 22D: What the ends of the answers to the four starred clues are examples of. The four theme answers are:
17A: It rolls across the Plains (sage brush). Boy, does it ever!
65A: Beehive contents (honey comb). I read that clue upside down as the puzzle was being printed. Nice way to start a puzzle.
11D: Juice drink brand (Ocean Spray).
31D: Alluring dance (strip tease). Pretty racy clue and answer. The Times They Are a-Changin' -- Pardon the pun...I couldn't resist.
I guess some people still tease their hair. I remember when everyone did. I can't even remember the last time I ran a brush or comb through my hair. I'm lucky enough to have body and natural curl...thanks, Mom. I just run my fingers through it with a little bit of gel, and it's a done do.
Nothing in this puzzle tripped me up. I actually missed many of the down clues, since I'd gotten most of the acrosses. Looking back over it now, I see a couple of things I didn't really know but managed to get.
48A: Edith who sang "La Vie en Rose" (Piaf). Never saw it. However, I did see Ma Vie en Rose, which I highly recommend.
55A: Vivacity (brio). How could I not know this word that aptly described me at some point in my life...
Things I really liked:
24A: When repeated, a Hawaiian fish (mahi). I thought they might be looking for humu...as in humuhumunukunukuapuaa (pronounced HOO-moo- HOO-moo-NOO-koo-NOO-koo-AH-poo-AH-ah), affectionately called humu humu. It is (once again) the state fish of Hawaii, thanks to a 6-year-old boy. You can read about it here.
56A: "The Tell-Tale Heart" teller (Poe). I think I've said this here before, but this is my absolute favorite Poe story. If you haven't read it, you oughta. Here's a pretty good synopsis.
9D: Card game with melding (canasta). My mother taught me to play Canasta when I was a teenager. Seriously, all I remember is that it used two decks of cards, so I can't believe that "melding" rang a bell.
12D: Where Moose meet (Lodge). Tee-hee.
45D: Cautions (caveats). I've just always liked this word. And its crossing at the V with 52A: Wife of Marc Antony (Octavia) is superb.
51D: Big-billed bird (toucan). This always reminds me of the Froot Loops bird, Toucan Sam. I haven't watched television in years. Do they still use Pig Latin, referring to the cereal as OOT-fray OOPS-lay? I certainly hope so.
It's not even 9:30, but I'm ready to turn in. OOD-gay IGHT-nay.