I went to a benefit concert last night and didn't get home until 11:00. I dozed off between words, filling in what I knew, Googling a few obscurities, then crashed on the couch. It had been a long day.
Today is our 26th anniversary. I came home last night to a gorgeous arrangement of red roses (always with one yellow rose) from my sweetie. Our favorite coffee shop is doing something special for us this morning. Life is good. Very good.
The puzzle...not so good. Don't get me wrong...the puzzle itself was better than very good, but I was too tired to do well. Maybe too tired to care. As I look it over now...damn! There are some great words in here. I didn't check the grid, so there may very well be some wrong letters here and there.
Of the three long answers, one of them was a gimme/good-guess-that-panned-out. 31A: Face attack (come under fire). The other two needed the help of the downs before they'd come together:
15A: Construction material (corrugated steel).
51A: Early (ahead of schedule). Dooley barked way ahead of schedule this morning...at 3:40 a.m. to be precise. I was in that druggy state of sleep and managed to ignore him. At 4:00, I scolded him to be quiet. Didn't hear another peep out of him until 6:40, a much more appropriate time to awaken.
If I listed all the things I didn't know, it would take forever, so here are just a few:
24A: Feature of some classical architecture (stoa). The only four-letter word I could think of was ogee, and that may not be classical.
50A: "__ Work" (George F. Will best seller) (Men at). Didn't read it and am not familiar with it. If anyone out there suggests that I should read it, I'll take it under advisement.
13D: Banjolike Japanese instrument (samisen).
31D: Eastwood played him in five films (Callahan). I never saw any of the Dirty Harry movies and didn't know his last name...or that he had one.
42D: It rises in the Black Forest (Danube). Of course I know the Danube, just didn't catch it from the clue. Good one.
Some of my favorite wrong answers, although they didn't stay in place for long:
17A: Applies polish to? (edits). I didn't catch the question mark...had daubs. Is that even a word? Anyway, very good/tricky cluing...most appropriate for a Saturday puzzle.
54A: Some bygone roadsters (Datsuns). I don't think of a Datsun as a roadster. I had Model Ts.
56A: Fluish, perhaps (sneezy). I had sickly, so at least the cross at 49D: Sharp rival (Sony) worked with it.
A few of my favorites:
35A: Writ introduction? (habeas).
8D: 1932 Garbo title role (Mata Hari). No doubt Green Genius will be happy to see Mata Hari clued this way. Green Genius is to Mata Hari as Linda G is to Ava Gardner...but for totally different reasons.
10D: Who's a critic? (everyone). One of the few gimmes in this puzzle, and it made me laugh.
Normally seeing the same clue for two answers confuses me, but not when they're one right after another. And these two were funny. At 33D: Thighs may be displayed in it (meat case)...at 34D the answer was (erotica). The answers aren't really all that different...
Here's the grid...
...and I'm out of here. See you tomorrow.