It's a rare night that I don't blog...I'll spare you the details. I got home at 11:00 and did the puzzle before crashing.
I love homonyms. In grade school they were defined as "words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings."
The eight homonyms, and their crossings at the Down clue, are:
1A: Obstruction at the entrance to a cave, maybe (boulder/bolder). If you're a runner, or if you live in Colorado, you're familiar with the BolderBOULDER, annual 10K race held Memorial Day weekend in Boulder, Colorado. Next year's date is May 26, 2008. You can read more about it here. We've never run that one, although several of our friends have.
8A: Like jail cells (barred/Bard).
24A: Headquartered (based/baste). Other sewing terms in the puzzle include 34A: Tailors (sewers) and 25D: Lowers the cuffs on, maybe (alters).
27A: Point to (bode/bowed).
37A: Seat at a hootenanny (bale/bail).
38A: Place for a guard (border/boarder).
54A: Wiped out (beat/beet). I still am one, and I like to eat the other.
56A: Campsite visitor (bear/bare). I'm sure the bear problems aren't exclusive to Colorado. Not enough food for the big guys, so they're coming awfully close to town. That happened when we were in Yellowstone three years ago...our hikes were very limited.
While only marginally sports-related, I was very proud of the gimme at 14A: Having hit a double (on second).
Hesitated for a bit on 17A: Party of the first part and party of the second part, e.g. (legalese).
I always like seeing X in the grid. 29A: __ Nikolaevich, last czarevitch of Russia (Alexei), crossing at the X with 15D: Neuter (desex).
32A: Big blasts, informally (N-tests). Didn't get it on the across, but I was sure I had something wrong with it started with NT.
I don't know much about golf, but I correctly guessed 2D (Rarely used golf club) as one iron.
Another good guess was 12D: Country named for its location on the globe (Ecuador). That was the first clue I saw and the first word I entered.
Huge gimme at 3D: Picture on a $50 bill (U. S. Grant). I know my currency, so it didn't confuse me that Grant wouldn't fit. I knew he was the man.
Didn't know that Frank Sinatra founded Reprise Records (43D), but it was easy enough to guess when I had S**A*R* in place.
Joining Sinatra in the southeast we have 59A: Individually (ala carte) and 66A: Pretended to be (posed as). I keep seeing it as posedas....some kind of Mexican food?
Also like 39D: Recondite (obscure) in the southwest.
Another gimme at 40D: Shoulder muscle (rotator). After more than six months of physical therapy for my left arm, I should know that one. I'm pleased to say that the pain is almost completely gone and I have made a lot of progress with range of motion...not 100% yet, but I'm getting there.
Here's the grid. I like the way the homonym pairs do a little stair-step kind of thing. It's easier to see that when it's colored.
I'll be back tonight.