I normally don't get too excited about a four-part long theme answer, but this one was fun. The four theme answers spell out a newspaper headline about a workplace mishap:
20A: MAN WHO FELL INTO
42A: MACHINE NOW
51A: FULLY RECOVERED.
A clever theme, well executed...and plenty of good fill. There's something for everyone in this puzzle, including some learning opportunities for me.
I didn't know 17A: Queen of Carthage who loved Aeneas (Dido), or its cross at the second D...3D: "Celeste __" (aria) (Aida).
41A: Feudal serf (esne).
6D: 1952 Winter Olympics site (Oslo). It was easy enough to figure out, but this is one I should know. After all, I was in utero at the time.
7D: Minnesota's St. __ College (Olaf). This was just a lucky guess. When you're talking Minnesota and a four-letter name, it's either Olav or Olaf.
I had a little trouble in that general area because of an error at 8D: Hand (out). I had dole instead of the correct answer, mete. Once I fixed that, it was easier to get 5A: Mike holder on a film set (boom), 15A: Castaway's spot (isle) and 18A: Part of a blind (slat). None of those were working with dole.
30D: Astronomer Tycho __ (Brahe). Never heard of him.
33D: Close-fitting tartan pants (trews). I need to find a picture of these. Here they are...in Black Watch.
A learning process of another kind was involved with 37A: Mideast ruler: Var. (Amir). I just read this page in Amy Reynaldo's book, How to Conquer the New York Times Crossword Puzzle. I thought it might be Agha at first, but I persevered. If you don't have this book, you're making your life...at least your puzzling life...more difficult. The book is full of tips and includes more than 60 practice puzzles.
Favorite clues/answers in the puzzle include:
38A: Ingenuous (naive). I've always liked the word. People who are naive...not so much. Unless it's genuine. Can you be genuinely ingenuous?
5D: Knights' neighbors (Bishops). I got the answer but didn't GET it until I was finished with the puzzle.
9D: Designer McCartney, daughter of Paul and Linda (Stella). A wild guess. I must have seen it somewhere.
11D: Bingo call (B Ten). Best answer of the puzzle.
26D: Twitch (spasm). Another word I just like.
35D: Ignore the alarm? (oversleep). I can't do that very often. Dooley's internal alarm never fails, and he makes sure that we get up.
43D: "Go ahead, tell me" (I give up). I had speak up. A good wrong answer.
Today was a multiple puzzle day. This morning I did the New York Sun...another puzzle extraordinaire by Patrick Blindauer. See Green Genius for the completed grid and commentary.
I recently subscribed to Ben Tausig's Weekly xword group. Today was a Tyler Hinman puzzle that I finished without much difficulty. I'm beginning to think that I'm better suited to morning solving...i.e., with coffee. Amy includes this one in her Tuesday blog, so click on the link above or in the sidebar for commentary on the Hinman puzzle, as well as four or five others.
Here's the Wednesday grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.