It's almost 11:00 and I should be in bed already...this will be a short post.
Today's puzzle is by Patrick Blindauer--the constructor of several incredibly clever recent New York Sun puzzles. Apparently Patrick saves his tricks (which included an acrostic, a chess game, and a word search) for the Sun.
The theme is straightforward...revealed at 61A: Singles bar repertoire (and a hint to 17-, 24-, 36- and 52-Across) (PICKUP LINES). Each of the four theme answers refers to some kind of pickup.
17A: McGarrett's TV catchphrase (Book 'em, Danno!). I honestly don't think I ever saw Hawaii Five-O, but I knew the phrase.
24A: Question for a hitchhiker (Need a lift?). Never, never, never pick up a hitchhiker. The mom in me had to say that.
36A: Shout from the phone (It's for you!). Since the girls moved out, it's always for me.
52A: Chevy truck slogan, once (Like a Rock). I thought that slogan was still being used.
I'm always impressed by vertical stacks--in this case, three seven-letter words in each corner.
In the northwest: 1D: Side story (subplot), 2D: Apportion, as costs (prorate), and 3D: Rubs oil on (anoints).
In the northeast, we have 11D: Tall wardrobe (armoire), 12D: Succeeds in a big way (goes far), and 13D: Yachting event (regatta). Both armoire and regatta are tasty morsels that don't appear in puzzles on a regular basis.
The southwest offerings are 39D: Me-first (selfish), 40D: Property recipient, in law (alienee), and 41D: Hardly a celebrity (unknown). In more than twenty years in law, I never heard the word alienee...I wanted grantee there. Unknown...good to see in a puzzle, with the K and W.
Wrapping up with the southeast stacks: 44D: Chanter (intoner), 45D: Least ruffled (coolest), and 46D: General pardon (amnesty). All good ones.
I can't believe I tripped up on 55A: John of London (Elton). I'm a big Elton John fan, and I didn't see that's where he was going. My first thought was along the lines of a loo. When I had A*TO* (because I though 50D: Secluded valley was dale, rather than dell), I tried ASTOR. Good Brit name.
One of these days I will remember that Nanki-Poo's father (5A) is Mikado, and I won't have to rely on crosses to get it.
Some of my favorites:
29A: Biblical landing spot (Ararat). I just like the word and am glad I remember it from my Bible reading.
47A: Cause of odd weather (El Niño). Another Spanish phrase appears at 9D: "Gracias" response (de nada).
That's it for tonight. Here's the grid.
See you tomorrow.