Hello, friendly readers. Howard B here. I'm doing my best to stand in for Linda, who is happily vacationing even as you read these words. Speaking of words (not to mention bad segues), we're here today to enjoy the Friday offering by Paula Gamache - a crazy little themeless construction which includes nine 15-letter Across entries.
Ready? Off we go.
Some of those fun Across answers:
1A: Just the pits (AS BAD AS BAD CAN BE) - Special today, you get six words for the price of one! Great, commonly heard clue and answer pair.
Political mini-theme, including:
37A: The "Randi Rhodes Show" network (AIR AMERICA RADIO) - I believe this is the first reference to this station that I've seen in a puzzle. Pretty cool. Also,
53A: Left-of-center party member (LIBERAL DEMOCRAT) - Just as I was noticing these two answers representing one side of the aisle, crossing this answer was 47D: Rove in politics (KARL). That's some democracy in action right there.
(Edited): I completely missed the political reference in 16-Across, so I've moved it to the mini-theme section. Thanks!
16A: Classic line of debate? (THERE YOU GO AGAIN) - This one stumped me for a while. Thanks to fellow blog denizens Crossword Fiend and Rex Parker, I now know this is a Reagan reference. Also check their sites for more info.
And a smaller answer, but just as much fun,
23A: Food whose name means "little sash" (FAJITA). To think they never taught this in Spanish class. On top of that, now I'm hungry.
Other acrosses included LITTLE OR NOTHING, OVER AND DONE WITH, MAKE A RESOLUTION, ANY PORT IN A STORM, and the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS. Fun stuff, for the most part. Congratulations to Ms. Gamache for fitting all this in there.
Not to ignore the Down answers, but many of them were clued very straightforwardly. Here's a couple that stood out:
11D: String player? (CAT): Awww, cute :).
21D: They may give you a seat (CANERS) - OK, I groaned at that one, but I'm a sucker for that type of clue.
Also the DARK ARTS, split between 52D and 4D.
Here's the puzzle in AcrossLite, as I was a bit short on time and couldn't do the handwritten/scanner thing today.
If anything is wrong, feel free to comment - got in late last night, and my thoughts were likely a bit fuzzy (as if you can't tell from my writing).
Have a great day, post away, and make Robert feel welcome when he guest-blogs tomorrow.