Hello all, Wendy here in my maiden voyage as a guest blogger while Linda G communes with the OCEAN (60A). Bear with me because I'm just learning as I go along. Howard B told me the functionality of this is very word processor-oriented, and thank God he's right about that.
Today's Monday wasn't one of those "I can do this on autopilot" Mondays. Many of the clues required some thought. Was this a pangram? I think so. For a minute there I thought I might have to google, and I haven't done that for several months! But somehow I was able to avoid it.
The theme, such as it is, is "here's ... there's ... and where's" - I guess. Of course maybe it's something else and I'm just not seeing it. The answers in this category are:
(20A) HERE'S JOHNNY. Eminently preferable, imoo, to Here's Jay Leno. I stopped watching a long time ago. Something's just not right there. Too much (8D) FAWNing, for one thing.
(39A) THERE'S NO I IN TEAM. That's pretty clever, especially with those wily i's right next to each other.
(53A) WHERE'S WALDO. The first of the three that I got.
So the things I found noteworthy today for one reason or another were as follows:
(1A) DOUSE. Just like that word; doesn't feel overexposed as puzzles go. But ...
(6A) Hello again, ALF, you mangy alien. Seems like I just saw you yesterday (actually it was today for me). So I'm officially pronouncing him overexposed.
(17A) SIEVE. Like that word, but I don't relate it to flour. I strain things that were in water in one. Isn't a sifter a more appropriate utensil?
(5D) EYESHADE. I think my grandfather, who was an accountant, wore one of these. I'm not familiar with its use by poker players. Haven't fallen for that craze.
(22D) Nita NALDI. I hope this is right, because I've never heard of the woman.
(29D) CREME. There's something about this spelling that fascinates me for no good reason. Why was it necessary to come up with this variation on cream, I always wonder. I once knew a woman whose last name was Bibby-Creme. Very unfortunate.
(41D) NOT A WHIT. I usually say Not One Whit, but regardless, many people look at me strangely because it's apparently not that common a phrase. Love it. I wrote it in an email to a friend just the other day.
(46D) TOWNIE. Thought this and its clue were very original. For two of my four college years, I attended a small Ohio college with a student body of 1,000 amidst a townie population of another thousand. Waaaaaaay too small for my liking, so I escaped to The Ohio State University, where the concept of townie had absolutely no meaning.
(49D) VENAL. I realize I didn't actually know the meaning of this word before now. Had heard the term venal sin but never determined what kind of sin that was or if I'd ever committed it. Updated Monday 7:17 EST - as Dave Barry used to say, "alert reader" jd informs me that venal is not the same thing as venial, the latter of which is the sin qualifier. Obviously my woefully inadequate schooling in sins, coming from a heathen home, is on full display ;)
(55D) REEL. Another vivid word. I like to think of people reeling, not necessarily drunkenly.
My scan of the puzzle is below. Maybe by next week I'll have learned a few other bells and whistles. Have a good Monday, everyone!