As I suspected, the Wednesday puzzle was easier to get through than Tuesday's. I got hung up briefly in a few spots but was able to work around them and finish in a decent time.
Before I get into the specifics of the puzzle, I want to say Happy Birthday to my little brother, Mikey. Most of us call him Michael (or Mike) now, but he'd answer to Mikey if any of us called him that again. He's a loving (and loved) grandpa, father, husband, son and brother. I purposely reversed the order...it seems that he's gotten even better with each new role. I love you, Michael...you're such a blessing to so many.
And now we return to your regularly scheduled puzzle blog.
The theme of Richard Silvestri's puzzle is a three-part "idle" question, with answers at 21A, 42A and 60A: If vegetarians eat / vegetables, what do / humanitarians eat?
This was pretty easy for a Wednesday, but there was some interesting fill.
I loved that 34A: Robbie Knievel's father (Evel) crossed with 34D: Satanic (evil). Although they didn't cross, we also had 69A: Pad paper? (lease)...clever clue, that one...and 57D: Collar attachment (leash).
25A: Canasta plays (melds). I think this appeared in another NYT within the last couple of months. My mother taught all four of us to play canasta in the late sixties, and I remember two things...we used two decks of cards, and a seven-card meld is a canasta. You can read more about the game here.
45A: Book before Jeremiah (Isaiah). This is one of the better names in the Bible. I like the AIA combination.
51A: Rover's pal (Fido). Dooley and Barnabas thought I should mention that those are silly names for dogs.
3D: Pre-chrysalis stage (larva). Gross...but cool.
5D: Call at first (safe). Does this count as getting a sports clue?
10D: Miles from Plymouth (Standish). An appropriately deceptive clue. I'm sure there were many solvers who tried to think what city that might have been. I was happy to get this with only the D in place.
27D: Language from which "safari" comes (Swahili).
43D: Masterful (talented). I was thrown off a bit by the -ed ending, but eventually had enough letters to figure it out.
56D: Molded jelly (aspic). That sounds so unappetizing. I actually had tomato aspic at a potluck last month and it was delicious.
62D: Square thing (meal). Another clever clue.
There were a few things I didn't know and will try to remember in the future:
55A: Cambria, today (Wales). Easy enough to guess, though.
6D: Painter Mondrian (Piet). A few of his pieces are shown in this article.
53D: Parson's place (manse). Why is it that I have never heard this word used?
54D: Big shot (nabob)...or this one?
Today was my first day working full time in years. It was hard to stay awake and productive for eight hours, but I did it. I then spent two hours checking out sites for wedding receptions (many of the places in town are booked for all of 2008) and discovered that for $2,500 you can get a large room or yard, and maybe a couple of tables if you're lucky. It's a very good thing that I'm working full time.
Here's today's grid...
...and I hope to see you tomorrow.