- Howard B, the first guest blogger, as well as the unfortunate soul who ended up blogging last Friday's killer of a puzzle.
- Robert, a/k/a Green Genius, who filled in for five spots, including the weekends...giving up precious family (and party?) time.
- Dave (the blogger known as Evad), pitched in and took a Sunday so that Robert could go spend a fun weekend with his lovely wife. For reasons I can't explain, blog hits were at an all-time high on one of Dave's days.
- Wendy, the brave one...she had never blogged before. It was so nice to have a feminine presence during my absence, and she offered to pitch it for an ailing guest blogger.
- Rick, a/k/a Cornbread. Rick promised to behave himself...no easy feat for him. Rick always makes me laugh, and the pictures he posted (supposedly of me) were no exception.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you all. And thank you, readers, for your comments. I know how much that means.
I'm suffering terribly from jet lag and the four-hour time difference, so I'll make this one short and sweet. In the coming days, I'll post a few pictures from the trip. Yes, Rick, I'll keep my promise to post one of the real me, although no one will ever think of me as Ava again.
Today's theme entries were all about metal. I'm surprised we didn't see Full Metal Jacket as an answer somewhere.
17A: Bond villain (Goldfinger)
29A: Certain trout (steelhead)
42A: Classic blues musician (Leadbelly). I've never heard of him, but according to this article, his name can be spelled as one word or two. I had everything except the B...didn't help that I didn't know 37D: Pole tossed by Scots (caber). It was a good guess, and Across Lite accepted the puzzle.
52A: Patriarchal gorilla (silverback).
Favorite clues and/or answers include:
34A: Endless, poetically (eterne)
37A: Some red wines (clarets). I had merlots initially, until the downs wouldn't work with it.
40A: Wings it (adlibs).
10D: "Stop!" (enough). That one took me a while to get...I was thinking of stop, as in halt. I'd have done better if it had been clued as "Stop it!"
25D: Germ-free (sterile).
It never fails that I slip up with the A- and B-teams (or lists), and I did it again. 5D: Most-wanted group for a party (A list) didn't come right to me. Fortunately, I had enough of the downs to get it before too long.
I think I can comment on the trip, using answers from today's puzzle. It won't be my best writing, though, and it may not 5A: Make sense (add up).
We decided to 44D: Go up, up, up (soar) in a helicopter the second day of our trip. Much of Kauai can only be seen by air or boat, and the views were breathtaking. We saw the location where they're filming Tropic Thunder, but didn't see a single 47A: Woods or Irons (actor). I don't care that I didn't see Tom Cruise, but I would have loved to see Matthew McConaughey or Nick Nolte. (Cleverly clued, wasn't it?). We 32D: Consumed heartily (downed) several varieties of fresh fish, including opa, ahi, ono, and mahi mahi. We also consumed a lot of local beer, but nowhere near a 57D: Fraternity party setup (keg). I did 61A: Lounge in the sun (bask), but I used sunscreen so ended up with a nice golden glow...no burning. We both 22A: Bemoan (lament) the fact that we couldn't stay longer. It was just so relaxing.
Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.