The only downside to not cooking Thanksgiving dinner at my house...no leftovers. I'll probably have to cook a turkey next week just so I can have a proper sandwich. The saving grace was that I'd made an extra pumpkin pie, so we at least had that for dessert tonight. Pumpkin pie is one of my favorites. I also made a pecan pie this year...at the request of our southern hostess...and it turned out pretty darn good. I might have to make one for Christmas.
Enough about food. Time to pay attention to Victor Fleming's delightful puzzle. If I haven't already mentioned it, he's another of my favorite constructors...and I'm not just saying that because he reads this blog. Check out the vertical stacks:
1A: Called for (necessary)
15A: Common bank deposit (O positive)...I think that's mine, so the blood bank likes me.
17A: 1976-85 sitcom setting (Mel's Diner). I wanted to come up with a city name...this is so much better. If you weren't a fan of Alice, you can kiss my grits! Actually, I preferred the movie to the series. Ellen Burstyn was incredible as Alice...and have I mentioned that I love Kris Kristofferson?
51A: Drop off (go to sleep). With several letters in place, I had hit a slump...that works with the clue but not with the downs.
54A: Clumsy (inelegant)...a clumsy word, but the fact that it's clued as it is makes it okay in my book.
56A: Some Mozart works (serenades). I did not know that. Maybe someone can name one of them.
I just saw two gross answers. 3D: They may accompany fevers (cold sores) and 30D: Game sticker? (arrowhead)...I didn't get that one until just now. Ick.
I loved the cross of 10A: Not get along (clash) and 14D: They frequently become locked (horns).
Favorite clues include 24A: Where things may be neatly ordered? (tavern), 28A: Lash with a whip (LaRue), 39A: They may be done in a salon (nails), 40A: Results of some glances (caroms), 50A: Lead-in to phobia (agora), 5D: It's usually spun first (side one), 6D: Performs awfully (stinks)...countered with 34D: Perform superbly (shine), 13D: Draft holder (stein), 40D: King of pop (Carole)...Tapestry was my favorite album of hers, and 51D: They're found in a mess (GIs).
Things I absolutely didn't know...or even have a clue:
16A: Slow in scoring (lento)...a musical term I haven't heard.
19A: Philologists' work, for short (OED). I didn't get the answer until just now when I looked it up. Why, what an ass am I! (Hamlet soliloquy line, at 55A). Oxford English Dictionary...appropriate for one who studies written records, especially literary texts. [Update: Thanks, anonymous...that was really more of a typo.]
35A: Israeli opera conductor Daniel (Oren). I'm okay with not knowing that one.
38A: __ Diamond, author of the 1998 Pulitzer-winning book "Guns, Germs, and Steel" (Jared). Haven't heard of him or the book.
1D: Pitcher who was the 1995 N.L. Rookie of the Year (Nomo). Also 7D: 1980s-'90s N.B.A. star Danny (Ainge). Are these guys obscure, or am I completely out of touch with things? I thought I'd at least heard of the more well-known athletes...like 34A: Three-time 1990s French Open winner (Seles).
42D: Duke of Cornwall's wife (Regan).
Some clues and/or answers I really liked...some just because they're multiple word answers.
29A: Source of political support (power base).
36A: Encore setting (music hall).
44A: Fast-food chain known for its floats (A and W).
10D: Butcher's need (cleaver).
11D: Display at a golf tournament (leader board).
23D: Open competitors, often (touring pros).
38D: Star of TV's "The Fugitive" (Janssen). My mother and I were both big fans of the show. I don't think we ever missed an episode.
43D: Massey of film (Ilona). We just had her a couple of weeks ago, but I wouldn't have gotten it without the crosses. Must remember her...good crossword letters in her name.
I'm off to bed. Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.