More good Christmas Eve memories with our girls. After dinner and midnight Mass (well, kind of...we were actually home by midnight), we opened our pajamas...Big Dogs all around...then went downstairs to watch the video of Christmas 1995, our first with both of the girls. I was absolutely amazed by how young we looked, how little the girls were, the cute things they said and did, how old our dogs and cat looked (that would be the last Christmas for two of the three). I can't believe we didn't watch those old movies more often. It would have been especially helpful during their difficult teen years...serving as a reminder that they weren't always so hard to live with.
Because of a winter storm warning, everyone had to leave fairly early, so we spent a quiet Christmas afternoon at home...just the two of us. Mike and Elaine have made it safely home...Leslie and Candy are almost home following an afternoon with her family.
Yes...another wonderful Christmas. I hope you and your family have some warm memories to cherish for years to come.
Okay...the Wednesday puzzle. I thought we were looking at a pangram...even read over the grid two or three times looking for V and W, but I'm not finding them.
The theme is revealed at 38A: Song from 65-Across that's hidden in 20- and 54-Across and 10- and 35-Down. The song is NYC...from 65A: Hit Broadway musical based on a comic strip (Annie).
And the theme answers are:
20A: "The Defiant Ones" co-star, 1958 (Tony Curtis). My sister and I swooned over Tony Curtis in the early sixties. I'm sure we weren't alone.
54A: Cornmeal dish often served with maple syrup (johnny cake). Sounds interesting...maybe like a crunchy pancake.
10D: 2003 Kentucky Derby winner (Funny Cide)...funny name for a beautiful horse.
35D: Vehicles at a petting zoo (pony carts).
I've always liked hidden words or letter combinations in a themed puzzle. Just something enjoyable about it. There are the occasional gimmes...you have the NY in a theme answer, so you know the next letter is C. That's not the real draw, but I couldn't tell you what is. I just know that I like it.
I also loved the plethora of Scrabbly letters in answers such as 10A: Daunt (faze), 42A: Massages (kneads), 6D: Bleach brand (Clorox), 9D: Field utensils (mess kit), 12D: Microwaves (zaps), 41D: 2008 Olympics host (Beijing)...the IJI sequence is just too good, and 49D: Six-foot-tall African animal (okapi).
Other favorite answers include the Pantheonic 15A: Orsk's river (Ural), 22A: Rocket launcher (NASA)...clever cluing, 28A: Sony music player introduced in 1984 (Discman), 37A: Yo-yo (idiot), 40A: Hashish source (cannabis), 43A: Some socks (argyles), 1A: Glacial ridge (arete)...a favorite because I actually remembered it this time), 4D: Rakish sort (satyr), 32D: Easily split mineral (mica), 33D: Month after Shevat (Adar)...although I needed the crosses to get it, 44D: 1984 gold-medalist marathoner Joan (Benoit)...a gimme, as this was during the time I was running regularly, 47D: Show contempt toward (scorn), and 48D: Kite's clutcher (talon).
Per se appears again today...at 50D, clued as [As such].
That's it for today. We were up until 3:00 last night...and up at 7:30...so I need to get myself to bed. Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.