I don't have a clue where the weekend went, but I just realized that I'll be leaving for work in twelve hours. I love my job...but that's still a depressing thought.
Until then, we have a fun Monday puzzle from Robert Dillman...with an abundance of good signs.
17A: Good sign on a highway (End Road Work). They finished work on our bridge the end of November...after more than a year of one lane traffic for a two-mile stretch. When the second lane was opened, no one knew what to do. They all kept driving in the right lane...for the previous year-plus, only jerks drove in the left lane until they came to the point where the lane ended. The first time I drove across the bridge, I was whooping and hollering. It was pretty exciting. Now we have two lanes again and we take it for granted.
60A: Good sign on a candy box (Prize Inside). I only remember prizes being in Crackerjacks and some cereals...never on a candy box.
11D: Good sign on a car trunk (Just Married).
25D: Good sign on a lawn (Free Kittens). I don't know many people who think that's a good sign. According to the Stanford Cat Network, "...over 12 years, one unspayed female, with all her unspayed female offspring, reasonably can be expected to be responsible for over 3,200 kittens if there is no human intervention." Responsible people neuter their pets.
26D: Good sign at a motel (Vacancy). Better for the traveler than the motel owner.
This was fairly easy, as Mondays go. There were only a couple of things I wouldn't have gotten but for the crosses...1A: Bay State sch. (U Mass) and 62D: Actress Caldwell (Zoe).
37D: Kind of porridge (pease) is back...two days in a row.
Years ago I learned the structure of geologic time...the three eras and the periods that comprise them. Little did I know that I'd use that information when solving a New York Times crossword puzzle in 2008. 47A: Arizona's Petrified Forest dates from this period (Triassic). It wrapped up the Mesozoic Era, which also included the Cretaceous and Jurassic periods. Here's a nice recap.
Favorites include 15A: Old Testament prophet (Hosea), 21A: Like the season before Easter (Lenten), 33A: Org. for the humane treatment of pets (SPCA), 35A: Bobby of the N.H.L. (Orr)...I like it because I know him now, 67A: Vice President Burr (Aaron), 68A: Weights abroad, informally (kilos), 4D: Layers (strata), 5D: Acted rudely while in a line, maybe (shoved), 9D: Magician in Arthurian legend (Merlin), 47D: Group of cups and saucers (tea set), 49D: Despotic ruler (satrap) and 51D: Sets (down) (plunks).
I just noticed a plethora of A words...29A: Use a rasp on (abrade), 30A: Comment on, as in a margin (annotate), 56A: Bear witness (attest), 12D: Concurrence (assent) and 24D: Be next to (abut). 18D: Helpers (aides) doesn't fit in this list...neither does Aaron.
55A: Heavy hammer (sledge) reminds me of my favorite Sledge...Percy. Here he is singing one of my favorites..."When a Man Loves a Woman." I can't believe that was released 42 years ago...and I remember it like it was yesterday.
Time to wrap things up. Don needs a haircut before I can call it a night. Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.