Stella Daily and Bruce Venzke pair up for another puzzle. This time, though, they skipped the puns that made many of us groan on Sunday.
The theme is revealed at 71A: This puzzle's theme (soaps). The theme answers are multiword answers...the first word of each is the name of a brand of soap.
17A: Joie de vivre (Zest for life). I don't speak French, except for that lovely expression. It looks beautiful, and it sounds beautiful...even when I say it.
63A: Speaking manner (Tone of voice).
11D: Lofty place for an academic (Ivory tower).
29D: Its academy is in New London, Conn. (Coast Guard).
I remember something about each of these brands...either how they looked or how they smelled, with one exception. I remember everything about Ivory, the soap I grew up using...99 and 44/100% pure. The truth is, it's a pretty caustic soap, and I wouldn't use it today. Tone, on the other hand, was made with cocoa butter...I remember using that during my teen years.
All of the theme phrases were good and haven't appeared in the puzzle on a regular basis...if they have at all. Other interesting fill:
14A: Singer Davis with the 1998 hit "32 Flavors" (Alana). I'm not familiar with the song. I don't recall her, either, but her name came to mind for some reason.
20A: Accomplish (achieve)...always good to have a V in the grid.
21A: Star-related (astral). I'm glad to see it referring to a real star as opposed to a celebrity...or a celebrity who's fallen. Nice tie-in with 54D: Super stars (novas).
23A: Prank player (rascal). I especially love its cross with 9D: "Our Gang" kid (Alfalfa)...that Little Rascal.
26A: "South Park" kid (Kyle). I've never seen the show...only got his name from crosses. The only other South Park kid I know is Kenny, and that's from a puzzle several months ago.
31A: Speed-happy driver (leadfoot). That would not be me.
33A: Book in which the first Passover occurred (Exodus).
44A: Singer Pinza (Ezio). Another one I needed crosses to get.
46A: Popular setting for a wedding (gazebo). And how cool is it that Z appears in consecutive words in that row? There's also a noteworthy cross at 42D: First drug approved to treat AIDS (AZT)...short for azidothymidine.
47A: Fantastically wonderful (to die for). That's how Scar describes the surprise waiting for his nephew, Simba, in "The Lion King." Poor Mufasa dies trying to save Simba, but we all know that Scar gets his in the end.
51A: Daughter of Czar Nicholas I or II (Olga)...crosses again.
53A: Arctic bird (puffin). This is a sign that used to be posted in my office...back in the days when people could actually smoke in an office building.
57A: Diner sign filler (neon gas).
6D: Lombardy province or its capital (Varese). A tough word for a Tuesday puzzle, but the crosses made it gettable.
45D: 90210, for Beverly Hills (zip code).
49D: Significant (of note).
Several crossword favorites in this one...1A: Some charity fundraisers (galas), 11A: Org. with a code (IRS), 19A: Lab eggs (ova), 36A: Middle-earth meanie (orc), 66A: Go wrong (err), 69A: Newsman Koppel (Ted), 70A: Fix, as laces (reties), 8D: CBS forensic drama (CSI), 25D: Kerfuffles (ados), 28D: Highway toll unit (axle), 34D: Preowned (used), 37D: Singer McEntire (Reba), 51D: Four duos (octet) and 52D: Peter of "M" (Lorre).
55A: Newswoman Katie (Couric). I've always admired Katie Couric...for her strength during her husband's illness and her courage after his death (and her sister's). Here's a reason to just plain like her.
That's it for tonight. Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.