C. W. Stewart and J. K. Hummel pair up for this week's Tuesday puzzle. I'm not sure if this is their first joint effort, but it's the first one since I've been solving and blogging.
The theme is revealed at 39A: What 17-, 26-, 50- and 60-Across have in common (THEY CAN BE ROLLED). The theme answers (no...joint isn't one of them) are:
17A: It may end up in the gutter (bowling ball). Sad to say, that was a gimme...based on personal experience when I first started playing. I probably weighed about 75 pounds when I bowled my first game...I could hardly lift the lightest ball. I bowled a 19...but I managed to get a 56 on my second game. How do you suppose I remember such absurd detail from something that happened in 1961?
26A: Sweater style (turtleneck). I can't remember if I've plugged Nora Ephron's book..."I Feel Bad About My Neck." It's laugh-out-loud funny. This answer reminded me of her...and of the book. Here's the author's photo from the back cover.
50A: Classic breakfast fare (Quaker Oats). Nothing is better for thee than me. Since the most recent cholesterol fiasco, I've been eating oatmeal at least five mornings a week. Not Quaker, though...I prefer the the thick-cut oats I get at Vitamin Cottage. A little bit of real maple syrup, a few sliced almonds, some vanilla soymilk. Delicious.
60A: Item on a set (movie camera).
Sometimes I actually remember things from past puzzles. Today I got several answers...just because we've had them before.
21A: Schindler of "Schnidler's List" (Oskar). No misspelling it the first time around.
32A: Slave girl of opera (Aisa). Don't ask me which opera. [Update: This is actually Aida...from the opera of the same name. I guess I didn't remember as much as I'd thought.]
33A: Exploding stars (novae). Just the other day someone commented that the plural that appeared in the puzzle was incorrect. It should have been novae...rather than novas. Whoever you are, this plural's for you!
6D: Stellar swan (Cygnus).
38D: Fred Astaire's sister (Adele).
40D: Bow-toting god (Amor).
Favorite clues include 48A: Old timer? (sundial), 28D: Fact fudger (liar)...that's being rather kind...and 58D: Dirty reading (smut).
Best words in the grid:
1A: Prominent feature of Dracula (fangs).
15A: Search engine name (Yahoo).
70A: Center of power (locus).
13D: Country/rock's __ Mountain Daredevils (Ozark)...sharing a Z with 16A: Designer Claiborne (Liz).
37D: Mullally of "Will & Grace" (Megan). Haven't seen it but have heard the name.
53D: Parting word (adieu).
I like that 9D: Showman Hurok (Sol) is followed by 10D: Went at it alone (soloes). Not that soloes is a great word...but having SOL right after SOL looks really good in the grid. [Update: The source of the Aida problem...should be soloed. Which is a much better word than soloes.]
I've been searching the completed grid for the identical cluing that I liked so much...and just realized it was in the New York Sun puzzle. Even if you didn't do the Sun, it's worth noting. [Madison, for one] is the clue that appears twice...for capital and Avenue. Good one.
That's it for tonight. Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.