We celebrated a friend's 50th birthday tonight, so I'm getting to this later than I usually do. I'm also coming down with the cold that's plagued my co-workers and several volunteers for the past few weeks.
But given that the ACPT weekend officially begins on Friday, it's highly possible that there won't be many crossword blogs to read...so I'll force myself to get something done before I crawl into bed.
Patrick Berry is generally a tough constructor...no exception with this one. It was filled with some amazing stacks of long answers.
The more gettable ones for me:
2D: Like most 1950s recordings (monophonic). I remember stereophonic, but it wouldn't fit...so that was a good guess.
3D: Final Gene Wilder/Richard Pryor comedy (Another You).
27D: Continuously (at all times)...I got that with only the first letter in place.
28D: Stop working (take a break).
The southeast corner was the first one to fall for me. 42A: It protects car buyers (lemon law) and 46A: #1 Beatles hit with the only known vocal contribution by Linda McCartney (Let It Be), along with 27D and 28D, really opened things up. 33D: "Don't spread this around, but..." (between us) was easy enough with a few letters in place, and 36D: Home for the Ojibwa and Cree (Manitoba) was a good guess.
Next to fall was the northwest. Getting 2D and 3D made the crosses come together nicely, but I was totally flummoxed by 1D: Agitated (in a pother)...an expression I've never heard before. I wasn't even sure I was parsing it correctly, but my dictionary confirmed it. 4D: Neapolitan noblewoman (Contessa) was a good guess, as was 24A: Region bordering Mount Olympus (Thessaly).
In the southwest, I had to Google for 55A: Bernard Malamud's debut novel (The Natural). After guessing 41D: Wisconsin city that's home to S.C. Johnson & Son (Racine), I was able to get an answer here and there...pretty soon the whole corner was finished, including 52A: 1990 #1 rap hit that starts "Yo, V.I.P., let's kick it" (Ice Ice Baby). I wouldn't have guessed that rap had been around that long...it seems much more recent. Favorite clue/answer in that corner...38D: Split right before your eyes? (bifocal).
The northeast was the toughest area for me. Couldn't figure out where they were heading with 5A: Barely mention, as somethign one doesn't want to discuss (skate over) or 17A: In-house debugging (alpha tests). After much head scratching over 15A [One abandoned at the altar?], I finally figured it out...maiden name.
I didn't know 6D: Goes to bed, in Britspeak (kips)...but I'm going to do it now.
Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.