Peter Collins takes us to Scarborough Fair...well, sort of.
The theme of his Tuesday puzzle is revealed at 39A: Things hidden in 17-, 23-, 49- and 57-Across (herbs). No parsley or rosemary, but there are four others:
17A: In front of a hydrant, say (PARKED ILLEGALLY). A great clue and a great answer.
23A: "Uh-oh" (I'M IN TROUBLE).
49A: Publicists (PRESS AGENTS).
57A: Business sessions that drag (LENGTHY MEETINGS). Another superb answer.
In addition to herbs, there's a mini-theme of sorts involving junk food. 1D: "Taste that beats the others cold" sloganeer, once (Pepsi), 27D: Ding Dongs competitor (Ho Hos) and 35D: Snacks dipped in milk (Oreos).
In the entertainment area...21A: "Waking __ Devine" (1998 film) (Ned), 36A: Fran of "The Nanny" (Drescher), 6D: Father __ Sarducci, longtime "S.N.L." character (Guido), 24D: __ Jean (Marilyn Monroe, affectionately) (Norma), 29D: Looney Tunes pig (Porky) and 58D: TV's Longoria (Eva).
46A: 1998 song by the Goo Goo Dolls that was #1 for 18 weeks (Iris). I didn't know the song by name, but I found it here...and I definitely know the song. The video shows Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan in "City of Angels"...all I remember of that movie is the ending. Have I mentioned more than a dozen times that I love Nicolas Cage?
I like how ell and eel look side by side in the grid...at 7D: Pipe joint and 8D: Epitome of slipperiness, respectively, as well as the cluing of 44D: Father (beget) and 47D: Father, e.g. (parent).
Some of my favorite fill:
38A: School lady (marm). Schoolmarm is the name of a beginner-to-low intermediate run at Keystone...almost 3 1/2 miles long. It was the last run that I did...about fifteen years ago. I was never crazy about downhill skiing. I'll take cross-country any day.
42A: Loch Ness monster, e.g. (creature).
63A: Seed-to-be (ovule).
65A: French seas (mers).
3D: "Vive __!" (Le Roi)...Long live the King! A similarly regal answer at 13D: King in un palacio (rey)...which then ties in to another Spanish answer at 52D: Un gato grande (tigre).
9D: Home of the Casbah (Algiers).
There's some standard fill to round things out...5A: Decorative molding (ogee), 14A: Gen. Robt. __ (E. Lee), 20A: Notice for late ticket-buyers, maybe (SRO)...standing room only, 31A: Hair removal product (Nair), 32A: Tic-tac-toe loser (OXO), 45A: Umberto who wrote "The Name of the Rose" (Eco), 64A: Israel's Abba (Eban) and 66A: Mythological reveler (satyr).
I've never heard of 11D: Ex-hoopster Manute __ (Bol)...no problem, though, because of easy crosses.
That's it for tonight. Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.