For a Monday puzzle with an easy-to-get theme, I sure did struggle with one of the theme answers.
The theme was revealed at 64A: Command center?...or where you might hear the starts of 17-, 28- and 49-Across (obedience school). The three theme answers are:
17A: "Here he is now!" (speak of the devil).
28A: Be undecided (sit on the fence).
49A: Persist to completion (stay the course).
I didn't have trouble with the second and third answers, and 64A was a gimme. But I couldn't for the life of me think what a third command would be. Our dogs only learned to sit and stay. Was it roll over? Lie down? I was lost.
Friday and Saturday were both no-drive days...Friday only because I was still sick. I made up for it today, though. I managed to get all my errands run, get groceries and put them away, do some laundry...and now I'm beat. The time change doesn't help. So it's 7:30, and I'm nearly ready to call it a night. I'm just thankful the Monday puzzle comes out so early.
I liked the two long vertical answers. 11D: Billet-doux (love letter)...although I've never seen the clue word before...and 30D: Message on a shipping crate (this side up).
5A: Places where lines meet (foci)...is that a cool word?
9A: French greeting (salut). [Not salud...thanks, Wendy.]
38A: Talking maybe a little too fast (glib).
43A: Sgt. Snorkel's dog (Otto). I especially love that it crosses 36D: Big elevator manufacturer (Otis).
44A: Fable writer (Aesop). My favorite is about a thirsty crow whose only water source is a tiny bit in a pitcher. The crow drops pebbles into the pitcher until the water level rises and she can drink. Don't ask me why I still remember that, but it obviously made an impression on me. I just looked it up...according to this article, the motto is Necessity is the mother of invention.
60A: Long Island airfield town (Islip). Other New York clues are 27A: Big Apple ave. (Lex)...but I don't get why ave. isn't capitalized...and 7D: The "C" in N.Y.C. (City).
2D: Reindeer herder (Lapp). This is not a job I would want. It looks far too cold out there.
9D: Dirge (sad song).
13D: Old message system (Telex).
18D: Wails (keens)...learned that from yesterday's puzzle, where it was in the clue for banshees.
31D: Geologic time unit (epoch).
51D: A score (twenty).
53D: French place of learning (école). One of only a few French words I remember on a regular basis.
54D: Mail receiver, in brief (PO Box).
In about a half hour, I can legitimately go to bed. I wonder how long it will take to adjust to the time change this time around.
That's it for this one. Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.