Without a doubt, Saturday puzzles are usually so difficult for me that they're just barely enjoyable. This one was an exception.
More often than not, I'm on Mike Nothnagel's wavelength. I missed in a couple of spots with this one, but I had maybe 98% of it finished with nary a Google.
Date nights are on hold until April 18...but Don's sitting in the living room with a glass of wine, and I think I'll join him.
Now it's Saturday morning...a great day already. I had nine hours of sleep, a pot of Kauai coffee is brewing, and I have my no-drive day ahead of me. Life is good.
With this puzzle. Fellow blogger Wendy, another die-hard Nothnagel fan, has made crossword history today, completing her first Saturday puzzle without the help of Google. Way to go, Wendy!
You beat me...I had to Google once. That southwest corner wasn't budging, despite the fact that I had 61A: Children's Bargain Town, today (Toys R Us...actually, it's Toys "Я" Us). That wasn't something I knew, but I had 56D: Part of many schools' addresses (edu), so it was easy enough to guess.
Problems in that corner stemmed from an incorrect answer at 42D: Reply to someone in denial (are too), but my it is so fit. Also had a partial answer at 48D: Rigel or Spica (B Star)...I only knew it was a star, so the first square was blank. It didn't help that 48A: Brand in the freezer section (Breyers) could also have been my brand of choice, Dreyer's. I'm hooked on their Slow Churned ice cream...super creamy with only half the fat of regular ice cream. Vanilla Raspberry Escape is my all-time favorite, although I enjoy several others.
End of commercial...back to the corner. I was watching TV in the 70s, but I was clueless on 41D: Gov. Lester Maddox walked off his show in 1970. The only six-letter answer I could think of was Carson...which clearly wasn't right. Google told me it was Dick Cavett, but I didn't take the time to read about it. If someone knows and would like to share, please do.
Once I had that, I was able to fill in the other blanks, including the elusive 51A: Point and click, e.g. (verbs). That had to have been Will's clue...Mike wouldn't have done that to me. Actually, it was a perfect Saturday clue. 55A: Series finale? (etcetera) was another good one.
Moving on to what I knew or otherwise managed to get on my own...the answer I am most proud of was 14A: Symptom of nervous system impairment (ataxia). Now that should be a gimme for Orange...she edits medical texts...but I haven't a clue how it came to my mind. I was able to confirm it with 4D: Lines on planes (axes), and I was off and running.
Favorite multiword answers include 7A: Cause of temporary blindness (tear gas), 17A: Current (up to date), 23A: Small wonder? (whiz kid), 30A: Son and successor of Seti I (Ramses II)...another that just came to me, 34A: Very worried (sweating bullets)...spanning the grid horizontally, 40A: Form of intimidation (hate mail), 57A: Affix, in a way (glue on), 1D: Indy sights since 1911 (pace cars), 2D: Governor's guide (state law), 3D: It's done in the slammer (hard time), 9D: In __ (briefly) (a word)...not short, 15D: Cinematic captain of Star Command (Buzz Lightyear)...I was thinking Star Trek for the longest time, 20D: Start putting stuff away? (dig in), 23D: "__ him who believes in nothing": Victor Hugo (woe to), 36D: Very wide, in a way (ear to ear), 37D: Result of getting even with someone? (tie score)...another gimme/good guess, 38D: Enter on the sly (slip into) and 43D: Fighting words? (war cry).
I was a paralegal in Kansas City for a few years, so I knew 7D: Seat of Shawnee County (Topeka)...that K helped me get whiz kid.
Loved seeing 31D: It's heard on the Beatles' "Rubber Soul" (sitar). If you're a regular reader, you know I love everything about the Beatles. I especially love everything George Harrison.
There were a couple of answers I wouldn't have gotten without crosses...15A: Linebacker Brian banned from the 1987 Orange Bowl for steroid use (Bosworth), 21A: Ally's roommate on "Ally McBeal" (Renee) and 26A: Associate of Thomas (Alito)...I had no idea where they were going with that one. And what am I missing on 45D: Dupes (repros)? Just got it...duplicates and reproduces.
My very favorite clue in the puzzle...50A: 1/192 qt. (tsp). I guessed it because I had the S in place.
Don's up now...and he and the boys are waiting.
Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.