Kevin Donovan is no newcomer to crosswords...according to this article, he's been constructing puzzles since 2003. He's had other New York Times puzzles, but this is the first since I've been blogging.
This wasn't a difficult puzzle...nothing will ever be as difficult as last Saturday's BEQ...but there were a few places where one could stumble.
The theme is revealed at 62A: Director's cry...or a statement about 17-Across and 11- and 29-Down (That's a wrap). The three theme answers are:
17A: Glam rocker's accessory (feather boa). I didn't get that on my first reading of the clues. After 62A, though, I went right back and filled it in.
11D: Transparent packaging material (cellophane). The word reminds me of John C. Reilly's portrayal of Amos Hart in "Chicago." Here he is, ladies and gentlemen...Mr. Cellophane.
29D: Taco alternative (beef fajita).
Some fresh nontheme fill, including:
15A: Herb popular in Indian food (cumin).
20A: The "F" in the equation "F = ma" (Force).
46A: Make believe (feign).
50A: Like trees on a prairie (sparse).
54A: "Mr. __ risin'" (classic Doors lyric) (Mojo).
61A: Wife of Osiris (Isis). Their story is one of my favorites. You can read about it here.
64A: Longtime Yugoslav chief (Tito).
65A: Flood preventer (levee).
3D: King who was the father of Cordelia (Lear).
4D: Moneybags types (fat cats).
7D: Saturate (imbue). I don't know why I always want that to start with an E.
43D: Kind of can (aerosol).
51D: Take as a given (posit).
I like the connected cluing at 10A: Remnant of a tattoo removal, maybe (scar) and 34D: Stereotypical tattoo (Mom).
Favorite clues include 1A: It's full of holes and traps (golf), 27A: Usurer's victim (debtor), 67A: List ender (et al), 50D: Beat, biblically (smite) and 53D: Wedding band, maybe (octet).
What am I missing on 41A: Guitarist's guitar (axe)...don't get it.
Tomorrow's an early morning...I'm on a committee that has been planning a breakfast for 200 employees and board members of local nonprofit organizations, and it's finally here. We need to be there at 6:30, so I'd better call it a night.
Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.