This is the first New York Times puzzle by Steven Ginzburg in more than six months. Maybe it's because I'm beginning to feel better, but I whipped through it.
The five theme answers are names or phrases that begin with two initials:
18A: Common computer feature (CD-ROM drive).
23A: German auto debut of 1974 (VW Scirocco).
37A: First person to win a Smarties Prize, for children's books, three years in a row (J. K. Rowling). That seems like an odd name for a prize...you might think they were giving her a bunch of those little candies wrapped in rolls. Okay, maybe I'm not feeling better.
53A: Universal recipient type (AB Positive).
61A: Cause of some burns (UV exposure). That was looking mighty strange when I was working the downs...how many words can you think that begin with UVEXP?
I enjoyed this puzzle, but this will be a brief post. I've been running nonstop since 5:00 this morning and I'm beat.
There were some good multiword nontheme answers...among them 50A: "Eat!" (dig in), 11D: Show friendliness (smile at), 40D: An overdose of (too much), 41D: Pro (in favor) and 45D: "You win" (I give up).
Favorite answers include:
15A: Meteor in a meteor shower (Leonid).
28A: Big name in stationery (Eaton).
33A: Frankie with the 1959 #1 hit "Why" (Avalon).
43A: Ohio city named for a mathematician (Euclid).
1D: Turn from a grape into a raisin, e.g. (shrivel).
3D: Automaker Maserati (Ernesto).
7D: Kind of column (Doric).
26D: Egg-shaped (ovoid).
Favorite clues include 48A: 1969 "bed-in" participant, (Ono), 67A: Melpomene, e.g. (Muse)...she's the Muse of tragedy, despite her joyous singing, 10D: Drainage indicator (eddy), 35D: Spiked punch? (awl) and 58D: It may be caught in a filter (spam).
They tripped me up momentarily with 25D: They're part of the string section...there's no S at the end of celli. I think I've fallen for that one before and may yet again.
There were a couple of other areas of slight hesitation, including 27A: Departed. I originally had died, then changed it to left, before finally settling on the correct went. The other was 4D: One eye in ;-) My first thought was dot...which was correct...but I thought they were going in another direction that I couldn't see.
That's it for today. Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.