Last night was the after-tax-season dinner for Don's employees. Everything was excellent...the company, the food (bacon-wrapped filet...yum) and just the right amount of wine. To top it off, Joe DiPietro's puzzle was one of the most enjoyable Friday puzzles I can remember. I got hung up a bit in the northwest, but the rest of it came together so nicely.
The long stacks were all multiword. As much as I love them, I don't always get them...but several of these were gimmes. I may have just been on his wavelength...but is it possible that meat is brain food for me?
6A: "This is how it's really done..." (step aside). Not quite a gimme, but I got it with only the TE.
16A: Tried to buy (put a bid on).
18A: Improving (on the mend)...one of the gimmes.
57A: Site of Mackinac Island (Lake Huron). Come to think of it, I struggled a bit here. A wrong answer at 45D: "You __ kidding!" threw me...I had must be, rather than the correct weren't. Once I had some of the downs, though, I worked through it.
62A: Begins to attack (opens fire).
64A: Retired (went to bed). At first, I was thinking of retired in the normal sense.
1D: Certain rental arrangements (net leases). I was befuddled by the cross at 1A: Films are shown in them (nabes). I just looked it up...it's slang for neighborhood theater. We never said that in my neighborhood.
2D: Spirits (aqua vitae)...Latin for "water of life."
3D: Quit meddling (butted out). We had that not too long ago, and I was happy to remember it.
34D: Americana symbols (apple pies). Happily, one of the gimmes.
35D: Takeover (coup d'etat)...with a few letters, it couldn't have been anything else.
36D: Bygone Montreal event (Expos game). The cross at 40A: Curse (pox) always reminds me of the scene in "It's a Wonderful Life" when George Bailey says, "A pox upon me for a clumsy lout."
Other favorite answers or clues:
17A: It's all for the Italians (tutto).
28A: "About Last Night..." co-star, 1986 (Rob Lowe). Either I didn't see it or I don't remember it...or I don't want to remember it...but it was based on David Mamet's award-winning play "Sexual Perversity in Chicago."
38A: Florida island (Sanibel). It pays to have grown up in south Florida.
47A: Rival rival (Alpo). I was thinking of the Rival that makes appliances...but a clever clue.
51A: Exam takers now, exam givers later (premeds).
7D: Main ingredient in tekka maki (tuna).
13D: "Holy Sonnets" poet (Donne).
25D: "Indeed!" (to be sure).
26D: "The Seven Year Itch" co-star (Ewell). I only knew that Marilyn Monroe was it, but the crosses put it together.
29D: Ocean blue (briny). I was thinking of a color at first.
49D: Freak out (go ape). This was too good to pass up...and funny even if you happen to like Bush.
I took the day off so that Don and I can do something fun, and it's nice to be able to blog leisurely with a cup of coffee. He and the boys are still asleep, so I think I'll go watch the birds.
Some of the comments are getting through...others still aren't. Blogger doesn't really have a way to contact them...you "join" their support group and post your question or problem. If you're lucky, someone sees it and responds. Basically, there's no support...but I don't pay them for the Blog, so what's to complain about?
Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.