I'm willing to bet that David Quarfoot will have one of the highest Scrabble scores with this puzzle. Not only does Q appear six times, Z shows up three times in one word (pizazz...at 44A: Dash). Other Scrabbly letters include J, K and V.
As usual, I groaned loudly when I saw Quarfoot's name on the byline...but I was pleasantly surprised to have a few gimmes:
16A: Accidental in the key of B or E (D natural). I'm not sure if JimH covered in his music lesson last week.
20A: Three-ingredient treats (S'mores).
23A: Beethoven's "Pastoral" Symphony is in it (F Major).
37A: Burger replacement (Rehnquist). Raise your hand if you were trying to think of something with tofu as an ingredient. I did only for a second.
41A: Stands in line at an airport? (kiosks). You gotta love a word that starts and ends with a K...at least in the singular.
1D: Tynan player in "The Seduction of Joe Tynan" (Alda)...one of my all-time favorite actors.
7D: Rimes with "Blue" (LeAnn)...catchy clue.
26D: 2002 Denzel Washington drama (John Q)...a more recent favorite.
38D: "Mmmm...Toasty!" sloganeer (Quiznos).
Those two Q's made me wonder if they'd not only go up diagonally...they'd also come down. They didn't...but I was able to fill in several more words, just by guessing that they'd start with Q.
22A: Peck parts: Abbr. (qts)...crossing with 22D: It often gets down (quilt).
27A: Noted centenarian of 2000, familiarly (Queen Mum)...with 27D: Pursuit (quest).
33A: Parent's ruse to hush noisy kids (Quiet Game). I only filled in the first word...we didn't play such a game. It crossed at 33D: Rare delivery (quint).
35A: Silence (quell)...with 35D: Guatemala's national bird (quetzal). I had to Google for that one. What a gorgeous bird!
40A: One way to wax (eloquent). The other way I know is poetic...but John Q made that one easy to get.
There were some devilish answers in this one, including 15A: Like some cubs (ursine), 56A: Sleuth who "looked rather pleasantly like a blond satan (Sam Spade), 58A: Spellbinding "Batman" villainess played by Joan Collins (The Siren), 11D: Number between drei and funf (vier)...where's Don when I need him?, 28D: Contemporary of Agatha and Erle (Ngaio) and 30D: Literally, "women's boat" (umiak).
A couple of favorite clues...53A: Dodger's dread? (IRS audit), 55A: Do borderline work? (patrol), 3D: End of a loving trio (amat), 39D: It might get you backstage (VIP pass) and 41D: Pecking order? (kiss me).
It's 9:45 and Don just came home. There's much more to this puzzle...feel free to share your thoughts on it.
Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.