With the exception of Monday's puzzle, this has been a killer week for many of us. Rich Norris finished what Manny Nosowsky started on Tuesday.
The only saving grace with this one was that many of the answers could be found via Google...but that didn't make it easy.
Even with help from Google, the northwest corner was a bear. Two of the best long answers eluded me...1A: Not a very good drawing (short straw) and 15A: A little red (medium rare). Google couldn't help with those two, but it gave me 17A: Band with the 1982 platinum album "The Number of the Best" (Iron Maiden). The downs weren't much help...I had only 3D: Nonalcoholic beer brand (O'Doul's) and 5D: Rolaids alternative (Tums). I refused to believe that 1D: Joke indicator would be smiles...I was right. Smiley is the answer, and it makes much more sense with the clue. Didn't know 2D: Bygone New York daily, with "the" (Herald). 4D: Twist things (rinds)...another good clue, but I was thinking the other kinds of twists so had bends. Was completely clueless on 7D: Like some chromium and arsenic (trivalent) and 8D: Base numbers, in math (radixes).
I finally declared the puzzle finished (thanks for that phrase, Donald...it's perfect) and checked my grid at Harris's blog, Water and Waves...and groaned when I saw what would have been obvious at another time.
Favorite answers include 23A: Certain code (tax law)...because I love the letter X in the grid, 28A: River past the ruins of Nineveh (Tigris), 30A: Martin Luther's crime (heresy), 36A: Singer whose 2002 song "Foolish" was #1 for 10 weeks (Ashanti), 56A: Bean product? (brain child), 59A: 10th-century exile from Iceland (Eric the Red), 61A: Upsetting types (dark horses)...not familiar with the phrase, but it sure looks good in the grid, 12D: Test (trial run), 13D: Medium in a tube (oil paint), 14D: It's hard to do this barefoot (waterski), 31D: Standard (yardstick), 34D: Two-part lake connected by the Strait of Tiquina (Titicaca), 35D: 1996 Emmy-winning role for Alan Rickman (Rasputin) and 52D: Ancient denizen along the Caspian (Mede).
Favorite clues...43A: Modern info holders (PDA), 55A: The other shoe, e.g. (mate), 24D: Fountain requests (wishes)...not shakes, 44D: Connecting flight (stairs) and 49D: Land in the Colosseum (terra).
16A: Da capo __ (Baroque piece) was certainly a Saturday clue for crossword regular aria. A nice change from [Diva performance] or some such clue.
It was refreshing to see 54D: __ Rios Bay (Ocho). Don and I climbed the Dunns River falls there...an exciting adventure that requires making a human chain. Alas...that was before the days of digital cameras, so I can't put my finger on the picture to include it. Here are some others enjoying the trip.
It's been mostly sunny and warm all week. I broke out the capris and sandals, even though some of my coworkers are still in long pants and boots. Today is supposed to be cloudy and colder...a good day to spend cleaning out closets to find clothing donations for the local Heirlooms for Hospice store.
Keeping my fingers crossed that Sunday's puzzle won't follow the pattern of the past week.
Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.