Everything's coming up roses with David Kahn's Thursday puzzle. I don't always crack this much of a Thursday puzzle without a bit of help from Google...tonight I only needed to confirm one answer.
We have a hint to the theme at 38A: Classic 1911 children's novel...with a hint to this puzzle's theme (The Secret Garden). That was a gimme, and it wasn't too difficult to guess what was going on. I had already noticed roses hiding in a couple of answers...25A: Popped up (arose) and 33A: Everyday speech (prose). It's all laid out at 64A: What you can find in the grid after completing this puzzle, looking up, down, left, right and diagonally, word search-style (a dozen roses). As you'll see, I only found nine roses...but I was a bit strict with the rules. Maybe I was allowed to go left, then down...or to the right, then diagonally. It wasn't really clear...then again, it wasn't an important part of the puzzle-solving experience for me.
There was some really good cluing in this one...my favorites:
1A: Diamond datum (RBI)...nothing to do with cut, color, clarity or carat.
54A: Spot checkers? (ad men)...the last answer to fall.
73A: Oils, say (art)...far more difficult for me than it should have been. I wanted something that would end in S, but I knew that 52D: Vacation destination was resort.
3D: Antenna holder, maybe (insect).
28D: "The chief nurse of England's statesmen" (Eton)...a far better clue than we usually get.
38D: One way to get to the top (T-bar)...a gimme for some reason.
Favorite answers include:
8A: Syrian city of 2.5+ million (Aleppo). That's the one I checked, since I wasn't sure about the cross at 10D: Certain alkene (enol)...I'm still not.
18A: University of Paris, familiarly (The Sorbonne). I especially like the inclusion of the article.
20A: Curved molding (ogee)...always a favorite word.
23A: Like some potatoes (riced). Some people aren't familiar with this way to prepare potatoes. For those who aren't, here's how you rice a potato after it has been boiled. The resulting potatoes are much better than mashed...I may have to do this tomorrow.
45A: __ metabolism (basal).
48A: Washed-out look (pallor).
60A: Short-range club (nine iron). I know very little about golf...but even I know that woods are for long-range. I correctly guessed 71D: Big shirt maker as Izod...which meant it was either a five or a nine iron. It didn't help that I was unfamiliar with 47D: Horse-training school (manege).
68A: Dumpling stuffed with cheese (pirogi). I wanted ravioli, but it wouldn't fit. Now I want ravioli...to eat.
2D: Dance energetically (boogie)...it just makes me laugh to see it in the grid.
9D: Women's __ (libber). Wendy, this is because you enjoyed yesterday's sardonic comic and requested more of them.
24D: Skinny (dope).
40D: Stage actress Duse (Eleonora)...a beautiful name and a beautiful woman.
43D: "__ the day!" (Shakespearean interjection) (Alas)...don't know what it's from, though.
50D: Capital of República Portuguesa (Lisboa).
Don just got home...only a few more days until this wretched tax season is over. It's always hard, but it was so much harder when the girls were little. They just never understood why Daddy worked late...why he worked on the weekends. I think they get it now.
Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.