In yesterday's puzzle, Henry Hook gave us permission to use Google for crossword solving. Yep...it was right there as an answer. But even without his okay, I'd have felt okay Googling to finish today's puzzle.
We haven't seen a New York Times puzzle by Jim Leeds since December 27, 2007...and we haven't had a rebus in some time. It was fairly easy for me to guess that that's what we were dealing with...I just knew that 4D [Boonies] had to be sticks, but it wasn't going to fit.
The theme was revealed at 38A: "That's repulsive!"...or a hint to this puzzle's theme (gross). At that point, though, I thought it would have something to do with a quantity...you know, twelve dozen.
Instead, we have ick hidden in the grid...a total of nine times. Four of the entries give us a double shot of it.
17A: Club founder and president in an 1836 Dickens novel (Mr. P[ick]w[ick]).
18D: Field goal attempter, once (drop k[ick]er).
36A: Handle (mon[ick]er). I think there should have been some indication of an alternative spelling. Moniker is seen more often.
41A: 5th Avenue alternative (Sn[ick]ers). This was another argument for a rebus...I was pretty sure of this answer my first time through.
53A: Century, e.g. (Bu[ick]). [UPDATE: This appears incorrectly in the grid...see Bob's comment and my reply.]
59A: Crispy appetizer (breadst[ick]). I spent too much time trying to think of something deepfried.
61A: Easy winner in bridge (qu[ick] tr[ick]). I know nothing about bridge. I'm not even sure if that's one word or two.
And the downs that crossed them...
4D: Boonies (st[ick]s).
6D: __ and snee (sn[ick]). I'm not familiar with that one.
11D: Hysterical hen of fable (Ch[ick]en L[ick]en). I've heard of Chicken Little and the Little Red Hen. I thought Chicken Licken was a fast-food chain.
35D: Awkward situations, informally (st[ick]y w[ick]ets).
52D: Quiz show gizmo (cl[ick]er). I went to Catholic school for seven years. The word clicker brings up images of Sister Anybody with her little clicker. Sit up straight...get rid of the gum...stop talking and start reading.
56D: Amusement park purchase (t[ick]et).
58D: Eat without enthusiasm (p[ick] at). That's definitely not a problem for me. I really enjoy food...and am lucky that I don't weigh twice what I do.
There were a few answers I wasn't sure about. Some I got from crosses, others from Google.
14A: Ex-Dodger manager Walter (Alston).
47A: Sir Thomas who introduced the sonnet to England (Wyatt). I sort of knew it, but it was more of a guess...confirmed by crosses.
32D: Beaux-__ (Arts). Describing it as ornate would be an understatement.
39D: Opinionated Hannity and others (Seans).
48D: Former CBS chief Laurence (Tisch).
54D: 1934 Chemistry Nobelist Harold (Urey).
Then there was the answer I couldn't get at all...until I checked out Harris's posted grid at Water and Waves. 7A: U.S. Army award: Abbr. (DSC). I checked with Don...it stands for Distinguished Service Cross. I didn't have a clue, and I wasn't getting anywhere with whatever I'd originally had. The crosses weren't much help, either. 7D: Pedestal part (dado), 8D: Parade walks (struts) and 9D: Draper's offering (cloth). It's late, and I'm tired. That's my story, and I'm sticking with it.
Favorite or otherwise noteworthy clues and/or answers...1A: Unicorns and griffins (beasts), 26A: Cause of a sore spot (thorn), 33A: Tiniest bit at the bottom of a coffee cup (last drop), 43A: Grapefruit units (segments)...not sections, 45A: According to __ (Hoyle)...don't get that at all, 46A: Free __ (1850s abolitionist) (Stater), 55A: Waist removal regimens? (diets), 64A: Brown and simmer (braise), 2D: The Jetson boy (Elroy), 44D: Dram or gram (measure) and 46D: Chest: Prefix (stetho).
Time to call it a night. Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.