For some reason, today's puzzle was easier to solve than a typical Wednesday puzzle. It makes no sense...an early morning meeting followed by a long day at the office, allergies that have kicked in with a vengeance...not normally conducive to successful solving.
Daniel Kantor is a name I recognize, but Jay Kaskel is a new one. I haven't Googled him yet...maybe someone has and will share what they learned.
Joint construction of a puzzle amazes me. I'd like to know how they divided up this one.
The first three theme answers are common restaurant diners' complaints:
20A: "I asked for tomato bisque, not gazpacho!" (complaint #1) (My soup is cold!)
28A: "Has our waiter even made eye contact?" (complaint #2) (Are we invisible?)
47A: "What, are they growing the food?" (complaint #3) (Where's our order?)
And the theme is revealed at 54A: Title of this puzzle (whine and dine).
One of my pet peeves is restaurant patrons complaining, at least loudly enough that I can hear it at a nearby table. So while I didn't find the complaints themselves funny, I couldn't help but laugh at the way they wrapped it all up.
The best part of this puzzle, though, was some of the fill. Favorites include 15A: Mann of the Haus (herr), 19A: Dizzy Gillespie's jazz (bebop), 42A: Money for money (ATM fee), 65A: Bikini, e.g. (Atoll), 66A: Language of the Hindustan Express (Urdu), 8D: 13th-century king of Denmark (Eric IV), 25D: On fire (ablaze), 29D: German commander at the invasion of Normandy (Rommel) and 43D: Morales of "La Bamba" (Esai).
Favorite clues...39A: 14+ (UHF), 46A: Something Elizabeth II has? (zed), 3D: Charge holders (ions), 33D: Sticking points? (craws), 37D: It has a horn: Abbr. (Afr)...I just now realized that was Africa and 60D: Crash site? (pad).
I almost missed 67A: Sci-fi sage (Yoda). I misread the clue (I've been doing that a lot lately) as [Sci-fi stage]. To make matters worse, I had 50D: Pops (Daddy-o) spelled Daddio. When the Applet wouldn't take my solution, it took a couple of minutes to see the error of my ways...or the errors.
Another answer threw me for a bit. 38D: Apartment security feature (peephole). When I had the PHO*E, I assumed it was some kind of phone...but peephone just wasn't working. I jumped to the downs in the southwest corner...mystery solved.
70A: 10 C-notes (one G) is one of those answers that causes me to do a double-take when I'm reviewing the grid to blog. What the hell's an oneg? What do I have wrong?
I've never seen an episode of South Park, but I know a little bit about it...mostly from crossword puzzles. I got 32D: "South Park" boy (Ike)...but only because I had all the across answers. He's a cute little guy...but he has a funny mouth. Is there a reason for that?
The spam comments have reappeared. There's no telling where their links would take you....but for the time being, you'll need to type in those funny letters.
Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.