Several readers had a cow over a recent puzzle by Kevin Der...a rebus that had cows hidden all over the grid. I enjoyed that puzzle...
...but I loved this one!
I went to a public forum tonight on homelessness and didn't get home until almost 10:00. I thought I'd start solving the puzzle...maybe get up early to finish it and blog a short blurb. But I started getting into solving and couldn't quit.
I should add that I didn't think I would enjoy this puzzle one iota. I ran through the across clues and have a total of three answers...47A: Places to develop one's chops? (dojos)...thanks to Elaine's years of karate, 51A: Tasty triangles (Doritos), and 59A: Merchant whose customers click (e-tailers).
I wasn't sure about 1D: Elated person after Super Bowl III...but I knew it was probably a fan, and I couldn't think of too many teams that had only four letters. Jets fan...which had also appeared last Sunday...was correct. A good guess at 3D: Santiago skipper (capitán) led me to 1A: Steam room alternative (jacuzzi). The double Z...to the identically clued [Flies] at 5D (zips) and 6D (zooms). Before long, the northwest corner was complete.
The southwest followed, with a good guess panning out at 24D: Typography measure (em space)...so called because it's roughly the size of the letter M. From there 36A: Noisy complaint (squawk) led to 36D: Crush holder that's crushable (soda can). With the N in place, I was sure that 60A: Blogger, e.g. had to be nut case. It fits this particular blogger...who at almost 11:00 p.m. is still at it, knowing I need to be up in just a few hours.
I couldn't remember if 44D: "The Mickey Mouse Club" regular __ Tracey was Noreen or Doreen. Once I had 35D: Parts of some Bach suites (gavottes), 44A: Military grp. became div...which meant that our Mousketeer was Doreen.
And that's how the rest of the puzzle went...until every single square was filled. The last to fall was 60A...not nut case, but netizen...confirmed by 51D: She co-starred in "Gangs of New York," 2002 (Diaz) and 55D: Designer born in Guangzhou, China (Pei). Here's one of his designs...the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
Favorites not already mentioned include 16A: His last novel was "Chloe Marr," 1946 (A. A. Milne), 26A: Jazzman Saunders (Merl), 27A: He called the U. S. vice presidency a "most insignificant office" (Adams), 33A: Read syntactically (parsed), 39A: Alternative to Friendster or MySpace (Facebook), 26D: Chocolate treat (Mars Bar), 30D: Transport over sand? (camel), 37D: Visionary (Quixote), 38D: Not neat (unkempt), 39D: Island that Truman wants to go to in "The Truman Show (Fiji), 42D: Big fish, maybe (keepers) and 48D: Truth from long ago? (sooth).
One last favorite...because I really want to include the picture...25A: "The West Wing" actor (Smits). I've raved about other actors in the past...and I do have several favorites...but Jimmy Smits is by far the one I think is the hottest.
One important thing that I forgot to mention. I believe that this is the first Friday puzzle I've finished without Googling a single clue. If several of you comment that it was an easy puzzle, I guess I won't be quite as proud...but for now, I am.
Time to wrap this up and get to bed. Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.