An enjoyable Mother's Day was followed by an enjoyable Monday puzzle. Randall Hartman's clue to the theme was at 58A: Youth groups...with a hint to 17-, 28- and 44-Across (Four H Clubs).
17A: Anglican body (high church).
28A: Question when you can't tell two things apart (which is which). I don't know why I loved that one, but I did. Although at this point, I still didn't catch on to the theme.
44A: Jewish high holy day (Rosh Hashanah). Embarrassing to admit...I still hadn't noticed it by this one.
We spent the day leisurely...enjoying coffee at our favorite coffee shop, buying paint for the bathroom and laundry room, and picking up plants at the nursery. While Don got the swamp cooler up and running (we usually get three days of spring...then it's summer), I planted a couple of color pots, as well as flowers in the front. Don, Leslie, Candy and I all worked on pruning the rose bushes...nasty work, that. [Just noticed that was an answer...at 43A: Not just mean.] We enjoyed a cookout on the patio...the weather was perfect, and not a bug in sight. The only thing that could have made it better was if Elaine had been here, although she called a couple of times.
But I guess you came here to read about the puzzle...
I'm always proud when I get a sports clue as a gimme...tonight's was 5A: Home of the N.F.L.'s Buccaneers (Tampa).
I pretty much worked this one left to right, top to bottom...not my usual method, but this was pretty easy. I had to go back and read all of the down clues and answers...I didn't see many of them.
I only had one mistake in the puzzle, but it was a good one...at 56A: Whisper sweet nothings. For some reason, I thought it was woo. When I got to 50D: Less than 90 degrees, I had awute...WTF? That's when I realized that you coo...and acute makes much more sense.
Favorite clues include 15A: Criminal's "a k a" name (alias), 22A: Hornswoggled (duped), 37A: Shot in the arm (boost) and 48A: Top secret? (toupee). This little one is going for the Donald Trump look.
A few favorite answers:
49A: The "I" of Canada's P.E.I. (Island). In my former life, we had a friend who lived on Prince Edward Island...never made it up there.
11D: September birthstones (sapphires). Beautiful stones...although my favorite is still a ruby. Well, and diamonds, of course.
26D: Something beaten at a party in Mexico (piñata ).
40D: Roald who wrote "James and the Giant Peach" (Dahl). The girls enjoyed his books...especially the one about the giant.
45D: Fanfare (hoopla).
55D: "Rule, Britannia" composer (Arne).
60D: Geller with a psychic act (Uri).
Probably my very favorite is 33D: Tramp (hobo)...because I just learned the origin of the word...homeward bound. Stick around...you never know what you'll learn here at Madness.
I remember running into this in the past, but it still looks wrong. 29A: __ longue (chaise). Chaise looks just fine...but longue looks as though it should rhyme with tongue. I prefer lounge.
Time to wrap it up...dessert is served.
Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.