I don't think I've ever been this late getting to the blog...certainly not when it was one of Mike Nothnagel's puzzles. I solved it last night...with a bit of outside help...but I figured I'd blog this morning while Don and the boys slept in. They surprised me by all getting up at 7:00...my usual weekend blog time. After coffee, we took the boys for a walk. Now it's 10:00 and I'm just starting.
In many ways I was on Mike's wavelength...with answers like 8A: Helper after a crash (techie), 14A: Big syrup maker (Hershey), 16A: Together (as a team), 21A: Jacket locals: Abbr. (bks), 28A: Newsman Roger (O'Neil), 30A: Turning point? (dime), 36A: Star of the 1970s detective drama "Harry O" (Janssen)...the star formerly known as The Fugitive, 41A: One of the Bobbsey twins (Nan)...her twin is Bert, the other twins are Freddie and Flossie, 55A: Caused to disappear over time (ate away), 56A: Grateful person's reply (I owe you), 1D: Swindlers, in slang (sharks), 2D: One of two sides of a story? (he said), 4D: Popular perfume (Estee), 11D: Distant stars? (has-beens), 12D: Motto of a 1950s grass-roots movement (I Like Ike), and 34D: Terrifying thing to be thrown into (lion's den).
But in so many ways, I wasn't...
1A: Places such as Anatevka in "Fiddler on the Roof" (shtetls). I have a feeling we've had this before, but that combination of letters just looked so wrong.
32A: Moves briskly and easily (waltzes). I had every other possible word in there...the only one I remember now is breezes, which worked with 5D: 1979 novel, 1983 film and 2002-07 TV series (The Dead Zone). I needed a lot of crosses to get that...haven't read, seen or even heard of it.
38A: __ hold on (put a). I had just for entirely too long.
50A: Cardinals' wear (red hats). I thought this might have been about birds, but no. Their hats are more like beanies, though, so I had red caps. That was to be my downfall.
53A: Elegant fabric (brocade). Again, I had several wrong answers here, although I can only remember taffeta. When I finally realized that 41D: Dieter's request, perhaps was no mayo, I knew where to go with the fabric.
58A: Jumper's cables? (tendons). What a great clue. I was thinking along the lines of cables in a knitted item, although I don't recall ever seeing a knitted jumper.
7D: Signs (symptoms). I had the SYM, but I really thought it was some strange plural of symbol. Symbolae?
36D: Not much at all (just a bit). I was actually on the right track, but I had just a tad at first...which is why I wanted taffeta at 53A.
My favorite of the long answers was 22A: Dreaded victimizer of Charlie Brown (kite eating tree)...poor Charlie Brown. Others were 44A: Torch song subject (unrequited love) and 24D: Of a university's relationship with its surroundings (town and gown).
Other favorites include 31A: Smart (swanky), 37A: __ Hargreaves, first woman to complete a solo climb of Everest, 1995 (Alison), 48A: Site of a much-visited mausoleum (Agra), 57A: Want to know (wonder), 13D: "We'll give a long cheer for __ men" ("Down the Field" lyric) (Eli's), 23D: Not natural (alien)...wanted something to do with music notes, 31D: "Relâche" composer (Satie), 33D: Intimate (allude to)...woe to those who didn't read the clue with a long A sound, 38D: Four and four, say (pair), 40D: Crime syndicate sobriquet (Bugsy), 42D: Photographer who was the inspiration for "Funny Face" (Avedon), 43D: Shape-shifting Greek god (Nereus)...one of many, and 45D: Land of Wahhabis (Qatar).
One more...mostly for the picture. 15A: Designer of a stained-glass window in the U.N. building (Chagall). It's just stunning...I wish I could say that I've seen it. Be sure to click on it so that you can see the detail.
Well, Mike, you beat me on this one. I couldn't have finished without Googling two or three things, and I still ended up with something wrong...because of red caps. That made 51D: Bamboozled cad instead of the correct had...and Qatar (which I didn't know) became Qapar. Harris at water and waves came to my rescue. It was comforting to know that he also needed outside help.
I hope you all have an enjoyable day. I have a busy one ahead of me...postponing my no-drive day until tomorrow, when we plan to take a long bike ride. I hope my legs (and other parts of me) will survive it. I haven't been on a bicycle since I hurt my shoulder...a year and a half ago.
Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.