If you weren't afraid of the big bad Wolfe before, you may be now. Robert H. Wolfe delivers another killer Saturday puzzle. Here's the first blog I did on one of his previous puzzles.
I finished the bottom half last night but couldn't keep my eyes open another minute...and I'd already spent a good half hour on it. I tackled it again this morning (with coffee in hand) and some answers just jumped out at me. I filled in a few across, a few in down, a few more across...and it was finished. I wasn't sure my grid was correct, but I just checked with JimH...and our answers agree.
I had a few parts of answers (shown in red)...it was just trial and error to fill in the rest...12D: Tool for sewing canvas (sail needle), 26D: Between seating sections (in the aisle) and 27D: Attic, often (third floor). I also had a couple of good guesses that turned out to be right...10A: Socs. (assns), 17A: Where habits are picked up? (nunneries), 61A: "Sure looks that way" (so it seems), and 39D: Cot spot (tents). The only gimmes I had were 37A: Tennis star Petrova (Nadia)...we had a cat with the same name, 58A: Jenny Craig testimonial starter (I Lost), 23D: "Amarantine" Grammy winner (Enya)...I have the CD, and 51D: "The washday miracle" sloganeer, once (Tide)...because I'm old enough to remember that one.
Not much to go on. I Googled to get 16A: "The Wreck of the Mary __" (1959 film) (Deare), 25A: First Earl of Chatham (Pitt) and 3D: 1956 Olympic skiing sensation __ Sailer (Toni)...that opened things up a bit.
Favorite multiword answers include 15A: "Whatever" (I don't care), 20A: "That's good enough" (It'll do), 29A: Proceeding (going ahead), 38A: Like some adult hippos (three ton), 59A: Read the riot act (bawled out) and 22D: Day when courts are not in session (dies non)..read about it here.
There were some answers that were so hard to suss out...once I got them, though, they made perfect sense...19A: Seat (keister), 21A: Get down (sadden), 34A: Exchange for something very valuable (eye teeth), 40A: Product with a rotating ball (roll-on), 56A: Not too much of a stretch (plausible), 5D: Retaining instructions (stets), 7D: Top arrangement? (hairdo), 11D: Bears do it (sell), and 14D: Tick source (second hand)...the best.
Other noteworthy answers...45A: Lyric stand-in, perhaps (na-na-na), 60A: Heavenly discovery of 1801 (Ceres), 13D: Certain atomic X-ray emission (N-radiation), 25D: After the Pentateuchal period (post-Mosaic), 40D: One of three French auto-making brothers (Renault) and 42D: Chichewa and English are its two official languages (Malawi).
That's it for this one. Don and the birds are waiting. Earlier this morning, there were two baby birds on the patio table. Mama (or Papa) Bird was getting seed from the feeder, then flying to the babies to put the seed in their waiting mouths. It was too cute.
Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.