Billie Truitt's New York Times debut was just a couple of weeks ago...May 20...and we already have another puzzle by this talented constructor. [UPDATE: While I was neutral as to the constructor's gender with this post, I wasn't with the debut. I received an email from Billie Truitt today...who pointed out that she is a she. I had questioned the spelling but took my cue from Cruciverb...referring to Billie and another debuting constructor in May as "guys."]
My work day started at 8:00, and I didn't get home until 9:15. Fortunately, enough of my brain was working that I was able to solve this in a reasonable amount of time...but a Q & D (quick and dirty...according to my favorite professor) is about all I've got left in me. I'm worn out.
It's a shame, really...maybe you'll talk up the puzzle among yourselves.
The theme is revealed at 33A: What 17-, 24-, 48- and 57-Across are (things that break)...and the four theme answers are:
17A: Tricky, unexpected questions (curveballs).
24A: Vampire's undoing (daylight). This was the first theme answer I got, and I tried to go somewhere with the time zones...until I remembered that daylight isn't a time zone. Did I mention that I was beat?
48A: Stairway hazards, in some homes (kids' toys). Oh, do they ever break!
57A: View from the shore (ocean waves). My favorite...mostly because it reminds me of Hawaii. This was taken on Kauai during our trip last September.
I absolutely loved that the puzzle featured both 63A: Numbered work (opus) and 2D: Cross to bear (onus).
Also liked the connected cluing at 4D: 12-Down hardware (anvils) and 12D: Place with a forge (smithy).
There were only a couple of answers I didn't know, but the crosses were easy enough...29A: "Hurlyburly" Tony winner Judith (Ivey), 41A: "Man's the __, the Wealth the vine, / Stanch and strong the tendrils twine": Emerson (elm), and 10D: 1948 John Wayne western (Red River).
Favorites include 20A: It's a relief (aspirin), 1D: Pay stub abbr. (FICA), 6D: New York cardinal (Egan)...because I remembered it somehow, 9D: "Mighty" one who struck out (Casey), 11D: Make as a claim (allege), 13D: Use a block and tackle on (hoist), 34D: Bulletin-creating department (news desk), 44D: Slowly, on a score (adagio) and 49D: Maine college town (Orono)...because I remembered it from a fairly recent puzzle.
I have another day that will start at 8:00 and will probably be another 10-hour day. Today I had the privilege of notifying the men and women who were accepted into the new housing program. The flip side...having to tell the bad news to those who weren't. That's always so tough...and there aren't many options for some of them. I'm probably as emotionally exhausted as I am physically.
That's it for tonight. Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.