A straight-up theme today, with STICKUPMEN (17A: Bank heist group), CANESUGAR (24A: Sweet rum component), POLECAR (37A: Indy 500 leader), STAFFCUTS (47A: Company downsizings), and RODSTEWART (57A: British rocker with the 1979 #1 hit "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?"). Jeez, was it really spelled that way? Ick.
Played a little tougher than Mondays sometimes do - I needed crosses in a lot of places before things became clear. Lots of nice down fill, with NECKTIE (4D: Item not worn on casual Fridays), STATURE (10D: Height), KEEN (18D: Astute), and ENFORCE (41D: Carry out, as a law).
I wondered whether there was a reference to a certain recent negative vote with RODSTEWART, AWEEBIT, and 26D: To no ____ (AVAIL) and SOSAD (53A: "A pity!"). Heh. Probably not. But maybe even GANGWAR (43D: Fight over turf) could have been a part of it.
Strangest clue: 5D: Fight between late-night hosts, e.g. (FEUD). (Another mini-theme entry?)
And wouldn't it have been cute if they clued 25D: AWEEBIT with "A tad," and 54D: ATAD with "A wee bit?" I suppose that's not allowed, but I would have liked it. Especially on a Monday.
Sure, this was a fine puzzle, as has been the case lately on Mondays. The inclusion of the TREVI Fountain reminds me of our recent trip to Italy. Also, two of the down answers, AVILA (3D St. Teresa of ____) and AVAIL (26D To no ____ (in vain)) use the same letters. One doesn't see ELROY in a puzzle often, and it was just recently the anniversary of the match involving RIGGS (27D Bobby who lost 1973's Battle of the Sexes tennis match). I thought that 52D Results of using eHarmony (DATES) is a bit optimistic, though. Oh, and RODSTEWART is generally icky.
5:13. Certainly harder than usual for a Monday, but welcomely so. (Welcomely? Not a word? Oh, well.) Started great with 1D: Opposite (or synonym) of worsts (BESTS). And the best clue of all: 29D: Eton johns (LOOS). PUTSASIDE had an interesting clue. Also nice to see INKED without a reference to tattooing. I appreciated not having a revealer for the theme, which was fairly apparent after looking at the long answers for a few seconds. Overall thumbs up.ReplyDelete
I liked that 29D, also. On first glance I thought it referenced Elton John, which was probably intentional.Delete