I had to IM with Frannie today, after staring at the NW corner for about twenty minutes, to ask her for a clue or two. I had the bottom and the right edges, but even with at least one cross in every clue I still couldn't come up with anything! I think she gave me CHIC (1A: In) (ok. I guess that works) and ETAL (17A: Citation abbr.) (don't know quite why I couldn't get this), and then, finally, with three crosses in each of the three downs I didn't have, I was able to get that corner done.
But never mind about all that. I loved this puzzle! And so did Frannie. We both had the same reaction when we got to "5D: How most babies come out," which is to say we both put in HEAD[FIRST] right away and said "Rebus!" And a lovely one it is. The old Abbot and Costello routine about baseball seems appropriate for the week baseball begins,
but I'm not sure the revealer adds much to it, as BASES (63A: Contents of three squares in this puzzle, per an old comedy routine) doesn't really describe what is in the rebus boxes for me. I have WHO, WHAT, and IDONTKNOW, and they're not bases. Frannie left FIRST, SECOND, and THIRD, in hers (which also worked), and they are bases, of course, but they would be even without the old routine. But all that sounds too much like I'm complaining. I'm not. I really did enjoy this one a lot.
Two fifteens, two tens, and six nines make this a lively grid. And some of the shorter stuff is quite zippy as well. Frannie loved the clue 37A: Make keen (WHET), which she thought was perfect, and I thought the misdirection in 30A: Notable tower, for short (AAA) was very tricky. And speaking of pronouncing things wrong - I actually asked Frannie "What's OMNI-science?" Heh. It's OMNI-science. Guess I don't have that. HAH! And 54A: You might hold it by a trash can (NOSE) was yet another good one. 45D: General transportation? (STEED). Also nice. Lastly, Frannie liked the "seventies TV Ad" cross of NAIR and GINSU.
A fun, challenging (for me anyway) Thursday. And like the man who SATIDLE said, IREST.