14:36 - I was slowed by having to gaze out our hotel window at the view of Niagara Falls every few minutes. :)
Strong theme today, featuring things added to a standard set. My favorite might be FIFTHWHEEL - so illustrative. I wished there weren't two clues in the set that started with FIFT, but that is a minor concern.
1A. Kimono closer gets a B. The answer is straight crosswordese, but I enjoyed the alliterative cluing. We get a few other standbys in this puzzle including EEL and ERN, and a share of three-letter abbreviations, but also some FUN items as well. To wit:
For the Philologist:
BUILTIN (2D. Permanent, as bookshelves)
FRILLS (4A. Luxuries)
SCANT (49A. Meager)
STOPGAP (46D. Temporary solution)
FEH (29D. "Bah!"). I know the clue word, but the FEH's not familiar - with apologies to whoever came up with the original version of that joke. But seriously folks, I've never run across FEH before. According to a non-thorough search of the World Wide Web, it is Yiddish in origin.
56A. Oxymoronic purchase at a blowout sale? (TIRE)
13D. One-hit wonder? (ACE)
34D. Scrip writers (MDS)
59D. Couples cruise ship? (ARK)
15A. A Jackson sister (LATOYA) - who doesn't think of the movie Hot Shots! (LaToya, Tito, Jermaine)? Ha!
53D. He once asked "How far down can a thumb go?" (EBERT). That's a good quote. I had time for only a quick Web search, but couldn't find out if this quote referred to a specific movie, and if so, which one, but it's still good.
IMHO, 22A. Buds in Bordeaux. (AMIS) is not correct, strictly speaking. There are words in French that would be a closer translation of "buds" than AMIS is.
11D. Easier to see. (PLAINER). I think it's probably plain, my dear reader, why I might quibble with the cluing on this one. I wanted it to be clearer.
A solid Wednesday, with some workaday fill, but some clever clues to brighten the landscape.
I love the theme. I had no idea where it was going at first. When I had FIFT____, I put an H in. Then when I had THIRDRAIL, I thought: Oh, it's ordinal numbers moving down from fifth to first, right? Nope. Didn't stop me for too long though. OBI gets a C from me, as all crosswordese deserves. It's average, and nothing more in my book. I also don't like seeing not one but two fundamentalist entries in the grid, HAMAS and ANTONIN.
I enjoyed this one, especially the numbers theme. I agree with Colum on the OBI ranking, though; I may even go with a C-. Maybe EBERT was quoted from one of his books, perhaps speaking of "Swept Away" with Madonna? I guess there must be more terrible movies out there, however, in all fairness to Madonna. SINEW: gross.