To all of you readers out there (maybe a hundred at most?), I send my gratitude for your interest in our small daily effort. There are many things wrong with our society in general and with the internet in particular, but it certainly affords us the chance to speak with a small select niche of likeminded people. I hope our silliness brings entertainment to some of you.
Speaking of which, apparently I'm full of gratitude today, because I also want to send my thanks to the cadre of constructors who put out my daily source of entertainment. I find a great deal of satisfaction in seeing the different ways these people can surprise me, make me chuckle, twist my brain to figure out the subtle clues, or repurpose bits of language to fit into these 15 x 15 grids.
So, enough. Let's talk about today's puzzle. It's a great skeleton for the grid, with two pairs of stacking 15-letter answers crossed by a 13-letter answer down the middle. And all five of those answers hit the mark. Let's rank them!
5 - 17A: What a performer does periodically during a musical (BREAKSOUTINSONG). I love this answer, and I love musicals. So why is it in fifth place? Maybe just because it's a verb phrase. I don't know. Don't investigate these rankings too closely.
4 - 60A: How Old Faithful erupts (ONAREGULARBASIS). Great clue for this phrase, which is strong and interesting.
3 - 64A: Refuge, of sorts (HOMELESSSHELTER). I am saddened by the concept (and by the way, if you haven't read Eviction by Matthew Desmond, you should get it right away. Amazing book, important issue). But I love the three Ss in a row. So there.
2 - 16D: 2016 election meddlers (RUSSIANTROLLS). Timely, and not going away, clearly.
1 - 15A: Somehow (ONEWAYORANOTHER). Really, it's only in first place because of the Blondie song.
Other high notes include 59D: Provider of a lifeline (PALM) - took me a long time to figure out why this was correct; 65A: Opposite of crowed (ATEDIRT); and 8A: One who's got something brewing (BARISTA).
Another fun week of puzzles done and blogged!