I love this first time puzzle from Andrew Woodham, who we invite to stop by and tell us more. As you all know I love word play puzzles and this adds a new variation by using sound alike Greek letters to replace words in known phrases. Each of the three themers uses two letters to replace the beginning of each phrase. The reveal is the simple referential answer GREEK LETTERS. We also have some nice fill RECEIVE, LAB TEST, ZEROES IN, SHOTGUNS, SNARE DRUMS and LIQUID SOAP to finish off this debut. Many of the short fill are clearly clued to make sure this Friday is not too easy.
20A. Unused car using some 56-Across? : NU ALPHA ROMEO (12). NEW ALFA ROMEO is clued appropriately.
35A. Movies using some 56-Across? : PSI PHI FILMS (11). SCI-FI FILMS
42A. Compulsive sort using some 56-Across? : PI RHO MANIAC (11). PYROMANIAC.
56A. "Antigone" characters? : GREEK LETTERS (12).
The 2500 plus year old play by Sophocles is the somewhat hidden reveal.
1. Serious service : MASS. Religion, no comment.
5. Toaster opening? : HERE'S. My first thought was "popup."
10. Moxie : ZEAL. Meh.
14. Settled down : ALIT.
15. Treasure : ADORE. Je t'aime, je t'adore.
16. Crop, say : EDIT. Pictures.
17. Taboo : NO NO.
18. Parade instruments : SNARE DRUMS. Begun with snare drums, but they were led by trombones.
22. It can be bid : ADIEU. Hopefully is a fond one.
23. Coin toss winner's option : RECEIVE. NFL.
27. Large Eurasian group : SLAVS. But where are the Northern SLAVS?
31. Very, to Puccini : ASSAI. Italian word.
32. DJIA company alphabetically following Home Depot : IBM. The THIRTY.
38. PC alternatives : MACS.
40. Dreamers have big ones : IDEAS.
41. A scarf can protect it : NAPE.
45. Yahoo! alternative : MSN. Nope, replaced by Microsoft Edge.
46. "Silas Marner" author : ELIOT. This woman who reminds me of Amy Farrah Fowler.
47. Static source : DRYER.
49. Doctor's order : LAB TEST. I have had more than my share this year.
52. Latin dance : SAMBA. Samba is a Brazilian musical genre and dance style, with its roots in Africa via the West African slave trade and African religious traditions, particularly of Angola and the Congo, through the samba de roda genre of the northeastern state of Bahia, from which it derived. Wiki.
60. Dawn, for example : LIQUID SOAP.
63. Place for pins and needles : ETUI.
64. Amazon ID : ISBN. International Standard Book Number.
65. Unlimited free mileage pioneer : ALAMO. Part of the building of a success story for the Florida based COMPANY.
66. Mapmaking name since 1872 : RAND. Cannot forget McNally.
67. What much insurance covers : LOSS.
68. Family nicknames : NANAS.
69. Wild plum : SLOE.
1. Heavenly food : MANNA.
2. Audibly : ALOUD.
3. Decalogue delivery site : SINAI. Deca=10: Logue=laws.
4. Wraps not made in delis : STOLES. Do women wear them any more?
5. Jumble : HASH.
6. Poet __ St. Vincent Millay : EDNA. She wrote, " My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night; but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends -- it gives a lovely light!"
7. 2013 Katy Perry chart-topper : ROAR.
8. Diamond mishap : ERROR. Baseball.
9. Teacher's note : SEE ME. The dreaded note.
10. Focuses (on) : ZEROES IN. Back again. Maybe as wiki suggests the phrase comes from adjusting a sighting mechanism of a firearm to minimise the discrepancy between where the sight points and where a bullet lands on a target. 12D. Focus : AIM. clecho
11. Part of an academic address : EDU.
13. 62-Down protectors : LTS. Since most quarterbacks are right handed, the "blind side" tackle is critical. LINK. 39D. Common football passing formations : SHOT GUNS. 62D. Snap receivers: Abbr. : QBS.
19. It may be served from an orange-handled pot : DECAF.
21. Orange stuff : PULP.
24. Faith with Five Pillars : ISLAM. Faith, Charity, Praying, Pilgrimage, and Fasting. More religion, no comment.
25. Sirens : VAMPS.
26. Innsbruck iron : EISEN. Now we have German this week.
28. "... __ sure you know" : AS I'M.
29. "Livin' la __ Loca": Ricky Martin hit : VIDA. Dupe? 44D. "__ la vie" : C'EST. Whatever happened to Ricky? LINK.
30. Lighten one's wallet : SPEND.
32. Press : IMPEL.
33. Sri Lankan pop music : BAILA. No idea. Anyone get this without perps?
34. Periodic McDonald's pork sandwich : MCRIB.
36. What alopecia sufferers lose : HAIR.
37. "My word!" : I SAY.
43. Cheri of "SNL" : OTERI. She is a little hyper for me.
48. Yelp users : RATERS. True but ich.
50. 65-Across choice : SEDAN.
51. Roadster maker : TESLA. Wow, not on my list. LINK.
53. Music genre word : METAL.
54. Musical Mars : BRUNO. Any watching the new Season of The Voice?
55. Better half? : A-SIDE. Nice rendition of the oft forgotten A-SIDE.
57. Zen riddle : KOAN.
58. Buddhist teacher : LAMA.
59. "Beowulf," for one : EPOS. A singular epic poem..
60. Adjective for rapper Jon or Kim : LIL.
61. Tonic go-with? : ISO. Made famous with gloves.
Hard week healthwise, but we are hanging in. Enjoyed the diversion; hope you all did. Lemonade out.
Note from C.C.:
Splynter (Richard) and I made today's The Chronicle of Higher Education "Shellacked" puzzle. You can click here to solve it. Congrats on your crossword debut, Splynter!