Theme: Sweet P - The second letter M in MM containing familiar phrases is changed into P (MP).
18A. Cool body shop specialist?: BUMPER DUDE. Bummer, Dude!
23A. Apple shipping vehicles?: COMPUTER TRAINS. Commuter Trains. Apple computer.
36A. Like overcrowded medical clinics?: CRAMPED FOR EXAMS. Crammed for Exams. The only theme entry with an extra M.
47A. Short, fat pen filler?: DUMPY CARTRIDGE. Dummy Cartridge. Firearm term? I have never heard of it. Also did not know that "dumpy" can mean "short & fat".
54A. Laundry security device?: HAMPER LOCK. Hammerlock. A wrestling hold in which the opponent's arm is pulled behind the back and twisted upward. Not a familiar term to me.
In memory of Dan Naddor, I am going to call the total number indicator of non-theme entries with 6 or more letters as "Dan Naddor Index" from now on. Today's number is 14. Lower than our recent Dan grids.
So sweet for me to see the clues for DOB (1D. Baseball card stat) and IMMIGRATE (34D. Come to a new land). Felt like they were targeted at me, given my immigrant status and love for baseball cards.
Tough slog though. Lots of tricky clues and I simply could not mind meld with Dan. We definitely spoke different languages today.
1. Mil. awards: DSCS. Sometimes it's DSMS. Medal instead of Cross. And TFR (31D. Mil. request). Transfer I presume.
5. Pro's employee: AGENT. Pro athlete. The answer could be CADDIE (for golf pros).
10. Keyboardist Hess: MYRA. The British pianist. Her name escaped me.
14. Colorful deepwater fish: OPAH. Also called moonfish.
15. Sylvester's "Rocky" co-star: TALIA (Shire). She also played the annoying Connie in the "Godfather" series.
16. Like The Citadel, today: CO-ED. It was all-male until August 1996. Unknown fact to me.
17. High-tech unit: BYTE
20. Destructive spree: RAMPAGE
22. Perrier rival: EVIAN. Have yet to see PERRIER appears as an answer.
26. Ottoman officer: AGA. Sometimes the answer is BEY/PASHA.
27. E-mail endings, at times: PSS
28. Staff: ROD. Was picturing music staff.
29. Inexperienced one: TYRO. I was once a crossword tyro.
31. Coffee-flavored liqueur: TIA MARIA. Does it taste very differently from Kahlúa, Argyle?
40. Toot consequence: HANGOVER. "Toot" here refers to "drinking spree". I was thinking of the horn sound.
41. Car with a bar: LIMO. Rhyming clue.
42. __-80: old RadioShack computer: TRS. No idea. Does TRS stand for Tandy's Radio Shack?
43. Lee side: Abbr.: CSA. Oh, R. E Lee.
46. Palindromic diarist: NIN (Anaïs)
52. Important peninsula in the Six-Day War, 1967: SINAI
53. Pursue: GO AFTER
57. Much more than tickle: SLAY
59. "The __ lama, he's a priest ...": Nash: ONE - L. Lovely new clue.
60. Arigato : Japan :: __ : Germany: DANKE. Both "Arigato" and "Danke" means "Thanks". Chinese equivalent is "Xie Xie".
61. Pal: MATE
62. Evening spread?: PATE. Oh, evening meal.
63. Hardly a miniature gulf: ABYSS. The clue is playing on "Hardly a miniature golf".
64. Regards: EYES.
2. Pop-jazz band named for an algae genus: SPYRO GYRA. An American jazz fusion band. A misspelling of the green algae spirogyra. Both meant nothing to me.
3. Twin-hulled boat: CATAMARAN. Tamil for "tied wood". New word to me also.
4. Curly's predecessor and successor: SHEMP (Howard). From "The Three Stooges".
5. Turns to swing: AT-BATS. Baseball. "Turns" here is a misleading noun.
6. Measuring instruments: GAUGES
7. Cartoon hunter: ELMER (Fudd). He hunts Bugs Bunny.
8. Snort: NIP. Did not know "snort" can mean "a quick drink of liquor".
10. Early 15th century year: MCDVI. 1406. Roman numeral, I fear not!
11. Dealer's query: YOU IN?
13. City SSE of Sana'a: ADEN. Sana'a is the capital of Yemen. Aden is the only other Yemen seaport/city that I know of.
19. Text file with program instructions: READ ME. Did not come to me readily.
21. __ tent: PUP. Military term, Dennis?
23. Call during a toss: CATCH. You'd think it's HEADS/TAILS.
24. The Supremes, e.g.: TRIO
25. Engine sound: ROAR. Purr too.
30. Texter's "Yikes!": OMG
32. Rose of rock: AXL. Of Guns N' Roses.
33. Result of an ump's decision, maybe: RAIN DELAY. OK, maybe.
35. Together: AS ONE
37. Crusty entrée: POT PIE. Crusty indeed.
38. "Climb __ Mountain": "The Sound of Music" song: EV'RY
39. Invoice column hdg.: DESC. What the heck is this? Description?
43. Stew holders: CROCKS
44. They may be raised during a game: STAKES. Got the answer with Across help.
45. Pound sound: ARF. Nice rhyme.
47. Grammy winner Krall: DIANA
48. Not yet fulfilled: UNMET. Like what? Desire?
49. Sugar source: MAPLE
50. Torment: AGONY. Noun "torment".
51. Bell ringer's reply: IT'S ME
52. Artisan's work area: SHOP. And LAB (56. Chemist's work area). I am very into clue echos.
55. Food no. usually shown in milligrams: RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance)
A very special "Thank you" to our Santa Argyle for helping me through the blogging every day when my computer was sick. Also to Al who always provides me with prompt tech advices. And to Jazzbumpa and Melissa for their entertaining write-ups and awesome links. And to all of you, thank you so much for the understanding, support & comments every day. You guys make this blogging a very rewarding experience to me.