Theme: Take me out to the Ball Game, revealed in 62 Across: Its season starts today; its equipment starts the starred answers: BASEBALL.
1A. *One way to reach a superhero: BAT PHONE. I've been reliving my childhood lately, a newer cable channel called the HUB is re-running the old Batman TV series.
23A. *2008 Republican hopeful: MITT ROMNEY. I hope I don't catch (see what I did there) any flack for saying this; I'm uncomfortable now whenever a political clue comes along... It has been said that the biggest hurdle in his bid was that he is a Mormon: Both politics and religion controversy all rolled up in one single clue.
34A. *Roll-fed toy: CAP PISTOL. Speaking of childhood, anyone else remember hitting a whole roll of caps at a time with a hammer?
46A. *Musical about rock's 4 Seasons: JERSEY BOYS. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
Hi all, Al here. I kind of rushed through this one today, and didn't even need to read all the clues; sorry about the brevity. The perps filled a lot of the answers in for me and I found myself going back to the grid thinking "where was that?" quite a bit. There were a few nice tricky clues, but to me, the thing that seemed to stand out most was the number of two-word answers.
9. Blind slat: LOUVER.
15. Concurred about: AGREED ON.
16. Lower, for now: ON SALE. There was gonna be one there. We was gonna buy one anyway, so aren't you glad I got it . . .
17. Ogled: LEERED AT.
18. Skinned: PEELED.
19. One of two O.T. books: SAML. Clue and ans. both abbrs. 1 and 2 Samuel are part of the Hebrew Bible. The Book(s) of Samuel originally was a single text.
20. When Donne is done for the day?: EEN. Poetic evening.
21. Genesis outcast: EVE. Because Peter Gabriel wouldn't fit.
22. Go by: PASS.
27. Focus of some trips: EGO. Last week's star wars clue.
28. Justice Sotomayor: SONIA. First Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court, serving since August 2009.
29. Unsatisfactory marks?: ACNE. Wanted to fill with DEES or EFFS.
30. Explain: CONSTRUE. I always construed construe to mean "understand". Guess I was always wrong...
32. Fiona, after Shrek's kiss: OGRESS. Before that, too, but only at night.
36. Fertilizer component: POTASH. Along with Nitrogen (first) and Phosphorus (second), potassium is the third number you see on a commercial bag.
39. "I can't explain it": NO REASON. Often the answer to: "Why'd you do that?
43. Imitated: APED.
44. Old 51-Across devices: ETNAS. Burners, along with 51A. Trial site, perhaps: LAB.
45. "The Simpsons" shopkeeper: APU.
49. Benjamin et al.: Abbr.: PVTS. Goldie Hawn movie, Private Benjamin.
50. Give pieces to: ARM. Gats, rods, heaters.
52. Jai __: ALAI. Basket = cesta. Ball = pelota, which travels at speeds up to 250 feet per second (170 MPH). Ouch. And I used to think it hurt to get hit with a racquetball.
53. "The Executioner's Song" Pulitzer winner: MAILER. Norman. The events surrounding the execution of Gary Gilmore by the state of Utah for murder.
55. Burlesque act: FAN DANCE.
59. Show up: ATTEND.
60. Some feelers: ANTENNAE.
61. Viewed to be: SEEN AS.
1. __ masqué: dance with costumes: BAL. A masquerade ball.
2. A good while back: AGES AGO.
3. Crime of betrayal: TREASON.
4. Stylish waves: PERMS.
5. Cad: HEEL. Cad is a shortening of cadet originally used of servants, then of town boys by students at British universities and public schools (though at Cambridge it meant "snob"). Meaning "person lacking in finer feelings". A heel is a "contemptible person," in U.S. underworld slang, originally "incompetent or worthless criminal," probably from a sense of "person in the lowest position."
6. "How peculiar": ODD.
7. Tishby of "The Island": NOA. Cute, but never heard of her...
8. Head M.D.?: ENT. Otolaryngology or ENT is the branch of medicine and surgery that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, throat, and head and neck disorders. Practitioners are called otolaryngologists–head and neck surgeons, or sometimes otorhinolaryngologists (ORL).
9. Horse warming up, say: LOPER. I misread this clue as house instead of horse.
10. Bridge opener, briefly: ONE NO. Trump.
11. Take for a chump: USE.
12. Chemical bonding number: VALENCE. The numeric portion of the charge of an ion whether it is positive or negative.
13. Winning numbers: ELEVENS. Craps. (Thanks, melissa)
14. Flights that often span two days: RED EYES. Late night plane trips. Another misread, I kept seeing "fights" instead of flights.
20. LAX posting: ETA.
22. Chest ripple: PEC.torals. Trying to be fair, for the ladies.
23. Transform eerily, in sci-fi: MORPH. A smooth transition from one shape or face to another, SFX trickery.
24. __ to one's neck: IN UP.
25. Link with: TIE INTO.
26. Donald's second ex: MARLA. Trump, Maples. Not bad for 46...
28. Coming and going spots: Abbr.: STAS. Stations. Always have to wait for perps to see if the third letter will be A or N.
31. Carloads: SCADS.
32. Others, in Oaxaca: OTRAS. Spanish.
33. Proceeds: GOES.
35. Sharp competitor: SONY.
36. Hefner garb: PAJAMAS.
37. Work: OPERATE.
38. Unhappy home inspection find: TERMITE.
40. African plain: SAVANNA.
41. Like some film effects: OPTICAL.
42. Sorority letters: NUS. 13th letter of the Greek alphabet. We are the knights who say "ni" (as in onion).
44. Flow back: EBB.
47. "The Vampire Diaries" heroine Gilbert: ELENA. On the CW network, which I apparently don't watch much of... Another unknown to me.
48. Play places: YARDS. Wanted to get "stage" to be plural with only five letters.
49. Secondary strategy: PLAN B.
52. Chick chaser?: ADEE. Suffix: Chickadee.
54. Quarterback Dawson: LEN.
55. "Super!": FAB.
56. Actress Gasteyer: ANA. From Saturday Night Live.
57. Some Windows systems: NTS. This should have an obsolete tag on it... But without it I can't do my favorite (geeky) Microsoft joke. There is Windows CE for compact devices (WINCE, what you do when you have to work with it), Windows ME (Millenium Edition, now also obsolete), and Windows NT (New Technology, but commonly called "Nice Try") Put those all together and you get CE ME NT, as hard as a rock and as dumb as a brick.
58. Epitome of slipperiness: EEL.