Theme: Saturday Silkie
Welcome to the June 2012 edition of the Saturday Silkie ~! Today's offering has a geometrically pleasing grid pattern, with two 12-letter spanners, one that is both a seed entry and a shout-out to our constructor, and triple spirals of 8- and 6-letters. Firstly, let us say this one was ->
33A. Without a hitch : SMOOTH AS SILK - well, it's about time Barry gave himself a little credit; this one did go easily for me, ironically, once I got this answer....
41A. Reality cooking show with a pitchfork in its logo : HELL'S KITCHEN - Gordon Ramsey's cooking show; I used to watch regularly with my (now Ex-) wife, because she liked his raucous "it's rubbish~!!!" dish reviews; now I can't get into it anymore.
1. Crams : JAM PACKS - I goofed with "WaLk up" & "St Etna" to start, left me with W_S PACKS (?)
9. Tool that requires steering : JIGSAW - this one took a minute, but it is true
15. Credit union offering : AUTO LOAN
16. Lab subject : AMOEBA
17. Buffet platform : CREDENZA
18. Evidence of a choice : BALLOT
19. Kit __ : KAT - can't stand the commercials for this candy
20. Physicist Ohm : GEORG
22. Stick in a percussion section : CLAVE - huh - as a drummer, this is new to me....but I know the sound they make
23. __ Reader : UTNE - I must be getting better at crosswords - I nailed this one, and who could say that? (alright, no bragging....)
25. Dixieland jazz highlights : SOLOS - somehow, I did not think it was "ARIAS" - JazzB, show us more ~!!
27. North Sea feeder : YSER - which four-letter European river did you try?
28. Rings : PEALS
30. Encouraging word? : ATTA - as in "Atta Girl/Boy ~!"
32. EuroBonus frequent flyers' airline : SAS - had this on Thursday
37. Riding a train, say : ON BOARD
40. Begin, for one : ISRAELI - Such a great mis-direction~! not BEE-gin, but Bay-GEEN - this guy
43. Displeased reaction : BOO
44. Slice and dice : HASH
45. Sticker : DECAL
49. Austrian river : ENNS - map; lots of good CW fill to be found in them rivers....
51. Event monitored by the CIA : N-TEST - nuclear detonations
54. Caramel candy brand : ROLO
55. Couldn't not : HAD TO
57. French toast : SALUT
59. NCAA athlete's eligibility factor : GPA
60. Top performers : A-TEAMS
62. Like one who can't hit a pitch? : TONE-DEAF - sorry, C.C., no baseball today
64. Depression : VALLEY
65. Fame : EMINENCE
66. Page and others : ELLENs - Don't know her; I recognize her from "Juno"
67. Frontman, often : ROCK STAR - for me, the ultimate "Frontman" was David Lee Roth, as exemplified here; honorable mentions go to Vince Neil, of Mötley Crüe ( although he was emulating DLR ), and of course, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin
1. Hike, in a way : JACK UP - ah, like prices, not 12 flights of stairs
2. Salt containing gold : AURATE - considered Pyrite, which is fool's gold
3. Eur. peak mentioned in the "Aeneid" : MT. ETNA - yeah, not SAINT Etna
4. Okra unit : POD
5. Shake __ : A LEG - show me your legs~!
6. Dairy Queen supply : CONES
7. Instrument honored in a Beaufort, South Carolina, museum : KAZOO - and here it is~!
8. Speak angrily to : SNARL AT
9. Poke : JAB
10. Jobs creation : IMAC - Steve Jobs, Apple computers; I'm a PC; too many problems with editing software when I used any Apple product, and my ex-wife's iBook crapped out regularly, too.
11. "Wow!" : GOLLY - we just talked about Gomer Pyle, too
12. Rasta's messiah : SELASSIE - frequently mentioned in Thievery Corporation tunes; this guy, from the WIki
13. Most important : ABOVE ALL
14. Sports item usually seen in pairs : WATER-SKI
21. Literature genre : GOTHIC
24. Common Latino newspaper name : EL SOL
26. Cache : STASH; and 29D. Big hit : SMASH - funny, but going through the clues, I did not see this semi-clecho
31. Start of an embarrassment simile : AS RED as a beet
34. Sitcom spender of brandels and grebbels : ORKAN - here's the Mork from Ork dictionary
35. Some lyrical writers : ODISTS
36. More stable : SANER
37. Austin Powers catchphrase : "OH, BEHAVE~!" - I liked his "shagging-ness" - and his arch enemy, Dr. Evil even more....