Title: What hotel are you staying at? The one where you get two rooms for the price of one!
Wow, John has made my first attempt to blog a puzzle since I have been ill a challenge. On the one hand it seems simple with a nice progression from ECONOMY-STANDARD-PREMIUM-LUXURY but there is no reveal. And then we have the four words inserted by JL. They give us Economy/Rat Pack; Standard/Hot Time; Premium/Swamp Gas and Luxury/Eye Liner. Two themes for the price of one. I do not recall ever seeing a puzzle with this duality. All with John's wonderful wit mixed in both the theme and the cluing/fill.
19A. Doppelgänger cast for a low-budget remake of "Ocean's 11"? : ECONOMY RAT PACK (14). The original from 1960 was a vehicle for the Sinatra PACK. The real remakes have not been economy. Which of the movies did you like best?
23A. Usual night in the old town? : STANDARD HOT TIME. (15). The first of two grid-spanners.
42A. Quality marsh output? : PREMIUM SWAMP GAS (15). The silliest of the theme fill.
48A. Gold dust lid cover? : LUXURY EYE LINER (14). Made me think of Elizabeth Talyor as Cleopatra.
In addition to the 58 letters dedicated to the theme, JL includes SODA POP, BUOYANT, TEEN IDOL, LEMMINGS, ROADSIDES and ART DEALER as sparkly fill. I had a great time.
1. "L'Arlésienne" composer : BIZET. Wow, not a gimme start but lots of challenging letters. LINK.
6. Nutrients in nuts : FATS.
10. Silent signal : NOD.
13. Surface : ARISE. An unexpected definition.
14. Facetious agreement : AH SO.
15. Litter pickup spot? : NAPE. Not only humans do this.
16. Parson's home : MANSE. I learned this word reading British mysteries and watching them on PBS like THIS.
17. Some shoulders : ROADSIDES. Lovely misdirection.
21. Speck in la mer : ILE. French,
22. Sweet climber : PEA. Very important in science RESEARCH. Next to....
32. Entomological case study? : COCOON. JL loves his moths and their stages of life.He was kind enough to provide this picture from his personal stash.
33. Repeated number of curls, say : REPititions. Bicep curls.
34. Bust gp. : DEA. Drug Enforcement Administration. President Nixon consolidated the anti-drug efforts. This is not the group in charge of inspecting bras.
35. Whatever : AT ALL. Used to be one of my favorite catch phrases. Now it is DK/DC.
36. Fanny pack spot : HIP. I see them more in front or back, never on me. Cute positioning with
28D. In like an old cat? : HEP. Just ask Maynard G. Krebs.
37. Backing strips : LATHS. Not to confused with LATHE. Lath 1. a thin flat strip of wood, especially one of a series forming a foundation for the plaster of a wall or the tiles of a roof, or made into a trellis or fence.
39. Liszt's "__ Préludes" : LES. Pretty easy French to fill. This COMPOSER was very popular.
40. Fish house freebie : BIB. Usually with a drawing of a lobster.
41. Sympathize : RELATE.
46. Mayo is in it : ANO. Spanish trick Mayo = May- ANO = Year
47. Fan noise : HUM.
56. Theo van Gogh, notably : ART DEALER. A fun STORY.
57. Orange variety : NAVEL. Seedless and very haughty.
59. Couth he is not : OGRE.
60. Khartoum's waters : NILE.
61. Birds do it between thermals : GLIDE. JL also watches and films birds.
62. Place to take a dip : SEA. And the clecho, 64A. Place to take a dip? : SALSA.
63. Hits up (for) : TAPS. In beer halls you tap your friend next to the taps.
1. "Whap!" : BAM. Comic book talk.
2. "Dies __" : IRAE.
3. #30 on a table : ZINC. I keep forgetting to not put my glass on the periodic table.
4. Canadian pump name : ESSO. Esso - Exxon.
5. "People" person, perhaps : TEEN IDOL.
6. Cain was one : FARMER. Sad, as he must have been driven mad by the methane gases.
7. Cry to a mate : AHOY.
8. Ruler that doesn't work anymore : TSAR. They all retired?
9. Gender-specific beverage? : SODA POP. Cute, you can have soda pop or white wine mom.
10. Zilch : NADA.
11. Group with many barrels : OPEC.
12. Office staple : DESK. I found this tricky, looking for an office implement..
15. Bite playfully : NIP AT. Puppies! Friends?
18. Editorial override : STET.
20. Buck heroine : O-LAN. A well decorated book about the mysterious East. O-Lan is a fictional character in Pearl S. Buck's 1931 novel The Good Earth. She is a slave of the House of Hwang who gains her freedom when she marries the novel's protagonist, Wang Lung. They start a family in their small country town, and endure grueling times, including droughts, floods, and war. Wiki, Sorry about the broken link.
23. It may be under a rug : SCALP. Rug here being a toupee- nice.
24. Bag carrier : TOTER. Yes it is! 29D. Travel bag attachment : ID TAG. More travel.
25. "__ in point" : A CASE.
26. Cambodia's Lon __ : NOL. LON NOL, a handy palindrome.
27. Bits : DRIBS. Or drabs?
30. Maestro Zubin : MEHTA. John is a most prolific pianist, explaining all the music this week. You can learn more about John going to his blog, LINK.
31. Lightens up : EASES.
36. Gender-specific pronoun : HIM. All perps.
37. Non-suicidal migrants, contrary to myth : LEMMINGS. The MYTH?
38. Heidi got high on one : ALP. My friend Heidi lived near the Devil's Millhopper no mountains..
40. Cheerful : BUOYANT. Maybe if you are a sponge....
41. Julia of film : RAUL. He died much too young. LINK.
43. "All in the Family" spin-off : MAUDE. Bea Arthur as a feminist.
44. About : IN RE.
45. Waldo forerunner? : WHERE'S? I think he is lost forever. Just words that come before Waldo.
48. Cambodia neighbor : LAOS. Both near Thailand.
49. Itch : URGE.
50. Bonus, in ads : XTRA.
51. Lamb's alias : ELIA. And a JL clecho 58D. Lamb's place : LEA. Not the writer but the baby that Mary had.
52. Sharp bark : YELP. Doggies.
53. Simba's love : NALA.
54. Far from harmless : EVIL.
55. Cabs, say : REDS. Not yellow taxis, but Cabernet wines.
Well it was fun to blog but still not 100%. 7 hospitals and 10 doctors so far this year. Glad to be back and to have a JL special was great. Lemonade out. Thank you John.