Glutton for Pun #201 by Erik Agard

THEMELESS 57

You know what to do by now.

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I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend! I’m working this weekend, so we’ll keep this short. Erik’s given us another fun, zippy themeless to enjoy. Let’s start with the awesomeness that is the center of the grid: 8d. is [Bit of birthday mail] cluing a pair of words I’ve never put together myself, QUINCEAÑERA CARD. Nice. Crossing this in the center is 36a. [Descriptor for 8-Down], or FIFTEEN LETTER. I adore the multiple levels of this combo, as 8d is technically 15 letters long, and QUINCEAÑERA is the celebration of a 15th birthday, so a handwritten card for the occasion could also be a FIFTEEN LETTER.

The surrounding longest entries are NATURAL CAUSES [Phrase on a certificate], referring to a death certificate (which I’ve filled out once in my life, and hope never to need to again), and PIGEON FEATHER, with the play on words clue [Cote liner]. TEXAS BBQ and MUENSTER made me hungry, and NSAIDS and ALEVE made me long for the days not too long ago when I could take ibuprofen for aches and pains. Among other extra interesting entries are PSYWARSDRESSERS at 61-Across as [Furniture for 61-Across], and MANI-PEDI as [Bed-cleaning procedure], referring to nail beds.

Not the biggest fan of BODY’S as in [“My ___ a temple”] or COS as the plural of the abbreviation for “company.” Finally, my favorite clue here is [Exam that sounds like a classification of a Manx] for MCAT.

I hope everyone has a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend, and that Americans think about taking a moment to remember those who have died fighting for our country.

Finally, The Indie 500 will be here before we know it! To those not familiar with it, it’s a crossword tournament run by Erik and some other awesome people, and it’s on Saturday, June 4th. Last year’s was a blast, and I heard a rumor that there will be pie! Here is NGOTB’s and Indie 500’s own Peter Broda as the first recipient of the tournament’s dairy-related tradition.

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