10.18.08 -- Rack and Ruin

The Siren, by John William Waterhouse (circa 1900)
OPENANDSHUTCASE (15A. Court slam dunk); GOTORACKANDRUIN (17A. Seriously deteriorate); GONZOJOURNALISM (48A Writing that mixes reportage and fiction); LOCALANESTHESIA (51A. It’s not a total knockout) and SKIRTTHEISSUE (16D. Equivocate) are the main entries of this Saturday stumper.
The remaining across: 1. Like Delftware, CERAMIC; 8. Robert B. Parker’s private eye, SPENSER; 18. Projects, EXUDES; 19. Rubs the wrong way, IRKS; 20. Gathered dust, SAT; 21. Rewards for good dives, NINES; 22. It’s in the cards, TREY; 23. “The Right Stuff” subj., NASA; 24. Stucco ingredients?, CEES; 25. Dotty, BATS; 26. Precursor of Pascal, ALGOL; 27. Things to rush for: Abbr., YDS; 28. It builds up in bars, SILT; 29. Designing women, SIRENS; 30. Use a metal detector, maybe, BEACHCOMB; 32. Bolts, SCRAMS; 35. Sound system parts?, EARS; 36. Baseball positions: Abbr., CFS; 39. Wolf who wrote “The Beauty Myth”, NAOMI; 40. Life-or-death, DIRE; 42. 2006 Grammy-winning blues singer IRMA Thoimas; 43. Fall shade, RUST; 44. See 46-Across, with 44-Across, 1940 Laurel and Hardy film, SAPS AT SEA; 45. Sch. Figure, GPA; 47. Chemical relative, ISOMER; 52. Writer of pieces of passing?, ELEGIST; 53. Wagner opera title role, TRISTAN.
Down: 1. Persuasiveness, COGENCY; 2. Glued, in a way, EPOXIED; 3. Makes grand adjustments?, RETUNES; 4. Magnetron parts, ANODES; 5. Some nags, MARES; 6. Much may come after it, INAS; 7. Quarantining org., CDC; 8. Corporation allocation, SHARES; 9. Very slow-burning, as a fire, PUNKY; 10. Waiting area announcements, briefly, ETDS; 11. Big A.T.M. maker, NCR; 12. It may be chain-linked, SAUSAGE; 13. Star QB for the 1980s-’90s Bengals, ESIASON; 14. Many tuxes, RENTALS; 22. Creator of a bathroom cloud, TALC; 23. Collective bargaining watchdog org., NLRB; 25. Pollster’s concern, BIAS; 26. Points, AIMS; 28. Important match, SEMI; 29. Irritated; SORE; 30. Southeastern Conference team, for short, BAMA; 31. Online shopping icon, CART; 32. Fish by thrusting a baited hook into holes, SNIGGLE; 33. Auto-rotating system, CARPOOL; 34. Bookstore section, ROMANCE; 36. Philosophical studier of the universe, COSMIST; 37. Cousin of a crocus, FREESIA; 38. DC Comics superhero, STARMAN; 40. Spandex source, DUPONT; 41. Choir robe accessories, STOLES; 43. Asian nobles, RAJAS; 44. Brew from Tokyo, ASAHI; 46. Star turns, SOLI; 47. Preface: Abbr., INTR; 49. Turn back, ZAG; 50. Letter run, RST.
Talk about rack and ruin!
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