01.09.13 — Whatever

Sunset at Smith Point, Fire Island, New York, January 8, 2013
Photograph by Donald
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Puzzle by David Ben-Merre / Edited by Will Shortz

Six “did or didn’t” posits constitute the main feature of this weary Wednesday crossword:

DREW A LINE (18A. Did or didn’t agree to end the illustrators’ strike?)
ADDED PUNCH (20A. Did or didn’t dilute the prom bowlful?)
DROPPED THE BALL (33A. Did or didn’t perform a New Year’s ceremony?)
BROKE THE RECORD (40A. Did or didn’t surpass a D.J.’s mark for accident-free days?)
SHOT SUB-PAR (54A. Did or didn’t play a good round of golf?)
TOOK A HIKE (60A. Did or didn’t participate in the Boy Scouts outing?)

Other — IONIC / COLUMNS (63D. With 44-Down, features of some Greek architecture), ROAD MAP (5D. Item in a gas station kiosk), VINCA (17A. Plant used as ground cover), XYLEM (10D. Woody tissue).

Remaining across — 1. Repair bill segment, LABOR; 6. They may be checked at the door, IDS; 9. Have being, EXIST; 14. Essential AMINO acid; 15. Siesta, NAP; 16. Big name in rental trucks,   RYDER; 22. Whirling water, EDDY; 23. Rumple, as hair, MUSS; 24. Suffix with Marx, ISM; 26. Like the base-8 number system, OCTAL; 29. Dean’s domain: Abbr., SCH; 30. Apr. workhorse, CPA; 37. Butt out?, MOON; 38. Org. based in Langley, Va., CIA; 39. Fox talent show, for short, IDOL; 45. Set, as a price, ASK; 46. Pal, BRO; 47. Earns the booby prize, LOSES; 48. Part of a terza rima rhyme scheme, ABA; 49. Corner Monopoly square, JAIL; 51. Gem for some Libras, OPAL; 62. Dinero, MOOLA; 64. Pro vote, YEA; 65. Zaps, in the kitchen, NUKES; 66. Ream unit, SHEET; 67. Ready for war, ARM; 68. High, pricewise, STEEP.
Down — 1. Source of pumice, LAVA; 2. In the thick of, AMID; 3. Tight spot, BIND; 6. Pakistan’s chief river, INDUS; 7. Works on socks, say, DARNS; 8. Design detail, briefly, SPEC; 9. Disco ERA (1970s); 11. Reply of confirmation, I DID; 12. E-mail command, SEND; 13. Long basket, in hoops lingo, TREY; 19. “This or that?”, WHICH; 21. Orange juice option, PULP; 25. Cow or sow, SHE; 26. Landfill emanations, ODORS; 27. Shepherd’s aid, CROOK; 28. Honky-TONK; 29. Sirius, e.g., STAR; 30. Core group, CADRE; 31. Moves laboriously, PLODS; 32. Detergent brand, ALL; 34. Lover of Narcissus, ECHO; 35. Thing with pips, DIE; 36. Head shot accompaniers, maybe, BIOS; 37. Wall St. hire, MBA; 41. Fall back, EBB; 42. Wreck, as a hotel room, TRASH; 43. Bush 41 and Bush 43, for two, ELIS; 48. DTs sufferer, for short, ALKIE; 49. One of a deck pair, JOKER; 50. Mr. T TV group, A TEAM; 51. Singer Redding, OTIS; 52. Milne’s bear, POOH; 53. Super-duper, A-ONE; 55. Casual greeting, HIYA; 56. Ring contest, BOUT; 57. Elbow, POKE; 58. On the sheltered side, ALEE; 59. Stereotypical mobster’s voice, RASP; 61. Insincere display, ACT.

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Puzzle available on the internet at

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