NYT Crossword 12-18-20 Complete

I started this one last night and hit a wall. I though that if I had any chance at all to finish it, it’d have to happen this morning. And it did!

I pulled out 44A Things typically found in dens: ARMCHAIRS. Boy, did I struggle with this one. My answers went from thinking of den like a mancave. So I had AREA_____. Then I changed my mind and thought of lions. So it was AR__LAIRS. Then I went back to the room concept, so the L was gone. Finally, I was left with AR__HAIRS, and then it all came together.

An honorable mention to 14A Line outside the entrance?: OPENSESAME. For those lucky enough to have gone to the Magic Castle, the way to get the bookshelf to slide back to get in past the lobby is to say that phrase to the owl on one of the shelves.

I had good luck and bad luck with the long answers.

17A Using any means necessary: CATCHASCATCHCAN. I’ve always understood this phrase to mean that the amount of business exceeds capacity, so something may not work despite best efforts. Did I misunderstand this my whole life?
37A Setting for forensic investigations: SCENEOFTHECRIME. This was an early answer. And it helped get a lot resolved.
60A Stereotypical cry from a sailor: SHIVERMETIMBERS! Now I’m thinking that a broadcaster with a quaver could say, “Shiver me timbres!”
3D “Let’s go!”: BETTERGETMOVING. It’s 11:43, and I gotta get this post out.
7D People who might tell you to stop, but probably shouldn’t: BACKSEATDRIVER. I know where I’m going, OK?!
11D George Mallory’s famous response to “Why did you want to climb Mount Everest?”: BECAUSEITSTHERE. I’d been waiting almost the whole puzzle to know what he said. Pretty good.

Finished this one in 41:22.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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