I woke up late this morning and clearly took a while to get with it. Or this was just super tough for me, especially because I started last night and got a bunch wrong. But it alllllll worked out.
I pulled out 26D Liquid in a first-aid kit: IODINE because I do not think of iodine in relation to first aid. I know that’s my own shortcoming, but I think more of hydrogen peroxide and alcohol. The skull and crossbones on the label is objectively scary.
Once again I had forgotten to look at the title of the Sunday crossword because I’m used to it for the WSJ daily and not the NYT. Same as every week.
The title is Busting Moves. From that title, it’s about dancing obviously.
23A Title for Iran’s Ali Khamenei: SUP(R)(E)M(E)(L)EADER. The reel is a dance. I had thought it was the one where you pretend to go fishing and catch your partner. I had put in AYATOLLAH in the grid at the beginning and tried to find another word to complement it. Both thought were incorrect. The reel is like Riverdance stuff.
25A Tailored blouse style: SHIR(T)(W)A(I)(S)(T). Everyone knows The Twist. But a shirtwaist blouse? New to me.
43A Subject of some teen gossip sessions: (B)(O)Y(P)ROBLEMS. The Bop! I had proudly filled this out early as KISSANDTELL. Not a single letter of this was correct.
47A Sure-footed alpine climber: MOUN(T)(A)I(N)(G)(O)AT. It takes two to tango. I’ve never tried, so when it comes to the dancing application of this expression, those two always have been other people. I kept going back and forth between LION and GOAT. Ultimately, GOAT was correct.
68A Bakery item that’s often messy: C(R)(U)(M)(B)C(A)KE. The Rumba! Calah will confirm that every cake for me is a crumb cake.
88A Caribbean capital: POR(T)(A)U(P)RINCE. Tap! With most letters missing, I had guessed GROSSEPOINTE. But no matter how Michigan tries, how much can we reasonably Haiti on it?
91A Kind of test question: S(H)(O)(R)T(A)NSWER. The Hora! Who’s looking to dance the hora with me at my wedding that is still yet unscheduled? Psych! COVID is making dancing exceedingly unlikely until the big party in the distant future.
114A Proceeds breezily: (S)(A)I(L)(S)(A)LONG. Salsa! Still waters lift all boats?
117A What a spike goes over: VOLLEY(B)(A)(L)(L)N(E)(T). Ballet! This is the one that helped me understand that the theme is dancing.
The gray boxes make up MAY I CUT IN? It appropriate because those letters split up the dances. Also you may not.
Finished this one in 74:09.