I pulled out 4D Japanese watch brand: SEIKO because I have picked up watch repair as a hobby. I have been gravitating toward Citizen and Seiko that I can get for not that much and then work on them. Recently I bought two used Seiko watches that looked great in the pictures. They were described as not functioning, though that can just mean needs a battery. I opened one of them up and saw that the battery had leaked.
The leak got into the movement, so it seized. Yes, it turned a Seiko into a seizedko. I researched the Seiko 8123 movement (coincidentally I finished this puzzle in 18:32) to see how I could do a straight swap. But they no longer make the 8123 movement. I kept looking and found two possible replacements. The Seiko 7N43 movement is the same size and has one jewel, compared to the 8123’s five jewels. The 7N43 also has SAB/SAT in blue like the 8123 has. But then there’s the Hattori VX43 that has zero jewels and doesn’t have the SAB/SAT in blue. For cheaper the 7N43, I got a busted watch that has a 7N43 movement. There was an inscription on the back of the watch: “CHARLES STANLEY MARSHALL GOD’S SAINTLEY [sic] GIFT TO ALL HE MEETS.” I’m waiting for the battery to arrive, but if it doesn’t, I’ll replace the movement with a VX43.
I pulled out 3D Bygone: OLDTIME because my mustache is back! At least for a little bit. It’s tickling my nose pretty good, so it might go soon. But it took a month to grow out so I could be WIlford Brimley for the Magic Castle’s members-only Halloween party, and now that that’s done, should the mustache stay?
What a day today may be! People are calling for Liz Cheney’s head, and that’s a real shame. We need unity now, and the way to do it is to excise the things that continue to tear us apart. My take is that if Trump has won reelection and done this, they wouldn’t have minded getting him out right now, installing Pence, and then have an easy Pence inauguration on January 20. But that’s not the world right now.
I pulled out 53A “90 Day Fiancé” network: TLC because Calah and I binge watched that show together around the time we got engaged. There are so many things wrong with that show, and that’s, of course, why we had to watch all of it. Then we watched the spinoff, The Family Chantel. More trainwreck. So good.
I didn’t realize what the circles were until the end. It had seemed like they were all T’s, but that turned out to be incorrect. In this case, it was good that NYT automatically filled in the circles with the letter choices.
18A Relative of a croc: GA(T/B)OR. I took the clue to mean crocodile, so it was GATOR for alligator. But it can be taken like the shoe. Now I know that GABOR is a shoe brand. 7D Garage jobs: LU(T/B)ES. I took the clue to refer to cars, so it was LUBES. As for LUTES, I have zero idea how this applies. 24A Desires: WAN(T/E)S. I figured it was WANTS. That makes sense. I guess desires can wane. Like the desire to understand this puzzle because now I’m feeling that there’s a chance that the first letter is for the across and the second letter is for the down, and each word exists with the other letter. 4D What a letter needs: LEAS(T/E). I just don’t get this one. Oh, wait, letter like tenant. Contract to live or work somewhere. Now I understand. 27A Awesome time: B(L/O)AST. Having a blast is a good thing. You can later boast about it. 10D Brief appearance: CAME(L/O). A brief appearance is a cameo. As the Australians know, camels tend to stick around. 51A Have a Pavlovian response: DRO(O/L). Ring the bell = getting fed. Can’t wait. Droll means “Curious or unusual in a way that provokes dry amusement.” Could work! Feeling like it’s more and more likely that it’s just across/down. 55A Moves like molasses: S(E/T)EPS. Molasses seeps. Oozes might be better. I don’t think of molasses as stepping. 56D Spud: (E/T)ATER. This can only be the TATER for potato. 62A Ancient unit of length: CU(B/T)IT. Cubit is a thing. I don’t think that there was any CUTIT measurement. 54D Petrol unit: LI(B/T)RE. Only can be LITRE.
38A Classic party game … or a hint to solving the answers that intersect circles: SPINTHEBOTTLE. Oh, now I get it! Clockwise, it’s T/B L/O E/T B/T O/L T/E