Theme: 45-Down: Creator of the characters added in 17-, 28-, 44-, and 57-Across. Answer: Alcott (Louisa May). Characters’ names added on to the four familiar phrases are the sisters in Little Women.
17A. Hardy brown spice? = Tough nutmeg
28A. Company that will get you a second spouse? = Bigamy business
44A. Extremely tacky production of a Shakespeare play? = Macbeth n cheese
57A. Country instrument played by a migrant? = Travel banjo
Not too difficult for a Thursday puzzle. Before I figured out the theme, I already had some letters for 45-Down and considered filling in “Alcott” but didn’t do so. However, it became immediately apparent that it was the correct answer when I got the first of the theme answers, 57-Across. Since I next got 17-Across, I presumed the other two names had to be at the end of the phrases. Obviously not.
Some interesting answers:
1A. Chronicler of the English Restoration. Answer: Pepys (Samuel). I was an English teacher. Enough said….
10D. TV news host Melissa _____ -Perry. Answer: Harris. I watch very little TV news so don’t know her.
43A. Lexington’s _____ Arena. Answer: Rupp. No idea. Via Wiki, named for University of Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp who died in 1977, a year after the arena opened.
53D. Duncan of Obama’s cabinet. Answer: Arne. I follow politics.
62A. Actress Gunn of “Breaking Bad.” Answer: Anna. Watched and enjoyed this series.