THEME: Double Plays — Six theme answers, which are actually three pairs of answers, where each pair's first words are opposites of one another in baseball terminology.
Wow, this is a lot of puzzle for a Monday. Six theme answers that are related not just through a general topic (baseball), but through their implication in pairs of opposites (OUT / SAFE, STRIKE / BALL, FAIR / FOUL). Really great. I think this puzzle was slightly thornier and more intricate than your average Monday (though my time was pretty avg.). Interesting phrases like OUT OF WHACK and BALL OF WAX made for a livelier and less predictable-seeming grid than Mondays often offer. I started out strong with SLAW (1A: Sandwich side) and LAILA (2D: Boxer Ali) and ASK OF (3D: Request from), but then jumped the gun on 4D: Moby Dick, notably and wrote in WHALE as the first word. WHALE TALE didn't fit, so I went back to the NW and found my mistake. Other hiccups included having OUT OF ORDER for OUT OF WHACK and not being able to get 57D: Vibrant look (glow) even though the "GL" was already in place. Otherwise, Monday smooth.
- 18A: Not in working order, informally (OUT OF WHACK) — "Informally" should have told me "ORDER" was wrong.
- 23A: Crook who doesn't need the combination (SAFE CRACKER) — Also known as a YEGG, which is a word you will see in the grid, eventually.
- 36A: Union benefit during a walkout (STRIKE PAY)
- 42A: Everything, informally (BALL OF WAX) — Thought the clue on this made it toughish. Very vague.
- 47A: Promising picnic forecast (FAIR WEATHER)
- 60A: Tendency to anger easily (FOUL TEMPER)
- 65A: Grammar best-seller "Woe _____" ("IS I") — Grammarians may find it too informal and breezy, but ordinary folk with no predisposition to care about grammar might like it. My students have generally liked it.
- 10D: Quantum physicist Niels (BOHR) — The puzzle's most famous physicist.
- 52D: Wascally Wabbit hunter (ELMER) — Great clue for one of the greatest Looney Tunes characters.
- 54D: Bay Area enforcers (SFPD) — Often clued via Dirty Harry (last name Callahan).
Everything Else — 1A: Sandwich side dish (SLAW); 5A: Quick __ flash (AS A); 8A: Open, as a gate (UNBOLT); 14A: Itchy condition (RASH); 15A: Dickens pen name (BOZ); 16A: Connect, as a stereo (HOOK UP); 17A: Kind of party torch (TIKI); 18A: Not in working order, informally (OUT OF WHACK); 20A: Frequently (A LOT); 21A: On the ocean (ASEA); 22A: Deli breads (RYES); 23A: Crook who doesn't need the combination (SAFECRACKER); 27A: Roll of bills (WAD); 28A: Las Vegas's desert (MOJAVE); 33A: Shooter's aiming aid (SIGHT); 36A: Union benefit during a walkout (STRIKE PAY); 39A: Vicinity (AREA); 40A: Valuable thing (ASSET); 41A: Shredded (TORE); 42A: Everything, informally (BALL OF WAX); 44A: Annual athletic awards (ESPYS); 45A: Vote out (UNSEAT); 46A: Hip-hop Dr. (DRE); 47A: Promising picnic forecast (FAIRWEATHER); 54A: Thick carpet (SHAG); 58A: Point on a wire fence (BARB); 59A: Tall story (TALE); 60A: Tendency to anger easily (FOUL TEMPER); 63A: Mrs. Peel of "The Avengers" (EMMA); 64A: Regional dialect (PATOIS); 65A: Grammar best-seller "Woe __" (IS I); 66A: Regretted (RUED); 67A: Start to nod off (DROWSE); 68A: Souse's woe (DTS); 69A: Full of pep (SPRY); 1D: Madrid misses: Abbr. (SRTAS); 2D: Boxer Ali (LAILA); 3D: Request from (ASK OF); 4D: Moby Dick, notably (WHITE WHALE); 5D: On the plane (ABOARD); 6D: Composer of marches (SOUSA); 7D: Early Mexican (AZTEC); 8D: TV dial letters (UHF); 9D: Right away (NOW); 10D: Quantum physicist Niels (BOHR); 11D: "Works for me" (OKAY); 12D: Time co-founder Henry (LUCE); 13D: Toll rds. (TPKS); 19D: Acorn source (OAK); 24D: Maine coon, for one (CAT); 25D: Give forth (EMIT); 26D: Soldier of Seoul (ROK); 29D: Fashionable fliers (JET-SETTERS); 30D: Per unit (A POP); 31D: Fluctuate (VARY); 32D: Peepers (EYES); 33D: Child star of "The Thief of Bagdad" (1940) (SABU); 34D: Persia, nowadays (IRAN); 35D: Hair goops (GELS); 36D: Opposite of NNE (SSW); 37D: Hijack-prevention gp. (TSA); 38D: "Oedipus __" (REX); 40D: Old Spice alternative (AFTA); 43D: Blockhead (OAF); 44D: Noteworthy period (ERA); 46D: Explosion remains (DEBRIS); 48D: "Big Blue" (IBM); 49D: Fast (RAPID); 50D: Obtain using force (WREST); 51D: Overplay (HAM UP); 52D: Wascally Wabbit hunter (ELMER); 53D: "__, aim, fire!" (READY); 54D: Bay Area enforcers, initially (SFPD); 55D: Icy coating (HOAR); 56D: Car (AUTO); 57D: Vibrant look (GLOW); 61D: "__ the season ..." ('TIS); 62D: Suffix with Siam (-ESE).