Theme: A Bunch of Losers — Each theme answer is a phrase that ends in a synonym for failures.
- 18A: 1963 international treaty subjects (ATOMIC BOMBS).
- 23A: Politicians' dilemmas (FLIP-FLOPS). I think I would rather have seen a footwear clue here.
- 37A: Heavy gamebirds (WILD TURKEYS).
- 51A: They usually involve undercover work (DRUG BUSTS).
- 57A: Cowboy boots and Stetson hats (WESTERN DUDS). My favorite.
It was mostly smooth sailing today, but I did have a couple trouble spots.
- 34A: Lightweight bayou vessel (PIROGUE). Never heard of this, but I do love a good pierogi.
- 1D: Italy's __ Coast (AMALFI). Once I got this from crosses it looked familiar but ... let's just say geography isn't my strong suit.
- 21D: Metallic money (SPECIE). If you've ever used this word in real life, I will give you a hundred dollars. But it will have to be in coins. And you realize, of course, that I'm kidding.
- 35D: Antipoverty agcy. (OEO). Office of Economic Opportunity. Just when I thought I knew all the government agencies I was going to need to know for crosswords.
- 4A: Minnesota twin? (ST. PAUL). Minneapolis and St. Paul are known as The Twin Cities.
- 10A: Chick follower (-ADEE). Just looking for a suffix (i.e., follower) here. Similarly, we need a prefix (i.e., beginning) in 8D: Lateral beginning (UNI-).
- 15A: Piemonte city (TORINO). The Italian Piemonte (Piedmont) is a hint that the answer will also be Italian. In this case, Torino for what we would call Turin.
- 17A: Six-pack makeup (ABS). Me: "Makeup? On a six-pack? Why would anyone put makeup on a six-pack? Oh, I get it." It's what a six-pack is made up of. Abdominal muscles.
- 41A: Soft & __: Henkel brand (DRI). Did the "Henkel brand" part help anybody? Were you all "Oh the Henkel brand, now I know what they mean."
- 62A: Pricey timepieces (SEIKOS). When Rolexes just won't fit.
- 5D: Out-and-out (TOTAL). Love this.
- 9D: It might be picked (LOCK). I had the L and the C in place and thought it would be ... lice. Yes, I did. Breakfast test be damned!
- 10D: Dig deeply (ADORE). I can't decide if I love this or if it's just too cute. I'm leaning toward loving it though.
- 19D: Spot for a screwdriver (BAR). The drink, not the tool. Although there are also plenty of tools at the bar.
- 47D: Agave fibers (ISTLES). Did this one give you trouble? Sorry about that. This is one of those that you just need to know. So now you do.
- 59D: Impersonated (DID). Anybody see Letterman the night Frank Caliendo did George Bush? Awesome.
Everything Else — 1A: Gordon Shumway's title alias, in a sitcom (ALF); 14A: Chinese chairman (MAO); 16A: Applies lightly (DABS); 20A: Dietary claim (LESS FAT); 22A: Kind of chop (KARATE); 26A: Varnish ingredient (RESIN); 27A: Vacation site (ISLE); 28A: "You've got the wrong person" ("NOT I"); 30A: Alphabet trio (CDE); 31A: Mil. troop unit (CMD.); 39A: Triumph (PREVAIL); 40A: Drench (SOP); 42A: Supportive calls (YEAS); 44A: Señor's "Absolutely!" ("SÍ! SÍ!"); 48A: Basic teaching styles (ROTES); 54A: Not necessarily against (OPEN TO); 56A: Expand the viewed area, in a way (ZOOM OUT); 60A: Cholesterol initials (LDL); 61A: Offensive comment (SLUR); 63A: Conk out (DIE); 64A: Notice (ESPY); 65A: Quirk (ODDITY); 2D: Tags (LABELS); 3D: Paleontologist's find (FOSSIL); 4D: Employees (STAFF); 6D: Positive particle (PROTON); 7D: Deadeye's forte (AIM); 11D: Capital ESE of Beirut (DAMASCUS); 12D: Drop in the ocean (EBB TIDE); 13D: One of the reputed Dead Sea Scrolls writers (ESSENE); 24D: Having caught on (POPULAR); 25D: Brouhaha (STIR); 29D: Rubs the wrong way (IRKS); 32D: MMCX halved (MLV); 33D: Time to attack (D-DAY); 36D: Drywall mineral (GYPSUM); 37D: Records in detail (WRITES UP); 38D: Even (TIED); 39D: Pushes forward (PROPELS); 41D: Nap (DROWSE); 43D: Maker of Boulevard motorcycles (SUZUKI); 45D: Tristan's love (ISOLDE); 46D: Loft, perhaps (STUDIO); 49D: Blog piece (ENTRY); 50D: __ Jeanne d'Arc (STE.); 52D: Title character not in the cast (GODOT); 53D: Overbearing (BOSSY); 55D: Not exactly (OR SO); 58D: "Waking __ Devine": 1998 film (NED).