THEME: for all time ... — theme answers begin with words related to never-endingness
Whoa, how'd it get to be so late? One minute I was casually eating my early-morning breakfast on the couch with my dog, and the next ... it's nearly 10am. Stupid, seductive PBS documentaries about music and brain function! My morning is gone! Oh well, it was probably worth it. This puzzle, on the other hand ... not necessarily worth the three+ minutes it took to solve. Good idea, but ... adjective, adjective, noun/adverb, adverb = ouch to lovers of parallel construction everywhere. I thought these things mattered, at least a little. I see that with FOREVER STAMP you kind of, almost, get me to believe that FOREVER is an adjective, but ALWAYS? No. Love FOREVER STAMP as an answer (fresh, in-the-language), but that's one of the few things I love about this puzzle.
- 20A: Wrinkle-resistant after washing (PERMANENT PRESS)
- 34A: Fabled fountain's reward (ETERNAL YOUTH)
- 41A: You can still use it when postage rates increase (FOREVER STAMP)
- 55A: "Semper fidelis," in English ("ALWAYS FAITHFUL")
Crosswordese 101: ARLENE Francis (2D: "What's My Line?" panelist) — where six-letter words are concerned, ARLENE is crossword royalty. Sadly, ARLENE is not a name without a lot of contemporary clout, so you gotta go back to "What's My Line?" to get a suitably famous clue, which is not going to be suitably famous for many people under 50, but those are the breaks. ARLENE Dahl (actress) is the puzzle's other favorite go-to ARLENE, and just to confuse you a bit, Dahl also made a couple of appearances on ... "What's My Line?"
- 5A: Musher's vehicle (sled) — "Musher" makes me laugh.
- 53A: Ghost-eating video icon (Pac-Man) — for those thrown by ARLENE, here's something a little more in your pop culture wheelhouse (I'm guessing).
- 5D: Con job (swindle) — what a great word. Wish I saw it in puzzles more often.
- 30D: Ladled salad bar item (soup) — not a fan of this clue. "Salad" in clue is too obviously and deliberately misdirective. Most salad bars I have been to do not include soup, though certainly some do.
- 33D: Sports org. with six Canadian teams (N.H.L.) — this is no doubt for the Canadian solvers (Toronto? I forget where) who were whining that the syndicated L.A.T. puzzle was too Americo-Centric. Sorry, Canada: until you get a paper (or other outlet) that's willing (and able) to float its own puzzle, you'll get scraps like this clue, and you'll like it. (I'm baiting a Canadian friend of mine...)
- 48D: Positive "How are you?" response ("I'm fine") — kind of non-committal, actually, despite the positive connotations of "fine" in some contexts.
- 52D: CNN competitor (MSNBC) — I hilariously and wrongly wrote in C-SPAN.
- 59D: Verdi classic (Aida) — she's everywhere today (see ... another puzzle that came out today)
- 60D: Tycoon Walton with a club (Sam) — I like the idea of him in animal skins, carrying a club...
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Everything Else — 1A: Maple syrup fluids (SAPS); 5A: Musher's vehicle (SLED); 9A: Did some chinwagging (JAWED); 14A: Elm or oak (TREE); 15A: Breaker on the shore (WAVE); 16A: Central Florida city (OCALA); 17A: Israeli carrier (EL AL); 18A: Light bulb, in a comic strip (IDEA); 19A: Reversed (UNDID); 20A: Wrinkle-resistant after washing (PERMANENT PRESS); 23A: Having disembarked (ON LAND); 24A: Sweetie (HON); 25A: Super __: Sega Genesis competitor (NES); 26A: "Dark Angel" star Jessica (ALBA); 29A: Reduce (LESSEN); 34A: Fabled fountain's reward (ETERNAL YOUTH); 36A: "Hurry up!" in memos (ASAP); 39A: German article (EIN); 40A: __ Mountains: Europe/Asia border range (URAL); 41A: You can still use it when postage rates increase (FOREVER STAMP); 46A: Rare blood classification (TYPE AB); 47A: Exxon predecessor (ESSO); 48A: Hosp. area for acute conditions (ICU); 51A: "Overhead" engine part (CAM); 53A: Ghost-eating video icon (PAC-MAN); 55A: "Semper fidelis," in English (ALWAYS FAITHFUL); 60A: Treat with contempt (SCORN); 61A: Depilatory brand (NAIR); 62A: Stir up (RILE); 63A: Room at the top (ATTIC); 64A: __ one's time: wait (BIDE); 65A: Pen fluids (INKS); 66A: Not quite foggy (MISTY); 67A: Decked out (in) (CLAD); 68A: Cong. meeting (SESS); 1D: Squash (STEP ON); 2D: "What's My Line?" panelist Francis (ARLENE); 3D: Gems from oysters (PEARLS); 4D: Alabama civil rights city (SELMA); 5D: Con job (SWINDLE); 6D: Stow cargo (LADE); 7D: Like 2, 4, 6, etc. (EVEN); 8D: "Murder by __": Neil Simon comedy (DEATH); 9D: Long trip (JOURNEY); 10D: Clearasil target (ACNE); 11D: Bankrolls (WADS); 12D: New Haven collegians (ELIS); 13D: June honoree (DAD); 21D: Medical sch. class (ANAT); 22D: Opinion survey (POLL); 27D: Uncle Remus's __ Rabbit (BRER); 28D: Liqueur flavoring (ANISE); 30D: Ladled salad bar item (SOUP); 31D: California's Big __ (SUR); 32D: Greek vowel (ETA); 33D: Sports org. with six Canadian teams (NHL); 34D: Blunt-tipped sword (EPEE); 35D: Tiny colonists (ANTS); 36D: Back, on a ship (AFT); 37D: Versatile bean (SOY); 38D: Dada artist Jean (ARP); 42D: Motel sign (VACANCY); 43D: Online bidding site (EBAY); 44D: Yearned (ASPIRED); 45D: Castle's defense (MOAT); 48D: Positive "How are you?" response (I'M FINE); 49D: Makes watertight (CAULKS); 50D: Except if (UNLESS); 52D: CNN competitor (MSNBC); 54D: "Hardball" host Matthews (CHRIS); 55D: Play opener (ACT I); 56D: Real estate parcels (LOTS); 57D: Habeas corpus, e.g. (WRIT); 58D: Not pass (FAIL); 59D: Verdi classic (AIDA); 60D: Tycoon Walton with a club (SAM).