Theme: Runaway — Each theme answer is a different definition of the word runner.
- 20A: See 48-Down (ICE SKATE BLADE).
- 40A: See 48-Down (TRACK COMPETITOR).
- 59A: See 48-Down (LONG NARROW RUG).
- 48D: Ball carrier, and clue for 20-, 40- and 59-Across (RUNNER).
I had a hard time figuring out the theme on this one as I was solving. If I had slowed down, I probably would have gotten it sooner, but I was flying through this puzzle. I could see that the theme answers were held together by 48-Down, so I glanced at it and thought all the theme answers would be some type of "ball carrier." Um, no. Ball carrier was just the clue for 48-Down and all the theme answers are something you might refer to as a RUNNER. To me, he best theme answer is LONG NARROW RUG because that's something I might actually say. For example, if someone doesn't know what a runner is, or if I can't come up with the word when I need it (which happens more and more frequently these days, sad to say). "Ya know, it's like a long narrow rug that runs down a hallway....?" The other theme answers? Not so much. Although they make perfect sense grammatically and definition-wise, I can't imagine a situation where I would ever use the phrase TRACK COMPETITOR or ICE SKATE BLADE.
Crosswordese 101: ANON is sometimes clued as an abbreviation of anonymous, but it's more likely to be clued the way it is today (61D: Any minute now, to a bard). It means soon and early in the week, you'll get a hint about its poetic-ness (I just made that word up). Later in the week, you may not get the hint. And if the word soon isn't in the clue, well it very well could be the answer. Your best bet is to enter the last two letters and check the crosses to find out which one is correct.
- 25A: Airport waiter (CAB). Get it? Not, like, a person who serves you in a restaurant, but something that literally waits at the airport.
- 32A: Stereotypical eye patch wearer (PIRATE). Did you all have a nice Talk Like a Pirate Day last weekend?
- 53A: Fashionable boot brand (UGG). All I could think of was Frye. I guess that tells you how long it's been since I've bought boots. Or been fashionable.
- 1D: Vegas attraction, with "the" (STRIP). Seems like there should be a CLUB at the end of this answer. (Just kidding. I know what the Strip is.)
- 11D: Weather Channel offerings (FORECASTS). Because wild-ass guesses" wouldn't fit.
- 21D: Golf legend Snead (SAM). Weren't we just talking about him the other day?
- 26D: Pal of Aramis (ATHOS). The Three Musketeers. The third one is Porthos.
- 33D: Louis XIV, to his subjects (ROI). French!
- 65D: Nashville awards gp. (CMA). Oh good, an excuse to play a video of one my favorite country artists. He's up for a bunch of awards this year. Also, he often Twitters pictures from the stage while he's performing. How cool is that? [It's kind of a long video, but if you can stick with it, I don't think you'll be sorry. To see him perform this song in this place ... well, it gave me goose-bumps.]
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Everything Else — 1A: One with a code name, perhaps (SPY); 4A: Strokes on a green (PUTTS); 9A: Terrible (AWFUL); 14A: What the Mad Hatter served (TEA); 15A: Apple's instant messaging software (ICHAT); 16A: No longer tied up (LOOSE); 17A: Uncooked (RAW); 18A: Barton of the Red Cross (CLARA); 19A: Divided country (KOREA); 23A: Piano part (PEDAL); 24A: Bando of baseball (SAL); 28A: Sheds feathers (MOLTS); 34A: Start of an order to an attack dog (SIC); 37A: Partner of woes (CARES); 39A: Fed. org. concerned with workplace woes (OSHA); 44A: Ill-advised (RASH); 45A: Pageant topper (TIARA); 46A: Old draft org. (SSS); 47A: Clothes (ATTIRE); 50A: Slow mover (SNAIL); 52A: Canada's smallest prov. (PEI); 55A: Starbucks offering (LATTE); 64A: Descendant (SCION); 66A: Walking __: euphoric (ON AIR); 67A: Whatever (ANY); 68A: Fill with wonder (AMAZE); 69A: Three-card scam (MONTE); 70A: Cocktail party bowlful (DIP); 71A: Chair craftsperson (CANER); 72A: Wrapped up (ENDED); 73A: Va. clock setting (EST); 2D: Treaty subject (PEACE); 3D: Went off course, at sea (YAWED); 4D: Burglar (PICKLOCK); 5D: Golden State sch. (UCLA); 6D: "All __ Jazz": Fosse film (THAT); 7D: Empty truck's weight (TARE); 8D: Wild guesses (STABS); 9D: Acid neutralizer (ALKALI); 10D: Fireside stack (WOOD); 12D: Take advantage of (USE); 13D: Grazing site (LEA); 22D: Once around the track (LAP); 27D: Nursery rhyme trio (BEARS); 29D: Fond du __, Wisconsin (LAC); 30D: Horse's gait (TROT); 31D: Big rigs (SEMIS); 34D: Subway rider's aid (STRAP); 35D: Hot under the collar (IRATE); 36D: Spanish dialect that's now standard (CASTILIAN); 38D: Period of time (SPAN); 41D: Greek X (CHI); 42D: Paleozoic __ (ERA); 43D: Fitted, as a suit (TAILORED); 49D: "Which came first?" item (EGG); 51D: Judge's concern (LAW); 54D: Travelocity mascot (GNOME); 56D: Stock market transaction (TRADE); 57D: North African capital (TUNIS); 58D: Exodus locale (EGYPT); 60D: Seep (OOZE); 62D: "The Fountainhead" author (RAND); 63D: Baptism or bar mitzvah, e.g. (RITE); 64D: Anatomical pouch (SAC).