THEME: "The TERMINATOR" (56A: With "The," Schwarzenegger film released 10/26/1984, and a hint to the puzzle theme found in the first words of 17-, 34- and 39-Across) — those "first words" form the catchphrase "I'LL / BE / BACK!"
Theme is both clever and weak — don't like that the "THE" was left off the title of "TERMINATOR" in this puzzle. If it's your marquee answer, it needs to be complete. Also, infinitely easy to get tons and tons of phrases that begin with "I'LL," "BE," and "BACK." This should have allowed for a construction that included "THE TERMINATOR" and possibly a bonus answer like ARNOLD. That said, the idea is cute, and the rest of the grid is pretty fabulous for a Monday: relatively open and full of odd and unexpected stuff. I especially loved the middle of the grid, with YORICK (25D: "Alas, poor _____!": Hamlet) and his GERBIL POPTART (28D: Rodent kept as a house pet + 24D: Kellogg's toaster pastry). Also love the JUICY (47D: Like ripe peaches) answers KID ROCK (40D: Duettist with Sheryl Crow in the song "Picture") and RUGRATS (41D: Toon babies of '90s-'00s TV). Would have loved FINN to have been Neil or Tim, but that's probably too Kiwi for a U.S. Monday puzzle.
- 17A: Hymn whose title follows the line "When I die, Hallelujah, by and by" ("I'LL FLY AWAY") — oddly biblical puzzle today with HOSANNAH nearby (10D: Biblical cry of adoration)
- 34A: Scout's motto ("BE PREPARED")
- 39A: How duelists begin (BACK-TO-BACK)
- 29A: Relative known for quitting? (uncle) — that's nice.
- 59A: Ford Explorer Sport _____ (Trac) — that's not.
See you Friday
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Everything Else — 1A: Highway hauler (SEMI); 5A: Cut off (SEVER); 10A: "__ Silver, away!" (HI-YO); 14A: Gas in a sign (NEON); 15A: Utah city (PROVO); 16A: Sign of the future (OMEN); 17A: Hymn whose title follows the line "When I die, Hallelujah, by and by" (I'LL FLY AWAY); 19A: Fill to excess (SATE); 20A: "Cats" poet (T. S. ELIOT); 21A: Gum arabic tree (ACACIA); 23A: Adviser Landers (ANN); 24A: Traffic cone (PYLON); 26A: Knight's lady (DAME); 28A: Slimy stuff (GOO); 29A: Relative known for quitting? (UNCLE); 33A: Run the country (RULE); 34A: Scout's motto (BE PREPARED); 36A: Kimono sash (OBI); 37A: Air ace's missions (SORTIES); 38A: Climbing vine (IVY); 39A: How duelists begin (BACK TO BACK); 41A: Baseball stats (RBIS); 42A: "Old MacDonald" refrain (E-I-E-I-O); 43A: Rile up (IRK); 44A: Ado (FUSS); 45A: Resided (DWELT); 47A: Dance from Ireland (JIG); 48A: __ Tar Pits (LA BREA); 51A: Daybreak (SUNRISE); 55A: French franc successor (EURO); 56A: With "The," Schwarzenegger film released 10/26/1984, and a hint to the puzzle theme found in the first words of 17-, 34- and 39-Across (TERMINATOR); 59A: Ford Explorer Sport __ (TRAC); 60A: Storage room (ATTIC); 61A: "Star Trek: T.N.G." counselor Deanna (TROI); 62A: Armored vehicle (TANK); 63A: Snappish (TESTY); 64A: Lip-__: mouth the words (SYNC); 1D: Grumpy mood (SNIT); 2D: Morays, e.g. (EELS); 3D: Lawn burrower (MOLE); 4D: Arouse, as passion (INFLAME); 5D: Watch covertly (SPY ON); 6D: The E in Q.E.D. (ERAT); 7D: Solemn promise (VOW); 8D: Sister of Zsa Zsa (EVA); 9D: Fit for a king (ROYAL); 10D: Biblical cry of adoration (HOSANNA); 11D: Popular Apple (IMAC); 12D: Himalayan giant (YETI); 13D: Fit to be drafted (ONE-A); 18D: Queue (LINE); 22D: Political takeovers (COUPS); 24D: Kellogg's toaster pastry (POP-TART); 25D: "Alas, poor __!": Hamlet (YORICK); 26D: Persian Gulf emirate (DUBAI); 27D: Wonderland girl (ALICE); 28D: Rodent kept as a house pet (GERBIL); 30D: Baby beds (CRIBS); 31D: Lee jeans alternative (LEVI'S); 32D: Ice cream brand (EDY'S); 33D: Judge's attire (ROBE); 34D: Scarer's shout (BOO); 35D: Scared response (EEK); 37D: Uncle Tom's creator (STOWE); 40D: Duettist with Sheryl Crow in the song "Picture" (KID ROCK); 41D: Toon babies of '90s-'00s TV (RUGRATS); 44D: Sawyer's friend (FINN); 46D: Frequent, as a diner (EAT AT); 47D: Like ripe peaches (JUICY); 48D: Riga native (LETT); 49D: Distinctive emanation (AURA); 50D: Muffin ingredient (BRAN); 51D: Infatuated, old-style (SMIT); 52D: "This is my best effort" ("I TRY"); 53D: Any minute now (SOON); 54D: Guitarist Clapton (ERIC); 57D: Somme summer (ÉTÉ); 58D: Privileges: Abbr. (RTS).