Theme: Playing for Both Teams — Theme answers start with homophones of BYE.
- 20A: Furthermore (BY THE SAME TOKEN).
- 33A: 1961 Tony-winning musical inspired by Elvis being drafted (BYE BYE BIRDIE).
- 43A: 7/4/1976 celebration (BICENTENNIAL).
- 59A: Retail store financing come-on (BUY NOW PAY LATER).
This is an awesome Tuesday puzzle. The theme is straightforward and easy to grok, but the theme answers are pretty sparkly for a Tuesday. I guess BICENTENNIAL is the dullest of the group, but for me it brings to mind decorating my bike for the Fourth of July parade around the quad at Moorhead State University when I was a kid. So no complaints there. Other than that, the puzzle is a little heavy on the crosswordese in the bottom half, but the fill includes plenty of fun words as well. I don't remember seeing RANKLE in a puzzle before (11D: Fester in one's mind). Even though I wanted Crush, FANTA is kind of fun to say (4D: Classic orange soda). I always like seeing colloquial phrases in the grid and NOT A BIT is perfect today (47D: Cooperative response to "Do you mind?"). What else? Oh yeah, RAKISH (48A: Debonair). Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is an excellent word.
- 10A: Mouse catcher (TRAP). I read this one as "Moose trap" and thought "That's odd. They use traps ...?"
- 72A: Ball-bearing gadgets? (TEES). Cute!
- 5D: Seafood cookout (FISH FRY). I was going to pull a picture off of Facebook of a fish fry one of the Hawkeye wrestlers held recently and found out that he has unfriended me! Oh the indignity of it all! (I'm guessing he wasn't crazy about my politics.)
- 10D: The Dixie Chicks, e.g. (TRIO).
- 60D: Indian breads (NANS). I do not like this word spelled with only one A, but I think I'm going to have to get over it.
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P.S. If you missed all the excitement around this Sunday's New York Times puzzle by Brendan Emmett Quigley, you can read about it here. (Scroll down to items 10(c) and (d). Includes spoilers!)
Everything Else — 1A: One-person boat (SKIFF); 6A: College athlete (JOCK); 14A: China's Zhou __ (ENLAI); 15A: Clickable symbol (ICON); 16A: Compete in a meet (RACE); 17A: Ghostly noises (MOANS); 18A: "Let It __": Everly Brothers hit (BE ME); 19A: Peruvian empire builder (INCA); 23A: Barbary ape's cont. (AFR.); 24A: Necklace clasp resting place (NAPE); 25A: Baton Rouge sch. (LSU); 26A: Implore (BEG); 29A: Coastal inlet (RIA); 31A: Take to the clink (ARREST); 37A: Rig on the road (SEMI); 38A: John, to Ringo? (LOO); 39A: Trivial, as chatter (IDLE); 51A: Dr.'s group, maybe (HMO); 52A: Adobe file format (PDF); 53A: Cockney's main Web page? ('OME); 54A: Bears or Cubs (TEAM); 57A: Suffix with Israel (-ITE); 64A: Rick's love in "Casablanca" (ILSA); 65A: Mayberry moppet (OPIE); 66A: Con game (BUNCO); 68A: Nuremberg no (NEIN); 69A: Elbow-joint bone (ULNA); 70A: Embodiment of perfection (IDEAL); 71A: RR stops (STNS.); 73A: Short-winded (TERSE); 1D: Divinity sch. (SEM.); 2D: Drawer projection (KNOB); 3D: "Now __ me down ..." (I LAY); 6D: Triangular sails (JIBS); 7D: Blue part of a map (OCEAN); 8D: Cause for a pause (COMMA); 9D: Patella protector (KNEEPAD); 12D: Way to get in (ACCESS); 13D: Planters logo Mr. __ (PEANUT); 21D: Buffalo-to-Albany canal (ERIE); 22D: Actress Garr (TERI); 26D: Air rifle ammo (BBS); 27D: Needle feature (EYE); 28D: Precious stone (GEM); 30D: Proficient (ABLE); 32D: Coachman's control (REIN); 34D: Netanyahu of Israel, familiarly (BIBI); 35D: Particle with a charge (ION); 36D: Philip who wrote the Zuckerman novels (ROTH); 40D: Chip go-with (DIP); 41D: Young man (LAD); 42D: Christmas helper (ELF); 44D: Analogy words (IS TO); 45D: Give a tongue-lashing (CHEW OUT); 46D: Runner Zátopek (EMIL); 48D: Spring chirpers (ROBINS); 49D: Lucky charm (AMULET); 50D: Enters, as data (KEYS IN); 55D: William Tell's target (APPLE); 56D: Largest New England state (MAINE); 58D: Piano exercise (ÉTUDE); 61D: Supporting votes (YEAS); 62D: Cabinet dept. with a lightning bolt on its seal (ENER.); 63D: Some HDTVs (RCAS); 67D: Corrida shout (OLÉ).