THEME: There's a mini-theme today—The two eco-oriented 15-letter answers, placed in symmetrical spots, constitute a "mini-theme," which is an occasional variant on the themeless Saturday puzzle
Let's get the tutorial out of the way first.
Crosswordese 101: Among the German words that pop up in crosswords, we have NIE (58A: Never, to Goethe; pronounced like "knee"). The clue might go with alliteration next time—something like Never, in Nuremburg. Not to be confused with NEIN, which is German for "no," nor with the various "one"/"a" constructions like EINS and EINE.
So, what else is in this crossword?
- 6D, 9D: The mini-theme includes GREEN-COLLAR JOBS (Work in the environmental sector) and CARBON FOOTPRINT (Environmental impact factor). Timely, since the international summit on climate change is coming up in Copenhagen this month.
- 13A. Wild Asian equine (ONAGER). Bonus points because this is an anagram of Orange.
- 14A. ISABELLA is, among other things, a "Measure for Measure" heroine. Speaking of Shakespeare plays, I just received an e-mail newsletter alerting me to a community theater production, Comedy of Error. (Just one? Sure, in these recessionary times, who can afford more?)
- 17A. "Receiving poorly," to a CBer (TEN-ONE). I know "10-4, good buddy," but not "10-1." Remember the '70s, when a song about CB radios could be a runaway hit?
- How about some deep-sea diving? 35D: Sea named for its seaweed (SARGASSO) crosses 39A: Watery expanse (SEA). (Not many people love cross-referenced clues, but SARGASSO's clue could've referenced 39A rather than including the word "sea.") What's in the sea? 20A: Shockers in the deep (EELS).
- Favorite fill, narrative style: The CLASS CLOWN got into trouble for throwing his PB AND J at the NINJAS, who fought back throwing stars crafted from BASMATI. The clown was sent to the principal, who declared him a LOST SOUL.
- 31A: What it takes? is TWO. To do what? To tango, to fight over the remote control, or move a sofa upstairs.
- 1D: Possible source of unwanted feedback, for short (HOT MIC). Short for "hot microphone." This answer, in combination with the name in the byline, leads me to suspect today's construct is under age 35.
- 3D: Trattoria order? (MANGIA). "MANGIA" is Italian for the imperative, "Eat!"
- 33D: Big name in oil filters (FRAM). I've never bought an oil filter. I'm partial to the Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Armstrong duet on Ella & Friends but I don't see that recording on YouTube, so here's Nat King Cole's "The Frim Fram Sauce."
Everything Else — 1A: Like some pigeons (HOMING); 7A: Little shot? (PIC); 10A: Subside (EBB); 13A: Wild Asian equine (ONAGER); 14A: "Measure for Measure" heroine (ISABELLA); 17A: "Receiving poorly," to a CBer (TEN-ONE); 18A: Singer/pianist with the 2002 hit "A Sorta Fairytale" (TORI AMOS); 19A: Russian fighter (MIG); 20A: Shockers in the deep (EELS); 22A: Rear (BOTTOM); 23A: Rival of Bjorn (ILIE); 25A: "On the contrary!" ("NOT SO!"); 27A: "Forever, __": 1996 humor collection (ERMA); 28A: Likely visitor to the principal (CLASS CLOWN); 30A: Nair alternative (NEET); 31A: What it takes? (TWO); 32A: Locomotive output (PUFF); 34A: "__ tu": Verdi aria (ERI); 35A: Biblical verb (SHALT); 37A: Sociologist's interests (MORES); 39A: Watery expanse (SEA); 41A: Prosaic (BLAH); 43A: Bourbon flavoring (OAK); 44A: It covers all the bases (TARP); 46A: Flats (APARTMENTS); 51A: Ship that sailed from Iolcus (ARGO); 52A: Highlight reel accompaniment (RECAP); 53A: Many a retired racer (SIRE); 54A: Common lunchbox fare, briefly (P B ANDJ); 56A: Sci-fi captain (KIRK); 58A: Never, to Goethe (NIE); 59A: Floundering one (LOST SOUL); 61A: Stuck (IN A JAM); 63A: Coordinated outfit (ENSEMBLE); 64A: Like much meditation music (NEW AGE); 65A: 1906 Runabout, e.g. (REO); 66A: Stars may represent them: Abbr. (STS.); 67A: Got tight (TENSED); 1D: Possible source of unwanted feedback, for short (HOT MIC); 2D: "Mourning Becomes Electra" playwright (O'NEILL); 3D: Trattoria order? (MANGIA); 4D: "Can __ now?" (I GO); 5D: Maui flapper (NENE); 6D: Work in the environmental sector (GREEN COLLAR JOBS); 7D: Active time for a racetrack crew (PIT STOP); 8D: Metric lead-in (ISO-); 9D: Environmental impact factor (CARBON FOOTPRINT); 10D: Shade sources (ELM TREES); 11D: One may be late (BLOOMER); 12D: Long-grain rice of the Punjab (BASMATI); 15D: Playbill feature (BIO); 16D: Downed (EATEN); 21D: Cyberchortle (LOL); 24D: Bk. after Nehemiah (ESTH.); 26D: Like a butterfly in water? (SWUM); 29D: Q-tip (SWAB); 33D: Big name in oil filters (FRAM); 35D: Sea named for its seaweed (SARGASSO); 36D: Sports trainer's supply (TAPE); 38D: Just makes, with "out" (EKES); 39D: Office tool (STAPLER); 40D: Incus or malleus (EARBONE); 42D: Defensive anger, metaphorically (HACKLES); 45D: Bologna bridge (PONTE); 47D: Thor Heyerdahl craft (RAI); 48D: Stealthy warriors (NINJAS); 49D: Combat injury system (TRIAGE); 50D: Looked (SEEMED); 55D: Mil. award (DSM); 57D: A tot may bounce on one (KNEE); 60D: Nth: Abbr. (ULT.); 62D: Grass appendage (AWN).