Theme: Ice-Breaker — Theme answers are two word phrases with the letter string ICE beginning at the end of the first word.
- 17A: One that creates a current in the current (ELECTRIC EEL).
- 28A: DNA researcher (GENETIC ENGINEER).
- 50A: Fitness staple (AEROBIC EXERCISE).
- 65A: Warm things up, and what 17-, 28- and 50-Across literally do (BREAK THE ICE).
Fun puzzle today. I zipped through the NW corner, made my way east and then had a much tougher go of it from GENETIC ENGINEER on down. But that's a good thing on a Thursday. Add in some fresh fill and go light on the crosswordese and ... you've got yourself a puzzle!
- 13A: "April Love" singer (BOONE). Not familiar with this song but I'm sure it's lovely.
- 19A: "You __ here" (ARE).
- 38A: A flat one may evoke a wince (NOTE). I tried tire at first, but NOTE is much better.
- 54A: Silver encouragement? (HI-YO). Stop right there. Step away from the keyboard. Before you get all full of yourself for finding a mistake in the puzzle, I'm telling you right now. Yes, HI-YO is the right answer. No, he did not say HI-HO. Period. End of sentence.
- 55A: Duke __: video game hero (NUKEM). Never heard of this guy, but that's an awesome name.
- 8D: "Brideshead Revisited" novelist Waugh (EVELYN). Nice of EVELYN to stop by instead of the more common ALEC.
- 12D: They may not be speaking (EXES). Thank God for email.
- 44D: WWII enders (A-BOMBS). I want to see F-BOMBS in the puzzle someday.
Everything Else — 1A: Colorado resort town (ASPEN); 6A: Roman commoner (PLEB); 10A: Who blows thar? (SHE); 14A: Talks deliriously (RAVES); 16A: Witch's specialty (HEX); 20A: Floor model (DEMO); 21A: __ alcohol: fusel oil component (AMYL); 22A: Shakespearean feet (IAMBS); 24A: Ceremonial act (RITE); 26A: Kissers (YAPS); 35A: Horror filmmaker Roth (ELI); 36A: James Brown's genre (SOUL); 37A: Allow (ENABLE); 40A: Tit for __ (TAT); 42A: Starting line advantage (POLE); 43A: Puccini works (OPERAS); 46A: Wilson's predecessor (TAFT); 49A: Actress Ullmann (LIV); 53A: "The fool __ think he is wise ...": "As You Like It" (DOTH); 58A: Ireland, poetically (ERIN); 60A: Ale feature (HEAD); 64A: Ace's value, at times (ONE); 68A: Beverage suffix (-ADE); 69A: Barracks VIP (SARGE); 70A: Rubber duck-loving Muppet (ERNIE); 71A: Short flight (HOP); 72A: Tints (DYES); 73A: They must be met (NEEDS); 1D: Between the sheets (ABED); 2D: Exclusive (SOLE); 3D: Housman work (POEM); 4D: "More!" ("ENCORE!"); 5D: Bottom line (NET); 6D: Butcher's best (PRIME CUT); 7D: Like some negligees (LACY); 9D: Buzzer (BEE); 10D: Ersatz (SHAM); 11D: Basil or chervil (HERB); 15D: Add sneakily (SLIP IN); 18D: Sine or cosine (RATIO); 23D: See 25-Down (A SNAP); 25D: With 23-Down, "Duck soup!" (IT'S); 27D: Census datum (AGE); 28D: Italian port (GENOA); 29D: Sneak off to the altar (ELOPE); 30D: Compound in some explosives (NITER); 31D: Enrapture (ELATE); 32D: Where Christ stopped, in a Levi title (EBOLI); 33D: Hudson River's __ Island (ELLIS); 34D: "Still Me" autobiographer (REEVE); 39D: Wear down (ERODE); 41D: Unpopular legislative decisions (TAX HIKES); 45D: Take a load off (SIT); 47D: Épéeist's ruse (FEINT); 48D: Shot (TRY); 51D: Heartening (CHEERY); 52D: Stick together (COHERE); 55D: Ararat lander (NOAH); 56D: Edit menu command (UNDO); 57D: Don't let go (KEEP); 59D: Fashion (RAGE); 61D: Mozart's "__ kleine Nachtmusik" (EINE); 62D: Alkali neutralizer (ACID); 63D: They're barely passing (DEES); 66D: "Far out!" ("RAD!"); 67D: Barnyard bird (HEN).