THEME: No theme today—It's a themeless puzzle, just like every other Saturday.
I don't know how long I spent on this puzzle because I did it off the clock, on paper. I had a few trouble spots and hit the skids in two adjacent squares, so maybe it's a little harder than usual. Or maybe I just wasn't focusing. I finished in the southwest quadrant and figured 37A needed fixing. For 37D, BOUNCES worked for [Bumps along], and for 38D, I had ONSHORE for [Close to the coast]. These made 37A: [Deceptive lingo] into BOVETALK. Bove talk! Clearly wrong. (As was the suitable FAST TALK, which I started with until the crossings said no, no, no.) So I changed it to JIVE TALK with JOUNCES and INSHORE, the latter of which I swear I have never seen before.
Other potential trouble spots:
- 1A. [Reacted with embarrassment, maybe] clues GIGGLED, but my first thought was BLUSHED, crossings be damned. Undamn the crossings and let them lead you to the right answer.
- 8A. [Moderate pace] is JOG TROT. That's a term? For equestrians, yes.
- 26A. So I guess I should read Othello, huh? IAGO is clued with a line: ["So will I ... make the net / That shall enmesh them all" speaker].
- 48A. [Court org.]…oh, you can't fool me! I know it's about sports and not the judicial system. WNBA? Alas, no. It's the tennis court and USTA.
- 51A. For [They can get high], I suspected SOTS but was pleased when the answer turned out to be SEAS. SOTS is a mostly-in-crosswords word.
- 52A. [FDR home loan gp.] is NHA. Say what now? FDR-era initialisms are not my strong suit.
- 56A. To [Make notes?] is to COMPOSE music. Good misdirection here.
- 60A. Did you know ERITREA, Ethiopia's neighbor, was an [Italian colony from 1890 to 1941]? Apparently I did not.
- 61A: [Frenzied fits] clues the odd plural DELIRIA. Can I get a ruling on this? Is there ever a need to pluralize "delirium"?
- 6D. The [Activist who said "You can kill a man but you can't kill an idea"] is Medgar EVERS. Did you recognize the quote?
- 13D. I sure didn't know this. ORANGEY was the [Aptly named red tabby who played Cat in "Breakfast at Tiffany's"].
- 14D. [Police radio lingo] cues TENCODE or TEN CODE. Never heard of this term before. As in "10-4"?
- 39D. [A, B or C, e.g.] looks like multiple choice to me, but this is the clue for VITAMIN. Good one.
- 42D. Do you know anyone who would say "IN A STIR" for [Upset]? I'm pretty sure I don't.
- 50D. [Raeburn van __, cartoonist who drew "Abbie an' Slats"] clues BUREN. Martin or Abigail van ___ would be too easy, but…"Abbie an' Slats"??
- 25A. [Nearly a billion people live in them] is the clue for SLUMS. I like it when a crossword educates me about the world, though it can be depressing at times.
- 53A. FALL DUE means [Become payable] and it feels like completely natural language.
- 8D. [Many ad circulars] are indeed JUNK MAIL. Fabulous fill!
- 21D. A [Knucklehead] is a NUMBSKULL. Also a colorful entry. (The B is optional, as "numskull" is also correct.)
- 34D. [Sewer's target] is a RIP. Sewer = one who sews, not a municipal wastewater drainage system.
- 36D. All right, sound the ALL CLEAR, or [Safe call].
- 41D. THE WIRE is a great entry if clued as the TV series (…which I have never seen). Clued this way, as [Deadline, metaphorically], the phrase feels naked. It yearns desperately to be part of "down to the wire."
- 43D. ["A cinch"] = NO SWEAT. Yep, idiomatically on target.
- 49D. [Public promenade] is a PASEO. Thank you, conferences set in San Antonio, for teaching me this word. S.A. has its famed Paseo del Rio alongside the concrete-edged river.
Everything Else — 1A: Reacted with embarrassment, maybe (GIGGLED); 8A: Moderate pace (JOG TROT); 15A: Legally gone (ON LEAVE); 16A: Ignorant (UNAWARE); 17A: Spenserian beings (FAERIES); 18A: Sparks resident (NEVADAN); 19A: __ pro nobis (ORA); 20A: Fry corrugation (CRINKLE); 22A: Company abbr. (INC.); 23A: Undersized one (RUNT); 25A: Nearly a billion people live in them (SLUMS); 26A: "So will I ... make the net / That shall enmesh them all" speaker (IAGO); 27A: Rhone tributary (ISERE); 29A: Janeane's co-star in "The Truth About Cats and Dogs" (UMA); 30A: Asked for a hand? (ANTED); 31A: Excite (THRILL); 33A: Seen from above, as a view (BIRD'S-EYE); 35A: In person (BIG AS LIFE); 37A: Deceptive lingo (JIVE TALK); 40A: Carbohydrate used in jellies (PECTIN); 44A: Chilled (ON ICE); 45A: Abner's radio partner (LUM); 47A: Prefix with graphic (ETHNO-); 48A: Court org. (USTA); 49A: Techies' campus hangout (PC LAB); 51A: They can get high (SEAS); 52A: FDR home loan gp. (NHA); 53A: Become payable (FALL DUE); 55A: Austin-to-Del Rio dir. (WSW); 56A: Make notes? (COMPOSE); 58A: Scholarly (ERUDITE); 60A: Italian colony from 1890 to 1941 (ERITREA); 61A: Frenzied fits (DELIRIA); 62A: Chamber group member? (SENATOR); 63A: Watching carefully (ON ALERT); 1D: "Don't miss this chance" ("GO FOR IT"); 2D: Hurrying along (IN A RUSH); 3D: Information gatherer (GLEANER); 4D: Where BMW was born (GER.); 5D: Worldly (LAIC); 6D: Activist who said "You can kill a man but you can't kill an idea" (EVERS); 7D: First "Mission: Impossible" TV production company (DESILU); 8D: Many ad circulars (JUNK MAIL); 9D: Law school newcomers (ONE-LS); 10D: Yielded (GAVE); 11D: Old carrier (TWA); 12D: Project, as cheer (RADIATE); 13D: Aptly named red tabby who played Cat in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (ORANGEY); 14D: Police radio lingo (TENCODE); 21D: Knucklehead (NUMBSKULL); 24D: Manhattan district (TRIBECA); 26D: Spray targets (INSECTS); 28D: Cream of the crop (ELITE); 30D: Magazine revenue item (AD FEE); 32D: Airport on Flushing Bay, briefly (LGA); 34D: Sewer's target (RIP); 36D: Safe call (ALL CLEAR); 37D: Bumps along (JOUNCES); 38D: Close to the coast (IN SHORE); 39D: A, B or C, e.g. (VITAMIN); 41D: Deadline, metaphorically (THE WIRE); 42D: Upset (IN A STIR); 43D: "A cinch" (NO SWEAT); 46D: Managed (MADE DO); 49D: Public promenade (PASEO); 50D: Raeburn van __, cartoonist who drew "Abbie an' Slats" (BUREN); 53D: Defense structure (FORT); 54D: "The Long, Hot Summer" vixen __ Varner (EULA); 57D: Class action gp.? (PTA); 59D: "Rugrats" infant (DIL).