Theme: Anagrams! — The first words of the theme answers are all anagrams of one another.
- 17A: Demonstrates sincere intentions (ACTS IN GOOD FAITH).
- 28A: Wonderful thing, in old slang (CAT'S PAJAMAS).
- 46A: Jazzy vocal style (SCAT SINGING).
- 57A: Stereotypical movie epic feature (CAST OF THOUSANDS).
I had a little trouble getting started up in the NW corner. For [1A: Be in a funk] I plopped in pout and, a nano-second later, thought "Oh cr…ud, I bet it's sulk." So I checked the crosses, got the M, the O, and the E relatively easy and thought moue? I know that a moue (which I keep mistyping as mouse) is a sulky expression so I thought okay, that's close enough. Then I misspelled TAI as tae (20A: __ chi), so 3D: "Shake!" looked like this:
I often have a lot of trouble reading the down answers (especially if they're more than one word) and have to write them out on paper horizontally so I can make sense of them. Sometimes when I do that, I see that I was right all along, I just hadn't parsed it correctly in its vertical position. Today? Not so much. It all worked itself out in the end though, so I've got that going for me.
- 10A: Capital south of Quito (LIMA). I just saw Cali in a puzzle recently, so I entered that without really thinking. Crosses set me straight.
- 22A: Like much junkyard metal (RUSTY). Also, certain tin rooves.
- 25A: Capital replaced by Abuja (LAGOS). It's a good day to know your world capitals!
- 35A: Work with notes (OPUS). Work in this case is a noun.
- 37A: Cosby often wore one on his show (SWEATER). Now that's an awesome clue if I've ever seen one.
- 48A: Long __ (JOHNS). So often plural answers are less than ideal because they're words that are actually said in the plural so infrequently. And then there's Long JOHNS. Nicely done!
- 64A: Capital of Oman (RIAL). Tricky! In this case, we're not looking for the capital city, but rather the currency.
- 65A: Ricky portrayer (DESI). I just now noticed that there are an awful lot of names in this puzzle. I don't usually notice because I love names in my puzzle. But those of you who don't are probably a little miffed.
- 4D: Paper heads, briefly (EDS.). Short for editors, who "head" newspapers.
- 28D: Jai alai basket (CESTA). We covered this in CW101 waaay back in February.
- 32D: Last-ditch bet (ALL IN). I don't love this clue. For terrible poker payers such as myself, yes, ALL IN is a last-ditch bet. For actual competent poker players, it's a bet with a specific purpose.
- 33D: Old-time comic Arnold (STANG). Ouch! Never heard of this guy!
- 48D: Martial artist co-star of "The Forbidden Kingdom" (JET LI). I get a kick out of it when a person's whole name is in the grid. I'm trying to think of who else we've seen that way: Amy Tan, Al Gore, who else?
- 58D: __ end: cloth remnant (FAG). Ne-Ever heard this phrase. If this were my puzzle, I probably would have clued it as the slang term for cigarette somehow (with any luck, more cleverly than "Slang term for cigarette.")
Everything Else — 5A: 1979 sci-fi blockbuster (ALIEN); 15A: Gentle prod (NUDGE); 16A: "Trinity" novelist (URIS); 21A: At no time, to Bernhard (NIE); 23A: Assignment (TASK); 31A: Humanities degs. (MAS); 34A: Prefix with musicology (ETHNO-); 36A: Sea dog (SALT); 39A: Egg-cooking aid (SPATULA); 41A: Waterproof cover (TARP); 42A: "Zip-__-Doo-Dah" (A-DEE); 44A: Comic Cheech (MARIN); 45A: "Who __ You": 1978 album by The Who (ARE); 49A: Cause of reduced visibility (MIST); 50A: Draws back (SHIES); 53A: "In Treatment" network (HBO); 54A: Bustle (ADO); 62A: Either of a Monopoly pair: Abbr. (UTIL.); 63A: Informed (AWARE); 66A: Lose one's mind (GO MAD); 67A: Put on the canvas (KAYO); 1D: Aspiring MD's hurdle (MCAT); 2D: Black-and-white swimmer (ORCA); 3D: "Shake!" ("PUT IT THERE!"); 5D: Eight-time LPGA Player of the Year Sorenstam (ANNIKA); 6D: Downhill racer (LUGE); 7D: Words sealed with a kiss (I DO); 8D: Psyche part (EGO); 10D: Island bashes (LUAUS); 11D: It regulates the size of the pupil (IRIS); 12D: Specialized glove (MITT); 13D: Washed-out (ASHY); 18D: Joint that's jumping (IN SPOT); 19D: Bushy styles, for short (FROS); 24D: "I can do it with my eyes closed!" (A SNAP); 25D: Yorkie's perch (LAP); 26D: Tickles pink (AMUSES); 27D: [Horrors!] (GASP); 29D: Like Russia and Japan, for most of 1904-'05 (AT WAR); 30D: River crossed in Joshua (JORDAN); 31D: Senegal neighbor (MAURITANIA); 36D: Harts (STAGS); 38D: A pop (EACH); 40D: Prenatal tests, for short (AMNIOS); 43D: They're out of this world (ETS); 46D: Passable (SO-SO); 47D: Permeated (IMBUED); 50D: Gulf War missile (SCUD); 51D: Odium (HATE); 52D: Sister of Osiris (ISIS); 53D: "Hava Nagila" dance (HORA); 55D: Decisive '40s event (D-DAY); 56D: Nobel Institute site (OSLO); 59D: Thematic number on 61-Down (TWO); 60D: Scene stealer (HAM); 61D: Early craft (ARK).