Theme: In the Loop — Theme answers are two-word phrases with the initials CC.
- 17A: Cough cause (COMMON COLD).
- 27A: Courtside coverage (COLOR COMMENTARY).
- 41A: Captain's concern (COLLISION COURSE).
- 55A: Contract clone (whose abbreviation hints at this puzzle's theme) (CARBON COPY).
- 62A: Red Rose (PETE). Great clue for Charlie Hustle.
- 63A: More than chunky (OBESE). All I could think of was peanut butter. There's creamy and there's chunky and … there's something else?
- 12D: Loan shark (USURER). Have you been paying any attention to the "payday lenders'" opposition to financial reform? The guy who's leading the charge — arguing that the payday lender industry is too poor to be regulated — is absolutely and completely filthy rich. On one of his properties he even built himself a football stadium. And hosted a college football there! Really!
- 25D: Legendary female warrior (AMAZON). Also an online book retailer that I think might really take off one of these days.
- 36D: Multicountry union using the same currency (EUROZONE). Don't recall seeing this in a puzzle before.
- 55D: One with a beat (COP). And now, ladies and gentleman, your antidote to the Clash.
Crosswordese 101 round-up:
- 15A: Rod in a hot rod (AXLE).
- 20A: Ambient music pioneer Brian (ENO).
- 50D: Double-reed woodwind (OBOE).