THEME: "World Leader Pretend"—Seven of the eight interlaced theme entries begin with words that can precede "world"
- 17a. [*Happy-go-lucky] means FREE AND EASY. The free world costs less than the expensive world.
- 26a. [*Scandal involving plumbers] is WATERGATE. Waterworld! This Kevin Costner movie presaged Costner's smartness with water-and-oil issues. He's come up with a technology that BP might need to use to clean up its horrible mess.
- 45a. [*Something to touch before getting home?] is THIRD BASE. I know the U.S. is part of the first world, and the third world consists of developing nations. So, what's the second world? And how many of you thought of making out rather than baseball when you got this answer? And if the latter, how come there's nothing for a girl to touch on a guy that constitutes each base?
- 5d. [*Genuine article] is the REAL MCCOY. Real world is generic and also MTV-specific: The Real World.
- 11d. [*Baseball fan's dream come true] is FANTASY CAMP. Are you living in a fantasy world? In my fantasy world, this answer related to fantasy baseball, and the WORLD ___ answer had to be WORLD SERIES, and baseball was hiding everywhere in this puzzle. Er, no.
- 25d. "I, the UNDERSIGNED," am a [*Letter writer, formally]. Do you prefer your underworld to be mob-related, vampire-related, or hell-related?
- 35d. [*Veterans] are OLD TIMERS, and the Old World is Europe, Africa, and Asia.
- 54a. Tying it all together, WORLD LEADER is a [Summit attendee, and what the first word can be in each answer to a starred clue].
A number of the 3s are abbreviations, but all familiar ones.
Eight more clues:
- 14a. Marvelous [Marvin of boxing]'s last name is HAGLER.
- 34a. [Koala kid] is a JOEY. I think I was completely guessing on that, but what do you know? It turned out to be right. Maybe I have heard it before.
- 59a. [Some people lie about theirs] clues AGE. Not me—I only lie about PuzzleGirl's age.
- 63a. [Exxon, once] was called ESSO. I am in no mood to see oil conglomerate names in the puzzle, people.
- 18d. [J&B alternative] clues DEWARS. I, for one, do not wish to hear an exposition on which brands of Scotch are the best. But I can tell you where to go for killer margaritas in Chicago! (Cesar's.)
- 22d. AGLEAM means [Shining]. This is part of the family of a- words that are encountered more often in crosswords than in the REAL WORLD. Agleam, abeam, agape, aslant, alee? Meh. But amok, awry, and akimbo rock.
- 33d. [Est founder Werner __] ERHARD always makes me think of that woman named Marilyn I babysat for when I was 12. She had Est things posted on her fridge, and I still don't understand. Props to Dan for using Est to clue ERHARD rather than using Werner Erhard to clue EST.
- 39d. [XCII x VI] is DLII. You know what I usually do with Roman numeral math clues? I multiply the end numbers to see what the answer will end with. 2 x 6 = 12, so the last two letters are II. I let the crossings fill in the rest.
Crosswordese 101: ALB! You may remember the ORALE, and now here's the related ALB, or 16a: [Priest's robe]. It may be clued as a priestly, liturgical, mass, or Vatican garment or vestment. Less often, it's clued as an abbreviation for Albania, such as [Tirana's country: Abbr.] or [Yugo. neighbor].
Everything Else — 1A: Hook-and-loop fastener (VELCRO); 7A: Masterpieces (GEMS); 11A: Lucrative (FAT); 14A: Marvin of boxing (HAGLER); 15A: Carbon compound (ENOL); 16A: Priest's robe (ALB); 17A: *Happy-go-lucky (FREE AND EASY); 19A: Sgt., for one (NCO); 20A: Natural emollient (ALOE); 21A: Use a crib for (CHEAT ON); 23A: __ und Drang (STURM); 26A: *Scandal involving plumbers (WATERGATE); 28A: Part of BYOB (OWN); 29A: Controversial 2000 election issue (CHADS); 31A: WWII transport (LST); 32A: Brandy cocktails (SIDECARS); 34A: Koala kid (JOEY); 36A: Oppressive (ONEROUS); 37A: Tightened, as shoes (RELACED); 40A: Actor John __-Davies (RHYS); 41A: It's undeliverable and unreturnable (DEAD MAIL); 42A: Civil War letters (CSA); 43A: "I __ born yesterday!" (WASN'T); 44A: Radiology staple, for short (MRI); 45A: *Something to touch before getting home? (THIRD BASE); 48A: Louvre Pyramid architect (I.M. PEI); 50A: #1 hit for the 4 Seasons (RAG DOLL); 51A: Appoint (NAME); 53A: Bed-and-breakfast (INN); 54A: Summit attendee, and what the first word can be in each answer to a starred clue (WORLD LEADER); 59A: Some people lie about theirs (AGE); 60A: Theater souvenir (STUB); 61A: Directions from the brass (ORDERS); 62A: Directed (LED); 63A: Exxon, once (ESSO); 64A: Home to online newsgroups (USENET); 1D: TV channels 2-13 (VHF); 2D: Pencil holder? (EAR); 3D: Bigger than med. (LGE.); 4D: Exonerate (CLEAR); 5D: *Genuine article (REAL MCCOY); 6D: "Yes __?" (OR NO); 7D: "How about that!" ("GEE!"); 8D: Passes (ENACTS); 9D: Israel's Dayan (MOSHE); 10D: More devious (SLYER); 11D: *Baseball fan's dream come true (FANTASY CAMP); 12D: "Little Women" author (ALCOTT); 13D: Steakhouse order (T-BONE); 18D: J&B alternative (DEWARS); 22D: Shining (AGLEAM); 23D: Ho-hum (SO-SO); 24D: Bed in old sitcoms (TWIN); 25D: *Letter writer, formally (UNDERSIGNED); 27D: Much spam (ADS); 30D: Fräulein's residence (HAUS); 33D: Est founder Werner __ (ERHARD); 34D: Composer Sibelius (JEAN); 35D: *Veterans (OLD-TIMERS); 37D: React to an e-mail error message, maybe (RESEND); 38D: The Auld Sod (EIRE); 39D: XCII x VI (DLII); 41D: Perp prosecutors (DAS); 42D: Adapt (CHANGE); 43D: Critter in a John Lennon title (WALRUS); 45D: Dry run (TRIAL); 46D: Look for water (DOWSE); 47D: Dries gently (BLOTS); 49D: Gettysburg general (MEADE); 52D: Baseball's Moises (ALOU); 55D: Wall St. deal (LBO); 56D: Barcalounger site (DEN); 57D: Prepositional palindrome (ERE); 58D: Queue after Q (RST).