- 20A: Information disparity in a social system (KNOWLEDGE GAP).
- 32A: Ready-made graphics for frames (CLIP ART BORDERS).
- 40A: Standard cooking supplies (KITCHEN STAPLES).
- 56A: Skeet challenge (MOVING TARGET).
- 45A / 66A: Each of this puzzle's four longest answers ends in one (RETAIL / STORE).
I've never been much of a Gap Girl — although I do like to by clothes for the PuzzleKids there — but the other three stores? Well, let's just say I could spend all my money at any one of them at any time. Books, office supplies, and … Target? Yes! I actually have a soft spot in my heart for Target because that's where I had my first job. Little ol' Target Store #61 in Fargo, North Dakota. That was, like, a hundred years ago. Back when we didn't have those cushy scanners. No, we had to type the numbers into the register! Those were the good old days. Now you kids get off my lawn!
So, yeah, I like the theme. Not crazy about the two middle theme answers though. They don't really seem like stand-alone phrases to me. Well, maybe KITCHEN STAPLES is but I just don't know it because I've never really been much into the whole kitchen thing. And, yes, I know what CLIP ART BORDERS are. I just don't think the phrase is in-the-language. At least not enough to be a theme answer.
The fill in this puzzle was easy-peasy. I paused at IDOL (31D: Pop star) because I thought it might be icon. And with the (first) GO in place, I wanted 22D: Like disco dancers to be gold. (Y'all remember the Solid Gold Dancers?) Other than that, it was pretty much non-stop solving. Sometimes that's not what I'm looking for, but today it felt just fine.
Crosswordese 101: This feels a little more like Crosswordese 301, but you guys are ready for an advanced lesson, right? Today I'm going to show you how to recognize a clue for STELE. It's actually very simple. Take one word from Group A and one word from Group B. Ta-da!
A: inscribed, engraved, stone, commemorative
B: marker, pillar, monument, slab
Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
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Everything Else — 1A: Smoocher's smoochers (LIPS); 5A: Course with fractions (MATH); 9A: Russian country home (DACHA); 14A: Short race distance, for short (ONE K); 15A: Peek or bug ending (-ABOO); 16A: Moral principle (ETHIC); 17A: Birthday treat (CAKE); 18A: Mannerly man (GENT); 19A: "Here Come the __": 1945 college comedy (CO-EDS); 23A: Greets and seats (SEES IN); 24A: Piggy bank opening (SLOT); 25A: Calif.'s second-busiest airport (SFO); 28A: Office conf. (MTG.); 30A: Clapton's strings (GUITAR); 37A: Small songbird (WREN); 38A: Actress Lupino (IDA); 46A: NBC weekend revue (SNL); 47A: Ltr. afterthoughts (PSS); 48A: Docs prescribe them (MEDS); 51A: Coffee orders (DECAFS); 58A: Can't stomach (ABHOR); 61A: Wordsmith Webster (NOAH); 62A: Field of expertise (AREA); 63A: Mouthed on-field greeting (HI MOM); 65A: Painful skin ridge (WELT); 67A: College leader (DEAN); 68A: Not as much (LESS); 1D: Security devices (LOCKS); 2D: Absurd (INANE); 3D: Orange __ tea (PEKOE); 4D: Distorts, as data (SKEWS); 5D: Purplish hue (MAGENTA); 6D: Still in the sack (ABED); 7D: Salad servers (TONGS); 8D: The Waldorf, e.g. (HOTEL); 9D: Central Illinois city (DECATUR); 10D: Situated on (ATOP); 11D: Revolutionary Guevara (CHE); 12D: Stayed out of sight (HID); 13D: Their capacity is measured in BTUs (ACS); 21D: Flaccid (LIMP); 25D: Inscribed pillar (STELE); 26D: Taxi charges (FARES); 27D: Estimate phrase (OR SO); 29D: Broad smile (GRIN); 32D: Reacts to a tearjerker (CRIES); 33D: Baltic natives (LETTS); 34D: Cuzco empire builder (INCA); 35D: NFL six-pointers (TDS); 36D: Dugout equipment (BATS); 37D: Sitcom radio station (WKRP); 41D: Boyfriend-to-girlfriend "You have to choose!" ("HIM OR ME!"); 42D: Mountain ht. (ELEV.); 43D: "Here's what happened next ..." ("AND THEN …"); 44D: Courtroom response (PLEA); 49D: Ate a formal meal (DINED); 50D: Sleeper's sound (SNORE); 52D: Move on all fours (CRAWL); 53D: See eye to eye (AGREE); 54D: Has a hunch (FEELS); 55D: ERA and RBI (STATS); 56D: Drop anchor (MOOR); 57D: Red-carpet event (GALA); 58D: Satisfied sounds (AHS); 59D: Small piece (BIT); 60D: Patient care gp. (HMO).