- 18A: Temporary teacher's lot? (SUB PARKING).
- 23A: What it would have been if 10-Down went down? (ORIGINAL SINKING).
- 52A: Brusque words about strong coffee? (ESPRESSO BARKING).
- 61A: Actress Brenneman losing on purpose? (AMY TANKING).
- 71A: Board game demand, and hint to this puzzle's theme (KING ME).
The only other real trouble spot I found was the cross of SHAKE and KIROV (32D: Wooden shingle / 49A: Former name of the Mariinsky Ballet). I'm going to declare that this cross violates the Natick Principle. Perhaps Rex Parker will give us an official ruling in the comments. The Natick Principle states that: "If you include a proper noun in your grid that you cannot reasonably expect more than 1/4 of the solving public to have heard of, you must cross that noun with reasonably common words and phrases or very common names." The question, then, is whether we can reasonably expect more than 1/4 of the solving public to have heard of KIROV. I wouldn't be completely surprised if it's just something that I've never heard of, but I can tell you for sure that "wooden shingle" doesn't show up until the ninth definition of SHAKE in the dictionary I checked, so that definitely doesn't count as "reasonably common." I'll be interested to hear what you think about that cross!
Only a few other things I want to mention.
- 35A: Former sergeant, perhaps (EX-COP). I thought the answer here would be a rank above sergeant. Like, the sergeant got promoted so now he's a former sergeant.
- 46A: Pond papa (DRAKE). Can't see duck words without remember the bookstore manager I once had named Mallard.
- 48A: __ Arc, Arkansas (DES). No idea.
- 67A: Normal opening? (PARA-). Even though it's a prefix, I like this clue better than that other one that keeps showing up that I hate.
- 70A: It acquired Applebee's in 2007 (IHOP). I did not know that. A couple years ago my brother-in-law (now my former brother-in-law) was boycotting Applebee's. I asked him why and he said, "Because it sucks."
- 73A: Peter of reggae (TOSH). Saw him live. Must have been, what? A hundred years ago?
- 11D: VW hatchback (GTI). Didn't know this one either. Usually the car names sound vaguely familiar even if I don't know them off the top of my head. Not this one.
- 12D: Creator of Q and M (IAN). This is a James Bond reference. Ian Fleming, who created James Bond, also created the characters called Q and M. And, oh my God. You know that former brother-in-law I was talking about earlier? He had two cats named Q and M and I JUST NOW figured out that they were named after the James Bond characters. [[[headdesk]]]
- 21D: __ green (NILE). I don't know what this means.
- 29D: Punkies (GNATS). Wow there's an awful lot of stuff I've never heard of in this puzzle.
- 42D: Arctic predator (SKUA). We'll cover this when we get to Crosswordese 501.
Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
- 1A: Rhine tributary (RUHR).
- 14A: Sitcom redhead (OPIE).
- 22A: Where to kiss the Blarney Stone (EIRE).
- 32A: '60s activist gp. (SDS).
- 8D: Pong creator (ATARI).
- 28D: Shell layer (NACRE).
- 47D: French 101 verb (ÊTRE).
Everything Else — 5A: Word spoken while pointing, perhaps (HER); 8A: Slow tempo (ADAGIO); 15A: Stock ending? (-ADE); 16A: Sole sauce (TARTAR); 17A: Hosp. workers (LPN'S); 22A: Where to kiss the Blarney Stone (EIRE); 30A: Nat or Red (NLER); 31A: "The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom" author (ORMAN); 38A: Classic Callas role (TOSCA); 39A: "Very funny" ("HAHA"); 41A: Greenish blues (TEALS); 43A: Links sight (CART); 44A: Memorable mission (ALAMO); 50A: Fanatics (NUTS); 59A: Like an undeliverable pkg. (RETD.); 60A: Where to get down (EIDER); 68A: Hunts diligently (SCOURS); 69A: Date (SEE); 72A: Little shaver (TOT); 1D: Rich kid in "Nancy" comics (ROLLO); 2D: Berth place (UPPER); 3D: Language that gives us "cheetah" and "chutney" (HINDI); 5D: Holds (HAS); 6D: 13-Down relative (EDU); 7D: Rise up (REBEL); 9D: Are more than reluctant to (DARE NOT); 10D: Ararat arrival (ARK); 13D: 6-Down relative (ORG); 19D: Circle constants (PIS); 24D: "What happened __?" (NEXT); 25D: Bowed (ARCED); 26D: McDonald's founder (KROC); 27D: "When __ she comes to me with a thousand smiles": "Little Wing" lyric (I'M SAD); 33D: "The Sacrament of the Last Supper" and others (DALIS); 34D: Off-key, in a way (SHARP); 36D: Watercraft control (OAR); 37D: Alternate strategy (PLAN B); 40D: Cupid (AMOR); 45D: Like many a baseball pitch (OVERARM); 51D: "Never mind" ("SKIP IT"); 53D: Common quality? (SENSE); 54D: NYSE buy (STK.); 55D: Lyrical poet (ODIST); 56D: Only state that borders six states and Canada (IDAHO); 57D: __ Circus, where St. Peter was crucified (NERO'S); 58D: Plotting device (GRAPH); 61D: Quiz (ASK); 62D: Verizon subsidiary (MCI); 63D: That, old-style (YON); 64D: Harbor vessel (TUG); 65D: Revival prefix (NEO-); 66D: Fetch (GET).