Theme: In a Rush — Theme answers are familiar phrases that start with a word meaning "fast."
- 17A: It may be drawn without thinking (HASTY CONCLUSION).
- 22A: Sylvester Pussycat nemesis (SPEEDY GONZALES).
- 38A: Dubious diet ad promise (RAPID WEIGHT LOSS).
- 51A: Mentally agile (QUICK ON THE DRAW).
- 59A: First out of the gate, and what 17-, 22-, 38- and 51-Across all get (OFF TO A FAST START).
I'm obviously a little rusty on the crossword stuff. For the first theme answer I threw in "HAPPY" CONCLUSION, thinking it sounded a little off but letting it go. It wasn't until I got to the theme reveal that I really questioned it. "HAPPY? How does that mean fast?" and checked the crosses. And when I checked the crosses I was super excited to find … HUSH PUPPY (3D: Item in a fried side with catfish)! I had hush puppies for the first time Sunday night. I know! How have a lived this long without those delectable balls of fried goodness?!?
- 14A: Nobleman's mistress (COURTESAN). Great word.
- 16A: Artist Neiman (LEROY). Forever confused in my mind with Leonard Nimoy.
- 42A: Record needles (STYLI). I haven't finished reading all the comments from the last couple days, but I believe we have now solved a mystery. Wasn't this clue mistakenly printed in Monday's puzzle?
- 48A: Powder parter (SKI). Read this as "powder partNer" and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
- 5D: Delt neighbor (PEC). Muscles!
- 7D: Co. that has sponsored many soaps (P AND G). Procter & Gamble. See also 27D: Ivory units? (BARS).
- 31D: The purple one is New Hampshire's state flower (LILAC). I didn't realize there were non-purple LILACs.
- 33D: Fire preceder? (AIM). As in the phrase "Ready, aim, fire."
- 54D: Big name in air conditioning (TRANE). Not big enough for me to have heard of it.
- 61D: "So that's your game!" ("OHO!"). This little guy always makes me think of Sherlock Holmes. I'm reading a great book right now about Sherlock Holmes and his mentoring relationship with a young girl. The Beekeeper's Apprentice. Recommended.
- 65D: Three times, in Rx's (TER). Let's try not to talk about this all day. There always seems to be a lot of controversy over these "medical" abbreviations. I don't know enough about it to have an opinion and don't care enough about it to form one.
- 1A: Turkish title (AGHA).
- 28A: Paul's "Exodus" role (ARI).
- 29A: MGM co-founder (LOEW).
- 50A: Asian occasion (TET).
- 57A: Long-jawed fish (GAR).
- 58A: ICU test (EEG).
- 68A: Poet's Muse (ERATO).
- 1D: German cry (ACH).
Everything Else — 5A: Kind of appetizer platter (PUPU); 9A: Refs throw them (FLAGS); 19A: In the know (HIP); 20A: Buck's partner (DOE); 21A: Emergency PC key (ESC); 27A: A/C unit (BTU); 30A: Fridge or freezer: Abbr. (APPL.); 32A: Pollution-policing org. (EPA); 34A: Fountain orders (SODAS); 43A: Response of feigned innocence ("MOI?"); 44A: Spill the beans (SING); 45A: Con (ANTI); 56A: Network absorbed by The CW (UPN); 66A: Synagogue scroll (TORAH); 67A: First felony conviction, in some states (ONE STRIKE); 69A: Certain squad member (GEEK); 70A: "__ off?" (ON OR); 2D: ___ few rounds (GO A); 4D: "The Sopranos" chef Bucco (ARTIE); 6D: GI entertainers (USO); 8D: Not 19-Across (UNCOOL); 9D: __ shot (FLU); 10D: Guitarist Paul (LES); 11D: The Little Mermaid (ARIEL); 12D: Ninny (GOOSE); 13D: Matches audio to video, say (SYNCS); 15D: Aggressive sort (TYPE A); 18D: He preceded and followed O'Brien (LENO); 22D: March VIP (ST. PAT); 23D: Attracted (DREW); 24D: "Holy Toledo!" ("YIPE!"); 25D: Energy (ZEST); 26D: Mil. truants (AWOL'S); 35D: "Encore!" ("DO IT AGAIN!"); 36D: Good __: repaired (AS NEW); 37D: USMC rank (SSGT); 39D: Drop shot, in tennis (DINK); 40D: "No kidding!" ("GOSH!"); 41D: Increase (HIKE); 46D: Frat party attire (TOGA); 47D: Dazed (IN A FOG); 49D: Latin clarifier (ID EST); 51D: Bit of term paper color (QUOTE); 52D: Enthusiastic about (UP FOR); 53D: Prefix with structure (INFRA-); 55D: In once more (RETRO); 60D: Sylvester, to Tweety (TAT); 62D: "What'd I tell ya?" ("SEE?"); 63D: "That wasn't nice!" ("TSK!"); 64D: Early MGM rival (RKO).