Good morning and Happy Labor Day Weekend to y'all! Nice Barry Silk offering today. I'm a little surprised not to see what I usually think of as a tip-off that it's Barry's puzzle: references to (a) Philadelphia or (b) baseball. In any case, late start + busy day ahead = straight to bullets.
- 12A: Water potential symbol (PSI). PSI is a Greek letter that's used to represent water potential which, according to Wikipedia, "quantifies the tendency of water to move from one area to another due to osmosis, gravity, mechanical pressure, or matrix effects such as surface tension." Alright-y then.
- 18A: Manhattan liquor (RYE). Also a town in New York not far from Manhattan.
- 34A: Milk sources (TEATS). Wasn't expecting the answer to be quite so … specific.
- 36A: Stumblebums (LUMMOXES). Great word!
- 40A: Pocono and others (RACEWAYS). Got this one through crosses. I thought it was going to be something more like "resort."
- 43A: Virginie et Floride (ÉTATS). French spelling in the clue indicates French answer. As we learned earlier this week in the New York Times puzzle, ÉTATS is STATES spelled backwards!
- 47A: Sound heard very close to your ear (SNIP). Pair this with 2D: Buzz, e.g. (HAIRCUT) and you've got yourself a mini-theme.
- 51A: Spoke Abyssinian? (MEWED). I always think Abyssinian is referring to an ancient people but it's always referring to a cat.
- 66A: Cologne conjunction (UND). And in German (where Cologne is located).
- 68A: Orgs. with chiefs (PD'S). Police Departments.
- 1D: Item for a camp project (T-SHIRT). This would be an item needed for tie-dye day.
- 5D: Mr. Big's org. on "Get Smart" (KAOS). I guess I'm from a different generation. When I see "Mr. Big," I think "Sex and the City," not "Get Smart." Which is actually kind of bizarre since I've never seen "Sex and the City." I did enjoy Chris Noth on Law and Order though.
- 9D: USSR successor (CIS). The Commonwealth of Independent States was esablished upon dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1991.
- 12D: Seeming contradiction (PARADOX). My first thought was "oxymoron." At least I got the "ox" part right.
- 14D: Summer refreshers (ICE TEAS). Yes, it should be "iced." No, crossword puzzles don't care.
- 24D: Old-fashioned tightening tool (SKATE KEY).
- 26D: Historical Oder River region (SILESIA). Got this one through crosses. I wish there was room in my brain for more stuff.
- 35D: Places for sweaters? (SPAS). Get ready for three tricky clues in a row. In this one, "sweaters" means "people who sweat," not the item of clothing.
- 37D: Physics leader? (META-). META- is a prefix that can be placed in front of the word "physics," thus "leading" it.
- 39D: Fine and dandy: Abbr. (SYNS.). The N here was the last letter I entered into the grid. The cross was making sense to me with the N, but it took a while before I understood that the words "fine" and "dandy" are SYNonymS.
- 64D: SEAL's org. (USN). United States Navy.
Everything Else — 1A: Symbol of concentration (THINKING CAP); 15A: Noted pier site (SANTA MONICA); 16A: Org. offering the Canine Good Citizen program (AKC); 17A: Rap sheet notes? (HIP HOP MUSIC); 19A: Vexation-plus (IRE); 20A: Irish __ (SEA); 21A: Make potable, in a way (DESALT); 23A: Some phones (RCA'S); 25A: Emit coherent light (LASE); 28A: "Sexy" Beatles woman (SADIE); 29A: Folded parts (TUCKS); 31A: The south of France (MIDI); 33A: __ fide (BONA); 38A: Clearance level (TOP SECRET); 46A: Out of control (AMOK); 49A: Mexican waters (AGUAS); 53A: "Don't __ word!" (SAY A); 55A: -an counterpart (-ENNE); 56A: Hoped (PRAYED); 58A: Polish, say (RUB); 60A: Memorable time (ERA); 61A: Respectful title (SIR); 62A: Stock, usually (LIQUID ASSET); 67A: Calcium oxide (CAUSTIC LIME); 69A: Accepting personal responsibility (ON ONE'S HONOR); 3D: Good way to go (IN PEACE); 4D: High degree (NTH); 6D: Press forward (IMPEL); 7D: Polite turndown (NO MA'AM); 8D: Savanna sighting (GNU); 10D: Biting (ACID); 11D: Shows impatience, in a way (PACES); 13D: View when landing, perhaps (SKYLINE); 22D: Spy's doing (SABOTAGE); 27D: Cabinet dept. (EDUC.); 30D: Store (STOW); 32D: 2002 Literature Nobelist Kertész (IMRE); 40D: Increases sharply (RAMPS UP); 41D: Portmanteau word for a certain native (AMERIND); 42D: Each of them is "one who, in a perilous emergency, thinks with his legs": Bierce (COWARDS); 44D: Receives on the radio (TUNES IN); 45D: Italian Riviera resort (SAN REMO); 48D: Fool's gold (PYRITE); 50D: Two-__: tandem (SEATER); 52D: Car battery ignition system pioneer (DELCO); 54D: Q5 and Q7 (AUDIS); 57D: Anthropologist Fossey (DIAN); 59D: "The Well-Tempered Clavier" composer (BACH); 63D: Locus in __: the place in which (Lat.) (QUO); 65D: Pitch preceder (SLO-).