- 1A: *Hip-hopper who married Beyoncé (German) (JAY-Z).
- 20A: *Old stories (English) (YESTERDAY'S NEWS).
- 28A: *Inferred cosmic substance (Russian) (DARK MATTER).
- 44A: *Séance device (French) (OUIJA BOARD).
- 51A: *Fatal problem in Genesis (Spanish) (SIBLING RIVALRY).
- 66A: Parliamentary votes, or what appears at the starts of the answers to starred clues (YEAS).
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Did any of you have the same reaction I did when you first started this puzzle? "What the heck is German about JAY-Z?!" That was enough to send me looking for the theme (I don't always do that) and it turned out to be a big help.
- 10A: Delhi wrap (SARI). I always get tricked by this clue. I always think they're talking about the sandwich-type wrap, which is weird because I've always thought the whole "wrap" thing sounded pretentious so I don't know why I think about it so much.
- 16A: Green Zone site (IRAQ). I misread this clue as "Green Zone SIGHT" and thought IRAQ was a really bad answer. (It is, however, a prefectly fine answer for the actual clue.)
- 19A: Things you saw while out? (LOGS). I got it right away that "out" was referring to sleep, but I thought the answer would be "dreams," which obviously didn't fit. It didn't occur to me that there might be two tricky words in the clue!
- 33A: Mythological ride (CARPET).
- 35A: Derisive cry (YAH). Not sure in what context this "cry" would be used derisively. Making fun of the accents in "Fargo"?
- 42A: Body art, in slang (TAT). I'm glad we're able to clue TAT as TATtoos now, instead of relying on the old "making lace" definition.
- 49A: "Dagnabit!" ("RATS!"). Excellent exclamations.
- 58A: Colombia neighbor (PERU). And you know what country is also a neighbor of PERU? That's right ... CHI-CHI-CHI! LE-LE-LE!
- 61A: Animal shelter (LAIR). When I see the word LAIR I always picture a cave in my mind. And I don't think there's any way I'll ever picture a cave again without thinking about those miners. I have a feeling we're going to be seeing a lot of those guys over the next several days and weeks. (As Andy Borowitz tweeted yesterday morning: "Post-traumatic experts say it could be days before the Chilean miners appear on Dancing with the Stars.")
- 7D: Org. with rovers (NASA). I wanted this to be about dogs.
- 9D: Handel bars? (MESSIAH). Cute clue.
- 10D: '20s White House nickname (SILENT CAL). Calvin Coolidge. Not real wordy as far as presidents go.
- 31D: Actress Durance who plays Lois on "Smallville" (ERICA). This seems obscure to me. Has she been in anything else?
- 37D: TV princess (XENA). Hi, Doug.
Everything Else — 5A: Sturdy fabric (DENIM); 15A: Like sandalwood leaves (OVATE); 17A: Gets into (DONS); 23A: "Paris, je t'__": 2006 film (AIME); 24A: Charged particle (ION); 25A: Nashville awards gp. (CMA); 36A: Pivotal part (CRUX); 38A: Bug, perhaps (ERROR); 39A: Hottie (FOX); 40A: Easternmost state (MAINE); 41A: "Don't touch that __!" (DIAL); 43A: High-speed raptor (FALCON); 47A: Former World No. 1 tennis player Ivanovic (ANA); 48A: With 6-Down, one in fear of an audit (TAX); 59A: Funnel-shaped (CONED); 60A: Architect Mies van der __ (ROHE); 62A: Gather (AMASS); 63A: Intuited (KNEW); 64A: About (OR SO); 65A: Greet respectfully (BOW TO); 1D: Kids' author Blume (JUDY); 2D: Succulent plant (ALOE); 3D: Dieters may fight them (YENS); 4D: Keebler cracker (ZESTA); 5D: Pushover (DOORMAT); 6D: See 48-Across (EVADER); 8D: __-bitty (ITTY); 11D: ... ducks in __ (A ROW); 12D: Poverty, in metaphor (RAGS); 13D: Brightness nos. (IQ'S); 21D: Down source (EIDER); 22D: "Kidding!" ("NOT!"); 25D: Included in the e-mail chain (CC'ED); 26D: Video game plumber (MARIO); 27D: Pianist Claudio (ARRAU); 29D: Honshu city (KYOTO); 30D: Top limit (MAX); 32D: Bad sentence (RUN-ON); 34D: Former Kremlin policymaker (POLITBURO); 39D: Terrif (FAB); 40D: Former sketch comedy that used Don Martin cartoons (MAD TV); 42D: Hailed ride (TAXICAB); 43D: "I wish 'twere otherwise" ("'FRAID SO"); 45D: Airline to 29-Down (JAL); 46D: Slap the cuffs on (ARREST); 50D: Like a biting remark, in British slang (SARKY); 51D: Burn slightly (SEAR); 52D: Novelist Murdoch (IRIS); 53D: Pitcher Hideo (NOMO); 54D: Chew (GNAW); 55D: Unaccompanied (LONE); 56D: Flightless bird (RHEA); 57D: Trees used to make longbows (YEWS); 58D: Abbas's gp. (PLO).