- 17A: *Stand firm (PUT ONE'S FOOT DOWN).
- 29A: *Find by chance (COME ACROSS).
- 37A: *Utility company network (POWER GRID).
- 49A: *1990s-2000s kids' show starring a pooch named for its color (BLUE'S CLUES).
- 64A: Where this grid's starred answers' ends have particular relevance (ON THE PUZZLE PAGE).
So let's talk about the puzzle, shall we? Over the last couple of days I've decided to try the method of looking for the reveal clue after I get the first theme answer and then seeing if I can figure out the rest. I've only been slightly successful with this strategy. Today I had to get two theme answers (the DOWN and ACROSS ones) before I knew what was going on and even then, I slapped CROSSWORD PUZZLE in where ON THE PUZZLE PAGE was supposed to go. Knowing what the theme was about did help me get POWER GRID, but I'm ashamed to admit that I totally blanked on BLUE'S CLUES. The pooch and the color? That's got Clifford the Big Red Dog written all over it for me. And my brain wouldn't budge until I had a bunch of crosses. Argh.
- 7A: Privately, to a lawyer (IN CAMERA). I don't know if I picked this up through osmosis from working for lawyers for so many years or if I learned it from a crime fiction book. Either way, I'll take it.
- 15A: Like some Egyptian churches (COPTIC). No idea.
- 35A: Pierre's peeper (OEIL). Have I ever told you about the print I have that's called "Trompe L'oeil"? Maybe I'll take a picture of it and post it here. It's pretty cool. And PuzzleKids and their friends love to snicker at it.
- 41A: Fig leaf's outer edges? (EFS). Two letter Fs are on the outer edges of the phrase "fig leaf."
- 45A: Surprise at the door (POP IN). This is one of two clues that totally tripped me up because I thought the answer would be a different part of speech. This one I thought was a noun. See also 69A: Tied (EVENED), which I thought would be an adjective.
- 54A: Gets free, as a smoke (BUMS). Had No Idea what this was getting at until I had half the letters in place. (It's about borrowing, i.e., bumming, a cigarette.)
- 62A: Conceive (IDEATE). Oh hey, there's our favorite word again.
- 71A: Ritual repasts (SEDERS). This also caused me a bit of trouble in the bottom of the grid. I tried FEASTS first.
- 7D: "This tape will self-destruct in five seconds" fictional spy org. (IMF). I assume this is from the "Mission: Impossible" television show/movies. … Yep, Impossible Missions Force. I vaguely remember the TV show from when I was a kid and I have seen the movies but I guess I didn't pay that much attention. Click the play button. You know you want to.
- 9D: Gloat (CROW). Oh yeah, I tried BRAG first.
- 13D: VCR's "Go back" (REW). Not, as the PuzzleKids like to say, "fast backward."
- 14D: Abby's twin (ANN). Ann Landers and Dear Abby. Have they been showing up in puzzles a lot lately? I've been chipping away at my backlog of puzzles so maybe it hasn't actually been recently.
- 40D: Follow closely (DOG). What an awesome clue for this common word!
- 46D: Compound used as a lab solvent (PENTANE). No idea.
- 64D: CIA predecessor (OSS). Yesterday at work we had a presentation by an FBI agent on the topic of "Economic Espionage." It was really cool. But there was one point where he was rattling off a string of acronyms and I so wanted him to say OSS. Since the specific case he was talking about was just prosecuted a couple years ago, I guess the OSS wasn't involved.
- 66D: The London Zoo has one (ZED). The phrase "The London Zoo" includes one letter Z which, in London, is pronounced zed.
- 67D: Ms. evaluators (EDS.). I'm used to seeing the abbreviation for manuscript as MS (both uppercase letters), but I must have seen it this way too because I got it pretty quickly.
Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
- 24A: 1871 Cairo premiere (AIDA).
- 18D: Bell-shaped lily (SEGO).
- 25D: British mil. honor (DSO).
- 30D: Data for a neurologist, briefly (EEG).
- 60D: Official gem of South Australia (OPAL).
Everything Else — 1A: The Bob Hope Classic component and others (PRO-AMS); 16A: Robin's band (MERRY MEN); 19A: Writer de Beauvoir (SIMONE); 20A: Amiable (SWEET); 21A: PIN requester (ATM); 22A: European capital (RIGA); 27A: Latin god (DEUS); 33A: Own up to (ADMIT); 36A: Eastern theater genre (NOH); 44A: iPod model (NANO); 55A: Flub (SLIP); 57A: Highest power? (NTH); 58A: One in a cast (ACTOR); 68A: Woo, in a way (SERENADE); 70A: Snuck up on, perhaps (STARTLED); 1D: Angel dust, briefly (PCP); 2D: Caused to get up (ROUSTED); 3D: Best (OPTIMUM); 4D: Unit quantified in a subscript (ATOM); 5D: Secondary (MINOR); 6D: Having lovely panoramas (SCENIC); 8D: Modernists (NEOS); 10D: Johnson of "Laugh-In" (ARTE); 11D: "Frankly, __ ..." (MY DEAR); 12D: Poker face's lack (EMOTION); 21D: Oklahoma city (ADA); 23D: Lovey-dovey (AMOROUS); 26D: Resilient wood (ASH); 28D: Nurse (SIP); 31D: Broadcast (AIR); 32D: Hair holder (CLIP); 34D: Loads (TONS); 38D: WWII female (WAC); 39D: It usually shows more detail: Abbr. (ENL.); 41D: Wane (EBB); 42D: Swine __ (FLU); 43D: Indonesian island (SUMATRA); 47D: Two, for one (INTEGER); 48D: "Never mind" ("NAH"); 50D: Artist known for spatial impossibilities (ESCHER); 51D: Part of QE2: Abbr. (ELIZ.); 52D: Walks like a crab (SIDLES); 56D: Irk (PEEVE); 59D: Big top, for one (TENT); 61D: Brusque (RUDE); 63D: Mimicked (APED); 65D: Safety device (NET).