- 18A: Presidential putdown? (GRANT SLAM). [grand slam]
- 23A: Presidential advisers? (MADISON CABINET). [medicine cabinet]
- 32A: Presidential ATM sign? (FORD DEPOSIT ONLY). [for deposit only]
- 48A: Presidential university? (COOLIDGE CAMPUS). [college campus]
- 53A: Presidential belt-tightening? (NIXON CUTS). [nicks and cuts]
I guess the puns are okay if you like puns. The only one that really gave me a chuckle was COOLIDGE CAMPUS, but I'm not a big pun fan in general. The fill? Lots of abbreviations, suffixes, and other three-letter words. Nothing particularly sparkly except maybe GOOD DEEDS, BONIER, and I'M OKAY and the Sparkle-Meter isn't exactly jumping for joy with those. All in all a puzzle that's way too easy for a Friday with an okay theme that wasn't a complete waste of time to solve.
- 6A: "Pronto!" (ASAP). Ran into a little trouble here because with ***EN in place, I tried yesterday's VIXEN for 7D: Femme fatale, but it needed to be SIREN. That V did not help at all. Obviously.
- 20A: 1926 channel swimmer (EDERLE). When I first started solving puzzles
compulsi–on a regular basis, Gertrude EDERLE showed up in the puzzle a lot. It's been a while though, so I needed some crosses today.
- 30A: People person? (CELEB). The question mark gives you a hint something fishy is going on. In this case, the word "People" is a reference to the magazine. I caught onto the trick right away, but wanted the answer to be EDITOR. Which it wasn't.
- 52A: Title subject of a G.B. Shaw play (ST. JOAN). I clicked on over to Wikipedia to find out the title of this play so I could share it with you and guess what. The title is "St. Joan." Huh.
- 59A: Prefix with "Language" in a 1993 comedy best-seller (SEIN-).
- 60A: Gaston's god (DIEU). The name used in the clue is French, which hints at the fact that the answer will also be French. French!
- 63A: U. of Maryland athlete (TERP). Fear the Turtle! Maryland's mascot is the terrapin. The abbreviation "U." in the clue is a hint that the answer will also be a shortened form.
- 10D: Mubarak of Egypt (HOSNI). Timely. I would have needed crosses for this one a month ago.
- 19D: Typewriter feature (TAB SET).
- 36D: Like some workers in an open shop (NON-UNION). Also timely, given the events in Wisconsin this week.
- 49D: Interpol headquarters (LYONS). I did not know that.
- 27A: Trains on supports (ELS).
- 28A: "Discreet Music" composer (ENO).
- 29A: Movie beekeeper (ULEE).
- 62A: Scraps (ORTS).
- 64A: Streisand title role (YENTL).
- 1D: Turkish honorific (AGA).
- 24D: Psychic couple? (CEES).
- 50D: Glyceride, e.g. (ESTER).
Everything Else — 10A: Party person (HOST); 14A: Paganini's birthplace (GENOA); 15A: One of an historic seagoing trio (NIÑA); 16A: Not deceived by (ONTO); 17A: Los __: city near San Jose (ALTOS); 22A: Bernardo's girl in "West Side Story" (ANITA); 26A: Trademark cousins (PATENTS); 39A: "Contact" author (SAGAN); 40A: "Uh-uh" ("NOPE"); 41A: Ex-Saudi ruler __ Saud (IBN); 44A: Managed (RAN); 45A: Onetime California gubernatorial candidate Huffington (ARIANNA); 51A: Biblical words before and after "for" (AN EYE); 56A: Blitz attachment (-KRIEG); 61A: Perform penance (ATONE); 2D: Wilmington's st. (DEL.); 3D: Lover of armies? (ANTEATER); 4D: Acts of kindness (GOOD DEEDS); 5D: Enter cautiously (EASE IN); 6D: Americans in Paris, e.g. (ANGLOS); 8D: Book collector's suffix (-ANA); 9D: Put down in writing? (PAN); 11D: Surfing without a board, maybe (ONLINE); 12D: New York's __ Island (STATEN); 13D: T in a sandwich (TOMATO); 21D: Queue after Q (R-S-T); 23D: Opposite of bueno (MALO); 25D: "That's __ ask" (ALL I); 26D: Sta-__: fabric softener (PUF); 30D: Hoodwink (CON); 31D: Ruling family name in 19th-century Europe (BONAPARTE); 33D: Connecticut coastal town near Stamford (DARIEN); 34D: "Yikes!" ("EGAD!"); 35D: Qualm (PANG); 37D: HMO employees (LPN'S); 38D: Thumbs-up vote (YEA); 41D: Response to a doubting Thomas (I CAN SO); 42D: More scrawny (BONIER); 43D: Prohibitive door sign (NO EXIT); 45D: Misbehaves (ACTS UP); 46D: British rule in India (RAJ); 47D: Post-fall reassurance (I'M OKAY); 54D: Setting on the Mississippi: Abbr. (CDT); 55D: A lost driver may hang one, briefly (UIE); 57D: M.D.'s specialty (ENT); 58D: Styling stuff (GEL).