Theme: Playing the Ponies — Theme answers are familiar phrases that begin with words for types of racetrack bets.
[Note: I've heard from several of you about the mistake in the grid. 7D should be ARCA and 18A should be VICE. I'm at work now and can't fix it, but I will as soon as I can. -- okay, fixed.]
- 20A: Cellarmaster's vessel (WINE DECANTER).
- 36A: Response to sugar pills, perhaps (PLACEBO EFFECT).
- 53A: It might have a massage setting (SHOWER NOZZLE).
- 64A/65A: What the starts of 20-, 36- and 53-Across are (TRACK / BETS).
- 5A: Wife of Jacob (LEAH). One day I'll do a CW101 lesson on Bible characters. I probably need it as much as you do.
- 15A: Down-home music venue, familiarly (OPRY). I'm pretty sure it was badly damaged in the recent flood. I believe many many guitars were lost. So sad.
- 29A: Wedding symbol (RING). I was just sharing this picture with a co-worker yesterday. I received it in an email from a friend about three years ago. The subject line of the email was "The last time I saw my wedding ring…." (yeah, that's her dog)
- 40A: Wiener schnitzel meat (VEAL). The things you learn.
- 3D: "Hand in My Pocket" singer Morissette (ALANIS). I remember when this song first came out I was driving across Texas and the DJ said something like, "Oh that Alanis Morissette. She's so confused." And I yelled at my radio "She's not confused! She's *conflicted*, you idiot!" Here, you decide. Who's with me?
- 40D: Biden and Bush: Abbr. (VP'S). Tricky! When I see "Bush" in a presidential context, I pretty much think of Bush 43. But this clue refers to Bush 41.
- 50D: Nerd (DWEEB). I resemble that remark!
- 57D: __ es Salaam (DAR). I do not know what this means.
Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
- 59A: Author Wiesel (ELIE).
- 66A: Past fast fliers: Abbr. (SST'S).
- 12D: Harem room (ODA).
- 52D: Poet Pound et al. (EZRAS).
Everything Else — 1A: Seize (GRAB); 9A: Center of Florida? (EPCOT); 14A: Move to a new city, briefly (RELO); 16A: Dutch cheese (GOUDA); 17A: The "Good Earth" heroine (O-LAN); 18A: Nasty habit (VICE); 19A: 20 Mule Team cleanser (BORAX); 23A: Small-screen heartthrob (TV IDOL); 24A: American or Continental (AIRLINE); 28A: Cock and bull (HES); 32A: In the warehouse (STORED); 33A: Like many wallets (BIFOLD); 35A: Farm females (SOWS); 41A: __-faire: tact (SAVOIR); 42A: Wan (PALLID); 45A: Inflection (TONE); 46A: Ukr. neighbor (RUS.); 49A: Finished, as a deck (STAINED); 51A: Imagined (DREAMT); 56A: Expand, as a collection (ADD TO); 60A: Colorful horse (ROAN); 61A: Lose one's cool (PANIC); 62A: Those, in Tijuana (ESOS); 63A: Mired, after "in" (A RUT); 1D: Investor's concern (GROWTH); 2D: Go through again (RELIVE); 4D: Like a fillet (BONED); 5D: Cosmo topic (LOVE LIFE); 6D: Grand in scope (EPIC); 7D: Medieval Spanish chest (ARCA); 8D: Shenzi or Banzai in "The Lion King" (HYENA); 9D: __ Sousé, W.C. Fields's "The Bank Dick" role (EGBERT); 10D: Bad sport (POOR LOSER); 11D: Mangy mutt (CUR); 13D: Penultimate line on most bills (TAX); 21D: Greek architectural order (DORIC); 22D: "My country __ of thee ..." ('TIS); 25D: __-Z: classic Camaro (IROC); 26D: Ex-Speaker Gingrich (NEWT); 27D: Mag masthead names (EDS.); 30D: Wealthy Londoners (NOBS); 31D: Be a bad sport (GLOAT); 33D: Irrational way to go (BALLISTIC); 34D: "Whip It" band (DEVO); 36D: Bog fuel (PEAT); 37D: Singer's syllables (LA LA); 38D: Affection (FONDNESS); 39D: '80s Pontiac (FIERO); 43D: At the pawn shop (IN HOCK); 44D: "Gloria in Excelsis __" (DEO); 46D: Five o'clock shadow removers (RAZORS); 47D: German diacritical (UMLAUT); 48D: Surgical blockage relievers (STENTS); 54D: Apart from this (ELSE); 55D: Urban uprising (RIOT); 56D: Liable (APT); 58D: Genetic letters (DNA).