- 17A: Top banana (HEAD HONCHO).
- 23A: Unstable situation, metaphorically (HOUSE OF CARDS).
- 37A: Huge mess (BALL OF CONFUSION).
- 45A: Gregarious fun lovers (PARTY ANIMALS).
- 58A: Valuable shore property, and a hint to what the first words of 17-, 23-, 37- and 45-Across have in common (BEACH FRONT).
- 6A: Zip (ZERO). I tried NADA first.
- 30A: Louise's gal pal (THELMA). This clue makes it sound like they're just a couple of everyday gals going out to the mall or something.
- 40A: "Danny and the Dinosaur" author Hoff (SYD). This clue for SYD is used more often in late-week puzzles. On Mondays and Tuesdays, we're usually treated to SYD Barrett.
- 43A: Blood fluids (SERA). Ew.
- 52A: Assumed name (ALIAS). I never got into this show. (Yes, I know the clue doesn't refer to the show, but that's where my brain took me.) I used to read television show recaps on a site called Mighty Big TV (now Television Without Pity) and the write-up for Alias's pilot episode made it sound so dumb that I couldn't really ever watch it again. ("She's a CIA agent! She's a college student! She's a CIA agent!")
- 63A: Sacher treat (TORTE). I've Ne-ever heard of this before, but it's kind of interesting.
- 10D: Kid's make-believe phone (TIN CAN). Last time I saw a tin can used as a phone was just the other day when Jon Stewart used one as a prop in the bit where he announced his Rally to Restore Sanity. (I'm so there.)
- 18D: Its flagship sch. is in Stillwater, west of Tulsa (OSU). Oklahoma State University. Their wrestling team holds the record for most national championships. But it's only a matter of time ….
- 23D: Oates's musical partner (HALL).
- 27D: One-horse carriage (SHAY). Have I ever mentioned how much I love the Nickelodeon kids' show "iCarly"? I have? Well, Carly's last name on that show is SHAY.
- 32D: Performers' union: Abbr. (AFTRA). American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
- 35D: Letter after theta (IOTA). Someday I'm going to memorize the Greek alphabet. And the Jewish months. And the European rivers.
- 1D: "High Hopes" lyricist Sammy (CAHN). A little surprised to see both Sammy CAHN and 38D: "Misery" actor James CAAN in the same grid.
- 49D: "Miracle on 34th Street" setting (MACY'S). Was just there today! I don't know if their customer service is getting better or if my standards are just getting lower. I used to hate going in there, but the last few times it hasn't been that bad. At least it's been a while since I got trapped in a fitting room because someone shoved two big rolling racks of clothes in front of the door and I had to scream until another customer helped me get out. I guess it's all uphill from there.
Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
- 15A: Country on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula (OMAN).
- 26A: Workplace inspection org. (OSHA).
- 2D: Top draft status (ONE-A).
- 9D: John __ Lennon (ONO).
- 50D: Rhine whine? (ACH).
- 56D: Editor's "leave it in" (STET).
- 60D: Future fish (ROE).
Everything Else — 1A: Briquettes (COALS); 10A: Country music pioneer Ernest (TUBB); 14A: "As a result ..." ("AND SO …"); 16A: Spot in the ocean (ISLE); 20A: '60s-'70s war site, briefly (NAM); 21A: "Now it makes sense!" ("I SEE!"); 22A: Cake finish (ICING); 29A: Comportment (MIEN); 33A: Buzzing swarmers (BEES); 34A: Performed (DID); 41A: Court postponement (STAY); 42A: Ancient Greek military power (SPARTA); 44A: Veggies studied by Mendel (PEAS); 53A: Defensive spray (MACE); 54A: Marx's "__ Kapital" (DAS); 57A: Thin curl of smoke (WISP); 61A: Third man (ABEL); 62A: High-strung (EDGY); 64A: Goodyear product (TIRE); 65A: Member's obligation (DUES); 66A: What matzo lacks (YEAST); 3D: Father of 61-Across (ADAM); 4D: '60s "trip" drug (LSD); 5D: Early gas company based in Cleveland (SOHIO); 6D: Districts (ZONES); 7D: Roast host (EMCEE); 8D: Bleachers cry (RAH); 11D: Carrier that added "ways" to its name in 1997 (USAIR); 12D: Duck hunter's cover (BLIND); 13D: Cold-water hazards (BERGS); 22D: Freezes over (ICES UP); 24D: Divine sign (OMEN); 25D: Feudal domains (FIEFS); 26D: Gambling parlors, briefly (OTB'S); 28D: Had in one's hands (HELD); 31D: Strolls (along) (MOSEYS); 33D: Tarzan's son (BOY); 34D: Awful (DIRE); 36D: Genetic info carriers (DNA'S); 39D: Easy targets (SAPS); 43D: Swingline fastener (STAPLE); 45D: Touch, cat-style (PAW AT); 46D: Accused's excuse (ALIBI); 47D: Choir platform (RISER); 48D: Likeness (IMAGE); 51D: Sandy Koufax or CC Sabathia (LEFTY); 54D: The first Mrs. Copperfield (DORA); 55D: Insects on farms (ANTS); 58D: B&B part (BED); 59D: College URL ending (EDU).