- 17A: - (PEABRAIN).
- 28A: - (DINGBAT).
- 46A: - (AIRHEAD).
- 11D: - (NINCOMPOOP).
- 27D: - (SPACE CADET).
- 61A: Like five answers in this puzzle, literally and figuratively (CLUELESS).
There were only two things that I just flat-out didn't know:
- 37D: ___ Affair: 1798-1800 France/USA dispute (XYZ).
- 42D: Hindu meditation aid (MANDALA).
I was debating whether to admit this, but I've come this far without lying to you, so I guess I might as well. I couldn't finish this puzzle. Okay, that may not be entirely true. I probably could have finished the puzzle if I had shown a little more patience, but I didn't so I didn't. I haven't decided yet if the part that tripped me up is poorly constructed and/or clued or if my DNF was truly just a consequence of my giving up too soon. But I'm leaning toward the latter because I really like this puzzle and I'd hate for it to be ruined by an unforgivable area. Here's where the trouble started.
- 8A: They may be surrounded at parties (PIANOS). My first thought? Kegs.
- 24A: Retired New York senator Al D'__ (AMATO). Yesterday we saw Ed Koch and today Al D'AMATO. Both were in office when I lived in New York. Good times.
- 25A: Hi-__ (FIS). Tried "res" first and thought, "Well that's interesting that a 1980 DeLuise film has the same name as a 1969 Dustin Hoffman character."
- 49A: Place for flock members (PEW). I was way too focused on literal sheep here. Totally slipped my mind that a religious congregation can be referred to as a flock.
- 50A: "I __ your long lost pal": Paul Simon lyric (CAN BE). Oh sure, why not.
- 54A: Given, as custody (AWARDED). I tried "granted" first.
- 65A: Shell's shell, e.g. (LOGO). Cute clue. Shell Oil's logo is a … shell.
- 3D: Vintage R&B record label (STAX).
- 5D: Court star with the autobiography "Open" (AGASSI). Bought it for PuzzleDad sometime in the past year. Christmas? Father's Day? One of those two.
- 22A: Pitts of early cinema (ZASU).
- 39A: "Entourage" agent Gold (ARI).
- 66A: Aquarium denizens (TETRAS).
- 54D: Word in a basic Latin conjugation (AMAT).
Everything Else — 1A: "When I __ kid ..." (WAS A); 14A: Set up: Abbr. (ESTD.); 16A: Like a maelstrom (ASWIRL); 19A: Cash in Nashville (JOHNNY); 20A: Rolls to the gate (TAXIES); 21A: Colorful cats (CALICOS); 30A: Second degree? (MBA); 33A: In spades (AMPLY); 35A: It's usually four (PAR); 36A: Former 56-Across team (EXPOS); 38A: Cuisine that includes phanaeng (THAI); 40A: English walled city (YORK); 41A: Guard dog command (SIC 'EM); 43A: "__ be a pleasure!" (IT'D); 44A: O3 (OZONE); 45A: Unlock'd (OPE); 52A: Salon sound (SNIP); 56A: Baseball div. (N.L. EAST); 60A: Mel Gibson persona (MAD MAX); 63A: Ring of color (AREOLE); 64A: "Popeye" surname (OYL); 67A: "Bottle Rocket" director Anderson (WES); 68A: Colony workers (ANTS); 1D: Showed relief, in a way (WEPT); 2D: Deported? (ASEA); 4D: Madison Ave. symbolizes it (AD BIZ); 8D: Kind of party (PAJAMA); 9D: Get away from the others (ISOLATE); 10D: In the slightest (A WHIT); 12D: "Yes __?" (OR NO); 13D: Stallone and Stone (SLYS); 18D: Set (READY); 21D: Stand offerings (CAB RIDES); 23D: Odd, as a sock (UNPAIRED); 25D: 1980 DeLuise film (FATSO); 26D: "Can you dig it?" response (I'M HIP); 29D: "Wayne's World" co-host (GARTH); 31D: Shouldered (BORNE); 32D: Out of line (ASKEW); 34D: Golfer's concern (LIE); 44D: "Swan Lake" maiden (ODILE); 47D: Wild goats with recurved horns (IBEXES); 48D: Makes void (ANNULS); 51D: Gladiator's defense (ARMOR); 53D: Window-making giant (PELLA); 55D: Tupper ending (-WARE); 57D: Many millennia (AEON); 58D: Certain NCO (SSGT); 59D: General __ chicken (TSO'S); 61D: Tipping target, so it's said (COW); 62D: Drano component (LYE).