Theme: A Spot of T — The letter T is added as the second letter to words and phrases that begin with the letter S.
- 17A: "Oklahoma!" prop? (STAGE BRUSH).
- 21A: Time off spent with Rover? (STICK DAY).
- 34A: Undercover operations where agents can bring guests? (STING-ALONGS).
- 42A: Dance for louses? (STINKER BALL).
- 52A: Taser switch? (STUN DIAL).
- 61A: Fancy shoes for the campaign trail? (STUMP PUMPS).
My favorite grid entries include:
- 10A: Bloke (CHAP).
- 20A: Subject of a 2009 national tournament cheating scandal (SUDOKU). Great clue.
- 11D: Not easily topped (HARD TO BEAT).
- 45D: Mighty Dump Trucks, e.g. (TONKAS).
- 16A: Symbolic ring (HALO). Also an extremely violent video game.
- 28A: Fingers (ID'S). Tricky clue, in that I don't usually think of "fingers" as a verb.
- 56A: Mickey's "The Wrestler" co-star (MARISA). I haven't seen this movie, but I've heard it's good. I loved MARISA Tomei in "In the Bedroom" and, of course, "My Cousin Vinny."
- 65A: Lollipop, for one (SHIP). Wikipedia tells me that the "ship" in "On the Good Ship Lollipop" is actually an airplane. I did not know that.
- 1D: "Summertime" singer (BESS). From the Gershwin opera "Porgy and Bess."
- 5D: Rock collection? (ALBUM). Are ALBUMs still called ALBUMs today even though they're not really ALBUMs any more? I know I still call them ALBUMs but I wonder if that's just an oldster thing or if it held up the same way "dialing a phone" or "rolling up the car window" did.
- 27D: Penguins' home (PITTSBURGH). I believe there's another team in PITTSBURGH that's doing pretty well this year.
- 40D: Clear as mud (ABSTRUSE). I don't think I've ever used the word "abstruse," but I have occasionally explained things to the point where they are "clear as mud." Right here on this blog even!
- 53D: Hip Charlie, in ads (TUNA). I forgot that Charlie the TUNA was supposed to be hip. But he does where that rakish beret. And if a rakish beret isn't hip, then I don't know what is.
- 55D: "Kick, Push" rapper __ Fiasco (LUPE). Never heard of this guy, but that is one fantastic name.
- 5A: Ancient meeting place (AGORA).
- 14A: School since 1440 (ETON).
- 46A: Head of government? (GEE).
- 6D: Needle-nosed fish (GAR).
Everything Else — 1A: In development, as software (BETA); 15A: Really enjoy (LAP UP); 19A: Heavenly bodies (ORBS); 23A: Star car (LIMO); 25A: Downsizing event? (DIET); 26A: Extend across (SPAN); 31A: Fumble (for) (GROPE); 37A: Tampa NFLer (BUC); 38A: Jobs, idiomatically (HATS); 39A: Tesla, by birth (CROAT); 40A: Sol lead-in (AERO-); 41A: Creative output (ART); 44A: "Beau __": Gary Cooper film (GESTE); 47A: Body shop figs. (ESTS.); 48A: Close connection (BOND); 50A: Water carrier (DUCT); 60A: "Young" reformer (TURK); 63A: "Young Frankenstein" lab assistant (INGA); 64A: Small thicket (COPSE); 66A: Cheers (RAHS); 67A: Exhaust (SPEND); 68A: A long, long time (EONS); 2D: Caesarean rebuke (ET TU); 3D: Warty hopper (TOAD); 4D: Luanda natives (ANGOLANS); 7D: Numbered piece (OPUS); 8D: Sign of age (RUST); 9D: Garden pest (APHID); 10D: Round jewelry item (CHOKER); 12D: Jessica of "Sin City" (ALBA); 13D: Bridal accessory (POSY); 18D: Scratching (out) (EKING); 22D: Butts (CIGS); 24D: Deepwater Horizon, for one (OIL RIG); 26D: Disconcerting look (STARE); 29D: Blackmore heiress (DOONE); 30D: Took a sinuous path (SNAKED); 32D: Knitting stitches (PURLS); 33D: Sci. concerned with biodiversity (ECOL.); 34D: Thick carpet (SHAG); 35D: Behave (ACT); 36D: Co. that merged into Verizon (GTE); 42D: Texting button (SEND); 43D: Newscast segment (RECAP); 49D: Saucers and such (DISCS); 51D: Made lots of calls, in a way (UMPED); 52D: Mix (STIR); 54D: At the peak of (ATOP); 57D: "As I see it," online (IMHO); 58D: Go a few rounds? (SPIN); 59D: Slithery threats (ASPS); 62D: Co. with a butterfly logo (MSN).