17. Hobbes, to Calvin: IMAGINARY FRIEND
35. Ideal getaway: DREAM VACATION
53. Armchair quarterback's hobby: FANTASY FOOTBALL
Not bad, not bad at all for a Monday. I'm thinking FANTASY FOOTBALL was the seed for this theme. Maybe Fred will drop by and have a few words (so watch what you say).
1. Disappear gradually: FADE. And 1 Down. Passes out: FAINTS.
9. Vatican-related: PAPAL.
14. Like deserts: ARID.
15. Heavenly bear: URSA. Ursa Major, aka, the Big Dipper.
16. "__ you clever!": AREN'T.
20. Motel restriction: NO PETS.
21. T-bone, for one: STEAK.
22. Lock of hair: TRESS.
23. Med. plan choices: HMOS. Health Maintenance OrganizationS
25. Opposite of "Huh?": AHA.
28. Damascus is its cap.: SYR. Capital, Syria, Mid-East.
29. Fashion's Gucci and actor Ray: ALDOS.
31. Nudge rudely: ELBOW.
33. Makes a long story short?: EDITS.
34. City leaders: MAYORS.
38. Taken care of: SEEN TO.
39. "Rich Man, Poor Man" novelist Shaw: IRWIN. A novel written by Irwin Shaw in 1969, became a miniseries in 1976.
40. Give body to, as hair: TEASE. And 44. Like fine coifs: STYLED.
41. Obvious disdain: SCORN.
42. Meditator's syllables: OMS. Hands up; who read this as mediator? Yeah, me too.
46. Coarse file: RASP.
47. Rub it in: GLOAT.
49. Key in the sea: ISLET.
52. Defective, as wiring: FAULTY.
59. Peace Prize winner Wiesel: ELIE. Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 1986.
62. Between-your-toes grains: SAND.
2. Weapons storehouse: ARMORY.
3. Baby seat cover?: DIAPER.
4. Pieces jigsaw puzzlers usually start with: EDGES.
7. Kazakhstan, until 1991: Abbr.: SSR. Soviet Socialist Republic. Here Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan since 1997, is in North-Central Kazakhstan. The city of Almaty (South-Eastern Kazakhstan), formerly Alma-Ata, was the capital.
8. Assertions: SAY SOS. Parents everywhere: "...because I SAY SO!"
9. Peel, as a rind: PARE.
11. Game played with a baby: PEEK-A-BOO.
12. "Raggedy" girl: ANN. With her brother, Andy.
13. Inc., in England: LTD. Limited. A firm, usually associated with British registration, that is organized in such a way as to give its owners limited liability.
18. Appointment-confirming words: IT'S A DATE.
19. Dix and Knox: Abbr.: FTS. Fort Dix, NJ and Fort Knox, KY.
23. Set with a sharper picture, briefly: HDTV. High-Definition Television.
24. Inlaid designs: MOSAICS.
26. Traffic jam honker: HORN.
27. "Isn't that cute!" exclamations: AWS.
31. Persistently worrying: EATING AT.
32. "__ Eyes": 1975 Eagles hit: LYIN'. I never realized it was such a long song, 6:23.
33. Poetic dusks: EENS.
34. Bryn __ College: MAWR. Seal and location.
36. Draw inferences from: READ INTO.
37. Farm output: CROP.
38. The bus stops here: Abbr.: STA. Station
41. Mythical man-goats: SATYRS. Don't confuse it with the monster Centaur (head, trunk, and arms of a man, and the body and legs of a horse).
42. "Va va voom!": OO-LA-LA.
43. Marlee __, Best Actress winner in "Children of a Lesser God": MATLIN. More of her. "Va va voom!" and "OO-LA-LA".
46. Notes after dos: RES. do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, and ti.
48. Garage jobs: LUBES.
50. British machine gun: STEN. STEN is an acronym, cited as derived from the names of the weapon's chief designers, Major Reginald Shepherd and Harold Turpin, and EN for Enfield. FYI: The Royal Small Arms Factory (RSAF) was a UK government-owned rifle factory in London Borough of Enfield. The factory produced British military rifles, muskets and swords from 1816. It closed in 1988. STEN
51. Baker's fat: LARD. And 55. Blubber: FAT. BAD!
52. Stodgy old-timer: FOGY.
53. __ Four: Beatles: FAB. FABulous.
54. Every bit: ALL.
56. "__ scale of 1 to 10 ...": ON A.