Theme: Build a Better Trap for Them - It would have to be a good trap to hold our diverse rodents that start our theme entries today.
17A. Old-style bottle opener : CHURCH KEY. Let's start with a problem. Several dictionaries state that a church mouse is a fictional mouse created by Lewis Carroll. Unfortunately, nobody can find it in his writings. The idioms "poor as a church mouse" and "quiet as a church mouse" have been around for centuries but still no exact reason why it should be so. So I give you this poem, by John Betjeman, "Diary of a Church Mouse". And a picture of a church key, used for taking the caps off of bottles before twist-offs.
24A. Yankee with a record 18 World Series home runs : MICKEY MANTLE
41A. 1995 Woody Allen film with a Greek chorus : MIGHTY APHRODITE. I would think this grid spanner was the seed for this puzzle.
52A. Highest British military rank : FIELD MARSHAL
65A. Cry evoked by the first parts of the answers to 17-, 24-, 41- and 52-Across? : "EEK! A MOUSE!"
Argyle here. Plenty of theme materials in this puzzle (about 57 squares). Jeff also managed to put in excellent paralleled long Downs.
1. Pointer's pronoun : THAT
5. Supermarket stripes: Abbr. : UPCs. (Universal Product Code)
9. Poe's middle name : ALLAN. His poem was about a raven.
14. Hand-on-the-Bible utterance : OATH
15. Lassie : GIRL. Despite the fact in the television series the character Lassie is female, all collies to play Lassie were male. They weren't Scottish either.
16. Take care of : SEE TO
19. "Are not!" retort : "AM TOO!"
20. Afghanistan's capital : KABUL
21. Honoree of a D.C. monument at 1964 Independence Ave. : MLK. (Martin Luther King). It is hard to get an idea of the scope of his monument from just one perspective so I've linked the Google image page.
23. Treats, as squeaks : OILS
28. Pen point : NIB
31. Bullfight shout : ¡OLÉ!
32. Puzzle (out), in slang : SUSS
33. Idle of "Life of Brian" : ERIC. Monty Python's.
35. Preschool basics : ABC's
38. Charges at some booths : TOLLS
44. Actor Davis : OSSIE
45. Vim and vigor : BRIO. From Italian, of Celtic origin. (Probably can't say that about too many words.)
46. "__ dash of ...": recipe words : ADD A
47. Courtroom entry : PLEA
49. Top-row PC key : ESC
51. Approximate fig. : EST.
57. Both Chaneys : LONs
58. Beverage cooler : ICE
59. Lindsay of "Herbie: Fully Loaded" : LOHAN. Herbie wasn't the only one.
63. Connector with a slash : AND/OR
68. Traffic problem : TIE-UP
69. Wife of Osiris : ISIS. (Egyptian Religion)
70. Racing's Grand __ : PRIX. Oh my, the term is used for a lot more than racing these days. Wikipedia disambiguation.
71. Fruit-filled treats : TARTS
72. Deck chair wood : TEAK
73. Deck chair piece : SLAT
1. Sound heard around the clock : TOCK. But every other second.
2. Sarcastic joke response : HA HA
3. "... three men in __" : A TUB
4. Tap idly with one's fingers : THRUM
5. "I'm not eating that!" : "UGH!"
6. Dental care suffix : PIK
7. Double Stuf stuff : CREME
8. On the q.t. : SLYLY
9. Comparative words : AS A
10. Citrus-flavored refresher : LEMON SODA
11. Change the subject, perhaps : LET IT SLIDE
12. Lagoon surrounder : ATOLL
13. Oater omen : NOOSE
18. Ad-writing award : CLIO
22. Canada hwy. distances : KMs. (kilometres)
25. Modeling material : CLAY
26. Skewered fare : KEBAB. (or kabab, kabob, kebap)
27. Garage occupant : AUTO
28. Animated clownfish : NEMO
29. Van Gogh flower : IRIS
30. Spare-no-cost type : BIG SPENDER
34. Hangs loose : CHILLS OUT
36. EMT's procedure : CPR
37. Draws back, as in fear : SHIES
39. Former Fords : LTDs
40. Airplane assignment : SEAT
42. Ready for a drive : TEE'D. Golf.
43. __ Hashanah : ROSH
48. Friend from France : AMI
50. Unruffled : CALM
52. Scruggs's partner : FLATT
53. Ancient Aegean region : IONIA. Map.
54. Nail the test : ACE IT
55. Della of "Touched By an Angel" : REESE
56. Aerobatic maneuvers : LOOPS. Amazing kit-built aircraft. Clip (4:44)
60. Throw : HURL
61. Sri Lanka locale : ASIA. Off the tip of India. Hit by a tsunami in 2004.
62. First in line : NEXT
64. Rotation meas. : RPS. (revolutions per second)
66. Korean 27-Down manufacturer : KIA
67. Look for answers : ASK