Theme: Blow by Blow, from Freeze to Gale.
17A. "That was easy!": WHAT A BREEZE.
26A. Move to Canada to avoid military service: DODGE THE DRAFT.
45A. Top-10 1978 hit for Kansas: DUST IN THE WIND.
61A. Girl who went to Oz: DOROTHY GALE.
"The wind began to switch, the house to pitch". Hope this puzzle was a breeze to you all. I could have done it, "If I only had a brain". I have a complaint. Saturday morning my newspaper said post time at the Belmont was 5:30 PM Central time. NBC always runs a 2 1/2 hour program to show a two minute horse race so I watched pro bowling on ESPN then tuned to NBC at 5:30. 47 commercials later they were "OFF" at about 5:55. Canterbury Downs was built in Minnesota around 1985 and I made a few trips there back then. I won a few bucks on a ride by Mike Smith occasionally so I applaud his success. I wonder if NBC can JUSTIFY the time discrepancy.
1. Speechless performers: MIMES.
6. Love to bits: ADORE.
11. Hem and __: HAW. Famous TV reruns HEE ___. I have to admit I watch it. Where did you think I get all these stupid one liners ?
14. Overplay the scene: EMOTE.
15. NBA coach Pat who trademarked "three-peat": RILEY. Who might remember William Bendix in "The Life of Riley" ?
16. Hole-in-one: ACE. I have never had one of these on the golf course. Came as close as 6 inches once. But I have had one in a pair of socks.
19. "__ Loves You": Beatles: SHE. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. I just learned Saturday that the Beatles chose their name in respect of Buddy Holly's "Crickets". Oh Boy !
20. Beethoven's "Moonlight," e.g.: SONATA.
21. Lawn mower housing: TOOL SHED. If you don't have one, leave it in your garage.
23. Come to a close: END.
25. Actor Cage, in tabloids: NIC.
33. Sea of __: Black Sea arm: AZOV.
35. Midwestern tribe: OTOE. I have a big toe and a little toe on each foot. Never heard of an Otoe.
36. Finalize, as a deal: SEW UP.
37. Smart-alecky: CUTE. So is a bug in a rug a smart aleck?
38. Aired again on TV: RERAN. See HEE HAW above. Plus I have most of the "Law and Order" and "Seinfeld" shows memorized.
40. Policy expert: WONK.
41. Give a heads-up: ALERT. Also means you have only one lert.
43. NASCAR's Yarborough: CALE. Very popular NASCAR champion with many wins.
44. Bothers a lot: IRKS. One of my Mom's favorite expressions. I guess I irked her a lot.
48. Nest egg acronym: IRA.
49. Prefix with appear: DIS. I might DISagree with this clue.
50. Longtime bubble gum wrap: WAX PAPER. This is an all time misnomer! Paper is not made from wax. It should be called Waxed paper.
55. Slowly diminished, as strength: SAPPED. Warren Sapp was a defensive tackle with Tampa Bay and Oakland. Many quarterbacks got Sapped.
60. Smooth machinery sound: HUM.
63. Mine extraction: ORE. Also the abbreviation for a state south of Washington. The Beavers took care of our Gophers on the baseball diamond this weekend.
64. Cream of the crop: ELITE.
65. George's fiancée on "Seinfeld": SUSAN. Yes I would know this without using Google or a blog.
66. Fellow: MAN.
67. Brand for nasal congestion: SINEX.
68. Australian gems: OPALS. I think this is the October birthstone.
1. Kitten cries: MEWS. Sounds like MEOW to me.
2. Texter's "As I see it ... ": IMHO. In My Humble Opinion.
3. Pained sound: MOAN.
4. Soul singer James: ETTA.
5. Helped by an usher: SEATED. They have Ushers in church and at ballparks. They don't seem to seat many people, just stand in the back and chat with other ushers. (Sorry if I offended any ushers out there).
6. LAX incoming flight: ARR.
7. Food restriction: DIET. I have lots of restrictions, but Diet Pepsi is okay.
8. Toast topper: OLEO. This is Margarine, a corn oil product. It was popular in Iowa, but not sold in America's Dairyland, Wisconsin. At one time it was white and looked like Crisco. Then I remember it in a bag with a little red button. You needed to squeeze the button and massage the bag to turn it yellow. Hey, I never see SQUEEZE in a crossword - 25 points in Scrabble!
9. Change the district boundaries of: REZONE.
10. Peepers' closers: EYELIDS.
11. Corned beef concoction: HASH. Hash always seems to have a Corned Beef tagalong. When I was a kid, we had one of those metal things with a crank handle and made hash out of roast beef, etc.
12. Pain: ACHE. I won't bother you with mine.
13. Lawn invader: WEED. C.C. likes dandelions the most.
18. Maine city: BANGOR.
22. Attach to a light bulb socket: SCREW IN. "Clear Choice" dental work.
24. Find out about: DETECT.
26. Showers affection (on): DOTES. Mairzy dotes and Dozey dotes and little lambs eat Ivy.
27. Be exorbitant with the gratuity: OVER-TIP. Many may over-tip the bartender and then tip over.
28. Hebrew scroll: TORAH.
29. Restored to health: HEALED.
30. "I need to tell you something": A WORD. Reminded me of "Let me tell you something!" A famous intro on TV from Pro Wrestler Jesse Ventura. (Before he became governor.)
31. Dejected spell: FUNK. Fred Funk is a good golfer with an odd name
32. Toll rds.: TPKS.
33. Air Force sch.: ACAD.
34. NATO alphabet ender: ZULU.
39. Fairly recent: NEWISH. This seems like a newish word, made-up.
42. Long rants: TIRADES.
46. City SE of Roma: NAPOLI. Italian for Naples I suppose.
47. Mom's emphatic words after "Because": I SAY SO.
50. "For __ the Bell Tolls": WHOM
51. Surrounding glow: AURA.
52. Marvel Comics superheroes: X-MEN.
53. The Emerald Isle: ERIN.
54. Mechanical learning method: ROTE. Kyle Rote was a running back for the New York Giants when I was a kid.
56. Scrolling PC key: PGUP. This sounds like a gurgle before throwing up.
57. "¿Qué __?": PASA.
58. Airline with only kosher meals: EL AL.
59. TV-watching rooms: DENS. I watch mine in the basement. It's cooler down there.
62. One of two sts. with bordering panhandles: TEX.