Theme: Vowel Movement
17. Was armed, in old-fashioned slang: PACKED HEAT.
24. Making slow but steady progress: PECKING AWAY.
35. Eat every bit of meat from, as a bone: PICK CLEAN.
51. Small change: POCKET MONEY.
61. Prepared to be bussed: PUCKERED UP.
Simple vowel progression theme here: A, E, I, O, U. Nice tight theme with two-word phrases all beginning with P-words.
1. Italian province or its capital: PARMA.
6. Make an impression: ETCH. "To cut, bite, or corrode with an acid or the like." Bite?
10. Big mouths: MAWS. The mouth or gullet of a greedy person.
14. Acid used in soap: OLEIC. Good crossword word - 5 letters with 3 vowels. An omega-9 fatty acid. It can be made by the body. It is also found in foods. Highest levels are found in olive oil and other edible oils. Oleic acid is most commonly used for preventing heart disease and reducing cholesterol.
15. Terrible time?: TWOS. Haha. But it's also a very sweet time - I still miss it. Grandkids help ;).
16. Like neatniks: ANAL.
19. __-bitty: ITTY.
20. "Peter Pan" pirate: SMEE.
21. Scuttlebutt: DIRT. Slang for rumor or gossip. Deriving from the nautical term for the cask used to serve water (or, later, a water fountain).
22. Bickering: AT IT. Remember The Bickersons?
23. The fox in Disney's "The Fox and the Hound": TOD.
27. "Skyfall" singer: ADELE.
29. Italian cheese: ASIAGO.
30. Overhaul the lawn, maybe: RESOD.
31. Cake with a dish: SOAP.
34. Stimpy's sidekick: REN.
39. Pet rocks, once: FAD.
42. Evil alter ego of fiction: HYDE. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a novella by Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1886. The names of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the two alter egos of the main character, have become shorthand for the exhibition of wildly contradictory behavior, especially between private and public selves.
43. Jumps (out): BAILS.
47. Black Sea port: ODESSA.
50. Under attack: BESET.
56. Absorbed, as a cost: ATE.
57. __ fixe: PRIX. A a meal consisting of several courses served at a total fixed price.
58. Med school subj.: ANAT. Anatomy. Massage school subject, too.
59. Lo-cal: LITE.
60. Arouse: STIR.
63. Pedal pushers: FEET. Great clue.
64. Wait at a light, say: IDLE.
65. Oklahoma Air Force base: VANCE.
66. What gamblers weigh: ODDS.
67. Financial aid criterion: NEED.
68. Smith, at times: SHOER. Ohh, blacksmith. Blacksmiths who specialize in forging shoes for horses are also known as farriers.
1. Mozart, in his day, e.g.: POP STAR.
2. Apple pie order: ALA MODE. How pie became à la mode.
3. Ebbs: RECEDES.
4. Stage prop with a different spelling nowadays: MIKE. I've only seen the spelling mic, short for microphone.
5. Big club: ACE.
6. Moral principle: ETHIC.
7. Shake it on the dance floor: TWERK.
8. Raccoon kin: COATI.
9. 18-Down predecessor: HST. Harry S. Truman.
10. Drink with an umbrella: MAI TAI.
11. Like doves: ANTIWAR.
12. Lightbulb measure: WATTAGE.
13. Canny: SLY. So is uncanny unsly?
18. Two-time ETO commander: DDE. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
22. Govt. prosecutors: AGS. Attorney Generals. More properly, Attorneys General.
24. Feet treat: PEDI. Pedicure.
25. Scruff: NAPE.
26. "__ light is not daylight": Juliet: YON. From Romeo and Juliet.
28. Cut (off): LOP.
31. It's up to you: SKY. Sneaky clue.
32. Neatnik's possible condition, briefly: OCD. ANAL and OCD in the same puzzle.
33. Brewpub order: ALE.
36. Talk in a virtual room: CHAT.
37. "Dear" adviser: ABBY. One set of Time Magazine's Top 10 Famous Twins: Ann Landers and Dear Abby.
38. Dundee denial: NAE. Woman embraces the way Australians say no.
39. Metrosexual: FOP. The difference between Fop and Metrosexual When used as nouns, fop means a vain man, whereas metrosexual means a man concerned with personal appearance, such as personal grooming, fashion, and aesthetics in general. (usually urban, heterosexual, often affluent).
40. Put into effect, as a resolution: ADOPTED.
41. Strongly disapproved of: DECRIED.
44. "To repeat ... forget it!": I SAID NO. Three words!
45. Part of a BLT: LETTUCE. Bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich.
46. Harder to climb: STEEPER.
48. Gets around: SKIRTS.
49. Census datum: SEX.
52. "All in the Family" spinoff: MAUDE.
53. Le frère d'un père: ONCLE. French: A father's brother = uncle.
54. Like undisguised truth: NAKED.
55. High season on the Riviera: ETE. French word for summer.
59. Jacob's first wife: LEAH.
60. Airport near OAK: SFO. Bay area airports.
61. Brooch holder: PIN.
62. Campers, briefly: RVS. Recreational vehicles.
Notes from C.C.:
Happy 75th birthday to Husker Gary's amazing wife Joann (right with a vest) and her twin sister Joyce. Here they're with their mom Martha.