Theme: Vowel Progression - First word starts with FL followed by vowels A to U, then T.
17A. Penniless : FLAT BROKE
26A. Like champion sprinters : FLEET-FOOTED
41A. Worker in the sky : FLIGHT ATTENDANT
52A. Suggest something tentatively : FLOAT AN IDEA
64A. Piece for two winds : FLUTE DUET. "The Flower Duet" May it inspire some flowers to make an appearance soon.
Argyle here. A straightforward puzzle today. Nice grid spanner. I can't help but wonder how much trouble it would have been to include an FLY.... A couple of long crossing columns.
1. Pi r squared, for a circle : AREA
5. Encyclopedia tidbit : FACT
9. Big-time : MAJOR
14. Speeds (up) : REVs
15. __ about: roughly : ON OR
16. Render speechless : AMAZE
19. Powerful person : NABOB. "nattering nabobs of negativism" : voiced by Spiro Agnew, coined by William Safire.
20. Cozy corner : NOOK
21. Monogram part: Abbr. : INITial
23. Singer DiFranco : ANI
24. Crone : HAG
29. Capri suffix : OTE. "A Capriote" by John Singer Sargent.
30. Little lie : FIB. 52D. Like lies : FALSE
31. Church-founded Dallas sch. : SMU. (Southern Methodist University)
32. FDR's dog : FALA. Scottish Terrier.
34. Confused mental states : FOGs
37. Mythological sky holder : ATLAS
44. Foil maker : ALCOA
45. Struggling to decide : TORN
46. Bone: Pref. : OSTE
47. Queue after Q : RST. Quite cute clue.
49. 20s dispenser, for short : ATM
51. Darjeeling, for one : TEA
57. "Bad" cholesterol letters : LDL. The "good" is HDL and the ratio between them is important. An optimum ratio is 3.5-to-1. Mayo Clinic
59. "A Visit From the Goon Squad" Pulitzer-winning novelist Jennifer : EGAN
60. March Madness org. : NCAA. Basketball.
62. Pig __ : LATIN
68. Pillar from a fire : SMOKE
69. Film director's unit : TAKE. Tricky. A scene is made up of different units or takes.
70. Look at rudely : OGLE
71. Slipped gently (into) : EASED
72. Renders speechless : AWES
73. Wobbly table stabilizer : SHIM
1. "Bowwow!" : "ARF!"
2. Belief sys. : RELigion
3. Pertaining to the gospel : EVANGELIC
4. Concerning : AS TO
5. Warehouse vehicle : FORKLIFT
6. "It's __-win situation" : A NO
7. Newswoman Roberts : COKIE. Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Roberts.
8. River through Nottingham : TRENT
9. Direct, as a father-son conversation : MAN TO MAN
10. Doctors' org. : AMA
11. Try to punch : JAB AT
12. Layer with "holes" in it : OZONE
13. Opener's second call, in bridge : REBID
18. Big Broadway hit, slangily : BOFF. Shortened from BOFFO, slang for a hit on Broadway
22. Stipulations : IFs. There is always an IF, eh?
24. Teamsters president James : HOFFA
25. For any reason : AT ALL
27. WWII torpedo craft : EBOAT. On the water, eboat; under the water, uboat
28. One-up : OUT-DO
33. Greek marketplace : AGORA
35. Pontiac muscle car relaunched briefly in 2004 : GTO. It was an Australian car. Link I had no idea!
36. Valuable violin : STRAD
38. Comeback victor's vindication : LAST LAUGH. "He who laughs last, laughs best"(or longest)
39. Fed the kitty : ANTED
40. Filch : STEAL
42. Hurried : HASTENED
43. International accords : ENTENTES. [French: understanding]
48. Schoolyard game : TAG
50. Riot control weapon : MACE
53. Alpaca kin : LLAMA
54. Director Preminger and others : OTTOs
55. U.S.-Mexico-Canada commerce pact : NAFTA. (North American Free Trade Agreement, 1994)
56. Bride's new relative, say : IN-LAW
61. Hullabaloos : ADOs
63. Eisenhower nickname : IKE
65. Guitar cousin : UKE
66. Brother of Peyton Manning : ELI
67. President pro __ : TEM
Note from C.C.:
Happy Birthday to our lovely Mari! Hope it's a beautiful day in Chicago. Snow has been melting steadily here in MN. (To Dave: Cats (obviously) & needlepoint.)