Theme: Poor grade (or an appropriate title for this puzzle) - D-plus. The target word starts with 'D' followed by phonetic long vowel, progressing from 'D-long A' to 'D-long U'.
17A. Thanksgiving, casually : TURKEY DAY. D + Ā
21A. Actress/activist who was Ossie Davis' life partner : RUBY DEE. D + Ē
38A. Crooked craps cube : LOADED DIE. D + Ī
60A. Anonymous man : JOHN DOE. D + Ō
65A. "Where Are You!" toon pooch : SCOOBY DOO. D + Ū
Argyle here. Impressive looking grid for a Monday; triple seven columns in all the corners. The long fill keeps this easy theme puzzle from being too bland.
1. Receives : GETS
5. Slide downhill on runners : SLED
9. Long stories : SAGAs
14. Water color : AQUA
15. Frankfurt mister : HERR. German.
16. Chat room troublemaker : TROLL
19. "Humble" home : ABODE
20. River through Rome : TIBER
23. "Give me __!": start of a Hoosier cheer : AN I
24. Becomes slippery, as a road : ICES UP
28. Dirty dishes site : SINK
29. Negative aspect : CON
30. Hot chili pepper : CAYENNE
32. Parisian summer : ÉTÉ
33. Wood choppers : AXES
35. When repeated, a former breath freshener : SEN
36. Hard luck case : LOSER
42. "My bad" : "SORRY"
45. __ Nineties : GAY
46. Nepalese staple : RICE
50. Tres menos dos : UNO. Spanish 3-2=1
51. Finds : LOCATES
55. Doze briefly : NAP
56. Alpha follower : BETA
58. In the best shape : HALEST
59. Part of TGIF: Abbr. : FRIday
62. Storage auction buys : UNITS
64. Argentine icon played by Madonna : EVITA
69. Roman agriculture goddess : CERĒS
70. Quattro automaker : AUDI
71. Texting button : SEND
72. Garbage : TRASH
73. Film holder : REEL
74. Other than that : ELSE
1. 1997 Hawke/Thurman sci-fi movie : GATTACA. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a pretty good review.
2. Semiannual astronomical event : EQUINOX. So is the solstice.
3. Many a windmill : TURBINE. Redux c/a.
4. Sushi bar cupful : SAKE
5. Hardly outgoing : SHY
6. Was in first place : LED
7. Stretch of history : ERA
8. Practice session : DRY RUN. The Word Detective says the term comes from fire companies doing practice sans water.
9. Wild guess : STAB
10. Fast food chain known for its roast beef : ARBY'S. Current ad campaign, "Arby's | We Have The Meats".
11. Halloween treats : GOODIES
12. Like firm spaghetti : AL DENTE. (firm to the bite)
13. More smooth : SLEEKER
18. Guitarist Clapton : ERIC
22. "Star Trek: Enterprise" network : UPN. (United Paramount Network)
25. Bambino's home : CASA. Not Babe Ruth's.
26. Watched with suspicion : EYED
27. Mali neighbor : SENEGAL. African west coast.
31. Yale student : ELI
34. Digital camera type, for short : SLR. (single-lens reflex)
37. Poet's "above" : O'ER
39. Popeye's Olive : OYL
40. See socially : DATE
41. Salon colorings : DYES
42. Topic : SUBJECT
43. Bogey, vis-à-vis par : ONE OVER
44. Nest egg named for a Del. senator : ROTH IRA
47. Nonbeliever, to some : INFIDEL
48. Moving day stack : CARTONS
49. Show in a television series : EPISODE
52. "Look what I found!" : :"O HO!"
53. Shaw's "__ and Cleopatra" : CAESAR. (George Bernard Shaw)
54. Ticket part you keep : STUB
57. Feeds the kitty : ANTEs
61. Smidge, as of salt : DASH
63. Org. at 11 Wall St. : NYSE. (New York Stock Exchange)
66. Actor's aid : CUE
67. Poetic tribute : ODE
68. It may be crude : OIL
Note from C.C.:
Happy Birthday to our beautiful Melissa, whose life was turned upside down the past few years. Melissa is the most courageous and selfless sister I know. Find her the sweetest cake, Dave!