For a Monday puzzle, this took me longer than it should have. I was able to figure out the theme early on, so those answers weren't a problem. Something just wasn't clicking with some of the fill. Fortunately, the phone rang, and that short break was just what I needed.
The five theme answers end in B-ND, and are presented in A-E-I-O-U order:
17A: Elastic holder (Rubber band)
25A: Home of Notre Dame (South Bend)
36A: Entrance, as through oratory (Spellbind)
51A: Ian Fleming creation (James Bond) -- making yet another appearance
60A: 1930s political group (German Bund)
Things I learned long ago and remembered for this puzzle:
32A: S-shaped molding (ogee)
4D: Polio vaccine developer (Sabin). I remember all of us lining up to take the oral vaccine when it first came out. I went to school with two girls who had had polio. One of them was in leg braces that were probably permanent. Very scary disease
25D: Synagogue (Shul). Thank you, Harriet and Debi.
42A: Landon who ran for president in 1936 (Alf), which intersects nicely with the second F in 35D: Flute in a march (fife).
48A: Win the first four games in a World Series, e.g. (sweep). I know someone will be proud that that was a gimme. He'll also be ecstatic (maybe that's too strong an emotion) to see Bart and Lisa clued twice in the same puzzle--at 21A: Lisa, to Bart (sis) and at 41D: Bart or Lisa (Simpson)--and to see Shelley Long's character at 24A: "Cheers" woman (Diane).
Speaking of which, it's my sister's birthday. Happy birthday, Mary! Since she doesn't read my blog, I can probably get away with telling you that she's 58 today.
44D: Doug of "The Virginian" (McClure). I had a huge crush on Trampas, the character he played. You can go here to find out more about him.
11D: Greg of "You've Got Mail" (Kinnear). But I liked him better in Little Miss Sunshine. I just looked up his filmography and saw that he and I share a birthday.
Things I didn't know:
48D: Part of Johannesburg (Soweto). If I hadn't checked my solution on the Applet, I'd think that was maybe wrong.
53A: "Filthy" money (lucre). I only make the clean kind, I guess.
29A: 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby (Rahal). Racing = not my area of expertise.
56A: Deviation in a rocket's course (yaw). I never claimed to be a rocket scientist.
Clues/answers I liked:
39D: Nightclothes (pajamas). Such a cool word. Much better than PJs.
33D: __Lauder cosmetics (Estee). Didn't I just say that's how they should clue the word, as opposed to some obscure (to me) Scottish singer?
52D: Item on which to put lox (bagel). I eat a bagel for breakfast or lunch at least four times a week. But no to lox, and yes to either natural peanut butter or cream cheese.
15A: Big name in can-making (Alcoa)
If I'm going to continue doing crossword puzzles--and I am--I need to learn all the Greek letters. Don's not always around when I'm doing a puzzle. Good thing I already knew rho, which appeared at 61D: Letter between pi and sigma. Oh! I just remembered--last week, Green Genius printed the entire Greek alphabet in a post.
67A: (Eccentric) seemed an odd way to clue loopy. I think of loopy as the post-anesthesia fog (and--later--when you get those nice little shots for pain).
I'd best wrap this up. The patio table is still in the box, but the chairs have been assembled. And the birds are waiting.