The puzzle had three theme answers, all clued from that song we all know from The Sound of Music.
17A: Doe, in song (deer a female deer)
36A: Ray, in song (drop of golden sun)
55A: Me, in song (name I call myself)
DoReMi appears at 43A, although it's clued as Money, slangily. To complete the Sound of Music theme, there's 11D: Alpine flower (edelweiss).
I guess it really can't be called a mini-theme, but 54A: Boxing combo (one two) goes nicely with 56D: "The Greatest" (Ali).
A couple of instances of similarity in the grid. Three 3-letter answers, all beginning with LE...
- 12D: Entertainer Pinky or Peggy (Lee)
- 57D: Meadow (lea)
- 58D: Author Deighton (Len)
4D: N.B.A. first name that's Arabic for "noble" or "exalted" (Kareem) appears for the second consecutive day. It's a sports-related clue, and I got it--again!
I think it was a rotten idea (15A: Plan that stinks) to use the word anion (48A: Charged particle) in this puzzle. I had axion, which made 44D (clued as Real) ixesse, instead of the correct in esse. I stared at it for the longest time, willing it to become a word. Didn't happen.
I only know maybe six cities in Illinois, but fortunately Moline (39A: One of the Quad cities, in Illinois) is one of them. Others include Chicago (d'oh!), Springfield (because I know all of the capitals), Oak Park (because that's where my husband was born), and Lake Zurich (because that's where he grew up).
Some clever cluing:
- 7D: Bill provider, for short (ATM)
- 8D: Red star? (Stalin). It can be clever, even if it's a distasteful answer.
- 51D: Lacking a charge (no fee)
- 19A: Art supporters? (easels)
And with that, I'll say good night.