Don't you just love the moment when you realize that Thursday's puzzle has to be a rebus! Nancy Salomon serves up another good one.
The theme, revealed at 38A: 1961 Del Shannon lyric (and title of this puzzle), is My Little Runaway, one of the few gimmes in the puzzle...that is, until I realized that meant she was on the lam. Those three letters share a square in the theme answers:
15A: Southwestern trees (alamos), with 10D: Tree-lined promenade (alameda)
17A: "It's not my fault!" (don't blame me), with 9D: Frontier sharpshooter (Calamity Jane)
19A: Not giving the police any more information (clamming up), with 1D: Total chaos (bedlam)
32A: Hubbub (clamor), with 33D: Hobbled (lamed)
47A: Fiery (aflame), with 28D: Con games (flimflammery)
54A: Double dessert (pie ala mode) was the giveaway answer for me. It was paired with 55D: "Ah, for the good old days," e.g. (lament)--an entertaining clue/answer.
59A: Some crime deterrents (street lamps), with 60D: Eastern priests (lamas)
I was surprised that 16A: Job at a lineup (IDing) was a gimme. Is that a sign that I've been doing these puzzles for too long? I mean...should that have been a gimme?
Doing puzzles for this long, though, means I've finally learned some of the clues and answers that show up time and again.
64A: Soul singer Baker (Anita). I'd never heard of her until I started doing these.
66A: River of Flanders (Yser).
67A: "Tell Mama" singer James (Etta)...although I'd like to see a reference to Etta Place every now and then.
18D: Cap'n's underling (Bos'n). Don told me this one the last time it came up. This time I remembered it. For those who don't know, it's the abbreviated version of boatswain, a petty officer in charge of the deck crew.
My vote for the most clever (or original) clue/answer pairings:
9A: Water-to-wine town (Cana). If you paid attention in Sunday school, you had this one.
22A: Long line in Rome (popes).
43A: One way to serve ham (on rye).
6D: Get together without fanfare? (elope).
That's it for tonight. See you tomorrow.