If Mike Nothnagel ever had a Monday puzzle, it had to have been many years ago. I can only recall Friday, Saturday and Sunday puzzles for the last year and a half that I've been solving.
What a welcome relief, though, after he kicked my butt on Saturday!
The only VOID in the puzzle was in the theme answers...each begins with a synonym (appearing at 5D: Roget's listing) for that word.
16A: Place not generating rent (vacant apartment).
24A: Guarantees that mean nothing (empty promises). My favorite, for reasons I can't explain.
42A: Win that brings little actual gain (hollow victory). This one ran a close second.
57A: Contents of guns used in training exercises (blank cartridges).
I'd venture a guess that Mike whipped this one up in short order...relative to one of his Friday or Saturday offerings.
There was some good fill in this one, and very little compromised to put it all together.
Favorite clues and/or answers:
1A: The pyramids, for pharaohs (tombs).
13A: "The Cat and the Curmudgeon" author Cleveland __ (Amory).
19A: Feeling tied up, as a stomach (in knots).
20A: Rock band follower (groupie).
49A: Brandy cocktail (sidecar).
63A: Baby boomers' kids, informally (Gen-X).
1D: Rikki-Tikki-__ (Tavi)...a childhood favorite by Rudyard Kipling.
6D: "Star Trek" weapon (phaser).
10D: Portrayer of Frank Sinatra on "Saturday Night Live" (Joe Piscopo). The only thing I love more than multiword answers is having both first and last name.
26D: 1998 Robin Williams title role (Patch Adams)...a real tearjerker, which is probably obvious from this picture.
41D: A pair of deuces beats it (Ace high).
44D: Whirlpool or tornado (vortex).
Often the multiword answers, especially the short ones, tend to confuse me when I look over the finished grid. What in the world is GOAS? Nothing...the answer to 38A: Pretend to be, as at a Halloween party is go as. Similarly, 41A: Increase (amp up) looks very much like AM PUP. Who/what are you? I am pup. My favorite one tonight is ISPY...it looks as though it would rhyme with wispy. Actually, 34D [1960s Bill Cosby TV series] is I Spy...also starring Robert Culp.
Other quick mentions before I wrap up...10A: PBS newsman Lehrer (Jim), 14A: Inventor Elias (Howe), 36A: Euphoric (giddy), 39A: Without a prescription: Abbr. (OTC), 40A: Pal for Spot or Rover (Fido)...right next to AM PUP, 46A: Avis competitor (Alamo)...originally had Hertz, 2D: Neighbor of Yemen (Oman), 15D: Stubborn as __ (a mule)...another one that's easy to mis-parse, 22D: Scuttlebutt (lowdown), 40D: Group watched by Little Bo Peep (flock) and 47D: Eli __ and Company (Lilly)...maker of Prozac.
So...where's Mike? He commented from sunny Florida on Saturday...perhaps vacationing? If so, where's Mike on Monday?
Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.