11.08.08 -- Publius et Praestrigia

Black Swan, Frederick Polydore Nodder, 1792
Puzzle by Byron Walden, edited by Will Shortz
FEDERALISTPAPER (8A. Writing of Publius) and CLOSEDCIRCUITTV (36A. Feeding tube?) share an I in the center of today’s crossword, probable precursors of the age of Big Brother in a crossword rife with associations, fast and loose, a wink at the past, a jolt of the present, and an eye on the future.
DONTLAUGH (33D. “No, really”), solving this puzzle might make for a delightful HARDDAY (24D. Stretch in the salt mines) and SADTALES (41A. Tearjerkers) of DRAMA (1D. Soap, for example) sans assistance of an AXE (23A. Innovation of the Paleolithic period) or being TECHSAVVY (14D. Like computer programmers) neatly pre-printed in MATTE (19A. Laser paper option) -- this one is no TRIFLE (16A. Gimcrack)!
It HURLS (24A. Jaculates) a LUGNUT (58A. Fastener that’s actually easy to pick up and carry?), POOLCUES (56A. Sticks you need to break) and EPEES (28D. They’re waved in competition) to the sound of an ETUDE (46D. Many a Carl Czerny composition) or RHAPSODY (37D. Bliss), yea -- OLDMUSIC (7D. Standards, e.g.) is DREAMTOF (1A. Saw in the dark?) while MASTIC (18A. Tree that yields a chewable resin) and KNARS (49A. Bumps on trunks), PEASALAD (27A. Side dish popular at New Year’s), RYEBEERS (61A. Beverages similar to kvass) and a DRUPE (29D. Plum, for one) are served for a no-FLAB (52D. Gym target) cuisine. MEA (20A. Pliny possessive) and MIA (30A. Nowhere to be found, for short) RELAX (2D. Chill) at an OASIS (48D. Spring break?) lost in ILELONGUE (32D. Base off the coast of Brest for France‘s nuclear submarines), the ETO (46A. D.D.E. zone) or ACRE (53A. Israeli city whose citadel was built by the Ottomans).
SHIPAHOY (39A. 1942 Eleanor Powell musical set at sea) and 45A. “YIPPY Ky Yay (1998 country song), ATLAST (9A. Cry of relief) we can PASS (27D. Meet the requirements) SAUCILY (25D. With brass) searching for SOLI (43A. Standout performances?) among FATHA (52A. Nickname in early jazz piano), ALANLADD (17A. “This Gun for Hire” star) or an IGUANA (54A. Relative of a chuckwalla) selling insurance -- why not?! Here LISZT (11D. Wagner’s father-in-law) joins a highly CENSED (38A. Used a thurible on) URBANV (34A. Predecessor of Gregory XI) and EDWARDII (59A. Christopher Marlowe play) a triumvirate in awe of a moniker such as MCCASKILL (31D. Missouri senator Claire) wishing ALL (21D. With 50-Down, like the children in “A Visit From St. Nicholas”) are SNUG (50D. See 21-Down) in their RELIABLE (15A. Stalwart) AFTERMATH (12D. Wake) or maybe THIS!
To SLICEINTO (13D. Significantly diminish, as profits) the remainders -- 26A. “TRES Hombres,“ first Top 40 album by ZZ Top) might add an IRANI (44D. Meshed person) who karaokes CZECH (22A Ostrava tongue) in MIDAPRIL (31A. Tax time) before wrapping up THEIR (47A. Not your or my, say) BIAS (35D. Sampling problem) over the ATH (55D. School Dept.) at LEHIGH (60A. The Mountain Hawks of the Patriot League) shouting 4D. “Politics AINT beanbag” (Mr. Dooley maxim), hammering the ALT (40A. PC key) at the ATM (9D. Presenter of bills) where it’s TBA (6D. Listings abbr.) what they OWE (57D. Come up short) for the 10D. Snow-TRAC (winter vehicle brand) as they DIG (42D. Get into) the blizzard in old South Dakota!
With it deception, illusion, tricks, hoodwink, juggling or just plain old praestrigia, this puzzle's a GAS (51A. Hoot)!
…hey, you’ve got MALE (5D. Like a cob) -- a swan song!
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