Puzzle by Paula Gamache, edited by Will Shortz Vowel play links RENAISSANCE FARE (17A. 16th-century Florentine food?); BAD HARE DAY (32A. Reason the tortoise won the race?); SPORTS WARE (46A. Baseballs, footballs and basketballs?); RIGHT TO BARE ARMS (59A. Freedom from the requirement of having long sleeves?) -- extreme minimal effort effecting maximum change -- juggle the a's and e's and i's and keep the phonics -- faire, hair, ware, bear! SAD TO SAY (44A. “Alas”) and THE AISLE (35A. A ring bearer may go down it) are the other two long entries, followed by mid-size entries of DEEP RED (45D. Ruby), HAS DIBS (5D. Lays a claim on) and ODESSAN (24D. Comedian Yakov Smirnoff, by birth). Six letter entries -- AT COST (28D. Without profit); AYE AYE (27D. Naval affirmative); BE KIND (20A. Show compassion); BELIZE (37A. Commonwealth country in Central America); GAZE AT (26D. Eye intently); I DID SO (25D. Emphatic confirmation of action); KIBOSH (22A. Stopper of things); ORIENT (42A. Turn toward the east); POT PIE (54A. Entrée from the frozen food department); 30A. SENIOR moment; SHERPA (29D. Guide for Hillary); VANISH (8D. Dematerialize); WIG OUT (47D. Freak).
Five-letter -- ASIAN (64A. Thai or Chinese); CENTS (38A. Pennies); COHAB (19D. Housemate, informally); EJECT (9A. Bailout button); ELIOT (34D. Poet who wrote “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”); SIDEA (41A. Half of a 45 with more airplay); TATER (31D. Spud); TONGS (67A. Ice bucket accessory); TSLOT (43D. Groove for a letter-shaped bolt); VERDI (16A. See 15-Across) which is ARIA (15A. 16-Across’s “La donna e mobile,” e.g.). AGA, ALEE (D. Salt’s direction) which crosses ALOW (14A. Down from the deck), ASKS, ASST, BALE, BRO, CDR, DOE, DRS, ERA, ESP, ESTS, EVEN, GARB and GAWK (1A. Rubberneck), GIN, HDTV, IGA, IMOK, INK, IONE, ISNT and ISO, JEFE, KWAI, MTNS, PARK, PROS, RAT, REST, SHAG, SMOG, TAR, TATA, TIA and TIE, TOAD, TOOT and TOTE, URGE, WONK. Entries in one way or another LINKED (50A. Like some sausages and Web sites) -- TSLOT and ELIOT; GAWK and GAZE AT; EVEN and TIE; ALEE, ALOW and AYE AYE; ASIAN and ORIENT; WIG OUT and VANISH!
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Remaining clues -- 5. Digital signal receiver; 21. Nereid sister of Galatea; 25. Supermarket chain; 28. Support staffer: Abbr.; 39. Clairvoyant’s claim; 48. Shopping bag; 49. Blacken; 52. Air condition; 65. Craving; 66. Spree; 68. Disgusting one; 69. Queries. Down: 1. Shirts and skirts; 3. Policy ___; 4. River in a Best Picture title; 6. Patient observers: Abbr.; 7. Padre’s sister; 9. Drawn; 10. Baja boss; 11. Time to remember; 12. Mil. Leader; 13. Draw; 18. Press coverage; 23. Bundle in a barn; 33. Put one’s feet up 36. Ain’t as it should be?; 40. Part of PRNDL; 51. Anonymous John; 52. Farrah Fawcett’s signature do; 53. Rockies, e.g.: Abbr.; 55. “Ciao!”; 56. Old hands; 57. “Don’t worry about me”; 58. Figs. Like “a million or so”; 59. Fink; 60. Equal: Prefix; 61. ___ and tonic; 62. “Yo” man?; 63. Ottoman V.I.P.