Puzzle by Frank Longo, edited by Will Shortz
THREE LITTLE PIGS (60A. Storybook group residing in this puzzle?), along with BOAR, SOW and HOG each appearing in a single square of the across entries of CHAIRMAN OF THE [BOAR]D (17. Person making firm decisions), TO EACH HI[S OW]N (22. “Different strokes for different folks” and [HOG]AN’S HEROES (55. 1960s sitcom set at a camp) are the interrelated entries of this last-day-of-the-year Thursday crossword, along with the corresponding down entries of CO[BO AR]ENA (12. Detroit venue for sporting events and concerts), [SO W]HAT (25. “Big deal”) and QUA[HOG] (37. Thick-shelled seafood selection) -- squealingly squeezed into small crossword squares… three little pigs, literally little.
EVE (56D. Brink) is the sole possible reference to this New Year’s Eve, most likely having escaped from the crossword puzzle appearing this past Christmas Eve which featured nine squares with the word EVE crammed into one square each -- HERE. Today, we get PIGS...
Other across: 5. Vice president after Breckinridge, HAMLIN; 15A. Dreadful, old-style, UGSOME; 20. Wasn’t up, SLEPT; 21. Bobby-SOXER; 29. Vujacic of the Los Angeles Lakes, who’s nicknamed “The Machine”, SASHA; 31. Alternatives to cups, in dessert orders, CONES; 33. Something to throw on the BBQ, PATTY; 43. It’s nothing new, with “the”, USUAL; 45. Not worthless, OF USE; 50. Country statistics, AREAS; 57. Chew out, SCOLD; 59. Place to escape to, HAVEN; 67. "Niagara" star, 1953, MONROE; 70. Pachacuti’s people, INCANS.
Down: 3. Multistep process starter, PHASE ONE; 4. Green crops cultivated for fodder, SOILAGE; 5. Snorts of disdain, HUMPHS; 6. She created Hercule, AGATHA; 11. Limb bender, FLEXOR; 13. Training groups, CADRES; 19. It’s done for fun, HOBBY; 43. Cry when you’ve had enough, UNCLE; 40. Shelve for a while, PUT ON ICE; 46. What Fido “shakes hands” with, FOREPAW; 47. To a T, JUST SO; 48. Abstain from, ESCHEW; 49. Unconcerned with scruples, AMORAL; 51. “Punk’d” host, Kutcher, ASHTON; 52. Some are bituminous, SHALES.
Short stuff -- ACRE, AGOG, BONE, BRAS, DEMI, ECHO, ESTE, FCC, GRR, ICH, IMF, INC, IQS, ISP, JEAN, LEN and LON, LOA and LOO, MSN, NATS and NETS, ODE, OGOD, OTTO, OWL, PER, REC and SEC, REOS, SARA, SEA and SEE, SIPS and SIS, TACO, TKO, TRA, TSK, USMC, WERE (71A. Be in a certain mood?).
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Remaining clues -- ACROSS: 1. Small drafts; 11. Govt. media monitor; 14. Return from a mountain?; 16. Mauna ___; 27. Radius, e.g.; 28. Intensely interested; 30. Cup holders?; 35. Salute in stanzas; 36. Mental figures; 39. Click of condescension; 40. On the authority of; 47. Pirate Lafitte; 53. Maestro Klemperer; 54. Parris Isl. Outfit; 66. It has a very large bed; 68. Plot piece; 69. Athena’s symbol. DOWN: 1. See 58-Down; 2. Potsdam pronoun; 7. Alternative to AOL or Juno; 8. Bath bathroom; 9. Global lending org.; 10. Cross-court items?; 18. It’s done for fun, for short; 22. ___ Bell; 23. Psalm start; 24. AOL or Juno; 26. D.C. diamond squad; 32. Granny, to a great-aunt; 34. Ref’s call; 38. Tony-winning “Spamalot” actress Ramirez; 41. City in Padua province; 42. Antique autos; 44. “Live Free or Die Hard” directed Wiseman; 58. With 1-Down, moderately sweet, to a vintner; 61. Hoops coach Kruger; 62. Magazine with an annual “500”; 63. La-la lead-in; 64. [Mumble, mumble]; 65. “Comprende?”