Matt here, self-blogging due to holiday season Joonlessness. We were looking for a five-letter bird, and our theme entries were:
17-A [Basketball situation that often ends with a slam dunk] = FAST BREAK
26-A [Hard to beat in a duel] = QUICK ON THE DRAW
40-A [“The Fastest Mouse in All Mexico”] = SPEEDY GONZALES
61-A [Second-largest metropolis in South Dakota] = RAPID CITY. Not really big enough to be called a “metropolis,” but I couldn’t use “city” in the clue, so there it is.
The first words of these are FAST, QUICK, SPEEDY and RAPID, so out five-letter bird must be the synonymous-with-those SWIFT, found by 610 solvers.
Decent Week 1 theme and fill, and 74 words (patting self on back). 3.85 stars.