THEME: BE ON THE BALL (38A: Demonstrate effectiveness, and a literal hint to the puzzle theme found in the answers to starred clues) — "BE" sits atop "BALL" four times in the grid.
Took me a while to figure out the gist of the theme — saw all the "BALL"s but couldn't figure out why the central wasn't the (to my ear, infinitely better) HAVING A BALL. Then noticed that other clues besides the "BALL"-containing ones were starred. That's the only way I noticed the "BE"s on top of the "BALL"s. I like the theme much better now.
14A: *First family member (ABEL)
17A: *Old street corner singer (BALLADEER)
21A: *Arthur in a dress (BEA)
25A: *Receptacle for choice slips (BALLOT BOX)
47A: *Brit. award (O.B.E.)
55A: *Danseur noble's partner (BALLERINA)
62A: *Ball honorees (BELLES) — yuck, do NOT like "Ball" in this clue...
65A: *Southwestern horseman (CABALLERO) — a great word
Upon further inspection, I see that this is a rather lovely grid. Some short junk, but nothing too distracting. Generally elegant all around. Maybe one too many names in the NE (had to really hack my way to ELINOR — 12D: Emma's "Sense and Sensibility" role), but LAST LEGS, ALGEBRA, BAR TAB ... all good.
Crosswordese 101: ADIT (32A: Mine entrance) — paradigmatic crosswordese for me. One of the first odd, oft-repeating four-letter crossword words I ever learned, back when I was first struggling to become a competent solver (early 90s, solving NYT puzzles edited by Eugene T. Maleska). ADIT's days of grid dominance have waned (which is probably for the best), but I still have crazy affection for this word because it represents my earliest sensation of feeling familiar with and comfortable in the world of crosswords.
- 1A: ___ St Ives: Cornwall museum (TATE) — ????; did you know that Nahum TATE rewrote the ending of "King Lear" ("The History of King Lear," late 17th century) to have Cordelia and Edgar marry (!?), and that that version was *the* accepted version of the play until well into the 19th century!? (teaching "Lear" again, and ran into this tidbit yesterday in Marjorie Garber's book "Shakespeare After All").
- 8D: Provençal cuisine delicacies (MORELS) — had no idea these mushrooms were particularly Provençal.
- 53D: European auto (OPEL) — much easier clue than the one I saw recently in the NYT, which gave two OPEL models I'd never heard of (I've barely heard of OPEL at all).
See you Monday.
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Everything Else — 1A: __ St Ives: Cornwall museum (TATE); 5A: Drift (ROAM); 9A: Caught on video (TAPED); 14A: *First family member (ABEL); 15A: Muppet who testified before Congress (ELMO); 16A: Spry (AGILE); 17A: *Old street corner singer (BALLADEER); 19A: Director De Mille (CECIL); 20A: Keys (ISLETS); 21A: *Arthur in a dress (BEA); 23A: Orkan sign-off word (NANU); 24A: Express gratitude to (THANK); 25A: *Receptacle for choice slips (BALLOT BOX); 27A: Publisher often seen in PJs (HEF); 28A: Park, in NYC (AVE.); 30A: Cpl.'s superior (SGT.); 31A: Valuable rock (ORE); 32A: Mine entrance (ADIT); 34A: Cover letter letters (ENC.); 36A: Diamond stat (ERA); 38A: Demonstrate effectiveness, and a literal hint to the puzzle theme found in the answers to starred clues (BE ON THE BALL); 42A: Farm dweller (ANT); 43A: Musical ability (EAR); 44A: D.C. fundraisers (PACS); 47A: *Brit. award (OBE); 50A: Summa __ laude (CUM); 52A: Eastern principle (TAO); 54A: "Murder, __ Wrote" (SHE); 55A: *Danseur noble's partner (BALLERINA); 58A: Eucharist plate (PATEN); 60A: Culinary author Rombauer (IRMA); 61A: 63-Across hdg. (ENE); 62A: *Ball honorees (BELLES); 63A: Besiege (STORM); 65A: *Southwestern horseman (CABALLERO); 67A: Musher's wear (PARKA); 68A: Abbr. that shortens text (ET AL.); 69A: Gossip columnist Cassini (IGOR); 70A: Extra large? (OBESE); 71A: Con (SHAM); 72A: Three-part nos. (SSNS); 1D: "Bewitched" role (TABITHA); 2D: Hangdog (ABASHED); 3D: Lie (TELL A FIB); 4D: Actress Barkin (ELLEN); 5D: Ruby and others (REDS); 6D: 65-Across's "Bravo!" (OLÉ); 7D: Microscopic organism (AMEBA); 8D: ProvenÁal cuisine delicacies (MORELS); 9D: Middle x (TAC); 10D: One taking a little off the top? (AGENT); 11D: Street going downhill? (PICABO); 12D: Emma's "Sense and Sensibility" role (ELINOR); 13D: Ritzy (DELUXE); 18D: Aleutian island (ATKA); 22D: Course with x's (ALGEBRA); 25D: Inclination (BENT); 26D: Other, in Spain (OTRA); 29D: Risky undertaking (VENTURE); 33D: Drink from a bag (TEA); 35D: Fidel's friend (CHE); 37D: Finsteraarhorn, e.g. (ALP); 39D: Start of many a story (ONCE); 40D: "Do I dare to __ peach?": Eliot (EAT A); 41D: Near-exhaustion metaphor (LAST LEGS); 45D: Root for (CHEER ON); 46D: Radar guns, e.g. (SENSORS); 47D: San Luis __, California (OBISPO); 48D: Bill for shots (BAR TAB); 49D: Author Leonard (ELMORE); 51D: Chops finely (MINCES); 53D: European auto (OPEL); 56D: Carefree diversions (LARKS); 57D: Bard's "below" (NEATH); 59D: "__ forgiven" (ALL IS); 62D: Lip soother (BALM); 64D: West who said "To err is human, but it feels divine" (MAE); 66D: Repeated nursery rhyme opener (BAA).