Theme: Eating breakfast makes you fat(?) — The first three theme answers are types of spreads you would put on food. The last theme answer is a spread that might be the result of too much of the other spreads.
- 17A: Sweet toast topper (STRAWBERRY JELLY).
- 29A: Fruity bread topper (APPLE BUTTER).
- 50A: "Schmeared" bagel topper (CREAM CHEESE).
- 65A: Waist woe (caused, perhaps, by overindulgence in 17-, 29- and 50-Across) (MIDDLE-AGE SPREAD).
- 14A: "Well done!" ("BRAVO!"). Very exclamatory puzzle today. See also 9D: "Whoopee!" ("YAY!").
- 15A: Early Yucatán dweller (MAYA). Also a little Native vibe going. See also 6A: Nebraska tribe (OTOE). Earlier today I read a heartbreaking article about the conditions on Indian reservations in the United States. How much composure do you imagine must be required for the Indians not go completely apesh*t when they hear the Tea Partiers proclaiming unironically that they "want their country back."
- 49A: Quilting party (BEE). Anybody ever been to one of these. It sounds kind of fun. Except for the sewing part.
- 54A: Terse order to a chauffeur (HOME). Do you think people really talk that way to their chauffeurs? I don't believe I've ever met anyone with a chauffeur.
- 2D: Greek city on its own gulf (ARTA). This was my WTF answer of the day. The Cruciverb.com data base only has this answer listed four times (never in the L.A. Times; twice in CrossSynergy puzzles in 2006; twice in late-week New York Times puzzles in 1997 and 1998). With those great letters, I think we'd see it more often if it was even a mediocre entry.
- 10D: Direct, as a confrontation (TOE-TO-TOE). Raise your hand if you read direct as a verb.
- 26D: "Washboard" muscles (ABS). Now that's just mean in a puzzle about middle-age spread.
- 45D: Cable sta. for old films (TCM). I never get this one. But I just now looked it up and finally figured out why. I get TCM (Turner Classic Movies) confused with AMC (American Movie Classics). I thought it was just that I was an idiot, but now I think it's understandable. Speaking of Turner Classics ....
Crosswordese 101: If you know only one thing about make-up, it should be ESTÉE (33D: Cosmetician Lauder). I mean, look at those letters! If you see the words cosmetics, skin care, fragrance, or perfume in the clue (and particular if the clue starts with "First name in …"), chances are, ESTÉE is probably the one you're looking for.
Everything Else — 1A: Silently understood (TACIT); 6A: "Dear" advice giver (ABBY); 10A: Clock sound (TICK); 20A: "No __, no gain" (PAIN); 21A: Cancel (UNDO); 22A: Book of maps (ATLAS); 23A: Peace and quiet (CALM); 25A: __-shanter: Scottish cap (TAM-O); 27A: State with 13-Down: Abbr. (FLA.); 35A: Inform (on) (RAT); 36A: Group of bits, in computer storage (BYTE); 37A: Other half, so to speak (SPOUSE); 38A: Be next to (ABUT); 40A: Wood-dressing tool (ADZ); 42A: Init. response team (EMTS); 43A: Complaint of "the weary" (NO REST); 46A: Kick into a net (GOAL); 52A: Wimbledon do-over (LET); 53A: Made the scene (CAME); 56A: Model of excellence (IDEAL); 59A: Assign stars to (RATE); 62A: Leadership org. for females (YWCA); 68A: Hang in the balance (PEND); 69A: Schedule opening (SLOT); 70A: Without letup (ON END); 71A: Hang around (STAY); 72A: Move cautiously (EDGE); 73A: Enjoys a kiddie pool (WADES); 1D: 1/16 of a cup: Abbr. (TBSP.); 3D: Politician in a political cartoon, e.g. (CARICATURE); 4D: A former Mrs. Trump (IVANA); 5D: Garage service (TOW); 6D: Word of agreement (AMEN); 7D: The __ of Avon (BARD); 8D: Boring way to learn (BY ROTE); 11D: "__ cost you!" (IT'LL); 12D: Bubbly drink (COLA); 13D: Largo, West, et al. (KEYS); 18D: Like roads with many potholes (BUMPY); 19D: Copier problem (JAM UP); 24D: Chem room (LAB); 27D: Old Cannes cash (FRANC); 28D: Repair bill line (LABOR); 30D: School support org. (PTA); 31D: Rock climber's stop (LEDGE); 32D: Windblown desert plant (TUMBLEWEED); 34D: Odometer button (RESET); 39D: Container at an afternoon service, maybe (TEA CADDY); 41D: Playwright Akins (ZOË); 44D: Lowercase (SMALL); 47D: Hibachi residue (ASHES); 48D: Summer sign (LEO); 51D: Proclaim (HERALD); 55D: Loy of "The Thin Man" (MYRNA); 56D: Mischievous tykes (IMPS); 57D: Try to reduce 65-Across (DIET); 58D: Ferber or Best (EDNA); 60D: Popeyed (AGOG); 61D: Place for a beret (TÊTE); 63D: Sugar source (CANE); 64D: Puts two and two together? (ADDS); 66D: Language suffix (-ESE); 67D: Sock-in-the-jaw sound (POW).