- 16A: Words of protest (WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA).
- 21A: King's memorable words (I HAVE A DREAM).
- 33A: Lennon's last album released before his death (DOUBLE FANTASY).
- 49A: Pensive state (DEEP THOUGHT).
- 55A: Sports psychologist's mantra ... or what can be said about the last word of 16-, 21-, 33- or 49-Across (IT'S ALL IN THE MIND).
I made my way steadily through this Wednesday grid without any problems. Anything that didn't come to mind immediately (see what I did there?) was easily discovered through crosses. The theme is fine — nothing particularly flashy, but the theme answers are several notches above boring. Wondering where the partials, prefixes and suffixes hang out? Apparently right here in this grid: A SEC, OR A, A TEN, UP A, -URB, ANA-, -INI. Wow. That seems a little excessive.
- 1A: 2007 Oscar winner (Best Original Screenplay) about a pregnant teenager (JUNO). Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this movie, but I wish it had been presented a little more straightforwardly as a modern-day fairy tale. I'm afraid some people (especially teens) walked away from that movie thinking that's what life is really like.
- 9A: Astronaut's thumbs-ups (AOK'S). Not a fan of the gratuitous plural.
- 64A: Instrument in a Chinese temple (GONG). When are they gonna bring "The Gong Show" back?
- 2D: Escort to a seat, in slang (USH). 'Cuz when I'm rappin' about the movie house, it's wack to use the whole word.
- 14D: Pricey strings, for short (STRAD). Short for STRADivarius.
- 18D: Chess sacrifice (GAMBIT). I was looking for something a little more French here. Aren't there a lot of French terms in chess?
- 25D: "... two fives for __?" (A TEN).
- 38D: "Gross!" ("YECH!"). I can't be the only one who tried "yuck" first.
- 46D: Heracles' beloved (IOLE). I've learned a few mythical characters just from solving puzzles. This isn't one of them.
- 50D: Gearshift letters (PRNDL). Park-Reverse-Neutral-Drive-Low.
- 51D: Heads, to Henri (TÊTES). Now there's my French!
Other crosswordese in the puzzle that we've already covered:
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Everything Else — 5A: Greenish-blue (AQUA); 13A: "Gimme __": "Be right with you" (A SEC); 14A: Turn one's nose up at (SPURN); 15A: __ the fat (CHEW); 20A: Very capable (ADEPT); 26A: Sound during a massage (AAH); 27A: Do a goalkeeper's job (DEFEND); 28A: Island in the French West Indies, familiarly (ST. BART'S); 31A: Elect (VOTE IN); 39A: Uses a LaserJet (PRINTS); 40A: "Oh, what a tangled __ we weave": Scott (WEB); 42A: Island nation west of Haiti (JAMAICA); 45A: Mineral used in glassmaking (SILICA); 48A: "... man __ mouse?" (OR A); 52A: Nairobi is its capital (KENYA); 54A: Kingdom (REALM); 61A: Time for lunch (NOON); 62A: Machu Picchu's range (ANDES); 65A: Makes slick, in a way (OILS); 66A: Letters at the end of a love letter (XOXO); 1D: Boxer's target (JAW); 3D: Cultural funding gp. (NEA); 4D: C to C, e.g. (OCTAVE); 5D: Nuisance to gardeners (APHID); 6D: Kooky (QUEER); 7D: Suffix with sub (-URB); 9D: Low-pH substance (ACID); 10D: "Goodness!" ("OH DEAR!"); 11D: Try and try again (KEEP AT); 12D: Mowed strips (SWATHS); 17D: Witnessed (SEEN); 21D: Altar words (I DO); 22D: Gnus' group (HERD); 23D: Hairstyle for Hendrix (AFRO); 24D: These, in Juarez (ESTAS); 29D: Prefix with gram (ANA-); 31D: __ cavae: large blood vessels (VENAE); 32D: Frequently, to a bard (OFT); 34D: Dance-storm link (UP A); 35D: Like some showers (BRIDAL); 36D: Wingless parasites (LICE); 37D: Gulp from a flask (SWIG); 41D: Creature that "sees" using echolocation (BAT); 42D: Pulling one's leg (JOKING); 43D: Schoolyard argument retort (ARE TOO); 44D: Controversial rocker Marilyn (MANSON); 45D: Old Persian rulers (SHAHS); 47D: Klutz (LUMMOX); 53D: Partner of yin (YANG); 56D: __-tzu (LAO); 57D: Pasta ending (-INI); 58D: Native of Nigeria (IBO); 59D: Prohibit (NIX); 60D: "Gloria in Excelsis __" (DEO).