I wondered how many consecutive constructor debuts we'd have this week. The answer to that riddle is two.
A four-part riddle (at 20-, 28-, 48- and 56-across) asks, "What implement/ can be produced/ from potassium/ nickel and iron?"
The answer, which appears in the circled squares, is knife. (It took some time for me to think periodic table of elements...K/Ni/Fe. I'll bet I'm not alone.)
In addition to the riddle theme, there were two more riddle clues/answers:
23A: "Who __?" (common riddle ending) (am I) and 64D: "Riddle-me-__" (ree).
Things I didn't know and couldn't have gotten without crosses:
18A: Turns around, as a mast (slues).
39A: Fortuneteller (sibyl). Have never heard the word used. Ever.
3D: N.H.L. team at Joe Louis Arena (Red Wings). I need a cheat sheet that lists all of the teams--hockey, basketball, football, soccer...I think I'm okay on baseball.
11D: Tuscany city (Siena).
I had never heard of Brian Eno B.C. (before crosswords), but I've seen him in enough puzzles that I now know his name. But I did NOT know that he created the Windows 95 start-up sound (40D). In fact, I never stopped to think that someone had to create that and other computer sounds. I take so much for granted.
I like the connection between 9D: "Odyssey," for one (poem), although I initially had epic, and 47A: Movie featuring Peter O'Toole as Priam (Troy).
Words I liked seeing in the grid:
60A: Like worms (icky). It was the first word that came to mind when I thought about worms, and it turned out to be right. I loved its cross at the K. 48D: Changeable on a whim (fickle).
61A: Computer unveiled in 1946 (ENIAC). For those who don't know, that's an acronym for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer.
6D: Fine metal openwork (filigree).
19A: Abbé de l’__, pioneer in sign language (Epee). We see epee in the grid on a fairly regular basis, but it's never been clued this way. Definitely a Thursday kind of clue for an everyday kind of word.
It's interesting to see 38D: Plan for nuptials (set a date) so close to 62A: Cold feet (fear). It reminds me of a scene in Runaway Bride. Maggie (Julia Roberts) has just left her groom standing at the altar, and has jumped aboard a FedEx truck. A woman asks Fisher (Hector Elizondo), "Where is she going?" He replies, "I don't know, but she'll be there by 10:30 tomorrow."
And I need to be somewhere by 10:30 tomorrow, so I'm calling it a night.
Hope to see you tomorrow.