17A: Result of hitting the pause button on a movie (freeze frame).
38A: Extra (to spare).
61A: Old-time songwriters' locale (Tin Pan Alley). This should have been a gimme for anyone who did Thursday's puzzle. Today's clue was slightly different, and we didn't have to remember that Sn is the symbol for tin.
11D: Dairy Queen offering (banana split). That brings back childhood memories. A banana split was our special treat for an A and B report card. I ate plenty of them then, but I can't remember the last time I ate one.
25D: Attack before being attacked (first strike).
27D: Millinery accessories (hat pins). [Thanks to reader Howard B for pointing out that this was also a theme answer. How could I have missed it...crossing to spare so beautifully in the center?]
There were a few other answers that were in recent puzzles. Yesterday we had parrots as part of one of the long theme answers. Today it reappears as a noun at 56A, clued as Chatty birds. 48D: Playwright Sean (O'Casey) was in the puzzle on July 26...the one where all the words at the left margin were clued with a dash, and the clues for all of the two-word answers appeared on the right side. I'm probably not describing it any better now than I did when I blogged it!
I'm always excited to get sports-related answers of any kind. 29A: Hall-of-Fame QB Johnny (Unitas) and 46D: Baltimore nine (Orioles).
If I gave an award for the best Pope clue and answer, it would go to 14A: Pope before Paul V, whose papacy lasted less than four weeks (Leo XI). Not only is it good, but it looks good in the grid...LEOXI. It crosses at the X with 4D: Carry out, as an assignment (execute). And if that's not Scrabbly enough, sitting atop it is 1A: Do very well (at) (excel), crossing with 2D: Generation __ (thirty-something) (X-er). That, of course, reminds me of my favorite eighties show, thirtysomething, which Lifetime plugged as, The show that's just like life, only with better writers.
Moving from the eighties to a little bit of sixties history...6A: Alabama march city (Selma) and 28A: The "B" in L.B.J. (Baines). It was real life for many of us, not just something we read about years later. And it seems like it was just yesterday.
We also have a little bit of British humor in the northeast...11A: U.K. channel (BBC), crossing with 13D: John who starred in "A Fish Called Wanda" (Cleese). According to this article, he also wrote it, in addition to writing for BBC Radio. I loved Cleese as Basil Fawlty (in Fawlty Towers) and the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Fun words to see in the puzzle include 9D: "Goldilocks" character (Mama Bear), 67A: Online birthday greeting, e.g. (e-card), and 71A: Channel with cameras in the Capitol (C-Span), officially, the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network.
It's late...time to call it a night. Here's the completed grid.
See you tomorrow.