This was a pretty meaty puzzle--only 29 black squares--with plenty of two- and three-word phrases.
The thing is (1A: "That may be true, but...") I had to Google a number of things. That's two days in a row. I mean it (40A: No-nonsense cry)...I found some parts so tough that I couldn't crack them without help.
The end result was so worth it. Check out some of the multi-word answers:
In the northwest (along with the thing is) we have:
15A: Visit (social call). With the C**L in place at the end, I originally had social as the last word.
17A: When a procrastinator tends to something (another day). That was the first answer I filled in. Unfortunately, I wrote eventually.
In the southeast:
60A: Magazine that hands out annual Independent Press Awards (Utne Reader). Wasn't that in a recent puzzle? I'd never heard of it until then and must remember it.
65A: Little redhead (Raggedy Ann). I drew a blank on this until I had a G in place...then it became obvious.
67A: Puppet glue-ons (googly eyes). I could picture them but struggled to think what to call them.
The ten-letter stacks in the northeast were all good:
12D: Response to "I had no idea!" (now you know). I'd bet the farm that this was in a puzzle, clued identically. Otherwise, there'd be no way I'd have guessed this one. Got it from only the K...which came from one of only a few gimmes. 36A: Russian peasant wear (babushkas). One of our neighbors when I was growing up was from one of the Benelux countries, and she always referred to scarves as babushkas...the word stuck with me all these years.
13D: Northeastern city named for a Penobscot chief (Orono, Maine). They always confuse me when the state is included, but I love the way it looks in the grid.
14D: One concerned with the nose (wine taster). Got it off the A in 33A: Player of June in "Henry & June" (Uma) and the S. I'm not familiar with the movie, but I had the U...who else could it have been?
I had a hard time getting a toehold in the southwest. The vertical stacks there include:
27A: Engagement breakers? (ceasefires). I'm still not getting that one.
28D: Outlaw band member (Allan-a-Dale). I had to Google to figure out how to parse this one. Allana Dale? Al Lanadale? I had no idea what this clue meant...thought perhaps the Outlaws were a country group. According to Wikipedia, he was wandering minstrel who became part of Robin Hood's outlaw band, and there are several ways to spell his name.
29D: Insignificant sort (small timer).
We recently had sewer, clued in relation to sewing. Today the word appears again, with a reference to something that's not so nice. 22A: Place of refuse (sewer). There went my stomach.
Loved the clue for 31A: Shot putters' supplies? (serums). Others that had me heading the wrong way were 34A: Title locale of five 1980s films: Abbr. (Elm St.)...was looking for a city; 38A: Chic (ala mode)...I haven't thought of it in that way for years; 50A: Address south of the border (señor)...tried to think of the Spanish word for address; 52A: They're thick (idiots)...I could only think of thieves, and it wouldn't fit; 64A: Part of a rebel name (E. Lee); 56D: What you may call it when you're wiped out (a day)...the reason I didn't blog last night.
Today's Bible clues: 11D: Son of Elam whose name means "God the Lord" (Eliah). I tried Elija, but that wouldn't work with 20A: Comic Boosler (Elayne)...one of my Googled answers, since I'm not familiar with her. 49D: God commanded him to marry a harlot (Hosea). I'm sure relieved that God doesn't do that Old Testament stuff nowadays.
35D: Felix, e.g. (tomcat). I had the Cat...his proper name.
45A: She had brief roles as Phyllis on "Rhoda" and Rhoda on "Dr. Kildare" (Cloris). That was a gimme, only because they said she played Phyllis. Otherwise, I'd have been dead on that one. I watched Dr. Kildare but I don't remember her.
Those of you who found this puzzle easy enough can rub it in (25D: Cry "nyah, nyah!"). I can't explain why these last two have been so tough for me.
Would someone please explain 41A: King's second (Salem's lot)? I'm at a loss to figure that one out.
I'd be remiss if I didn't point out one of the most original words I've ever heard. 23D: Arrow of Light earner's program (Webelos)...a branch of Boy Scouts for the little guys. I remember my nephew in his uniform...he's now 35 and no longer wears it.
Don will be home today after a week in Las Vegas at a seminar. It will be nice to have him home.
Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.