I haven't figured out why an asterisk appeared at each of the theme clues...it certainly wasn't much help. Maybe something was supposed to be in WordPad, but I didn't see it.
On to the theme answers...seven Latin phrases, some more tricky than others.
18A: * Solid ground (terra firma). A gimme, even before I figured out the theme.
20A: * You should have the body (habeas corpus). Another gimme, thanks to my legal background.
40A: * From the beginning (ab ovo). Since ovo = egg, that was easy enough to guess.
59A: * The die is cast (alea iacta est). I had to Google this one to see how to parse it. Definitely the mother of the Latin phrases...and I don't necessarily mean that in a good way.
62A: * Always the same (semper idem). I know semper from the Marines motto, so that was fairly easy.
4D: * Behold the proof (ecce signum). It almost looks like it says, Here is a sign.
31D: * Without which not (sine qua non). Another one I remember from law, although its definition makes no sense.
Maybe the theme is deeper than I realize...I just think there must be something more. In the recent past, Patrick Blindauer had us playing chess, doing an acrostic and doing a word search...all within the puzzle. Surely he wouldn't let us off this easily. Okay, I'll stop second guessing for now.
Favorite clues/answers in the puzzle include:
14A: "Just __!" (a sec).
24A: Pro at balancing (CPA). For reasons you can probably understand, I never tell Don that I frequently don't balance my checkbook more often than once a year. Don't any of you tell him.
32A: Erica who wrote "Any Woman's Blues" (Jong).
39A: Schoenberg's "Moses und __" (Aron). Didn't have a clue, but I got it from the crosses.
42A: Gray-brown goose (nene). I have been waiting for this answer to appear since our trip. Here's a picture of a nene--the state bird of Hawaii--that I took at the Kilauea Lighthouse. It was pretty exciting to finally see one. If you click on it, you can see his sweet face.
43A: "The Taming of the Shrew" setting (Padua). Didn't know that one, either.
2D: Stern that bows (Isaac). Very clever.
8D: He said "Slump? I ain't in no slump. I just ain't hitting" (Berra). Even if you didn't know that he said it, you knew that he'd say it.
24D: All alternative (Cheer). Another clever clue.
34D: Alertness aid (No-Doz). Do they still make this? I remember kids talking about it in high school.
37D: Briefs, briefly (BVDs). It's about time...I'll bet we have bras (or C cup) in the puzzle ten times to every mention of men's briefs.
44D: Lacking purpose (aimless). Had useless for a while.
54D: One who's not "it" (hider). I normally don't like the -er answers, but this one was just too clever.
57D: Some Peters (tsars). Again, a clever clue...for an often-appearing answer. Ditto for 66A: They're rather pointless (epees).
That's it for tonight. Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.