This one had something to love for everyone, and plenty for me to love. With just a few exceptions, I was totally on Mike's wavelength.
I immediately nailed the northeast corner, moving to the southwest and finishing up that quadrant. But I had a few too many blanks in the southeast...and a whole lot of nothing up in the northwest. I loved "Mad About You" (I love anything with Helen Hunt, especially "Castaway," which I watched again a few weeks ago), but I couldn't remember a ditsy waitress...and I needed 3D to open up that area. Once I got the answer from Dogpile (Lisa Kudrow), one answer followed another ...and that corner finally fell.
Don't know why I immediately got 6A: Fed up with (tired of), but I did. I then worked the downs in that corner, easily getting the supremely-clued 6D: Exchange of thoughts? (telepathy), 7D: Burn up (ire), 8D: Name of 11 ancient kings (Ramses), 9D: Some collars (Etons), 11D: Recovered from (over) and 12D: Believed (felt). I didn't know 10D: "White Flag" singer, 2003, but since I had just about every letter, it was easy to get 14A: Key (operative) and 17A: GQ figure (male model). I was then able to get Dido, although I've never heard of her or the song.
The fill was just so outstanding that it's difficult to pick favorites. I'll start with the remaining multiword answers.
16A: How some ashes are scattered (at sea).
33A: What you take when you do the right thing (moral high ground). Three words...almost more than I can take.
37A: Start of the Boy Scout Oath (on my). I knew more than that and was prepared to write in several lines.
42A: Decision time (zero hour). I love the expression, love that it has a Z, and love that it's in Elton John's "Rocket Man."
46A: "Bummer" (aw, gee) and 55A: "Outta sight!" (oh, wow)...not the best, but they're still multiword answers, so they get points in my book.
51A: "Win some, lose some" (that's life).
54A: Concerning (related to).
2D: Free (on the loose).
4D: Rough estimate (a few).
15D: Transition to a heliocentric model of the universe, e.g. (paradigm shift)...the very best clue and answer in the grid. Love that silent G.
27D: Negative sign (thumbs down). I was trying to think of something having to do with math.
28D: Requirement (sine qua non)..."without which it could not be." I'll bet I'm not the only one who immediately put an E after the Q.
31D: Sunburn preventer (zinc oxide). Both a Z and an X in one answer. It doesn't get any better than that. And I love their crosses...31A: Pasta choice (ziti) and 49A: Shortened word on a yellow street sign (Xing).
40D: Minds (sees to).
Clues I loved include 1A: Kind of year (solar), 13A: It can be scary to go under this (knife), 40A: Natural fluid containers (sacs), 1D: Pass superficially (over) (skate), 22A: They act on impulses (synapses)...also love the answer, 25D: Nut cracker, perhaps (beak), 29D: They make connections (ands), 34D: Winter coat? (hoar), 42D: Some sisters (Zetas) and 45A: Practices zymurgy (brews)...I can never remember that one.
Favorite answers...aside from those already mentioned:
20A: Sound of contempt (snort). That's not a sound that I make to show contempt...it's usually when I'm laughing over something that's really funny. That usually causes the other person to laugh more...which makes me laugh (and snort) even more.
36A: Co-worker of Dilbert (Asok)...the only one I can remember by name, other than Alice.
There were a few unfamiliar answers, but they were all easy enough to get from crosses.
30A: Mathematician famous for his incompleteness theorems (Godel).
38A: Innovative chair designer Eames).
50A: It follows Shevat (Adar).
53A: Historic capital of Scotland (Scone). I only know the word as something I like to eat with coffee.
19D: Late rocker Barrett (Syd).
As is always the case, this puzzle was worth waiting for...but I hope we don't have to wait as long for the next one.
Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.