Jim Page's Friday puzzle has nine long answers...stacks of three in each corner...and pretty spicy fill all around.
I'm not operating at full capacity this evening...turns out it wasn't just allergies bothering me this week. I'm on a hefty dose of antibiotics, as well as some delightful cough syrup with codeine...two teaspoons and I slept for three hours. I took a half dose two hours ago, but I'm a real lightweight and I'm pretty groggy.
That said, I'm truly amazed that I finished this. I came to a standstill at one point and Googled for one answer...5D: "Doonesbury" journalist Hedley (Roland). Part of my confusion in the northwest was 10D: Actress Morelli of "The Leopard," 1963 (Rina). I read it as Moreno and filled in Rita.
Long theme answers in the northwest:
1A: Terrifying tales (hair raisers).
15A: One might have a stunt double (action movie)...filled in action right off the bat but I was trying to fit in something like actor.
17A: Bit of ballistic evidence (shell casing).
In the northeast 12D: Predawn period (small hours)...I prefer wee, 13D: Potential reputation ruiner (dark secret)...love that one and 14D: Secondary arrangements (subsystems).
The southwest corner was the easiest for me, with 25D: Yellowish-orange spread (apricot jam), 26D: Rummage (root around) and 27D: It tells you where else to look (cross reference). Nice connected clue at 43D: Word in a 27-Down (see).
And in the southeast...58A: It often includes surround sound (home theater), 61A: One who may do a wire transfer (electrician) and 63A: Chips and such (party snacks).
I liked the similarity between 40A: Builder of a hanging nest (oriole) and 46A: Projecting bit of architecture (oriel). I'm not sure what the latter looks like, but I'm pretty partial to the former...and all birds.
I just dozed off while uploading that picture...[UPDATE Friday morning: Thanks for your kindness in ignoring the typos in that last paragraph. I've corrected them and am now heading back to la-la land.]
The standard crossword fare didn't take away in the least from the rest of the good fill...19A: Weber per square meter (Tesla), 21A: Organization originally called the Jolly Corks (Elks)...nice Friday clue for that one, 60A: Suffix of some cyclic coumpounds (ane), 3D: Plural suffix for urban (ites), 21D: Fill up on (eat), 28D: One passing notes? (ATM), 34D: Certain character sketch (cel) and 56D: Flying piscivores (erns). That, by the way, is the best clue we've ever had for erns.
15A: Egyptian __ (cat breed) (Mau). I'm not up on my cat breeds, but that good guess panned out. They're awfully cute little guys.
And I keep finding myself dozing off, so I'd better wrap things up...take a full dose and get a good night's sleep.
Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.