Another delightful Sunday puzzle by one of the masters. To my knowledge, Elizabeth Gorski has never done a puzzle that wasn't top quality.
The title of the puzzle, Spy Glass, didn't give me much of a clue as to the theme. I managed to nail the across answers in the northwest corner, though...and I couldn't help but see the answer to 3D: *1962-67, 1971 (Sean Connery). It was easy enough to guess that we'd find all of the James Bond portrayers in the puzzle, along with his signature 39A: [See instructions in Notepad] (martini)...pictured when you connect the circled letters, in accordance with those instructions.
I don't think I've seen a James Bond movie with any of the other 007 actors, but I somehow knew all of them.
23A: *1969 (George Lazenby).
48A: *1973-85 (Roger Moore).
68A: *1987-89 (Timothy Dalton).
115A: *1995-2002 (Pierce Brosnan). If I could ever let go of the Sean Connery image of my impressionable teen years, Pierce Brosnan would probably get my vote.
71D: *2006- (Daniel Craig).
Elizabeth wrapped things up with 72D: Bond common to the answers to the six starred clues (James). For good measure, she added 90A: Writer born May 28, 1908 (Ian Fleming) and 33D: Title for 48-Across and 3-Down (Sir).
It's good that I knew so many of the long answers, because there were a few things that were complete unknowns...or otherwise escaped me.
13A: Ottoman V.I.P.'s (Aghas). I'm sure I wasn't alone in thinking of the other kind of ottoman.
110A: 2003 best-selling fantasy novel by teen author Christopher Paolini (Eragon).
123A: Artist Watteau (Antoine)...one of those that escaped me until I had a few letters in place.
14D: Like some wrestling (Greco-Roman). I know as much about wrestling as I do any other sport, so I looked it up. Here's everything you ever wanted to know about Greco-Roman wrestling...in case you decide to take it up. I think I'll pass...my lifting skills wouldn't cut it.
15D: Tennis star Mandlikova (Hana).
53D: March 25, in the Christian calendar (Lady Day)...not in any calendar I've ever seen.
I have so many favorite answers. Some of the best:
1A: How architects' models are built (to scale).
61A: "Smooth Operator" singer (Sade). I haven't heard this in forever. I also like "The Sweetest Taboo."
77A: Semitic deity (Baal).
80A: Gut course (easy A). No such thing...if it's so easy, how come some people get a C or D in it?
88A: Ventured (forth) (sallied). I learned this in a puzzle in recent months and just love the expression.
102A: Mexican beer (Corona). One of my favorites...right up there with Sunshine Wheat and Fat Tire.
119A: New Jersey city, county or river (Passaic). My high school best friend was from Passaic, so it was a gimme.
4D: Attire with supersized pockets (cargo pants).
38D: "The Allegory of Love" writer, 1936 (C.S. Lewis).
66D: In song, "Once you pass its borders, you can ne'er return again" (Toyland).
68D: Fights (tussles).
77D: Rock guitarist once married to Goldie Hawn (Bill Hudson). Thank you, Kate...that's the only way I remembered his last name.
87D: Night lights (auroras).
Favorite clues include 50A: Moles' production (tunnels), 82A: Alexander Hamilton's last act (duel), 97A: Offering from St. Joseph (aspirin), 99A: Willy Wonka's creator (Dahl), 105A: "Lost" filming locale (Oahu), 121A: Name-drop, maybe? (erase), 8D: Chairman's supporter? (Maoist), 51D: Butterfly experts, perhaps (swim team) and 74D: It's full of holes (golf course).
We spent the better part of the day cutting up a tree that snapped during some high winds...fortunately missing the house. A long soak in the hot tub is just what the doctor ordered.
Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.