This is another variation on the one clue fits all. There are four very different variations of the letter A. Two are presented with an apostrophe, two with a following s. All lead to grid-spanning fill, which is awesome. To me, the phrasing of OAKLAND BALL CLUB is the only one I see as bit of a stretch as it sounds so outdated, but still the puzzle is really nicely put together. Jeffrey really packs the puzzle with sparkly fill SNORKEL, YES DEAR, PAPYRUS, PODCAST, EDUCATE, ENROLLS, SLUICED, CLOSEST, OF ONE SIZE and SWEET DEAL. Less than thirty-five 3/4 letter fill! What fun. Okay, off we go- theme:
17A. As : SYMBOL OF ARSENIC (15). Important to know if reading about murder is your thing.
32A. A's : EXCELLENT GRADES. (15). Important to know if you want to read.
41A. As : TO THE SAME DEGREE (15). Important to know if you want to read what he reads.
60A. A's : OAKLAND BALL CLUB (15). Important to know if baseball is your thing.
1. Early Welsh : CELTS. Not Red Auerbach.
6. Subpar performance ... or not : BOGEY. A very wonderful clue, my nomination for Clue of the month. Subpar means less than average, except in golf where below par (subpar) means you did well.
11. School sweater letters : NUS. 13th letter of the Greek alphabet.
14. Wedding, e.g. : UNION.
15. All small, say : OF ONE SIZE. Fits all....
19. Ancient communication medium : PAPYRUS. love the pairing of clues/fill.
20. Modern communication medium : PODCAST.
21. Parts to put together : KIT. When I was young there many of these to help you build a RADIO.
22. Memphis-to-Nashville dir. : ENE. From Graceland to the Grand Old Opry!
23. Washington portraitist : PEALE. George W, both before and after he was president, was the SUBJECT for this ARTIST.
27. Bocelli album that includes "Bésame Mucho" : AMORE.
38. __ work: menial labor : SCUT.
39. Venerate : ADORE. So close to amore.
40. 1992 opponent of Bill and George : ROSS. H. Ross Perot. Still the butt of jokes.
44. What a bump may affect : SPEED. My neighborhood is surrounded by speed bumps- they still speed using our street as a shortcut.
45. Sources of peeps : NESTS. Easter is coming.
46. Nation with a pyramid on its currency: Abbr. : USA.
51. Channeled, as water : SLUICED.
55. Most trusted : CLOSEST.
62. Real bargain : SWEET DEAL.
63. Quarters in the wild : LAIRS.
64. CIA predecessor : OSS.
65. __ bird : EARLY.
66. Not worth it, perhaps : STEEP.
1. Point of imminence : CUSP. On the cusp of war.
2. Musician from County Donegal : ENYA. Is it raining there?
3. Sagging : LIMP. Two weeks in a row.
4. Keith of country : TOBY. Urban did not fit. Do you all watch The Voice?
5. Underwater aid : SNORKEL. Sergeant? Why not, we grew up together.
6. Leg up : BOOST.
7. On vacation : OFF.
8. Lose it : GO APE.
9. "The Smartest Guys in the Room" subject : ENRON. It was an interesting BOOK and Documentary.
10. Sighed agreement : YES DEAR. Time for the chore jar.
11. 1493 Lisbon arrival : NINA. The SHIP had a great history.
12. Israeli weapons : UZIS.
13. Mennonites, e.g. : SECT. 16A. "Just a __!" : SEC.
18. Heathrow : his :: Orly : à __ : LUI. French gift for Splynter.
23. Vermin : PESTS.
24. Serpico, for one : EX-COP. And so much MORE.
25. Severe : ACUTE. Chronic is the other choice.
26. River in Hades : LETHE. Their beliefs were FUN.
28. Toon with a blue do : MARGE. More Simpsons.
29. Trails for bloodhounds : ODORS
30. Go back to zero : RESET.
31. Swiss borders? : ESSES. SwiSS.
33. __ Palmas: Gran Canaria capital : LAS. In the Canary Islands.
34. Author LeShan : EDA.
35. __ de famille : NOM. The long way to refer to someone's last name. Lesson two for Splynter.
36. Otto minus cinque : TRE. 8-5 in Italian.
37. H.S. equivalency test : GED.
42. Inform : EDUCATE.
43. Registers : ENROLLS. These three all fit together.
47. "Never __ boy to ... " : SEND A.
48. Dangerous biter : ADDER. Loved Black Adder.
49. Like 48-Down : SCALY.
50. Unlikely to be chipper : ILL.
51. Acceptable : SO SO.
52. They're often broken : LAWS.
53. Luau entertainment : UKES. This took me much longer than it should have.
54. Suffix with percent : ILE.
56. "Get lost!" : SCAT.
57. Nobelist Wiesel : ELIE. He is so popular these days.
Washington Post Sunday Magazine - March 5, 2017
Sheffer - March 1, 2017
USA Today - Feb. 28, 2017
Washington Post - Feb. 14, 2017
LA Times - Feb. 10, 2017
Sheffer - Feb. 4, 2017
Sheffer - Jan. 17, 2017
Washington Post Sunday Magazine - Jan. 8, 2017
Chronicle of Higher Education - Jan. 6, 2017
58. "Glad to help" : SURE.
59. Kitchen meas. : TBSP. Do not know why but I did not hesitate with this fill.
61. Acct. entry : BALance.
Well on balance I got 'er done which is good. I think Jeffrey has plugged into my subconscious because many of my 'guesses' are spot on. I liked the variety of the fill and I am really now very familiar with the repeating clue puzzle. Quite a bit of French and no Shakespeare, what is the world coming to? Thank JW, see you all next time. Lemonade out. Would any regulars like the filled grid printed in a larger font?
Note from C.C.:
The 40th American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (March 24-26, 2017) will be held at the Stamford Marriott in Stamford, Connecticut. For those who attend, I hope you won't miss the Cru Dinner organized by the great Mike Alpern. Lots of fun pictures and FAQ's in that link.
The Cru Dinner officially kicks off the tournament and is a great opportunity to meet with constructors and fellow solvers. And as a newbie, you'll always get a welcome gift! The space is limited, so be sure to contact with Mike (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible.
Mike just told me that "we've got 65 of the 80 or so slots filled (yes, it's been busy), mostly with veterans. I'd like to encourage rookies to sign up while there's still room".
I bet our own Jeffrey will be a judge again this year at the ACPT. Kevin Christian also. Minnesota's Tom Pepper & Marcia will attend the Cru dinner. George Barany might be there also.