A quick return visit to Friday from Mr. Wechsler, with another punny effort, where the first word of each them answer is transformed by the addition of an “E” creating a sound-alike with a completely different meaning to the word and to the resulting phrase. This effort is a classic-looking Friday with word count down and average word length in excess of 5 letters. Lots of original fill, with the NW corner featuring a beautiful stack of three new fill for the LAT (A TALL ONE, TIE BOLTS and SCRUPLES) crossing ALBUMEN. The SE has the new JOY OF SEX, little used ABORTIVE and YOU DA MAN, crossing the brand new GOLF TAN. To fill a grid with this much originality must be a dramatic amount of work. The theme fill are all funny and the I enjoy the visual look of the puzzle, which has many blocks also has lots of open squares. He does use two cheater squares to accommodate the two 14 letter themers in the 10-14-14-10 pattern, rather than the more common 10-13-13-10. He includes fill from many generations and interests which added to my enjoyment. How about you?
18A. Chorus of cows? : MOOED MUSIC (10). (MOOD Music). You think they practice in unison? LINK. (1:37).
25A. Environmentalist priests? : COLLARED GREENS (14). (COLLARD Greens). A stretch but I really like the play on COLLARD.
41A. Assessed penalties against nonconformists? : FINED THE WAYOUT (14). (FIND the WAY OUT). The trickiest, because you have to parse WAYOUT as defining an unconventional person.
53A. Barbie after a bit too much bubbly? : WINED UP TOY (10) (WIND-UP Toy). I am familiar with liquored up, not so much wined up, but then I might have been more impatient in my youth.
1. H.S. concerns : SATS. Scholastic Achievement Tests. I think the world is finally getting away from the idea that standardized tests are a predictor of anything. 56D. H.S. subject : ENGlish.
5. Place to pick up a kitten : SCRUFF. I will leave it to the cat experts to pick the link of a mother carrying her baby by the scruff of the neck.
11. "Raiders of the Lost Ark" threat : ASP.
14. Psych ending : OTIC. Just what the clue tells you-psychotic.
15. They may be seen on slides : AMEBAE. Many ways to spell this crossword staple.
16. Black __ : SEA.
17. He dethroned Carnera in 1934 : BAER. Max, who along with brother Buddy was a successful fighter. Max is probably more famous for losing to James J. Braddock, the Cinderella Man
22. Make : REALIZE. I guess he means profit.
23. Relaxed pace : LOPE.
24. Cubist Fernand : LEGER. I am not familiar with this ARTIST.
31. Way to get a deal started : ANTE. card deal. Another quick turn around from yesterday's theme.
32. Cajuns' 18th-century ancestors, for example : EXILES. Spicy READING?
33. Disarray : MESS.
34. Burkina Faso neighbor : BENIN. One of many African nations I have heard the name and know precious little else.
35. Noisy nesters : JAYS. Blue Jays are amazing. I have a tie just like that.
40. Mitch Miller's instrument : OBOE. From the early 60's, did you SING-A-LONG?
45. Rio Grande feeder : PECOS. Rivers; the Pecos being famous from all the oaters we see in puzzles. Black Bart, the meanest SOB west of the Pecos!
46. "Suit the action to the __ ... ": Hamlet : WORD. Loves me some Shakespeare. Cool phrase.
47. Slightly : A LITTLE.
50. Shade on the links? : GOLF TAN. Fun clue, and if you look at the farmer's tan both the men and womenb golfers have, you can enjoy this clue.
55. __ Valley: Reagan Library site : SIMI. A gimme to the left coasters.
57. Like some Olympics milieus : ALPINE. Skiing marti?
58. Actor Peters of "American Horror Story" : EVAN. The only character in all of the EPISODES. Never seen it.
59. Paris' Pont __ Arts : DES. French - PONT Italian PONTE. Both mean bridge. The Paris one is a pedestrian bridge and the des just means of.
60. PLO chairman before Mahmoud : YASSER. ABBAS succeeded ARAFAT.
61. Spinoff of TV's "Hercules" : XENA. People love her for her X.
1. Buckwheat noodle : SOBA. Use your noodle in cooking NOODLES.
2. Bar order : A TALL ONE. I used to order these all of the time. LINK.
3. Industrial fasteners : TIE BOLTS.
4. What con artists lack : SCRUPLES. I wonder why they say 'artists.'
5. " __ thing" : SAME. Different day.
6. "Seriously?!" : C'MON.
7. __ Speedwagon : REO. The GROUP (3:50).
8. Outstanding, in slang : UBER. I am go under on the uber.
9. Lose energy : FADE.
10. The Muses, e.g. : FEMALES.
12. Captures : SEIZES.
13. Bankers Life Fieldhouse athlete : PACER. More basketball for you marti; they did not make the playoffs this year.
19. To whom Chance said, "You're not workin' as many bees these days" : ULEE. You say BEE, I say ULEE.
21. __ culpa : MEA.
25. Rotating piece : CAM. Do not get shafted.
26. Bridge call : REBID.
27. Apply : EXERT.
28. Shore seen on TV : DINAH. Burt Reynolds' old girl friend and a true friend to the LPGA.
29. Ice-skate, say : GLIDE.
30. Fix up : RENEW.
35. 1972 Alex Comfort best-seller, with "The" : JOY OF SEX. Link.
36. Unsuccessful : ABORTIVE.
37. "Awesome job, bro!" : YOU DA MAN. The really common yell at a golf tournament.
38. Wimbledon unit : SET. Tennis anyone?
39. High school concern : TEST DAY.
41. Like Lewis' Aslan : FELINE. in Narnia.
42. Baker's variety : ICINGS. Lick the bowl. This one even tinman can tolerate.
43. Importance : NOTE. Easier with "of."
44. Punching tool : AWL.
45. Emulated a 41-Down : PAWED. Not to be confused with mawed.
48. 2003-'11 Brazilian president, familiarly : LULA. hard to comment with no politics, but LINK a can.
49. "House" actor : EPPS. Omar.
50. Out of the park : GONE. Baseball, it's going, going, gone! A home run!
51. Open hearing, in law : OYER. Still heard in some courtrooms.
52. Historic voyager to Hispaniola : NINA. Ah, Chris Columbus and his ships.
54. "__ the gift to be simple ... ": Shaker song : 'TIS. Not as exciting exit song, but here it is. Coincidentally, I lived in Ann Lee Cottage in high school. LISTEN. They were very simple people, but since they were celibate, they were very crafty. They needed to find something to do with their hands.
I had an exceptionally good time; some originality, some variety and some humor. Great way to start a holiday week end. Thank you Jeffrey. Do not forget to honor all who have died serving our nation, but also enjoy. Lemonade out.