Theme: Mental Wealth - each of the theme entries begins and ends with MI-ND as the unifier explains
17A *Tiny time unit: MILLISECOND When I was younger it bothered me that there weren't a million milliseconds in a second. Now I've got better things to worry about.
24A *Compromising position: MIDDLE GROUND I was nicely misdirected here - I wasn't thinking "a position of compromise" but something a little racier.
39A *Prop for an emcee: MICROPHONE STAND A prop in the sense of something to lean on?
51A *Loitered: MILLED AROUND Plenty of that going on at the conference/expo I'm at today.
63A Mood, and a literal feature of the answer to each starred clue: FRAME OF MIND Ahh - the answers are "framed" by MI-ND. I'm in New Orleans this week, and in the "Big Easy" frame of mind.
Happy Wednesday everyone - Steve here with Doug Peterson's latest offering, a solo outing this time. Purists might quibble about one single-word and three two-word theme entries, but I'm fine with it. Let's see what else we've got.
1 Short sermon: HOMILY
7 Barrier along a bank: DIKE
11 Breakfast meat: HAM. Food!
14 Easy-entry baby outfit: ONESIE
15 “Happy Days” actress Moran : ERIN There's been some unflattering photos of Erin in recent years, but let's stick with the happier days
16 Skater Midori: ITO Famous for having jumped completely out of the rink at the 1991 World Championships and carried on still smiling.
19 “Brave __ World”: NEW. Aldous Huxley's best known opus.
20 Blues legend James: ETTA
21 Words with instant and hour: IN AN
22 Four Tops tune, e.g.: OLDIE. Crosses helped me out here.
27 “Sesame Street” music teacher since the show’s inception: BOB Crosses helped me out here too! Can I call a repeated blog comment a blecho?
30 Negative replies: NOS
31 Start a bridge hand: DEAL. Don't you shuffle before you deal?
32 Standoffish: ALOOF
34 Grifter’s game: CON
35 It’s all in your head: IDEA Sometimes it feels like all I've got in my head are dim, distant recesses and voices.
43 “Times of Your Life” singer Paul: ANKA
44 Popular Calif. destination: LAX. I'm not sure I'd call Los Angeles International Airport a popular destination for me - I'm in and out of that place far too often - I'll be back there on Thursday.
45 Buzzy instrument: KAZOO. Annoying instrument might be better!
46 Clump of dirt: CLOD. I like this word.
48 Tiki bar accessory: LEI
50 Capital of Saskatchewan?: ESS Because Canadian Dollar doesn't fit. Capital letter.
56 Coastal recess: INLET
57 Show willingness to compromise: BEND
58 Director Kazan: ELIA
62 Steeped brew: TEA
66 Turntable letters: R.P.M. I wonder how long it will be before we need the "archaic" convention for this?
67 Musical syllables: LA LA
68 “The Wrestler” star Mickey: ROURKE
69 Seventh Greek letter: ETA. ETTA, ELIA and ETA. Not quite a mini-theme, but I'll call these a grouping.
70 Bark excitedly: YELP
71 Orderly arrangements: ARRAYS
1 Spot for an office: HOME. My office is at home so I didn't hesitate with this one.
2 Handling the job: ON IT
3 Hot sandwich: MELT Food! I've been moderating my diet since January, Currently I can only eat a melt vicariously though pictures.
4 Muhammad Ali’s faith: ISLAM
5 XXVI doubled: LII It amazes me how the Romans managed to do math - did they invent the abacus or was that the Greeks?
6 Unequivocal agreement: YES I DO. I had YES SIR at first which slowed things up a little.
7 Transferrable image: DECAL
8 Like a 7-Down, perhaps: IRONED ON Nice run-on!
9 Many holiday guests: KIN I was thinking along the "houseful" lines at first.
10 “Bewitched” mother: ENDORA. Crosses all the way for me with this one. I had not even a vague, dim-and-distant idea here.
11 Many a Mumbai man: HINDU. And there are many Mumbai men - the first time I stepped outside the airport there I couldn't believe the bedlam.
12 Picked up pizza, say: ATE IN Took me quite a while to see this
13 Tended the turf: MOWED
18 Phases out: ENDS
23 Nabokov title girl: LOLITA
25 A gumshoe often pays for it: INFO
26 Trait transmitter: GENE
27 The Crimson Tide: BAMA. I think this a great example of clue/answer symmetry - in this case both are nicknames.
28 Swedish actress Lena: OLIN Who is she? I need to bone up on my actors and actresses, they've caused me nothing but trouble today.
29 Strong lager: BOCK Ah - now we're back in my comfort zone. Originally German, now many varieties brewed around the world Prost!
33 Mythical source of wisdom: ORACLE. With a shameless plug for my employer, check out this clip of the Oracle Team USA America's Cup catamaran in San Francisco Bay - I've been playing this on a loop all day at the Oracle booth at the conference.
34 Longtime Aniston co-star: COX Jennifer's friend Courtney. Also Bruce Springsteen's friend in the Dancing in the Dark video.
36 Throw for a loop: DAZE
37 Grandson of Eve: ENOS Officially clueless. Me that is, not him.
38 Kerfuffles: ADOS. "Kerfuffle" is one of my favorite words.
40 Walk heavily: PLOD
41 Really enjoyed oneself: HAD A BALL
42 Shallot covering: SKIN I overlooked the blindingly obvious here and was trying to remember what the Lady of Shallott was covered with in Tennyson's ballad. When I dug up "robed in snowy white" from the inner memory recesses I was stumped. Then the penny dropped.
47 Threw: LET FLY
48 Unique: LONE
49 Writer Welty: EUDORA. ENDORA/EUDORA
51 British bishop’s topper: MITRE I didn't know these were unique to bishops from my homeland. That's one big hat though.
52 Hardly handy: INEPT
53 Peruvian grazer: LLAMA Twinned with BAMA. Lots of these today.
54 Update to reflect new roads, say: REMAP. It's a lot easier nowadays with satellites. It took 50 years to produce the first complete maps of the UK - they pretty much had to go right back again and start over.
55 Voice an objection: DEMUR
59 Pre-euro currency: LIRA. I need to wait now to see if this is LIRA or LIRE.
60 Dark and murky: INKY
61 Sugary drinks: ADES
64 “Norma __” : RAE. JEA - oops, not enough room for Marilyn.
65 On behalf of: FOR
That about wraps it up for today. Time to go and find something to eat - of course, that's not exactly difficult in NOLA!