Theme: "Could'a, should'a, would'a seen it coming!"
17. *Sweet melons : CAN'TALOUPES.
24. *Ramshackle community : SHAN'TYTOWN.
31. *The Prairie State : I'LLINOIS.
40. *Horror film shapeshifter : WE'REWOLF.
47. *Chinese restaurant staple : WON'TONSOUP.
56. Beginning of labor, and, in another sense, the beginning of each answer to a starred clue : CONTRACTION.
I don't think I have ever seen this gimmick before. Until I saw the reveal, I didn't have a clue.
1. Towering : BIG.
4. Give quite the earful : SHOUT AT. Some tricky little phrases in the puzzle that made me check more than a few perps.
11. Woody Allen asset : WIT.
14. Soul, in Somme : AME.
15. City that was the source of the marble for Michelangelo's "David" : CARRARA.
16. Squeeze (out) : EKE.
19. Taylor of fashion : ANN. Classic styles. Kind of boring, IMHO.
20. Behind : AFTER.
21. CD return : INT.erest
22. Princess provoker : PEA. From the classic fairy tale, "The Princess and the Pea."
23. Agile deer : ROES. Deer doesn't need an "s" for the plural. Frustrating to C.C.
28. Forest mom : DOE. Doe adds an "s" for the plural. Go figure.
29. Kublai __ : KHAN.
30. Hand or foot : UNIT.
33. Some words in baby books? : FIRSTS.
35. Kitten cry : MEWL. Beware of mewling kittens…they will steal their way into your heart and end up taking over the household.
36. Warm-water shark : MAKO.
37. Smooth moves : SEGUES. Not to be confused with Segways, which are also pretty smooth:
44. "Rag Mop" singing brothers : AMES. Oldie but goodie.
45. Burden : ONUS.
46. Go (for) : VIE.
51. Broad bean : FAVA.
52. Brief writer: Abbr. : ATT.orney
53. Pal of Piglet : ROO.
54. One with a muzzle, maybe : BITER. If I see a dog with a muzzle, I steer clear!
55. Movement-sensing game console : WII. My WII Tai Chi instructor is a hard taskmaster.
60. Clark's "Mogambo" co-star : AVA. Clark Gable and Ava Gardner.
61. Like some elephants : ASIATIC. As opposed to African elephants.
62. Musician Sean Taro __ Lennon : ONO. How many ways to clue ONO?
63. Intense hunger : YEN.
64. Sand dollar habitats : SEABEDS.
65. Web : NET.
1. Company that now owns Dewar's, Bombay Sapphire and Grey Goose : BACARDI.
2. "Stupid me!" : I'M A FOOL. A gratuitous CONTRACTION.
3. Well-mannered : GENTEEL.
4. Swordplay memento : SCAR.
5. "2001" computer : HAL. "2001: A Space Odyssey."
6. Galeón cargo : ORO. Spanish ship seeking gold.
7. Braz. neighbor : URU.guay
8. Easy putt : TAP IN. I bet Husker Gary has had plenty of those.
9. "__ you ready yet?" : AREN'T. Another gratuitous CONTRACTION. I think I would have tried to avoid this type of entry, given the theme.
10. Lip-smacking : TASTY.
11. Some Clue cards : WEAPONS.
12. "My suspicions are confirmed!" : I KNEW IT! Another tough little phrase to parse.
13. Building group : TENANTS.
18. Your, to Pierre : TES. The others are: votre, vos, ton and ta (adjectives or pronouns) and à vous and à toi (pronouns).
24. Broadway attractions : SHOWS.
25. It comes down hard : HAIL. Haha, cute clue.
26. "Jeopardy!" monitor display: Abbr. : ANS.wer
27. "One L" author : TUROW.
29. Often-torn trouser part : KNEE.
32. "__ down to the seas again": Masefield : I MUST. From "Sea Fever." Complete poem, here.
33. At a great height : FAR UP.
34. Turner and others : IKES.
36. Remote button : MENU.
37. Figured out how : SAW A WAY. See what I mean about the tough little phrases?
38. Producing intense feeling : EMOTIVE.
39. Blue-flowering plant used in herbal medicine : GENTIAN. My mother used to drink Moxie, which contained gentian root. Blecch!!
40. Try to persuade : WOO.
41. Show of hands? : OVATION. Fun clue.
42. Potential dupe : LIVE ONE. In this case, "dupe" refers to a patsy.
43. Biblical words of comfort : FEAR NOT.
48. SeaWorld swimmers : ORCAS.
49. Lariat loop : NOOSE.
50. Colleague of Elena and Antonin : SONIA. Elena Kagan, Antonin Scalia and Sonia Sotomayor. Supreme Court Justices.
51. Hale and hearty : FIT.
54. Secretly keeps in the email loop, briefly : BCCs. Blind Carbon Copies, on an email. Whenever I send an email to a large group, I always put their addresses in the BCC field. That way, the names are less likely to be grabbed by internet bots.
57. Computer key : TAB.
58. Short shortcut? : RTE. Route.
59. Samaritan's offering : AID. I quickly saw that "alms" wouldn't fit. (Very perceptive of me, don't you think??)
See you next week!