Mary Lou's lovely Thursday exercise got me with LACT_/SAM_. I didn't know SAMI but had a good feeling about LACTO. Her LOW KEY theme used the gimmick that the word KEY could be appended to the last word in the four down fills with asterisks to form a common phrase. The first word of the amended phrase was also LOW on the vertical fill and so LOW KEY!
3. *Event for A-listers, say : PRIVATE FUNCTION - Where the elite meet and FUNCTION KEY on my MacBook Pro. Any of the 11 on the top row
58. With 59-Down, subdued, and a hint to the answers to starred clues : LOW. 59. See 58. Down - KEY and there you have the reveal: LOW KEY
Marti is off in Europe sightseeing, staying with friends and helping to kick off Oktoberfest in Bavaria. I am her envious and barely adequate pinch hitter.
1. Oz. sextet : TSPS - 6 TSPS per oz. abbr/abbr. Not Kazie's Oz.
5. Hamlet's foppish courtier : OSRIC - Yeah, I knew that!
10. Abba not known for singing : EBAN - ABBA Eban who held many posts in Israeli government
14. Other, in Orizaba : OTRO - Español - "On the other hand" becomes "pro OTRO lado"
15. __ Park: Knott's Berry Farm city : BUENA
16. Connecticut town for which a disease is named : LYME - Less favorable notoriety than Buena Park
17. Sinn __ : FEIN - An Irish political party. Name means "Ourselves"
18. 100-eyed guardian of Io : ARGUS - Yikes! I'm pretty sure we wouldn't see eye to eye to eye to eye...
19. Weizman of Israel : EZER - Seventh president of Israel
20. Bean used in falafel : FAVA - They were also a side dish in a grotesque meal in Silence Of The Lambs.
21. Half a comedy duo : MEARA - Part of Stiller and Meara and mother to Ben Stiller
22. Two-time MLB all-star Ron : GANT - Now host of Good Morning Atlanta, a city where he once played
23. Three-handed game : SKAT - Aggressive SKAT play
24. Wrench handle? : ALLEN - I loved this clue. My bike requires ALLEN wrenches on most bolts
25. Stats for QBs : INTS - When your number of INTerceptionS exceed your number of COMPletionS, you will probably have to seek other employment
26. "Clueless" co-star __ Dash : STACEY - I know it's lame, but I was CLUELESS about Stacey
28. Johannesburg section : SOWETO - SOWEstern Townships.
30. Salad option : CAESAR - Et tu?
31. Social calls : VISITS
33. "__ Wiedersehen" : AUF - Literally means "until we see again". AUF Wiedersehen, Marti!
34. It often says "Hello" : NAME TAG
38. FDR loan org. : NHA - National Housing Agency was part of FDR's alphabet soup
39. "Pardon me, Giuseppe" : SCUSI - Dean Martin sang "Grazie, Grazie, SCUSI, Prego"
41. CPR provider : EMT - First responders run TO danger
42. Something in your eye : GLEAM
44. Wires, e.g. : SENDS - Used mainly to transfer money today
45. Mr. Rogers : ROY
46. Dairy prefix : LACTI - LACTOse occurred to me first
47. Brown shade : CAMEL
49. "He that __ down with dogs shall rise up with fleas": Franklin : LIETH - Birds of a feather...
51. Bar made by Hershey's : KIT KAT
53. Enterprise bridge regular : MR SULU
56. "Vous êtes __": Paris map words : ICI - You are here!
57. Dog days mo. : JUL - A fairly cool July on the prairie this year
59. Kitchy-__ : KOO
60. Cartoonist Chast : ROZ - Clueless redux
61. Disney's Bob Iger, e.g. : CEO
62. Dash prefix : ODO - The ODOmeter on your car's dashboard. Can they still be turned back?
63. Frequent co-producer of U2 albums : ENO - A frequent cwd commodity
64. "__: Miami" : CSI
65. 54-year-old doll : KEN - Middle-aged KEN and Barbie
66. VCR button : REW
67. Sweet tuber : YAM - YAMS with brown sugar, marshmallows and football. Now that's Thanksgiving!
68. Bulls and bucks : HE'S - Both male
1. Farnham Fops - TOFFS - A gaggle of TOFFS
4. Piano pieces : SONATAS
5. Period since 2009 : OBAMA ERA
6. Without a doubt : SURELY - From my "funniest movie ever"
7. Courtly : REGAL
8. Hardens : INURES
9. 18th-century Italian adventurer : CASANOVA - Oh, it's called adventuring
10. Poetic laments : ELEGIES - Was I the only one who read this in high school?
12. "I'll say!" : AMEN TO THAT - Right on, brother!
13. "Darn it!" : NERTS
30. Mama known for singing : CASS - "...and everyone's getting' fat 'cept Mama CASS"
32. Scandinavian native : SAMI- Not a clue, er no idea. These are Indigenous people living in the very north of Sweden, Finland and Norway. Tundra is a SAMI word used in many other languages.
35. Jazzman Saunders : MERL - SF jazz organist/keyboard player
36. Expressive music genre : EMO
37. Texter's sign-off : TTYL - Talk To You L8r
40. Home to Pierre: Abbr. : S DAK - Where Lewis and Clark encountered Teton Sioux or Lakota tribes
43. Back muscles, briefly : LATS - Latissimus Dorsi
48. Czerny piano piece : ETUDE
50. "__ roll!" : I'M ON A
51. Bit of excitement : KICK
52. Frozen treat : ICEE
54. Shed : LOSE
55. Strong arms? : UZIS - I'll bet EZER Weizman knew his way around one
C.C. was very LOW KEY when we visited with her and Boomer but I wonder how many of my other crossword friends here. There are a lotta hot buttons out there! Who knew a comma could raise IRE?