All I can say is - deceptive. Mr. Wilber gives us a grid that seems 'middle-of-the-week" in nature, yet without too much obscurity, it still managed to beat me up pretty good - but I am a better solver for it~! 6 cheater squares, but only one "answer of expanse", the 13-letter:
36A. Junk food, to a nutritionist : EMPTY CALORIES - which I nailed - just happened to be talking about this earlier in the week with a friend; he said yogurt is not very filling
21D. Shudder-inducing nature, in modern slang : ICK FACTOR - which I got, too, because I think it's from my generation's language - though your kids might know it....
- and now to show you where I botched this one up pretty good....
1. Small big-eyed flier : ELF OWL - DAH~!! Started with OWLET(s), and then switched to ---OWL, but still had no clue such a creature existed...
7. Kids' padded recreation area : BALL PIT - Dah~! my mind was stuck on "bouncy house" so all I could come up with was PLAYPEN; I don't think of a ball pit as a "padded" area....
14. Where to pick up leaves in bags : TEA SHOP - I had a dumpster delivered to the house to start a massive remodeling project; I moved a bush, mowed the grass, trimmed a tree, then picked up "leaves in bags" before the truck showed; thus, I was mentally mired in clipping clean up
16. State bordering a panhandle : ALABAMA - next to Florida; I was trying to be cute with MONTANA next to Idaho; map
17. Fictional pilot who said, "Never tell me the odds" : HAN SOLO - Nailed it, but then again, I grew up on Star Wars - can anyone tell me the odds? C-3PO stated it in the movie; more here
18. Offering extra traction : NON-SLIP - Not "GRIPPIER"
19. Anomalous : ODD - Anomaly, a Star Trek word
20. Tiffany glassmaking rival : LALIQUE - some very cool items; link to their collections
22. Nice time to tan? : ETE - our French fill for summer, Nice the city
23. Appliance with a timer : STOVE - not RANGE
25. Post-op stop : ICU
26. Hitherto : SO FAR
28. The toe of an Asian "boot" : OMAN - meh, I don't think of the Arabian Peninsula as "ASIAN", thus I went with something else that I knew was wrong, but....
29. Refs' judgments : TKOs - Boxing, a "Technical Knock-Out"
31. Become a patsy : BITE
32. Decorating pattern : MOTIF
34. In one's slip? : MOORED - didn't fool me, I knew we were talking boats here; just had to wait on some perps
39. More spiced-up : RACIER
40. Pet store array : CAGES
41. They're often beaten : EGGS - Tried RUGS here, at first
42. Groom's bagful : OATS
44. Classic Pontiacs : GTOs
47. Hail at the luau : ALOHA
49. Bobs, e.g. : DOs - Ugh, hair, I forgot about this 'bob' definition; stuck on "lure"
50. Ancient port on the Tiber : OSTIA
52. Part of R&D: Abbr. : DEVelopment, and its friend Research
53. Loud and clear : CLARION - also the brand-name of my first "pull-out" car radio
56. White House spending watchdog org. : OMB - Office of Management and Budget - I say no more....
57. Concoct : DREAM UP
59. Ideal : EPITOME
61. Sincerely zealous : EARNEST
62. Studio up-and-comer : STARLET
63. Members of a ruling line : DYNASTS
64. Expressions of mockery : SNEERS
1. Collective sentiment : ETHOS
2. Bring on : LEAD TO
3. Blog readership, collectively : FANDOM - we're all fans here - excluding the anons, of course
4. WWII covert org. : OSS - gaffed this with "OAS" to start
5. Stemless symbol : WHOLE NOTE - nailed it, but then again, I write my own music, so I knew this; I am betting that JazzB does, too~!
6. "Dress cut down to there" wearer of song : LOLA - I have to say, I despise this song, so someone else can link it
7. Fleance's father : BANQUO - I had no clue; the "-UO" slowed me down; Macbeth
8. Either of the first two runners-up to Rose for the 1968 N.L. batting title : ALOU - when in doubt, go with the crossword favorite "A-L-O-U"
9. They run between shoulders : LANES - nailed it, but then it screwed up my "Montana"; highway LANES
10. Birth announcement abbr. : Lbs - UGH~!! I missed this one, and now I feel dumb; how much did you weigh~??? I was 9lb,4oz
11. What the "arrant thief" of a moon "snatches from the sun," in Shakespeare's "Timon of Athens" : PALE FIRE - not the first thing that comes up on Google; this play is considered "obscure"; imagine a body of work so great that future scholars would classify some of your work as "obscure"....
12. Uses as a model : IMITATES - I had SKETCHES first, did not help me at all
13. Like chopsticks : TAPERED - I was so locked into "PAIRED" that I could not 'grasp' this answer at all
15. Prudent : POLITIC - so why aren't "politicians" as such~????
24. Not very innocent-looking : VAMPISH
27. "The Rite of Spring" quartet : OBOISTS
30. Unpleasant blanket : SMOG - Well, some of you might think SnOw is an unpleasant blanket; I for one would take snow over summer every time ~!
33. First-timer : TYRO
35. Portland daily, with "The" : OREGONIAN - makes sense when you consider the city of Portland, Oregon
36. Winged undersea mollusk hunter : EAGLE RAY
37. Loser in a '70s landslide : McGOVERN - no clue; I was that 9lb lad in 1972; fascinating for me when I learn things that took place in my lifetime, and how it might affect me now....
38. "Brigadoon" extras : LASSIES - I have heard of this, but this is the first time I looked into it; sounds like it might be a fun movie
39. Checked, as a check : RE-ADDED - could not parse this one
43. Isn't too rigid : ADAPTS
45. 2002 Honorary Award Oscar recipient : O'TOOLE - the Wiki
46. Soup recipe directive : SIMMER - not STIR IN
48. Culminations : ACMES
51. Supports in skullduggery : ABETS
54. "Curiosity is the __ of the mind": Hobbes : LUST
55. Stops vacillating : OPTS
58. Archivist's suffix : ANA - this reminds me of a Dungeons & Dragons text called "Unearthed Arcana" - I still have it, and my "Dungeonmaster's Guide" - say what you will....
60. Cuba's "Boyz n the Hood" role : TRE - nailed it, great movie
I see you peeking ~!