(Note from C.C.: If you solve today's puzzle from Mensa or other ads-free websites that use the old format, your unifier will be: "Has a meal, and based on certain outer letters, what 17-, 24-, 30-, 46- and 53-Across each does". Those websites don't support circles. LA Times/Chicago Tribune websites do now.)
theme: staff of life
theme: staff of life
17A. One of Beethoven's 32 : PIANO SONATA. PITA bread. wikipedia says "... as a set they comprise one of the most important collections of works in the history of music."
24A. Rants and raves : RAISES CAIN. RAISIN bread. to 'raise cain' is to create an uproar.
30A. Social service item? : COFFEE URN. CORN bread.
46A. Proverbial nonexistent meal : FREE LUNCH. FRENCH bread.
53A. Place of central interest, man : WHERE IT'S AT. WHEAT bread.
65A. Has a meal, and as the circles show, what 17-, 24-, 30-, 46- and 53-Across each does : BREAKS BREAD
squeeze the circled letters together in each theme answer to form five kinds of bread.
melissa here. LOTSA arty words today, will let the music and pictures do most of the talking.
1. Tons o' : LOTSA
6. Blows, as a script line : FLUBS. oops.
11. Has permission : MAY
14. One may be passed around at a reunion : ALBUM. so many lines.
15. Like the Vegas strip : LIT UP. quite the view.
19. Moll's leg : GAM. moll = woman companion of a gunman or gangster.
20. More pitiful : SORRIER
21. Channeling state : TRANCE
23. Gas from the past : ESSO
27. Charity's URL ending : ORG
29. Change to zeros : RESET. like your trip odometer.
34. Wing measurement : SPAN. more than impressed.
38. More than impress : AWE
39. Debit card ID : PIN
40. Where to get off: Abbr. : STAtion. stockholm central train station.
43. __ Deco : ART
44. Sweet root : BEET.
49. Davis who was married to Ruby Dee : OSSIE. They were married 57 years, and as civil rights activists received many honors, including the Kennedy Center Honors. Davis delivered the eulogy of Malcolm X. Ossie died in 2005, Ruby is 90 years old.
52. "Collages" author Anaïs : NIN
57. Dog in the FDR Memorial : FALA. according to wikipedia, "the only dog so honored."
61. Hang up the gloves : RETIRE
62. Hollered : SHOUTED
64. Slick-whistle connector : AS A.
68. Chi follower : PSI
69. Farsi speaker : IRANI. baleh.
70. Edible little sphere : OLIVE
71. Oeuf seasoning : SEL. french for egg and salt.
72. He bested Alexander in 1804 : AARON. burr and hamilton.
73. Fragrant compound : ESTER
1. Brain freeze : LAPSE
2. Jumbles : OLIOS
3. Snowboarders' aids : T-BARS
4. Venting car option : SUNROOF
5. Parisian possessive : AMOI
6. Apt name for a woman with a green thumb? : FLORA
7. Jeremy in the 2012 NBA's Rising Stars Challenge : LIN
8. Acting teacher Hagen : UTA. german-born actress and drama teacher. and 22. Creates some drama? : ACTS.
9. Steep-sided hills : BUTTES. west mitten butte in arizona.
10. Spread out : SPARSE
11. __ Carta : MAGNA
12. Bead counters for bean counters : ABACI.
13. Arabian republic formed in 1990 : YEMEN
18. Composer Prokofiev : SERGEI
25. Like the vb. "to be," in most languages : IRR. irregular.
26. Hunch : SENSE
28. Sales __ : REP
31. Be in hock to : OWE
32. Admission price : FEE
33. Not up to snuff : UNFIT
35. Part-goat deity : PAN
36. __ de Triomphe : ARC. paris.
37. Extreme degree : NTH
41. Some odometers show them : TENTHS
42. Clay, since 1964 : ALI
45. Songwriter Amos : TORI
47. Matter in court : RES
48. Displays, as a flag : UNFURLS
50. Montenegro neighbor : SERBIA
51. __ Club: conservation group : SIERRA
53. Completes a shoot : WRAPS
54. 1946 Literature Nobelist Hermann : HESSE
55. Cybersales : E-TAIL
56. Invite to enter : ASK IN
58. Took the hit, financially : ATE IT
59. Time off : LEAVE
60. Venomous snake : ADDER
63. Double-reed instrument : OBOE
66. Musical talent : EAR