My search for their devious gimmick was futile until I got the reveal at:
64. Not up to par ... or, aptly, what this puzzle's circled letters are : UNDER THE WEATHER which could also be shown in Wacky Wordie style (*solution to this at the bottom of the write-up)
I'll send out a persona "atta boy"/"atta girl" who got the theme without the circles
39. Nabisco snack brand : NILLA UNDER 34. Last-ditch gridiron pass : HAIL MARY - The Huskers beat Northwestern on this fabulous HAIL MARY pass from Ron Kellogg III to Illinois native Jordan Westerkamp
50. Road incline : HILL UNDER 45. "I'm Moving On" country singer : HANK SNOW - Check out one of his opening acts who is billed with Onie Wheeler but below Slim Whitman
Now let's see what else these two fine ladies have "rained down" on us today:
1. Go straight to the top? : PRAY - Sorry son, I don't think any deity really cares...
5. Crawling carpenters : ANTS - A $4 tube of MaxForce in a syringe got rid of ours
9. Made into a bundle : BALED - Round and rectangular BALES are now "high art" here on the prairie.
14. Sport for the supersized : SUMO - Marie Osmond won't sell much product to them
15. "Unfaithful" co-star Richard : GERE
16. Join forces : UNITE
21. Figuratively : SO TO SPEAK
22. Circular power tool : SAW
24. Tarzan player Ron : ELY
25. Tetra- times two : OCTA
29. Set one's sights on, with "at" : AIMED - I love this cartoon about Lewis Grizzard's Hilarious book
31. "So long!" : BYE
36. Periodic pay : SALARY
40. And so on: Abbr. : ETC
42. Avant-garde jazzman who named himself after an Egyptian god : SUNRA - Right after I finished this puzzle, I googled this man because all the perps fit. It's amazing how few avant-garde jazz people I know
43. Country Style Steak Fries maker : OREIDA - Anybody got that phone # for Marie Osmond?
47. Pindar work : ODE - Not familiar with this Grecian odeist/odician/odeaphile...
48. Charlotte __: creamy dessert : RUSSE
51. Permit : LET
52. Crumpets companion : TEA
54. Head honcho : TOP BANANA - George always acknowledged that Gracie was the TOP BANANA in this act
59. Starbucks flavor : MOCHA
66. Send (to) for a second opinion : REFER - George often REFERRED to Gracie as job security
67. Steal, for slate: Abbr. : ANAG - ANAGRAM of each other
68. Lemon-like : TART
69. Like ogres : NASTY - Fiona saw that that was not true!
70. "So Sick" R&B singer : NEYO - A artist who thinks lyrics today are too misogynistic
71. Ironically, they might be even : ODDS
1. Sibilant "Yo!" : PSST - Oh, sibilant refers to hissing not my siblings
2. River to the Rhine : RUHR
3. Mine, in Metz : AMOI
4. Pained cry : YOWL
5. Dept. concerned with rural development : AGR
6. Reuters, for one : NEWS WIRE - Originally named for when NEWS was transmitted literally over a telegraph, telephone or telex WIRE
7. Folk's Kingston __ : TRIO - Is your favorite on here?
8. Couch kin : SETTEE
9. Mobster Siegel : BUGSY - “My friends call me Ben,” he once said, “strangers call me Mr. Siegel, and guys I don’t like call me Bugsy, but not to my face.”
10. Had __: imbibed modestly : A NIP
11. Longest sentence : LIFE
12. Bluesy James : ETTA
13. Work at it : DESK
18. Trains over the street : ELS - Some say the car chase under the ELS in The French Connection was the best car chase ever
19. Ship storage areas : HOLDS
23. Designation for batteries, bonds or baseball teams : AAA - The first two might be more obvious than the last one where the Omaha Storm Chasers are this
25. "I can't believe it!" : OH NO
26. Egyptian capital : CAIRO - If you look closely in the lower left hand corner you can see what capital is spent in Egypt's, uh, capital
27. Like many floors : TILED
28. Kate's TV sidekick : ALLIE
30. Nessie and Bigfoot, by most accounts : MYTHS - and Ogres?
31. Get red in the face : BLUSH
32. New Age composer : YANNI - Please, no more YANNI!
33. Flynn of film : ERROL
35. Irate : MAD
37. Question : ASK
38. Two-masted boat : YAWL
41. Robinson Crusoe, notably : CASTAWAY - For the role in CASTAWAY, Tom Hanks shot the first part of the movie and then took a year off to lose 55 lbs. and finish shooting
44. "__ we all?" : AREN'T
46. Society page word : NEE
49. Pioneer Day celebrant : UTAHAN
51. King or Bird : LARRY
53. Physicians' org. : AMA
54. Go sour : TURN - Isn't this what you think of?
55. Draft designation : ONE-A
56. Some email attachments : PDF'S
57. Root often pickled : BEET - People seem to love 'em or hate 'em. I'm in the former camp, you?
58. Aloha State bird : NENE
60. Germany's von Bismarck : OTTO
61. African lake in four countries : CHAD - I couldn't name the other three countries either
62. Cattle collection : HERD
63. Music and dance, e.g. : ARTS
65. Freudian focus : EGO
* FEELING is literally UNDER WEATHER, hence FEELING UNDER the WEATHER
Those of you who feel up to should now give us your opinion!