Hey; in this case, he is replacing "S" before "H" with "TC" resulting in similar sounding, but witty fill, clued appropriately. Two grid-spanners in the classic 3 and 13 rows, with 12s in the 7/9 slots make for a classic look. There are 43 words which are 5 letters or longer which means if you get some things solved you get much help from the perps. As with all Friday puzzles, it was not easy, but it was doable and fun. It featured many sparkly 7 and 8 letter fill like BAHAMAS, ENEMIES, GOT SORE, SEEMS OK, AUTOSAVE, BY NATURE, GAINED ON and STAMP TAX. So let us solve this puppy.
17A. Surveillance camera?: WATCHING MACHINE (15). WASHING machine.
31A. Interconnected irrigation channels?: DITCH NETWORK (12). DISH Network is one of the early satellite TV providers.
39A. Member of Cassidy's baseball team?: BUTCH LEAGUER (12). A BUSH leaguer is a player not of the highest quality or sophistication; second-rate. This was the stretch for me.
56A. Obsessively uniform French fries?: MATCHED POTATOES.(15). By far my favorite of the themers. I also like good MASHED potatoes. I like potatoes, which can be a challenge living with my rice addicted wife.
1. Trap: HEM IN. The first of the many sparkly multi-word fill that Jeffrey uses this week.
6. Leaps in tutus: JETES. Defines as jumps in which a dancer springs from one foot to land on the other with one leg extended outward from the body while in the air. They can be GRAND.
11. "Major Barbara" monogram: GBS. George Bernard Shaw wrote this PLAY in 1907.
14. Dress style: A-LINE. The term was first used by the French couture designer Christian Dior as the label for his collection of spring 1955 (wiki).
15. Think the world of: ADORE.
16. Roger's relative?: AYE. Yessir!
20. Set of pieces: KIT.
21. They're for members only: DUES. A nice Friday, tricky clue/fill.
22. When the break rm. gets busy, perhaps: TEN AM. Eleven where I am, but people eat lunch late at our office.
23. Opposite sides: ENEMIES. A bit strong.
26. Fine art and antiques, say: ASSETS.
27. Desires more from Us?: RENEWS. The magazine subscription, notice the capital "U."
28. Slithery danger: ASP. A very popular crossword snake.
30. Holmes and Watson, e.g.: DUO. I have never thought of them as a duo since Watson was mostly comic relief.
35. Garage sale term: AS IS.
37. Actor Stephen: REA. Will he always be most famous for THE CRYING GAME?
38. Lose impact: WANE.
42. One-time connection: AT A. I actually usually solve looking at across/ down clues together.
43. Put in: ADD.
44. Signal on the road: BEEP AT. In many states, Florida included,
48. Religious discourse: HOMILY. I will let you consider HOMILY VS SERMON but no religion.
51. Had it up to here: GOT SORE.
52. Org. offering puppy love?: ASPCA. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
53. Tenerife, por ejemplo: ISLA. Spanish- for example.
55. Nutritional fig.: RDA. I think this is being swallowed up by the new term DRI.
60. Gardner on screen: AVA. It was not easy to be HER. She was quite striking.
61. Ahi et al.: TUNAS.
62. Take a little off: PRUNE. A tree or bush, not a diet.
63. "Think you I am no stronger than my __": Portia: SEX. It is good to see JW and his Shakespeare quote; this is from JULIUS CAESAR, Act II, Scene 1.
64. Part of a caddie's burden: IRONS. Woods are not wooden, and irons are not iron, and golf is just a game. I am not sure if HG and Big Easy agree.
65. Unwelcome company: PESTS. The reveal two weeks ago.
1. Bazaar figure: HAWKER. Defined as a person who travels around selling goods, typically advertising them by shouting. Clecho - 34D. Bazaar array: WARES.
2. "Primary Colors" screenwriter May: ELAINE. This talented writer-performer had much of her success partnered with Mike Nichols. BIOGRAPHY.
3. Bit of winter wear: MITTEN.
4. Business end?: INC. Cute and better than Ltd. reference.
5. Bk. after Ezra: NEHemiah. This person and BOOK are intertwined with the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. No religion.
6. Two-faced god: JANUS. He gave us January. No religion.
7. Verge: EDGE.
8. Barnyard males: TOMS. I can only think of two- turkey and cat - neither of which are in every barnyard. Also, 19D. 8-Down, for instance: HES.
9. Diamond stat: ERA. Baseball diamond, Earned Run Average.
10. Groups breaking away: SECTS. I said, NO RELIGION!
11. Began to overtake: GAINED ON. One of the two-word fill.
12. Inherently: BY NATURE. And another...
13. "Nothing wrong that I can find": SEEMS OK. and...
18. Clarifying words: ID EST. Now two Latin words, more commonly known as i.e. and Steve should be happy two days in a row.
24. "M*A*S*H" figure: MEDIC. A medic is an umbrella term for a person involved in medicine. The following fall under this term: a medical doctor, medical student and sometimes a medically-trained individual participating in an emergency such as a paramedic, army medic or an emergency medical responder. In M*A*S*H they were mostly surgeons.
25. "Would that it were true!": I WISH.
26. Dian Fossey subject: APE. Actually, she studied gorillas which are a subgroup of the family of great apes. Louis Leakey sent her along with Jane Goodall and Birute Galdikas to study great apes in their native habitat.
28. Down the road: AHEAD.
29. Complication: SNAG. There often are when you go down the road.
32. Street __: CREDibility.
33. Occasionally newsworthy comment: TWEET. No politics either.
35. Crash insurance?: AUTOSAVE. The interesting divergence of automatic from the Greek automatos of persons "acting of one's own will;" of things "self-moving, self-acting," Thus the fun play on words here as crash relates both to cars and computers.
36. Short-lived 1760s levy: STAMP TAX. The Stamp Act was passed by the British Parliament on March 22, 1765. The new tax was imposed on all American colonists and required them to pay a tax on every piece of printed paper they used. Ship's papers, legal documents, licenses, newspapers, other publications, and even playing cards were taxed. The Act was repealed on 18 March 1766.(various).
39. Commonwealth off Florida: BAHAMAS. The Bahamas comprises 700 islands and over 2,000 rocks and cays, sprinkled over 100,000 square miles of ocean. The archipelago is an ecological oasis, boasting the clearest water on the planet. Brochures.
40. Big name in chips: LAY. In 1932, salesman Herman Lay opened a snack food operation in Dorset, Ohio; and, in 1938, he purchased the Atlanta, Georgia, potato chip manufacturer "Barrett Food Company", renaming it "H.W. Lay Lingo and Company." Lay crisscrossed the southern United States, selling the product from the trunk of his car.
41. WWII peril: U-BOAT. U-boat, German U-boot - the abbreviation of Unterseeboot - (“undersea boat”), a German submarine. LINK.
45. Like much sandstone: POROUS. I have a nephew who works as a geologist for the government, but I know almost nothing about these ROCKS.
46. Gung-ho: ARDENT.
47. Toys with: TEASES. Like CED's cats and their mouse playthings.
49. Global sports org. concerned with wickets: ICC. The International Cricket Council is the international governing body of cricket. It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909.
50. "Chicago Hope" Emmy winner: LAHTI. Lahti, 67, writes about her infamous appearance at the Golden Globes in 1998 when she won best actress in a television drama for "Chicago Hope" but was in the bathroom when her name was announced.
51. Give short shrift to, with "over": GLOSS.
53. Access-providing fig.: ID NO.
54. Go across: SPAN. A bridge.
57. NATO HQ locale: EURope.
58. Handy program: APPlication.
59. Half of sei: TRE. We finish with a bit of division in Italian. 6/3.
I had a really fine time working on this puzzle, and welcoming JW back to Friday. Thanks, Jeffrey and all who read and all who write. Lemonade out.