Well, that's not really the theme, but how appropriate to have our dear leader as today's constructor, so we can give her double thanks. First, for creating this fun corner. And second, for entertaining us with her creative puzzles. Thank you, C.C.!
17-Across. *Four Corners locale : COLORADO PLATEAU.
23-Across. *Arctic wolf prey : CARIBOU.
32-Across. *Car named for a California city : CHEVY MALIBU.
52-Across. *1965 Jane Fonda title role : CAT BALLOU.
67-Across. With 68-Across, "Later," or, phonetically, what the answers to starred clues have : SEE YOU. 68-Across. See 67-Across : AROUND. Each entry has a "C" and a "U" around the edges.
You may have noticed the unusual grid. It is symmetrical right to left, but not top to bottom. That was necessary to accommodate the 15-7-11-9-12 theme entries. The long down entries were nice: TALK IS CHEAP and RHETT BUTLER's full name. Let's see what else she has dished up for us.
1. Beijing trio? : DOTS. Cute misdirection. The dots over the i's and the j. And an appropriate start, with a nod to her native land.
5. Bridges of Hollywood : LLOYD. Of all his movies, I remember him best from this one.
10. First name at Woodstock : ARLO. Our old friend Guthrie is back.
14. Four Corners state : UTAH. A clecho with 17-Across, but it is not part of the theme.
15. Seeker's quarry : HIDER. C.C. doesn't usually like fabricated words, but in the game you are either a hider or a seeker.
16. Send : SHIP.
20. They may be required for rides : TOKENS. Do you call it the subway or the metro?
21. "The way things are ..." : AS IT IS.
22. Yale Bowl yeller : ELI.
27. "Four Quartets" monogram : TSE. Thomas Stearns Eliot. I never read those.
28. Offspring: abbr. : DESC.endant.
30. Trendy cuff site : EAR.
31. Awards for J.K. Rowling and Hugh Laurie : OBEs. Order of the British Empire.
37. Hawaiian Airlines destination : TAHITI.
39. Election Day sticker : I VOTED.
42. Nebula in Taurus, familiarly : THE CRAB. Amazing photo from the Hubble telescope.
44. Prepared for a proposal : KNEELED.
45. Spanish she-bear : OSA.
46. Former upscale Manhattan eatery : ELAINE'S. It closed after she died in 2010, and is now The Writing Room.
48. Memorable period : ERA.
49. Burst open : POP. It's the season for POPping a bottle of bubbly!
50. Kerfuffle : ADO.
51. Halladay who won both the A.L. and N.L. Cy Young awards : ROY. I knew we would have a baseball reference!
58. Boris' sidekick : NATASHA. Of "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" fame.
61. "Raging Bull" boxer : LAMOTTA.
65. Marvel Comics assassin : ELEKTRA. With only E-L-E-K-*-R-A in place, I WAG'd ELEKTRA. (Pretty clever, huh?)
66. Hits hard, as the brakes : SLAMS ON.
1. Like many ventilation systems : DUCTED.
2. "Becket" star : O'TOOLE. Peter holds the record for the number of Academy Award nominations without a win.
3. "Actions speak louder than words" : TALK IS CHEAP. Nice fill.
4. Flat or pump : SHOE.
5. High capital : LHASA. C.C. just linked the Potala Palace in LHASA the other day.
6. Jar topper : LID.
7. Prefix with meter : ODO. Odo-meter.
8. "You betcha!" : YEP. I had YEs for a while, and it messed me up from immediately seeing PLATEAU in the first theme answer.
9. 1964 Tony Randall role : DR LAO. He was more than two-faced.
10. Piedmont wine area : ASTI. Spumanti also makes a nice POP when you open it.
11. Bonnie Blue's dad : RHETT BUTLER. "Gone With the Wind." Nailed it!
12. Make contact (with) : LIAISE.
13. Musical works : OPUSES. I put it in, changed it to OPERAS, then took it back out when AS IT IS showed up.
18. GOP org. : RNC. Republican National Committee.
19. Sun Devils' sch. : ASU. Arizona State University.
24. Juan Carlos, por ejemplo : REY. Spanish "king."
25. "__ the Walrus" : I AM....goo goo goo joob.
26. It may be backless : BRA. To go with dresses like these.
29. In vogue : CHIC. Tres chic!
31. Wind with keys : OBOE.
33. To be, to Napoleon : ETRE.
34. Lab container : VIAL. Because Erlenmeyer flask wouldn't fit.
36. "Concord Sonata" composer : IVES. It's Thursday, so we get a clue for Charles instead of Burl.
37. 'Vette roof option : T-TOP.
38. "Now I get it" : AH SO.
40. Finnish architect Saarinen : EERO.
41. Do-or-die time : D-DAY.
43. Words to a black sheep : BAA BAA.
44. Small hills : KNOLLS. Probably the world's most infamous grassy KNOLL.
47. The Snake R. runs through it : IDA.ho
52. Like unnaturally thick makeup : CAKY.
53. Apropos of : AS TO.
54. Drive-__ window : THRU.
55. Refrain syllables : LA LA.
56. Bridge master Sharif : OMAR. A man of many talents, he also starred in "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Dr. Zhivago."
57. Man, to Dante : UOMO. He was a couple hundred years too early to be an Italian renaissance man.
58. Zombie Nation console : NES. Nintendo Entertainment System. You can play it online here.
59. Microbrew choice : ALE.
60. Ball holder : TEE.
62. Sch. in Nashville : TSU. Tennessee State University.
63. Slew : TON.
64. "What else?" : AND...?
Nope, nothing else. I'm done! Time to go make the turkey...
Note from C.C.:
Happy Thanksgiving to our blog readers, esp our faithful regulars. Thanks for your daily solving reports, constructive nitpicking, links, recipes, computer advice, health tips (now, how can I stop this nagging cough?), poems, robocall rants, bike ride accounts & other random thoughts. Thanks for sharing. You enriched my very sheltered life.
I'm also grateful to LA Times Daily Crossword editor Rich Norris, his assistant Patti Varol, his three test solvers and his fact checker. As I mentioned in this puzzle, Rich makes me look smarter than I am. That's not the only puzzle he helped me, and I'm not the only constructor he helped. He just does everything in a very quiet & consistent manner. Rich even replies every reader mail, despite his heavy workload and limited resources. We're lucky to have such a knowledgeable, generous, patient and humble editor whose top priority is always his solvers.
I'm also incredibly grateful for my hard-working blogging team: always there for me Santa Argyle, witty Jazzbumpa, super-efficient foodie Steve, bubbly Marti, cheerful Lemonade, talented Splynter & eager to learn Husker Gary. As I said before, it's fun to blog once or twice, spending 3 + hours on each post every week is serious job. Thank you so much for the dedication and time, friends, you made this blog what it is today. Thank you also for trusting me and letting me guiding you (mostly misguiding) on puzzle-making. I know I'm not easy to work with, thanks for toughing it out!