Today we have a classic hairstyle, FRENCHTWIST, turned to our advantage. Spelling variants of the first names of famous French men produced a set of wacky nicknames. My favorite is CLODDEBUSSY (Nickname for a clumsy composer), but BLAZEPASCAL (Nickname for a fiery philosopher) made me LOL when I got it. TOOLOOSELAUTREC (Nickname for a sloppy painter) might be a tad obvious, but fits well with the rest of the group, which also includes JEWELSVERNE (Nickname for a glitzy author).
The clues themselves contained some interesting angles as well. In particular I liked:
19A. It contains M.S.G. (NYC) - which I only just understood now that I put my thinking cap on.
33A. "The bay in the fifth," for one (TIP) - somebody bet on the bay!
3D. Jigsaw, e.g. (POWERTOOL) - I puzzled over this one briefly.
10D. Miss identification? (SHE) - apt!
63D. Grand finale? (CRU) - classy.
אThe puzzle included a few people I'd never heard of: composer ARLEN, for one, although the Wikipedia tells me he wrote the music for "Over the Rainbow", soooo, my bad. On the flip side, I was happy to be reminded of MEL Tillis, who I remember from talk shows in my youth.