Welcome to The Turn! I've been looking forward to this part of the week ever since reviewing Sunday's puzzle (titled "Turn, Turn, Turn"). And today's puzzle certainly did not disappoint.
I am excited to say that the very first square I entered was the rebus at 1A/1D. I looked at 1A: Pirates, say ([BOOT]LEGS) and thought, hmmm. That looks like it should be something along the lines of "steals," but that doesn't fit. Then I looked at 1D: Rigorous training courses, and immediately thought [BOOT]CAMPS, but that didn't fit either. And the other shoe dropped, as it were.
Aha! I thought to myself. I've figured out the rebus so quickly. I'll finish this puzzle in no time at all. The revealer in the center came in time, at 35A: Goal-scoring opportunities in soccer ... or a hint to this puzzle's theme (CORNERKICKS), which reinforced that I was going great guns. Then I hit the SW corner. "Boot" no longer worked.
Okay, okay, so you've all got it by now. Each corner square is a rebus filled with a kind of footwear, also known to the young 'uns as "kicks." I liked the SE the best, with LEMON[WEDGE] (mmmmm... lemons...) and 62A: Bunker need (SAND[WEDGE]), which is a nice misdirecting clue.
Meanwhile, look at all of the lovely fill we get today. 35D: University of Oregon logo (CAPITALO) made me stare for a while before I parsed it correctly. I love 30D: Affectionate nose-rubbing (ESKIMOKISS), and 27D: In which nothing is everything (NIHILISM) is just a perfect pairing of clue and answer.
You know you're going to love a puzzle when AAMILNE finds his way in, in his entirety. ANIMAL and MINERAL were a nice pair as well.
Anyway, overall a lovely offering from Ms. Reid. Nicely done.