It took us a long time to get any of the theme answers, but finally, at around the 30 minute mark, we got one, then all of them, then the puzzle was done. Haven't we seen backward themes a lot in the past month or so? Well... two or three times, maybe, but I suppose it doesn't really matter. It still stumped us for a while! YGGIPRIDE (57A: Little kid's lift, literally) looks great, and RETRAUQSNEAK (42A: Gridiron maneuver, literally) almost looks like it could be something reading forward.
The first thing I got today was OGLE (15A: Inspect the figures?) which made me smile, but then the very next thing ENORM (16A: Huge, in verse), made me frown. ATT over ATTY didn't seem great, I don't know what ILA (29D: Pier grp.)is, and STN (30A: Place with a waiting room: Abbr.) is back (shouldn't it be "sta?"), SAS, ELHI, ESTEE and EPEE… and to top it off, we've got PROLIFE and QUAYLE in there too. Distasteful. And didn't NIKE (54D: Sponsor of Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods) drop Tiger after all that cheating and crashing the car stuff? And CDEF (21A: B's tail?)?!?
I did enjoy APOP (44D: How individual firecrackers are priced?), and 5A: Blood group? (CLAN) was nice. Does HEROIN (20A: "Smack") need the quotes in the clue? Isn't that kind of like an unnecessary question mark?
Overall, too many proper names, too much crosswordese, and not enough payoff. Not a great start to the turn, but as Ms. LEIGH (49D: O'Hara portrayer) would say, Tomorrow is another day.