As Churchy Lafemme used to say in Pogo, "Don't you just hate it when Friday the 13th comes on a Tuesday?"
Actually, that has nothing to do with today's puzzle. It's just always worthwhile to think about Pogo, especially during times of political upheaval.
Today's puzzle, on the other hand, is a set of silly puns surrounding legal terms. My favorite clue is 17A: Legal actions provoked by oversimple jigsaw puzzles? (THREEPIECESUITS). That's quite some verbal prestidigitation to get to the joke there. My favorite answer is BOXERBRIEFS. My least favorite is DENTALRETAINERS, which is simply not what you call them. I should know: I've paid for a number of them for my children's mouths.
I question the NE corner of this puzzle entirely. In order to get EQUINE, I suppose we've ended up accepting ETSY, which leads to the unacceptable WINEY. What is that? It's not a word. Nobody has ever used that word intentionally. If you said it, I'd think you were saying "whiny", which is what this paragraph is beginning to sound like.
I'm also not a fan of HAM coming after ONRYE, no matter how tasty the combination may be (with a good strong mustard and some swiss cheese, of course).
I liked VARMINTS and WHEEDLED, however. Those are fun entries. I suppose Icarus Fob might enjoy 20A. Strange moment happened in the SW corner where I put "fawn" in for Bambi and crossed it with "away" at 64A: Departed (LEFT). EROS soon put me right, as is so often the case.
1A: "What a relief!" (PHEW) gets a B-, and was my first entry, although I glanced at 1D to be sure it was spelled with a P and not a W.
Mixed review for me.
I put in wHEW at first for 1A, but quickly adjusted it. Let's throw SCORERS in there with WINEY for bad, bad answers. I did enjoy the theme, though, and the fact that two of the theme answers were 15s was an added bonus. DRI wasn't great, but I liked DUH and PAGAN (for obvious reasons). But is TRESS ever used in the singular? VARMINTS is excellent, and we just had three SWANS on the pond over the weekend. They've now LEFT.
Did this one on Monday night, not realizing it wasn't the Monday. I was watching the Patriot's game, and it was getting kind of close, so I might not have been fully focussed. I finished the puzzle having somehow left unchecked "ayeaye" for 45A: Affirmative to a commanding officer (YESSIR). So... that didn't go well.
I, too, thought of old Icarus at 20A. And yeah, I also dislike it when linked answers start with the last part, if you get what I mean. And I think you do.
I think TRESS is ok in the singular. And I liked BIOTA, too.
I'm also happy that the Pats finally pulled it out.
p.s. I go Pogo!Delete