I love the theme today! I guess I’ve always been the kind of person who enjoys challenging standards and pushing at boundaries and restrictions. So when I come across a puzzle that so obviously breaks the established norms by having nine words appear twice in the grid, I am delighted. The justification here (and there always should be some justification - I don't suggest anarchy!) is that when you encounter each word a second time, the word “second” is implied. As in 55A: What you will always be (but he or she isn’t)? (PERSON). That’s “second person,” grammatically. Excellent.
They’re all perfectly “in the language,” and somehow each of them surprised me a little bit. It’s lucky Frannie was sitting beside me on the couch, and we were solving together, so she could explain it over and over again. :)
Aside from the excellent theme, there were some additional bonus elements. I very much enjoyed the clues for HOTTUB “Somewhere to chill, paradoxically” (Clever!), BERRA (“If you can’t imitate him, don’t copy him” speaker) (He never disappoints), and the first NATURE (“All ____ is but art, unknown to thee”: Alexander Pope).
“Indication of good taste?” (YUM), “Couple of high points?” (UMLAUT), and “Shell station?” (SEASHORE) were three cute QMCs. And if I weren’t on the SEASHORE myself right now, where the Internet connection is not at all reliable, I would try to find out why a BANANA is slightly radioactive! Is it bad that I eat one every day?!?
And maybe it’s all that radioactive fruit I’ve been eating, but I am not sure I understand TDS (Bear necessities, for short?). I guess they must mean the Chicago Bears, a football team, but somehow putting it into the singular just seems a little too far to go.
But that aside, I still call for a LAUREL for Misters Liben-Nowell and Barocas. They’re both real SMARTIES in my book.