joyed by this theme. The concept here is that the circled letter above the longer themed answers are to be read with the understood "over". Thus 20A: Power players (M[OVER]SANDSHAKERS) where the M is above the remainder. It's very clever, and a lot of fun. The most challenging task for Mr. Fogarty must have come at 6D and 50D, where the letter in question is between two theme answers.
My favorite was S[OVER]EIGNSTATE. Nice find there.
This is a very nicely constructed puzzle all around. Let's just take as an example the NW corner. At 1A, one of the best clues of the day ("TV show with three stars") yields the classic MASH (the three stars are between the letters of the show, i.e. M*A*S*H). And then there's the remarkable 14A: Treat with the identical color scheme as this puzzle (OREO). I've never thought of a crossword puzzle as having a color scheme! I also liked 3D: Penn name (SEAN) and 4D: "HOOO-whee!" (HOTDAMN) both for the ludicrous clue and the LURID answer.
("Spitting distance? How lurid.")
I ended the puzzle filling in ACTS at 5A, and finally getting what 6D: Media protector introduced in the '80s (CDCASE) was getting at. I was so sure it was going to be some G[OVER]NMENTAGENCY, but no, it was those stupid space wasting jewel cases.
With UNKEMPT and WINBYANOSE, this was a joy to work through.
And that gets me to my gratitude for the day. I am grateful to have a rational, puzzle-loving, curious primate's brain. Of course I'm subject to all the same biases humans suffer from across time and space. But at least I can work on a 15 x 15 puzzle and find enjoyment, even as I reject illogic, fantasy, and delusion that wrack the minds of many of our leaders, apparently.