On day 295 of quarantine...
Okay, I know that's an exaggeration, but it surely feels like it.
As it wears longer and longer, little things can take on huge significance. Like if for example a carton of blueberries and a carton of raspberries falls out of the refrigerator and spills all over the ground? That's a fruit salad gone to waste, and who's even going to get to the supermarket to replace them? Who, I ask you? WHO?!
Once again, the crossword puzzle has the opportunity to TEACH us some peace and relaxation, and maybe inject some OPTIMISM back into our daily lives. Today's grid tricks us using MORSECODE, by substituting the letters T and E in the clues with - and . respectively. The resulting clue now looks like something else reasonably found in clues. For example, 25A: Big nos. (SCHNOZZOLA) is not asking about abbreviated trillions, but instead "Big nose."
That was the first theme answer I filled in, but I didn't exactly get what was going on. I worked my way down the east side of the puzzle until the revealer became clear, and then I looked back and got it. I really love 49A: Mil. post, say (ROADMARKER). You might think that was an abbreviation for "military," but no: it's "mile." Nicely done.
1D: Made some calls (UMPIRED) - an excellent non-QMC.
13D: Log splitter (AXHEAD) - I'd wondered if that was going to refer to a person who snores, perhaps influenced by SLEEPLAB.
30D: Talking point (PODIUM) - this reminds me of a clue that Frannie called out last week.
LIFEHACK is a great answer, as is MRTOAD. A very pleasant Thursday, and a nice start to The Turn.