17 A. Squander little by little: FRITTER AWAY. To FRITTER [without away] means to break into small fragments; as a noun, it means fragments or shreds. So the definition given here is apt.
25 A. Unstructured recreation: FREE PLAY. Also well defined. Perhaps a way to achieve the previous theme entry with your available time.
38 A. Inlet in an Otis Redding hit song: FRISCOBAY. Otis finds another way to achieve the first theme entry in this song, released after his death, entitled [Sittin' On] The Dock of the Bay. This is getting a bit meta.
54. Ruffles snack company: FRITOLAY. Maker of Fritos, Doritos, Sun Chips, Cheetos and more. Can theses smallish items be considered FRITTERS? You decide.64. Worn-look fabric style that this puzzle's four other longest answers exhibit?: FRAYED EDGES. Like this on fabric. Are the edges being FRITTERED AWAY? And, of course, the split word FRAY bookends the theme entries. So, there you have it.
Hi, Gang, it JazzBumpa, jumping into the FRAY. Nicely executed theme - not much more to say about it. So let us venture forth boldly into this puzzle - unafrayed.
1. Santa __: Sonoma County seat: ROSA. Many Santas. Needed perps
5. Cordelia, to Regan: SISTER. Daughters of King Lear, along with the unfortunately named Goneril.
11. Small ammo: BBs. Spherical pellets shot from a certain kind of air gun. Per Wikipedia, "The term BB originated from the nomenclature of the size of steel shots used in a shotgun. Size "BB" shots were normally 0.180 in (4.6 mm) . . ."
14. At risk of offending, for short: UN-PC. Not Politically Correct.
15. "Play more!": ENCORE. An additional song or musical selection played after the planned program is complete, as requested by the audience.
16. Variety: ILK. Type
19. Foot the bill: PAY. End up paying for something, especially if the charge is large or unreasonable. Sad.
20. Expedia info: FARES. Expedia is an American based travel company that provides FARES and other information for world-wide travel.
21. "__ Tu": 1974 hit sung in Spanish: ERES.
23. Nike rival: ADIDAS. Sports shoes.
28. Back muscle, familiarly: LAT. More formally, Latissimus dorsi the muscle connecting the upper extremity to the back bone. Mine are typically tight, probably from my trombone addiction.
29. Garnet or ruby: RED. Shades of meaning.
31. Double helix part: STRAND. Come on, baby, let's do the twist.
32. Approximately: OR SO. In the general vicinity of - or so it is said.
34. Old __: card game: MAID.
37. Small pies: TARTS. Small filled pastries without a top crust.
41. "Hello" singer: ADELE.
44. Subway fare?: HERO. A sandwich of meat, cheese and vegetables made on a long roll that can be purchased at, frex, the Subway sandwich shop. A fee is involved.
45. Pollen pouches: SACS. The structures in seed plants where pollen is produced.
49. Overhaul: REVAMP. Improve the form, appearance and structure of something.
51. Inquire: ASK. Asking minds want to know.
53. Stick in the closet?: MOP. "Stick" is a noun here, and it has a head.
57. Mogadishu native: SOMALI. A resident of Somalia, a failed nation on the horn of Africa.
59. Master: ACE.
60. __ Bator: ULAN. The capital of Mongolia, on the Tuul River.
62. "Beauty and the Beast" role: BELLE. Per Wikipedia, she "is the non-conforming daughter of an inventor who yearns to abandon her predictable village life in return for adventure." The rest is herstory.
63. Olive center: PIT. A hard seed.
66. Ginger __: ALE. A carbonated soft drink made with -- wait for it . . . ginger!
69. '60s hallucinogen: LSD. Lysergic Acid Diethyamide. Have a nice trip.
70. Shiny photo: GLOSSY. Type of finish surface on the photo paper
71. "You said it!": AMEN.
1. Mark who plays the Hulk: RUFFALO.
3. Bar supply: SPIRITS. Liquors that have been distilled to increase the alcohol content.
4. Didn't just sit there: ACTED. Did something.
5. "I __ what you did there": SEE. Acknowledging someone's cleverness.
6. Memo starter: IN RE. With regard to --
7. Winter neckwear: SCARF. A fabric item worn to maintain warmth and ward off the elements.
8. Cell network structure: TOWER. I was so stuck on biological cells that when this answer emerged I was totally confused. Of course this refers to the place where antennae are place for cell phone transmissions. Which prompts the question: does anyone still use their phone to actually call somebody?
9. Clears a whiteboard: ERASES. Or a blackboard. Works either way.
10. King of Spain: REY. Literal translation
11. Like many magnets: BIPOLAR. Having both north and south poles.
12. Glaringly obvious: BLATANT. In your face.
13. Big __ Country: Montana: SKY. Don't let them fool you. The sky is the same size everywhere. But in Michigan, you often can't see it for the clouds.
18. Ivan the Terrible, e.g.: TSAR. One of many Russian emperors, prior to 1917.
22. Turns the hose on: SPRAYS. Fun way to end up single.
26. James of jazz: ETTA.
30. Superspeed boy in "The Incredibles": DASH.
35. Curling surface: ICE. This is a game in which large, flat stones are slid along a smooth ICE surface into a target area.
36. Toon explorer: DORA. Found this on FaceBook recently.
39. San __, Italy: REMO. A city on the Mediterranean located in the extreme western part of Italy. San and Santa - near clechoes.
40. Overseer: BOSS.
41. Greeting at a dog park: ARF.
42. Throws off track: DERAILS.
43. Thrown out: EVICTED.
46. Dental filling material: AMALGAM. Despite containing about 50% elemental mercury, it is considered to be safe.
47. Dartmouth, e.g.: COLLEGE. An institute of higher learning.
48. Watches through binoculars, maybe: SPIES ON.
50. Like lions and tigers and bears: PLURAL. Yes they are plurals. No, I do not like self-referential clues.
52. 18-time NBA All-Star Bryant: KOBE. According to some, the 12th best player ever.
55. Texas mission: ALAMO. Famous for the battle of 1836, when Texas was seceding from Mexico. In a 13 day siege the garrison stationed there was almost completely wiped out.
56. "Get Yer __ Out!": live Stones album: YAYAS. Read all about it.
58. Mass __: MEDIA. With tulips in my mind, I guess, I confidently filled in MANIA. That was a set back. The correct answer refers to news and communication outlets, like publications, broadcasting and the internet.
61. Guitarist Cline of the band Wilco: NELS. Was this a Natick for anyone else?
63. Buddy: PAL. Amigo, BFF.
64. Cookie fruit: FIG. Classic.
65. Kit letters: DIY. The set of parts, pieces and tools required to build some thing. Good luck and - yeah - do read the instructions.
OK, kids - we've frittered away time with this crossword puzzle. Let's go take on the rest of the day.