18. Collision simulation aids: CRASH TEST DUMMIES. Full scale anthropomorphic structures that approximate the size, shape and modes of motion of humans.
33. Extraordinary little one, in folklore: STAR CHILD. News to me, but here you go.
50. Place with drawing rooms: ART SCHOOL. A studio with art supplies, not a room in a house where guests are entertained.
43. Junk collector: TRASH CAN. It only collects trash if you put it in there. Not to be confused with Oscar.
And the unifier: 66. Begin all over again ... and what 18-, 33-, 43- and 50-Across all do (almost), as indicated by the circled letters: START FROM SCRATCH.
Here is a theme that by it's own admission does not quite work. The theme fill entries all lack the second letter C that would be necessary to complete the word SCRATCH. Unless I'm missing something, this is a pretty serious flaw. High marks for honesty, though. Let's move on.
1. Foreboding: OMINOUS. Giving a feeling that something bad is about to happen.
8. Optimistic: ROSY. Having a feeling that something good is about to happen.
12. Pump product: GAS. Fuel for your auto.
15. "Give me an example": NAME ONE. Any one will do
16. "The real story is ... ": ACTUALLY. In fact . . .
20. Scapula neighbor, for short: DELT. Shoulder blade bone and DELTOID, a triangular shaped muscle to the outside of the shoulder
21. Big name in nail polish: OPI. Pick your color.
22. "Yeah, sure": I BET. Sarcastic expression of disbelief.
23. Partnership letters: LLC. Limited Liability Company.
25. Cleaning conveniences: SPONGES. Soft, porous material, either natural or synthetic.
30. "Scary Movie" reaction: SCREAM. As in last weeks Psycho.
37. Poke tuna: AHI. Poke [pronounced poh-kay] is a salad of raw fish marinated in sesame or soy.
38. Chocolate dog: LAB.
41. Neither's partner: NOR. Negating both one thing and the other.
42. Part of a relay: LEG.
45. Overly: TOO. As in TOO much.
46. "So-so": MEH. As per Homer.
47. Mark for good: ETCH. Make a permanent mark.
48. Spanish bear: OSO. Literal
49. Hong Kong lang.: ENGlish.
53. Womb occupant: EMBRYO. In humans, the pre-fetal stage between the 2nd and 8th week after conception.
55. Apparition: PHANTOM. Ghost or figment of the imagination.
57. Kobe cash: YEN. Japanese money.
58. About: AS TO. Referring to something
61. Duracell size: AAA. Small battery.
63. Salty waters: SEAS. Oceans
72. Ready for sleep: TUCKED IN. Secure in the bed.
73. Lady Gaga's debut album: THE FAME.
74. Squid's defense: INK. Obscures its location.
75. Therefore: ERGO. Literal
76. Left formally: SECEDED. Formally withdrew from a federal union, alliance or organization.
1. How music can be stored: ON CD. Is it obsolete yet?
2. Farm female: MARE. Lady horse.
3. "Don't worry about me": IM ALL RIGHT. Whatever it was, I survived.
4. Settle snugly: NESTLE. Tucked in, frex.
5. Awed reaction: OOH. Impressive!
6. Golden rule preposition: UNTO. Others. It's always about the others.
7. Trickles (through): SEEPS. Description of a very slow leek, usually of a liquid through what ought to be a solid surface.
8. Tell (on): RAT. Tattle.
9. Med. condition with repetitive behavior: OCD. Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior. Characterized by uncontrollable thoughts and behaviors that a person needs to repeat, repeatedly.
10. Man's name that sounds like a slow-cooked dish: STU.
11. "Delicious!": YUM. Please sir, may I have some more?
12. Smooth-talking: GLIB. Fluent, bu insincere.
13. Out of the wind: ALEE. Protected by some barrier or structure.
14. Part of CBS: Abbr.: SYSTem.
17. Barn-raising sect: AMISH. A group of traditionalist Christians known for simple living, plain dress and resistance to modern technology.
19. Drinks a bit at a time: SIPS.
24. Pasadena institute: CAL TECH. California Institute of Technology.
26. Texter's "Then again ... ": OTOH. On The Other Hand.
27. Bust maker: NARCO. Drug bust, not a sculpted statue.
28. "Summer Nights" musical: GREASE.
29. Political bragging point, when it's thriving: ECONOMY. And when it's not . . .
30. Actress Hayek: SALMA. Salma Valgarma Hayek Jiménez ( b1966) is a Mexican and American film actress and producer.
31. Joyful shout: CHEER. Yay, hooray!
32. First first lady: MARTHA. Mr, Washington, nee Dandridge.
34. Online promo: INTERNET AD. Pop-ups and other annoying features.
35. Senseless: LOONY. Inane
36. Khal __, Daenerys' husband in HBO's "Game of Thrones": DROGO.
39. Strips for breakfast: BACON. You can eat these strips for breakfast or you can strip for breakfast, but frying them in the nude is not recommended.
44. Opportunity: SHOT. Take a SHOT at something.
51. Hybrid picnic utensil: SPORK.
52. Fertile soil: LOAM. Composed of sand, silt and clay.
54. "Take care of yourself": BE SAFE. Yes, all - please do this.
56. Mariner's supports: MASTS. For sails.
58. Sparkling Italian wine: ASTI. Named for it's region of origin.
59. Knock for a loop: STUN.
60. Wall map marker: TACK. Push pin used to mark a spot or attach papers.
62. Feel sore: ACHE. No pain, no gain.
64. Apex: ACME. High point.
65. Spot for a mower: SHED. Small out-building used for storage.
67. Begin a hole, with "up": TEE. Golfing.
68. Four-term prez: FDR. Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
69. Oil field sight: RIG. A drilling setup or operating well.
70. Musician Yoko: ONO. [b 1933] In addition to being a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, songwriter and peace activist, she is also the widow of he late John Lennon.
71. __ center: REC. A community building used for meetings, sports and other activities.
Thus ends another Wednesday's recreation. Hope you got through it UNSCRATCHED.