20 A. 1968 55-Across song: BOTH SIDES NOW. First recorded by Judy Collins in 1968, then the following year by the composer on an album named for a word in this song.
32. 1976 55-Across album: HEJIRA. Her 8th studio album. It was mostly written on and inspired by a driving trip from Maine to L.A. You can read about it here.
37. 1970 55-Across song: BIG YELLOW TAXI. I never knew that was the name of this song. The things you learn . . .
55. Singer/songwriter born 11/7/1943: JONI MITCHELL. The birthday girl, herself.
Hi gang, JazzBumpa here to spin the platters. This doesn't quite take me back to my 'ute. But I'm no spring chicken, either. It takes me back to early adulthood. CLOUDS was released about a year before my son was born.
Let's examine this score and see if we can find some high notes.
1. Crowds around: MOBS. Here, "crowds" is a verb, describing a group of people [presumably] mobbing someone or some thing.
5. Geologic time: EPOCH. On a geologic time scale, this is a long, but non-specific time period that is shorter than a period and longer than an age. Certainly longer than my age, and that's saying something.
10. It's the truth: FACT. An element or aspect of reality.
14. Baseball's Felipe or his son Moises: ALOU. Along with Felipe's younger brothers Matty and Jesús. Very talented players from the Dominican Republic.
15. Nabisco wafer brand: NILLA. Shortened form of VANILLA. the main flavor element of these cookies.
16. Serengeti feline: LION. And that's a FACT!
17. Barclays Center team: NETS. Basketball.
18. Strung along: LED ON. Given false hopes by someone insincere.
19. Boatloads: A LOT. Non-specific large quantity.
23. Axis foes: ALLIES. WWII foes. The main Allied powers were Great Britain, The United States, China, and the Soviet Union. The main Axis powers were Germany, Japan and Italy.
24. Spot for an AirPod: EAR. These are wireless headphones made by Apple.
25. Tight spot: JAM. Unpleasant situation with no easy escape route.
28. "__ whiz!": GEE. Golly!
29. Sundance's sweetie __ Place: ETTA. "The Sundance Kid" was outlaw Harry Alonzo Longabaugh. Her real name, age and birthplace are all unknown. Evidently, she was married to Longabaugh.
36. "Do __ others ... ": UNTO. Archaic form of "to."
41. "The Walking Dead" survivor Grimes: CARL. The son of primary protagonist Rick Grimes, and his wife Lori Grimes. Already more than I know.
42. Advertising lure: COME ON. Bait. May or may not come with switch.
46. Business review site: YELP. An on-line publishing service for crowd-sourced revues of local businesses.
47. Influential D.C. group: PAC. Political Action Committee.
50. Place in the woods: DEN. An animals lair, I suppose. Not fond of this clue.
51. Forever and a day: EON. Is this longer than an EPOCH?
53. "Watch and learn": LIKE SO. As I demonstrate . . .
58. Auburn rival, familiarly: 'BAMA. University of Alabama, the Crimson Tide.
61. Miguel's "I love you": TE AMO. Spanish amor.
62. Small Chevy model: AVEO. Or Aero. Needed perp help.
63. Vacationing: AWAY. Out of town. Or at least away from the office.
64. Harsh-smelling: ACRID. Nasty odor.
65. Sharp-edged: KEEN. Well honed.
66. Tach reading: REVS. I wanted RPMS. But R stands for Revs, so OK.
67. Annoy: GET TO. Bug, in a way.
68. Car trip game: I SPY. The spy observes something and gives a hint, such as the letter it strts with or its color, and other players have to guess what it is.
1. Metrosexual tote: MAN BAG. Choose from our wide selection.
2. Repetitive refrain in the song "Hot Hot Hot": OLE OLE.
4. Fish dish served with wasabi: SUSHI. Actually, a vinegared rice dish often, but not necessarily, served with sea food.
5. Willing recruit: ENLISTEE. One who joins without a lead on or come on.
6. Like a noted piper: PIED. Clad in multicolored clothing.
7. Quaint retail adjective: OLDE. As in Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe.
8. In the neighborhood: CLOSE. Near by, but cigarless.
9. ESPN anchor __ Storm: HANNAH.
10. It may be tragic: FLAW. Or even fatal.
11. Not feel well: AIL. Have something
12. Whisper sweet nothings: COO. Might also involve billing.
13. Explosive letters: TNT. Dy-no-mite!
21. Far from swanky: SEEDY. In poor, run-down condition.
22. Mined-over matter: ORE. Stuff found in a hole in the ground. Clever clue.
25. "We just said the same thing at the same time!": JINX. So you owe me!
26. Basic drawing class: ART I. Here the I stands for the number 1, designating the introduction to Art class. Have you met Art? Would you introduce me?
27. "Little Red Book" author: MAO. A book of quotations and writing from Mao Zedong, chairman of the Chinese Communist Party from its inception in 1949 until his death in 1979.
30. Powder puff stuff: TALC. A finely divided form of hydrated magnesium silicate.
31. Bronze or brass: ALLOY. An ALLOY is a mixture of metals, generally designed to enhance physical properties.
33. San __, Puerto Rico: JUAN. Located on the north coast of the island, it is the capital and largest city of the commonwealth.
34. "House," in Inuit: IGLU. Usually rendered as IGLOO in the English speaking world.
35. A few: SOME. An indeterminate quantity of moderate size.
37. Hayloft bundle: BALE. Of hay, of course.
38. Wrinkle remover: IRON. For your clothing.
39. Prosperous: WELL TO DO. Upper class.
40. __ sentence: essay opener: TOPIC. What it's all about.
41. Included in an email, briefly: CCD. Copied. Thus, included as a recipient, not in the contents.
44. "Gloria in Excelsis __": DEO. Glory to God in the highest, in Latin - a Christian hymn, also known as the Greater Doxology.
45. "In America" novelist Susan: SONTAG. The novel is based on the true story of Polish actress Helena Modjeska who arrived in California in 1876.
47. Pet problems?: PEEVES. Pet PEEVES are thing you find particularly annoying. Are they necessarily problems? I have mixed feelings about this clever, misleading clue. More clever than accurate, perhaps.
48. __ at the wheel: ASLEEP. An expression indicating a failure to handle duties or responsibilities. Also a country music group that has recorded over 20 albums and won 9 Grammies since their start in 1970.
49. Ant-sy complex?: COLONY. Misleading, but accurate and cute.
52. Female relative: NIECE. Sister's or brother's daughter. Mine lives in N. Car.
54. Uniform cloth: KHAKI. A strong cotton fabric in a dull yellow-brown color.
55. Rogers Centre team, familiarly: JAYS. Toronto Blue Jays of the American League of baseball.
56. K follower: MART. Are there any left? The former K-Mart site near me is being converted into an Aldi grocery store.
57. "Look no further than me": I'M IT. Choose me!
58. Trivia night site: BAR. Site for drinking and gaming.
59. Bedazzle: AWE. Impress in a highly favorable way.
60. Big D hoopster: MAVerick, a player on the team representing Dallas in the National Basketball Association.
That wraps up another Wednesday. Was it all in tune for you? A little dissonance, but not too many sour notes, IMHO, and a nice tribute to Ms. Mitchell.