17 A. Does well at the casino? : BREAKS EVEN. Since the house has a persistent advantage, one who BREAKS EVEN actually is doing well. SEVEN is considered by some to be a lucky number. So parsing this letter grouping to split off the number SEVEN might actually be a lucky BREAK.
25 A. Cereal box factoid : NET WEIGHT. This is the WEIGHT of the contents of the box. The weight of the container is called the tare, and added together they give you the total WEIGHT. Maybe you'll get EIGHT servings, and eating them might affect your WEIGHT.
50 A. Opera house level : MEZZANINE. This traces back to the Latin word for median, and refers to a building level between two floors, in this case the main auditorium and the balcony. NINE is the number of either ladies dancing on the stage, or the Nazgul, though I'm not sure how that is relevant.
60 A. Bullied : BROW-BEATEN. Influenced by verbal or psychological intimidation and abuse, rather than physical harm, though that might be threatened. This can happen because the TEN Commandments did not include "Thou Salt Not BROW BEAT."
Good closing number - but we're just getting started!
Hi gang, JazzBumba on the job, though I'm not much of a numerologist. Let's go check out the words and letters. That's more my speed.
1. Unlike this clue, obviously : LAST. So, the LAST really will be first - at least in the context of this grid.
5. Driving force? : MOTOR. Usually this phrase is figurative, but here, it is literal, since a MOTOR provides the driving force for a vehicle or some other kind of machine. So why the question mark?
10. Bar regulars, and then some : SOTS. Habitual drunkards. The word originates in medieval Latin, coming to us via late Old English, where it referred to a foolish person. The current meaning dates for the late 16th century.
14. Bible book before Romans : ACTS. Of The Apostles.
15. One-named singer with 10 Grammys : ADELE.
16. William of "Broadcast News" : HURT. [b 1950]
19. On : ATOP. Sitting upon.
20. URL ending : COM. For a commercial enterprise. Others are EDU for schools and ORG for organizations.
21. Bridge call : AHOY. The bridge of a ship, not something uttered in a card game.
22. Hang loosely : DRAPE.
23. Star's statuette : OSCAR. For Academy Award winners.
28. Mushroom cloud makers : A-TESTS. Of explosive nuclear devices.
30. Pale : WAN. Strangely, this traces back to an Old English word meaning dark black. Go figure.
31. __ shadow : EYE. Cosmetic type.
32. Tip to one side : TILT. Lean over.
33. Etiquette expert Baldrige who was Jackie Kennedy's social secretary : LETITIA. [1926-2012] Author of 20 books and a newspaper column who also ran her own PR firm.
41. Comes back with : REPLIES. Not RETORTS, I discovered.
42. Hardly scads : A DAB. Some undefined small quantity
44. Beer choice, briefly : IPA. India Pale Ale - a hoppy brew originally formulated to be stable on the long sea voyage from Mother England.
47. Part of un mes : DIA. Spanish month and day.
48. Ready for the piano recital : IN TUNE. I could go on and on about this, but the comma of Pythagorus is too difficult to explain.
54. "Ugh!" : YECCH. An expression of disgust, and my reaction to this fill.
55. Climbed aboard : GOT ON. Could also be GOT IN.
56. Some Neruda poems : ODES. Pablo Neruda was the pen name and later legal name of Chilean poet, diplomat and politician Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto [1904 - 1973.]
58. Hawaiian tuna : AHI. Yellowfin tuna.
59. Snack since 1912 : OREO. Creme filling between two chocolate coolie layers.
63. Musée Marc Chagall city : NICE. In France.
64. Ancient Greek region : IONIA. In present day Turkey.
65. Conversation piece? : WORD. Sentence fragment. Make sure you parse it properly.
66. __ chair : EASY. A place to relax.
67. Minute : TEENY. Tiny.
1. Researcher's garb : LAB COAT. For chemists, doctors, and lab workers.
2. Puzzle with a quote : ACROSTIC. Explained here.
3. Recent medical research subject : STEM CELL. An undifferentiated cell that is capable of developing into any of a variety of specific cell types.
4. Org. operating full-body scanners : TSA. The Transportation Security Administration.
5. Prepare, as avocados for guacamole : MASH. Guac a al Bumpa: Two avocados, mashed; one 10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies; two tomatillas; chopped cilantro, onion and garlic to taste. Magnifico!
6. Ancient theater : ODEON. Greek.
7. "Tradition" singer : TEVYE. From Fiddler On The Roof.
He does have quite a bit of help
8. "Bravo!" : OLE. Cheers heard in sports arenas where Spanish is spoken.
9. "You eediot!" speaker of cartoons : REN. Stimpy's costar.
10. Ventriloquist Lewis : SHARI.
11. Delighted state? : OUTAGE.
12. Prize in a case : TROPHY.
13. Fla. city : ST. PETErsburg.
18. Go-__ : KART. A small racing car with a lightweight or skeleton body.
22. Overalls material : DENIM. Also blue jeans.
24. Financier aboard the Titanic : ASTOR. John Jacob. [1864-1912] He went down with the ship.
26. Strong string : TWINE. From the same root as two and twin, a strong string made from two or more strands twisted together.
27. 1960s dance : WATUSI.
29. Add sneakily : SLIP IN. As when late for a meeting, hoping to not be noticed.
34. China's Zhou __ : EN LAI. [1898 - 1976] First Premier of the People's Republic of China, serving from 1949 until his death.
35. "In Here, It's Always Friday" letters : TGI. From the Restaurant chain TGI Friday's.
36. Diminish : ABATE. Reduce in magnitude or intensity.
38. Enterprise choice : SEDAN. Rental car, having nothing to do with Star Trek.
39. Academic figure : EDUCATOR. Teacher.
40. Southwestern farm owner : RANCHERO. Spanish for rancher.
43. Rear ends : BEHINDS.
44. "See ya!" : I'M GONE. Not quite - gotta finish the downs.
45. Everycity, USA : PEORIA. This idea originated in one of Horatio Alger's plays.
46. Tenochtitlán natives : AZTECS. They dominated meso-America in the 14th through 16th centuries and are noted for the practice of human sacrifice.
49. Where to see IBM and JNJ : NYSE. Stock symbols on the New York Stock Exchange.
51. Deschanel of the musical duo She & Him : ZOOEY.
52. Whom to trust, in "The X-Files" : NO ONE. Closing tag line used in certain episodes.
53. Astronomer Hubble : EDWIN. [1889 - 1953] American astronomer who showed that the universe is expanding, and provided evidence that far off objects considered to be nebulae were actually galaxies.
57. PayPal's former parent : EBAY.
60. Morsel : BIT. Or bite, perhaps an ort.
61. Salmon eggs : ROE. Fish eggs, in general are referred to as ROE.