Happy new year my people! I hope everyone had a nice NYE and is ready to welcome in 2022. As the Counting Crows say in "Long December", "Maybe this year will be better than the last."
I like these easy to grok themes that use a title instead of a reveal. Definitely lets the breathe a little easier I think while not sacrificing the number of theme answers. I usually don't do this type of theme placement, that I'm calling a "wheel" format, with two across themers and two down ones. Just gives a different vibe and look.
I think some of the longer non-theme answers are pretty solid. Nothing really is sticking out to me as far as fill that is very ugly. I think I need to find a new way to clue 43-across, although I'm not sure there is one out there. I also feel like we only see 20-across referring to a man so glad to include the opposite answer.
For those wondering, and mostly because I like posting pictures of my puppy, here is Seven, now 4 months old: