Theme: Wise Words — Theme answers are familiar phrases that contain two contiguous Ys.
- 20A: Roger Clemens has won it seven times (CY YOUNG AWARD).
- 27A: Tammy Wynette classic (STAND BY YOUR MAN).
- 46A: 1618-'48 conflict (THIRTY YEARS' WAR).
- 53A: Sunny color (CANARY YELLOW).
- 58D: There are contiguous pairs of them in 20-, 27-, 46- and 53-Across (WYES).
Awesome, awesome puzzle today. I don't recognize the constructor's name and I'm thinking this might be a debut. If so, well done, sir! Now, after that little bit of gushing I'll say the theme wasn't all that exciting. But, two of theme answers have a little sparkle to them and the fill is very nice. And even where the fill isn't fantastic, the cluing is good. I don't know. This puzzle just tickled my fancy for some reason. I hope we see more from Victor.
- 34A: Cuttlefish pigment (SEPIA). I don't know what a cuttlefish is, but it sounds cool.
- 43A: The Berenstain Bears live in one (TREE). I enjoy it when we parents of young kids get a shout-out. It doesn't happen often.
- 59A: Steal, as cargo (HIJACK). I've had my Facebook status update thread hijacked a couple times.
- 63A: Criticize harshly (SCATHE). Not sure I like SCATHE as a verb, but it still sounds cool. See also 27D: Get really hot (SEETHE).
- 8D: Operetta with Nanki-Poo and Yum-Yum, with "The" (MIKADO). I don't think The MIKADO qualifies as crosswordese, but you should keep these character names in mind for the future. Speaking of kids' shows, Nanki-Poo and Yum-Yum kinda sound like Teletubbies to me.
- 18D: Nightclub in a Manilow song (COPA). Click the video. You know you want to.
- 39D: Little John was one of them (MERRY MEN). Was just talking about Robin Hood this weekend ….
- 60D: Rocks for a Black Russian (ICE). Did anyone else go, "Wait. There are black people in Russia?" No, I didn't think so.
- 17A / 50A: South American shocker (ELECTRIC EEL).
- 11D: Prince Valiant's son (ARN).
- 30D: "Fiddler on the Roof" matchmaker (YENTE).
- 36D: Berlin article (DER).
- 38D: Altar in the sky (ARA).
- 54D: Some TVs (RCAS).
- 57D: Shamu, for one (ORCA).
- 59D: FDR's last VP (HST).