And speaking of normal, how about an old-school Monday puzzle? Certainly the theme got us off to the right start, with three examples of that old standby, the CLASSICGAMESHOW. I think of THEPRICEISRIGHT as a relic of my 70s childhood, but in fact it ran from 1956-1965 originally. Bob Barker was the host from when I watched, but more recently it's been Drew Carey. The other two shows, TOTELLTHETRUTH and YOUBETYOURLIFE I'm less familiar with. Although I do remember that Groucho Marx hosted the latter.
I had a good sense what was going on after answering 20A, and in fact entered all three of the others off of little information, which made for a very quick solve, although I did not beat my fastest time by 16 seconds.
|From being ONTOE, she LEAPT|
Meanwhile, the rest of the puzzle has an old-timey feel to it as well, and I don't just mean 14A: Old-fashioned fight club? (MACE). Coming across such hoary crosswordese as EFT and ATEST, HOPI and EBAN, JAI and CTS, and even good old friend ASTA is kind of a shocker on a Monday. But at the same time, they feel very comfortable to this longtime solver. Probably I'll have to come down on the side of there being too much overall.
I liked the pair of 48A and 49A, the two lands on either side of the Yellow Sea (JAPAN and CHINA). It's too bad they couldn't have been to the east and west appropriately within the puzzle as well.
Finally, a nod to PALAU, one of the fourteen countries of the continent Oceania. I've had to learn these well in order to complete the Sporcle quiz, Countries of the World.