Well, after two harder-than-normal puzzles (according to me), this one seemed pretty much just like a typical Wednesday.
We loved KILLMENOW (53A: *Sarcastic remark upon hearing bad news), so much that I will say right now that we like the puzzle overall. The TWISTOFLEMON (23D: Drink garnish … or a hint to five letters in the answer to each starred clue) was a decent enough theme. We’ve seen this kind of thing before, but it’s a good one. Would have preferred “A million here, a million there, and pretty soon you’re talking about _____” for REALMONEY (20A: *What paper profits aren’t), but, well… it wasn’t our byline.
ABJECT, SCONCE, PRAGUE… all good words. And any reference to 56D: Phil who sang “Draft Dodger Rag” (OCHS) is a-ok with us! And an interesting lesson in physics with ERNST MACH.
Well, I didn’t know that NASA was a 55D Friendship org. of 1962. It must have something to do with cooperation with the USSR or the name of a space-faring vehicle. That cost me about seven minutes because it crossed with 67 Conde ___ (NAST), which I also didn’t know. I quite enjoyed 53A *Sarcastic remark upon hearing bad news (KILLMENOW), and Frannie probably knew 7D With 2-Down, book that includes the line “Conventionality is not morality” right away (JANE EYRE). I thought that 1A Dos + dos + dos (SEIS) was clever. One more snag for me was 47D Nine, in baseball (SQUAD).