For the second day in a row I used the puzzle theme to my advantage. I was foundering for a while in various areas, but I had guessed the revealer outright (and it looked good with what crosses I had), and I had filled in HERSHEYBABY (56A: Toddler raised on chocolate?) with crosses, so I tried to see how the two went together. After seeing the "His & Hers" connection, I was able to get the other three theme answers more quickly, and that pretty much iced it.
I enjoyed the theme just fine, but I didn't particularly love the many, many "quote" clues, nor did I love things like COE (16A: Cedar Rapids college) (?), OAS (40A: Western treaty grp.) (?), or ONS (60A: Slip-____ (some shoes)) (lame). And what about NIDI (38D: Spiders' nests)? Really?
Interesting to learn that the HSIA was the 41A: First Chinese dynasty. It ran from c. 2070 - c. 1600 BCE, if you're interested. That's well before the founding of Rome. Before the Golden Age of Athens. Before Homer and all that he wrote about. (Let's just assume, for the purposes of this review, that Homer was the writer.) It is not, however, before the pyramids. But I digress...
OK, there was some junk, but I think the theme was really pretty nice. It was a decent enough Wednesday.