Frannie has an aversion to circles, and today I agree with her. I guess it's cool that the symmetrical groups of four circles all contain words that can precede "box," but the revealer, WHATSINTHEBOXES (37A: Question asked by a customs officer or a kid on Christmas … with a hint to this puzzle's circled squares) just seems a little off. Also, what's a "salt box?" Is that a common phrase?
Some of the longer stuff is quite good - WATERSNAKE (21A: Cottonmouth, e.g.), STRADDLED (27A: Was on both sides of), and FIRSTLIGHT (57A: Dawn) were nice. And I liked TUSSLE (51D: Shoving match) and SMILED (2D: Heeded the photographer, say) too. But PEDROS (53D: Three-time Cy Young winner Martinez, and others), OTIC (42D: Ear-related), ISNO and ISON… not so great.
That SW corner was a real mess for a while. It's lucky we just saw Sammy FAIN (57D: "April Love" composer Sammy) last Friday, otherwise I would have been in real trouble down there. Still, I'm hoping that Mr. Shortz isn't trying to wedge that in as a regular name. It definitely seems more Friday than Wednesday. The same goes for MASAI (62A: Seminomadic Kenyan). Yikes!
Not a bad Wednesday, but not up to the standard of the last two days, I didn't think.