Today's review is brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department. Please be sure to take pen and paper and make a note of it by writing it down.
Thanks to today's puzzle theme, I looked up Redundancy (linguistics) in the Wikipedia. I knew a lot of what I found there, but I loved reading about all the levels of redundancy language has to offer, from phonology to rhetoric. I found the possibility that phonological redundancy might come in handy with first language acquisition to be interesting. If it starts that early, no wonder humans love it so much. :) I also learned that the habit, if you will, of saying ATM machine when machine was already accounted for in the acronym has a name: RAS syndrome, which is funny because it stands for Repeated Acronym Syndrome syndrome. Ha! Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.
Of the theme answers I probably wouldn't bat an eye at TWELVENOON or HEADHONCHO. Who here knew the word 'honcho' comes from Japanese? I might have learned that once long ago, but I forgot it again until today. Anywhoo, I can make a case for the repetition in both of those pairs as a means of emphasis. However, I find FIRSTBEGAN and REVERTBACK to be the most obvious transgressors and a little more difficult to justify.
Although there were seven three-letter answers, only one was a nondescript abbreviation, but the rest, I thought, were solid. Today's SOX were a different color. :)
I thought the 13D. answer/clue pair was an interesting match: Free (REIN) = (total control), which seems contradictory, but isn't. Or is it?
Also, thanks to the close proximity of STY and STYX I noticed that the two answers share three of the same letters. Is this another kind of redundancy?
I am giving today's 1A. Common lunchbox sandwich, for short (PBJ) a B+. It gets a demerit for being an acronym right out of the gate, but a big plus for being such a great favorite.