I wondered why my time was so high for a Wednesday, but then I looked at the grid again and saw how segmented it is. Each corner is its own little mini-puzzle, connected primarily by theme answers. I found myself having to start anew over and over again until I finally got the theme.
So, THINKBIG - that is, put "big" before each of the theme clues to get the real clue. So 17A: HOUSE becomes "big house", or THECLINK. And so on. All four are very standard "big" phrases. Nothing too surprising. GRANDPOOBAH is the best answer of course, even though it's not spelled the way Mr. W.S. Gilbert spelled it.
Yeah. It's fine.
Craziest answer prize goes to WWERAW. That just looks insane in the grid. My eyes kept seeing it as I looked over the finished grid and I wanted it to spell something else. The show started in 1993 and is still going on, so I guess it's a strong enough thing to stand on its own in the puzzle.
8D: Heavyweight bout venue (SUMORING) got a big smile for the clue. That's a nice bit of misdirection. 11D: Christian supergroup? (TRINITY) is cute.
Nothing wrong with Smetana's The MOLDAU, part of Ma Vlast. It's probably the only movement that ever gets played on the radio, but it surely is a lovely piece of music.
1A: Creatures under Wayne Manor (BATS) is a good way of rescuing a blah bit of opening answering. I'll give the pairing a B-. Anyway, the puzzle is an above average Wednesday offering. I wonder whether Mr. Geltman is making his NYT debut here? Yes, indeed he is! Congratulations, and welcome, sir.