An amusing "fourth of July" theme today, where each letter is phonetically represented at the start of each theme answer: "jay," "you," "elle," and "why." The full theme answers are made up of two names and two phrases - YOUARENOTALONE (25A: "I'm here, too") being the weakest. It's not bad, really, it's just not all that common seeming a phrase. At least not to me.
|Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!|
There are a few stars in the field of fill today - mostly in the Downs, where there was more room for slightly longer answers. ONALLFOURS (26D: Crawling, say) (extra theme material?) was good. EMULATE and ENTICE are MODISH (24D: Fashionable), and PLUMTOMATO is fine.
We do find a few oddities, in IDYL (3D: Pastoral verse), TOME (31D: São ____ and Príncipe) clued as a partial, and the ever-popular AROAR. And I found a surprising amount of material that one might not want to promote on such a jingoistic holiday: NIXON - who MUSSed up the presidential office, in part through his dealings with the SHAH, to whom he sold a veritable ARSENAL; HUEY (23D: Chopper in the Vietnam War) references another STAIN on our history. Heck, even NAACP (28D: Org. that gives out Image Awards and Spingarn Medals), with its mission statement that hopes "to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination," puts names to troubles that have plagued this country from its very beginning to today.
Perhaps I should just RELAX, but everywhere I look, I see entries that give me SPASMS. OKAY, ILL PUTON a happy face and act the YOKEL. Bring on the TNT!