I was ultra confused by this puzzle for a long time, it seemed. As I was solving the NW corner, I came across 16A: Picking out of a lineup, e.g. The answer clearly started with BRAI___. What could this be? And then what about 22A: Upper body muscles, for short, which clearly wanted to be "lats." What was with this LABR___ opening?
It wasn't until I filled in the NE corner and confirmed that 24A: Extremely was going to be answered with BRAVERY, and then backfilled the NW and got BRAIDING and LABRATS, that I figured out the answers were all tainted with the additions of "bra." Finally, the revealer: NOBRADAY.
So, basically, in order to answer the actual clues, you had to take "bra" out from the answer in the grid. I guess that makes this Thursday a "no-bra day" in puzzle land. Fortunately, there were no other _BRA_ letter units in the puzzle to ignore.
My favorite theme answer is 35A: Didn't delete (LEFTBRAIN) for "left in." I love how the addition of "bra" totally changes the sense and the sound of the original phrase.
The truth is, the short nature of the theme answers means the rest of the puzzle lacks the typical pizzazz of a well-crafted NYT puzzle. I enjoyed 4D: Collections of patches, say (QUILTS). And while the clue at 33D: Application for the Mr. Universe contest? (OIL) is certainly CLEVER, can we all agree that, well, "ick?"
I didn't get it until I got the revealer, which is, I suppose, exactly what the creator and editors hope will happen. Anyway, I liked it. I had not previously heard of NOBRADAY (Oct. 13), and as has been said on other sites, there seem to be both pros and cons with such a program.
Nice young photo of AGEE. His work with Walker Evans assures that most photographers will be able to drop his name right in, even though the clue does not reference "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men."