None of our dear readers will be surprised to learn that I've never heard of seven-time All-Star Dave STIEB, who pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays. According to the Wikipedia, he won his seventh and final All-Starryness in 1990. Where Stieb crossed Mr. Netanyahu's nickname (BIBI) I came up dry and guessed STeEB, more because Steeb seemed like a possible last name than BIBe seemed like a good nickname. I was Crushed.
I cannot tell a Pibb: I didn't figure out the theme, either. (Do we need a new acronym for that? FWOFOTT? Yes. Yes we do). But, my lack of a theme-related OHO aside, I think it is a clever one. Part of my problem was that I kept trying to figure it out focusing only on the first theme answer BUBBLEGUM. When I got the revealer "Ingredient in some cocktails" (SODAMIXER), I did anagram GUM, but for some reason, I mist the fact that MUG is a kind of soda. AW :( . Perhaps if I had zeroed in on the MARCECKO answer (COKE), a light might have gone on. Although, I'm not sure I would have realized that JUDASPRIEST could give us SPRITE, or that we could get TAB from a BASEBALLBAT.
I'm going to give 7 ups to:
34A: "Going rates?" (TOLLS) - clever clue.
65A: "Long nap?" (SHAG) - ha!
4D: "Choice A for Hamlet" (TOBE) - so choice B is not to be? :)
12D: "Phone tapping targets?" (ICONS) - apt!
38D: "Put in a hold" (STOW) - nice ambiguity in the clue.
50D and 51D: SETUP and ERASE - a touching contrast.
58D: "Server load?" (TRAY)
I also liked OCARINA, INEPT, GLUT, UTMOST, and GLASSY.
I am not a Fanta the number of abbreviations in the puzzle. There were two right out of the gate: LGBT and ACLU, closely followed by LBJ, CPA, USPS, AAS, ASAP, and YOLO. And, while not exactly abbreviations, ERAS, SEATAC, NEWAT, TONOW, and SITAT don't really effervesce.
I was not familiar with the archaic (per my dictionary) AMAIN, or the fact that female swans are called PENS. The latter seems like it might come in handy someday if I ever Dew trivia again.
Of course, all constructors know that my Barq's is worse than my bite. Puzzle-wise, I'm really pretty Mello, Yello?
Cute review, Frannie!
I've never heard of Dave Stieb either, and I agree with you about there being enough OLIO to SKEW this AGAINST a WOOT and toward an EGAD. Too much?