Have you all been watching more TV than usual during this strange time? If so, this theme should suit you. Two shows are put side-by-side and clued to make sense.
What to do if you want to win bar trivia? - GETSMARTFRIENDS (Works for me!)
Medical professional with a passion for pep rallies? - DOCTORWHOCHEERS
Predictable result of a choir's Barry White singing contest? - THESOPRANOSLOST
OK, that last one is a bit of a stretch, but it's so ridiculous that it still made me smile.
The long Downs are quite nice today, starting with the old-fashioned PASSMUSTER, the well-clued ORTHODOX (Keenly observant), the evocative VISIGOTH, and the stirring FREEATLAST (if only!). Other fun entries were SVELTE (Trim), HALIDE (Compound like NaCL or HCL), and the cute pairing of "Snorty ride" (STEED) and "Sporty ride, informally" (VETTE).
I didn't know SHONDA ("Scandal" creator Rhimes), and its cross with the Latin "Ab ____" (from the beginning) was tricky. Yesterday, we needed the nominative (of annum), but today the preposition "ab" forces the ablative - OVO.
It's not a rebus, but it did take me longer than yesterday's puzzle did, so - so far - it fits the bill for what a Thursday puzzle should be - "Harder than Wednesday and easier than Friday." We'll see if that still holds up tomorrow. :)
I usually leave the third letter of Spanish pronouns blank until I know if they're talking about plural females or other. But today I put in ESaS, thinking the Spanish river would end in an A. How wrong I was. I love everything about this puzzle but the theme. Which is unfair: it made me smile, certainly, but it just didn't PASSMUSTER for a Thursday, in my opinion.
Same error as Colum, and so easily correctable had I looked at the cross, even briefly. I've seen all of "Get Smart," "Doctor Who" (except for the latest season), "The Sopranos" and "Lost." And I have seen some of "Friends" and a great deal of "Cheers." So for once, I am well-versed in the entire theme. I guess I'm with Colum in that I'd like more of a trick on a Thursday, but this was fun, and fell right in with my expected time of 15-20 minutes, so it's OK. VISIGOTH was surprising to see, but I only needed two crosses to get it, neither of which was the "v."