I don't want anyone to take what I'm about to say as a complaint, because it certainly isn't. But today's puzzle felt like a Wednesday puzzle masquerading as a Tuesday offering. After solving the NYT crossword daily for so many years, you get a feeling for each day's character. Leave out the challenge of the grid today (about 20% longer to solve than most Tuesdays), the odd nature of the theme feels like that grab bag of oddities, Wednesday.
Meanwhile, let's just acknowledge how ludicrous the theme is. The revealer comes at 31D: Popular kids' game ... or a hint to 18-, 32-, 37- and 58-Across (GOFISH). What a strange place for the revealer! Maybe it's a kind of grid art, with the 15-letter theme answer acting as the fishing line, and the revealer showing up as the fish dangling from it?
By the way, I knew I used to play Go Fish as a child. It lost its interest pretty quickly though. Crazy Eights was more popular for me. Hated War, and wasn't really a fan of Old Maid either. Thoughts?
But what makes the theme silly is the fact that these four somewhat standard phrases turn into a story about going fishing, Huck Finn style. Although I think you'd probably attach the line and hook to the stick before opening the proverbial can of worms.
Other oddities abound in the grid. The British SCEPTRE; FOTO, a term no one uses outside of brand names; and JOVI BON, the famous upside down New Jersey rock star.
And has anyone ever heard the White House Correspondents' dinner called a NERDPROM? Apparently it has been for over a decade, but this solver had never heard of it.
I'm pretty sure my daughters would agree that a BRO is pretty much a small BURRO (ass).
Still, I enjoyed it over all. I'm done.