Today we have a unifying theme on a number of levels. Within the theme answers, two state abbreviations combine to make one word in a two-word phrase that represents some kind of connection. For example, "Classic of daytime TV first aired in 1962 [Atlanta, Bangor]" is MATCHGAME. The GA for Georgia and ME for Maine together form the final word of the phrase the puts things together. My favorite was MINDMELDING, due to its Vulcan connection. I'm going to guess that Huygens favorite is WINEPAIRING. :)
Today's theme could be said to have a wider relevance in that the center, grid-spanning answer to "Red, white, and blue land ... or what 15-, 22-, 45- and 57-Across feature?"is THEUNITEDSTATES - something of a theme of President Biden's inauguration speech. Apt! On a side note, while according to Robert Browning, God may be "the perfect" POET, Amanda Gorman, youngest inaugural poet to date, who read her poem "The Hill We Climb" at the ceremony today gives Him a pretty good run for His money. :)
One could argue there was a food-based sub-theme. We have SPAM, EGG, UTZ, ACAI, SODA, ONEPERCENT (milk), POI, WOK, and maybe ODOR. And how about the fun (and frightening) food facts - the former at 24D: "Brand name derived from the phrase 'crystallized cottonseed oil" or CRISCO - who knew? - the latter, at 8D: "Only ingredient in Accent, in brief" is MSG. OMG!
Elsewhere, I enjoyed"Gave an inkling" (HINTED) along with references to TOAD Hall and my second favorite American city, CHI-Town.
I, for one, look forward to efforts to bring more unity to this country and its people, even though it may involve some JOINTPAIN.