Debut alert! Welcome to Mr. Goudsmit for his entry into the ranks of published NYT crossword puzzle constructors.
And we get the rare rebus Wednesday! The theme is revealed at 61A: Core exercises ... or a hint to eight squares in this puzzle (ABCRUNCHES). It's a beautiful explanation for why the other theme answers have AB in single squares. But more than that, each theme answer has two of them. Are we doing multiple reps here?
The lovely [AB]OMIN[AB]LESNOWMAN is our 15-square 17-letter marquee answer today. We're so used to seeing "yeti" in the puzzle. How nice it is to see the cryptid's full nickname across the middle.
I also like that the actual rebus squares are not predictable across the grid. It makes it a bit more challenging to figure out where the extra letters are going to go. I figured out it was a rebus in the NW corner, with 3D: Some horses (AR[AB]S), but was then pleased to see that GR[AB]BED[AB]ITE wouldn't fit without a second rebus. Confirmed by getting IN[AB]IT.
Some clues that slowed me down:
51D: Cool head? (HARDC). How many times will I fall for this sort of thing?
26A: Make a scapegoat of (BLAME). I had frAME. It works to some degree.
64A: Consumes, in a way (READS). So many options, from eating to burning up. I didn't consider this kind of consumption, although it's one of my favorites!
Fun and interesting Wednesday. Looking forward to The Turn!