Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: OOO (32D: Tic-tac-toe line ... and a hint to this puzzle's theme) — three-word phrases where all three words start with "O" (and middle word in every case is "OF")
Word of the Day: MARNI Nixon (1A: Soprano Nixon) —
Marni Nixon (born February 22, 1930) is an American soprano renowned for being a playback singer for featured actresses in well known movie musicals. This has earned her the sobriquet "The Ghostess with the Mostess", and "The Voice of Hollywood". She has also spent much of her career performing in concerts with major symphony orchestras around the world and in operas and musicals throughout the United States. (wikipedia)
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This one was nowhere near my sweet spot, and on top of that it was teeming with less-than-wonderful fill, so not much joy for me today. ORACLE OF OMAHA is a nice answer to build a puzzle around, but "ONE OF OURS" is not exactly marquee Cather (Pulitzer notwithstanding), and I've simply never heard of ORDER OF OMEGA. I've also never (or barely) heard of MARNI Nixon or "The Makropulos Affair" or OKEMO (except in some forgotten crossword, I'm sure) (37D: Vermont ski resort), and I didn't know W.A.S.P. was still a thing or that "The New Yorker" still cared (49A: Target of many a New Yorker cartoon). In short, my response was mainly "what year is it?" and "maybe if I were a patrician W.A.S.P. opera-goer from the northeast, this puzzle would be more likeable."
Junk: IOS, OLIOS, CCIX, ABO, POTRO (DEL POTRO would've been just fine), SEG, ORIEL, DFCS, as well as the clues on FEY and FEST. Not junk: the FLIP and FLOP answers (FLIP A COIN and MEGAFLOP) (18A: Make heads or tails of something? and 38D: Big bust). Putting sportsy SHAUN White next to sportsy Juan Martin del POTRO seems slightly cruel to the notoriously sportsphobic, but with all the damn "New Yorker" / opera / FARRAR, Straus and Giroux snootiness everywhere else in the puzzle, I guess it's only fair.
- 14A: "Love the skin you're in" sloganeer, once (OIL OF OLAY)
- 19A: Undergrads' Greek leadership society (ORDER OF OMEGA)
- 35A: Warren Buffet's sobriquet (ORACLE OF OMAHA)
- 54A: You need to raise your hand to receive this (OATH OF OFFICE)
- 60A: Pulitzer-winning novel by Willa Cather ("ONE OF OURS")
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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