I’m either getting better at completing the Thursday puzzles, or this one was just easier than usual. I think it’s the latter.
The theme was supplied by 34 Across: Moral lapse that is reflected by the answers at 17-, 24-, 46-, and 54-Across. The answer to 34 Across: Broken Promise. But I couldn’t figure out the connection, so I checked Rex Parker. Turns out, the first letter + the final letters of each answer = a word that’s a synonym for the “promise.”
17A. “HeeHaw,” for one. Answer: Variety show = VOW
24A. Noted Irish crystal. Answer: Waterford = WORD
46A. Physician with a D.O. degree. Answer: Osteopath = OATH
54A. “When a Man Loves a Woman” singer. Answer: Percy Sledge = PLEDGE
[Note: I finished last Sunday’s puzzle (March 4) but made one seriously stupid mistake that had me royally pissed with myself!]