A slow WSJ puzzle for me. But I don’t mind. Today’s NYTXW was faster.
I pulled out 38D Where many bats originate: ASHTREE because it’s true that a lot of baseball bats are made of ash. Primarily baseball bats are made of ash or maple. Also the legs of my newly completed end table were supposed to be ash, but the oak isn’t so bad.
The title of this puzzle is Send In the Clowns. I don’t understand it yet, but I hope to figure it out as I type.
Oh, I got it.
16A *Mecca for used goods: FLEAMARKET. Reminds me of the now-defunct Flea Market Montgomery but very much alive Sammy Stephens‘s rap ad.
23A *Hired public relations pro: MEDIACONSULTANT.
34A *Great beginning: FLYINGSTART.
47A *School supply item that might come with dividers: THREERINGBINDER. What kind of fancy school supply place has a binder that comes with dividers?
56 Reaction to a frenzied scene, and what could be said of the beginnings of the starred answers: ITSACIRCUS.
Because FLEA CIRCUS, MEDIA CIRCUS, FLYING CIRCUS, THREE-RING CIRCUS.