This puzzle was OK. This took me less time to complete than the NYTXW did. Not by much, but still. And writing this post far eclipses the completion time.
I pulled out 29A Uncommon banknotes: TWOS because it doesn’t have to be that way. I went to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing a few years ago, and they mentioned how the $2 bill is seen by the public as having more value than two $1 bills or 40% of a $5 bill. (Of course it has more value than 40% of a $5 bill because that’s worth nothing; however, 60% of a $5 bill is worth $5.) The BEP claimed during that tour that if more people spent $2 bills, they’d start making more.
Before the Covid shutdown, I was doing my part either to help get put more into circulation or to exacerbate the problem. I would tip valets at the Magic Castle with $2 bills. I asked a magician-bartender friend of mine what he thought of this approach. He gave it a mixed review. Getting a tip is a good thing, he said. Getting a $2 bill as a tip is frustrating because “it looks like money, but it’s something I can’t spend.” I protested that it absolutely can be spent–and I’d know! But that we’re conditioned to think that they shouldn’t be spent is too hard a barrier to overcome. “Where do you get them, anyway? Do you just go to a bank?” he asked. “Yup!”
Today’s title is A Reflection.
17A Demographic shorthand for a middle-aged, working-class man: N(A)SC(A)RD(A)D. I had never heard this as a classification before.
24A “I had such a great time!”: TH(A)TW(A)S(A)BL(A)ST. Even more than typing that out, I’d bet!
38A State capital that began as a railway terminus: (A)TL(A)NT(A). Ever since I found out how far from the ocean Atlanta is, I’d wondered why anyone would make such a big city there. Of course, I did no investigation over the past couple decades to actually find out. Until tonight. Atlanta was chosen as the right spot topographically as a terminus to link the west (i.e. Tennessee) to the ocean (i.e. the port at Savannah). That was in the late 1830s. The decision to make Atlanta–which itself had been renamed from–Marthasville (how lame would rooting for the Marthasville Likely-Soon-To-Be-Renameds sound?) turned out to be a popular one. The town quickly expanded around the accepted invaluableness of its existence for rail purposes. It became a major hub from that.
51A Product with OdorShield and LeakGuard protection: GL(A)DTR(A)SHB(A)GS. I thought this had to do with diapers. My trash bags are Kirkland brand. Good to know that WSJ is buzz marketing these.
62A Imbalance, or, parsed differently, kind of balance shown by the circles: ASYMMETRY. The A’s in the theme answers are symmetrically distributed in the grid.
Finished this one in 11:01.