Since it’s Wednesday, we know it will be themed, a bit more difficult (only a couple gimme/crossword-ese answers) than a Monday or Tuesday and not as tricky a theme as a Thursday. This is one of those themes where you can’t possibly figure out the theme answers 19-, 29-, 35-, 42- and 52-Across without getting a number of the letters from the crossing down clues. In fact, none of the theme answers is obvious, but the idea the same for all of them. One hint is that once you get one of them, you’ll instantly know at least the first letter of all the other clues. All are two words. What kinds of things always have (except for xword favorites like ENYA) at least two words?
The answers have nothing, so far as I can tell, to do with each other besides the basic pattern. Note the ? at the end of each telling you it’s some kind of play on words. Maybe it would be easier if you thought that It girl? could have been clued as IT girl? Nothing to do with Information Technology, nor does Po boy have anything to do with either food or poverty. The P.R. man isn’t from Puerto Rico either. It’s simpler than that. Speaking of the P.R. man: The answer to this clue would be a lot more on people’s tongues on today’s historic date had things gone differently a couple months ago.
5 specific clues:
1. 21-Down (Pickled Delicacy): Commonly found in sushi bars.
2. 26-Down (Way in the distance): Two words. Not way like TAO but way like away from where you are.
3. 46-Down (Cell body): Really should have a question mark at the end to warn you that the kind of cell they’re talking about isn’t about an organism even if the “body” part is.
4. 14-Down (Like many éclairs): Despite the accent aigu over the e, the answer is not en français. And, just to save you a misstep I made, it doesn’t end in e, though it could.
5. Give or take: 1 word, though you might think more easily of a two word answer that’s a common answer to this clue. Note there’s no, e.g. at the end so it’s not something really generic like VERBS. Nor does it have anything to do with bargaining.