Well, usually Wed. themes don’t have rebuses. (In case you don’t know, a “rebus” in crossword-ese means a space where more than one letter fits it a single square. These letters are part of the theme. In Across Lite, hitting the ESC will give you a box that let’s you put multiple letters in a single box.) Thursdays often use rebuses. What usually alerts you to the presence of a rebus is when seemingly obvious answers just don’t seem to fit.
Maybe, for example, you know who won the Best Director oscar in 1997. It won 11 academy awards that year. Not bad for something that couldn’t keep afloat! If you only know a couple directors names, you might know him. (Frank CAPRA is a director, by the way, whom you’ll see most often in puzzles…not this time though.)
Or maybe you know that a Round-tripper’s a baseball term and what seems like the obvious answer doesn’t seem to fit.
The key is often clued very specifically in a single clue that says directly that it’s a hint to other answers. In this case, it’s the position of the clue/answer that might get you to notice it. It’s just crammed full of the rebus that’s at the heart of the puzzle, in more ways than one.
I enjoyed this puzzle, but maybe that’s just me.