Themeless 23

Words:  72

Average Length:  5.19

Difficulty:  At least four “oys”

A horse (see 57 Across)

My seed entry was 19 Across, spurred by a vote of the Spotsylvania County (Virginia) School Board to remove – two members urged burning – “sexually explicit” books in school libraries.  Many of the targeted novels include LGBTQ content/characters.  The school board reversed itself a week later, dealing a setback, for now at least, to prudish yet prurient Puritans.

From there, I entered a dystopian death spiral, which accounts for 9D, 21D, 34A, and 54A.  At least I was able to include 40A, yet another expressive and inherently comic Yiddish word (as is “kvell,” in the clue).

puz | pdf | solution

I promise a less eschatological grid next week!  Please enjoy, share, and comment if you’re so inclined.