It occurred to me recently that there are people in college today who may not be able to relate to a Wall Street slump (see 30-Down). We're on the verge of experiencing the longest bull market in history—nearly ten years! So in today's puzzle we give the "bears" the microphone, and they explain that it really is possible for markets to go DOWN. But they make it a little tricky, because it's only the first words of four long answers that are a kind of market . . . and they're paired with words that make phrases that have nothing to do with markets (nor do those kinds of markets have anything to do with Wall Street, but it's all in good fun).
Mark always makes such smooth puzzles! The reveal DOWN MARKET nicely describes what's going on, and all the theme entries feel fresh as well. Mark could have added one extra pair (or even two) of black squares in the upper right and lower left, but I like how he pushed himself to keep the word count low while at the same time keeping the short fill smooth. Midlength entries like FOUR TOPS, SMOKEY, BHUTAN, RACEGOER, and ALL RISE make the solve much more interesting than if there were a bunch of three- and four-letter words in those corners.