I'm just going to come out and say up front that I am no fan of the quip/quote crossword puzzle. For one thing, you can't use crosswording with the long answers that make up the quip. I love the logic that plays into crossword puzzles, the recognition of letter patterns, the fact that every letter must work in two answers. When you have long phrases that are so unpredictable, there's no cross referencing possible.
So that being said, this one worked pretty well. Primarily because I was able to ignore the long answers entirely until the very end of the puzzle. I worked almost entirely using the down answers and a number of the non-themed across answers.
How's the quip? Hmm. WHENADENTIST / ANDMANICURIST / ARGUE / THEYMUSTFIGHT / TOOTHANDNAIL. It's cute, but why is there that "must" in there? I bet the original quip is: "When a dentist and [a] manicurist argue, they ... fight tooth and nail." But that doesn't split neatly into the required symmetric pieces. And that's the other downside of a quip puzzle: the torturing of the quip to make it follow crossword rules.
With five theme answers, there's a lot of glue. The two long down answers, POLEVAULTER and TICKETTAKER are less than scintillating (because of those -ER endings, in my book). I liked the clue for the former though - 3D: One with a high bar to reach. That's cute.
|And here's another -ER ending!!!!|
The middle of the puzzle, around ARGUE leads to ASU RLS IOU and CUE. We also get NNE (I'm less deadset against these directions than I once was) and SPH(?!).
So on the whole, I think I come down on the negative side on this puzzle.
1A: Virgo/Libra mo. (SEPT) - D. Yuck. Hate starting with an abbreviation. Also, what's with all the months? ENERO and AOUT also present.
Fave: NONE (52D: Poor dog's portion, in rhyme) - for the clue. And how exactly does that rhyme with "bone" again?
Least fave: XSOUT (19D: Crosses off).