Whew! What a relief after yesterday's debacle to get a nice, big, fun, Sunday puzzle.
I love this theme. Sure, some of them are ridiculous, but hey, that's ok with me. After the absurdity of this past week, a little more fits right in. The first one to break for us was PEEKUNDERWRAPS (34A: Try to see what you're getting for Christmas?). How the heck do people come up with these things? DOOMSWINGS (81A: Playground apparatus of the apocalypse)? Genius. The only one that didn't sit all that well with me was DIALDOWNTHELAW (91A: Be a lenient judge?). I don't love it because the original phrase "Laid down the law" is in a different tense, but really, that's probably over-thinking things. Really, "Dial down the law" is pretty funny. Frannie's favorite was PERPSCHOOL (45A: Academy for criminals?).
It's not all roses and peppermint, though (Is that a thing? Do people say that?). We've got the occasional EMIR (99A: Top Qatari)(although, admittedly, that's a pretty nice clue for it), and NORW (80D: Land on the Arctic Cir.). I suppose they mean Norway, but that's more often abbreviated with Nor., isn't it? I'm inclined to let it go, but I worry that it's a slippery slope from accepting things like ATV, WII, ESL (all side-by-side!), to accepting things like yesterday's puzzle, but honestly, I still think there's a huge chasm to cross before we end up over there. On the dark side.
The hardest cross today, for us, was 111A: Actor Hirsch of "Speed Racer" and 107D: Kipling's "Follow Me ____." The M of EMILE and OME was kind of a guess, but really, it was inferrable.
One last thing, Frannie, in a fit of pique, angrily put in SHHH for 1D: Librarian's urging, and was quite relieved when it turned out to be READ.
In all, there was plenty of fun stuff in here to make it an enjoyable Sunday puzzle.