Frannie did the bulk of this one, but I did enough to notice it was a "letter replacement" theme. We've seen these before - one letter, in this case a "v" is replaced by another letter ("b") creating new, humorous phrases from stock ones. My favorite of these might have been 28A: Tour guide's comment at the primate house? (THATSAGIBBON), but HOTDOGBENDER (107A: Stadium binge?) (coincidentally, Frannie just remarked yesterday upon the New Yorker's spelling of "vender") and LEAVEITTOBIEBER (65A: Let Justin take care of everything?) were both pretty nice.
Some fun clues: 22A: Some bookmarks, for short (URLS); 55A: '60s White House name (ABE) tricked us for a while. I kept thinking "Ike," because he just barely got into the 1960s... but no; 83A: What often follows you (ARE) was pretty clever; and we enjoyed 3D: Near-perfect rating (NINE) and BEE (41D: Comb filler). The FLED/BLED pair was also nice.
AXER (2D: Woodchopper, say) and IRES (7D: Steams) were tired, INI (39D: Ristorante menu suffix) was a bit much, and does a RADIO (75D: It has buttons but no buttonholes) still have buttons? Are there even still radios that people use? I don't know... it had a lot of small stuff, and much of it was just so-so, but we enjoyed the theme.
I too enjoyed the theme answers. I didn't get 116A until Hope suggested Civil Rights as the basis. I liked TREELESS (27A) and GINORMOUS. But much of the filler felt like... filler.ReplyDelete
Shouldn't it be "vendor?" I liked BALIOFTHEDOLLS, and how about SHOWEDBALLADID? TUNAFISH always throws me for "Salad ingredient" or similar clue, but I got it quickly enough. Well, at least I finished, and I agree with Colum about GINORMOUS.