Decent Monday. Tons of theme material and all of the long answers from which the theme was pulled were perfectly un-strained, normal constructions. The fill was really quite clean despite the 45 theme squares, but then, in early-week puzzles, I often find things like ANIL (7D: Indigo dye) and ANAT (54D: Med. school subj.) almost comforting. Truly, though, that was about it for crosswordese, and there was plenty of good stuff to cushion it, like CODDLE (45D: Treat like a baby), ERELONG (9D: Soon, old-style), OXYGEN (27A: Scuba tank content), and INERTIA (42D: Subject of Newton's first law of motion), among others.
Funny that we see the uncommon (and prudely clued) AREOLA (28A: Colored part of the iris) today, when we just saw AREOLE (38A: Biological ring) yesterday. And we've got side-by-side French fill in IDEES (35D: Notions: Fr.) and GARDE (36D: En ____ (fencer's cry)), and they're right below another language pair - VOGUE (12D: Style) and ESSEN (13D: City on the Ruhr).
This is just what a Monday ought to be. A simple cakewalk, to be sure, but one that's got a fun theme and not too much ridiculous fill. Nice job, Mr. Perl.