We had no idea what was going on with theme while solving, but after we saw the "Well Done," we took another look, and once we got it, thought the gimmick somewhat mind-blowing. What are there, ten of them? No? Twelve? And they all work pretty darn well. Take 24A: Pitch that fixes everything? (CUR[V]E[B]ALL). "Curveball cure-all." It's brilliant I tells ya. "Simon LeBon Simoleon?" What the ...? How do you think of that? "Maelstrom Maestro!" "Branded Brain-dead!" We've said it before and we'll say it again (hopefully) - we like this Patrick Berry fellow.
The rest of the puzzle was pretty fun, too. ACE (4D: One-hit wonder) was beautifully clued, as was CARPET (97D: Pile on the floor). OSPREYS (63D: Fish hawks) is a nice word (some complain of gratuitous plurals, but I don't much care), and WESTBERLIN (30D: Site of a 1963 J.F.K. speech) is good, long fill. And speaking of old politics, wasn't "ILDUCE" one of the best dictator nicknames ever? Enjoyed the two "Blue expanse" clues, but I tried "sky" for the first one, and then when I saw the second one, and that it also had three letters, I left them both empty for a while.
There were a lot of threes, but none of them offended me, and there were a few abbreviations (CMON, THEYD), but again, they seem perfectly all right. Was it just us? Are we blinded by our fondness for the constructor? or did you, too, quite enjoy this grid?