Nowhere near the four-minute mark today, but I enjoyed the slightly more challenging Monday. The "Ma and Pa" (could have been "Ma and Par," but that doesn't make any sense…) theme was fine, and the extra-long (for a Monday?) theme entries were all quite good. I've heard the name MACARTHURPARK (42A: *1978 #1 Donna Summer hit that covered a 1968 #2 hit by Richard Harris) a lot in my life, but I couldn't have told you that either one of those people had sung it, nor can I sing any of it myself. I'm guessing I might recognize it, but I cannot conjure it out of nothing. Also, is it a little weird to you that the first (MASQUERADEPARTY (18A: *Where Romeo and Juliet meet)) and last (MARDIGRASPARADE (58A: *New Orleans event with floats)) theme entries seem somewhat related? No? OK.
The longer non-theme stuff is quite good today, too. BARBARELLA (10D: 1968 Jane Fonda sci-fi film), INQUEST (4D: Official investigation), and STORMSURGE (26D: Rise of seawater that might accompany a hurricane) are all solid. Sure, there's a little too much "A-something" (AFAR, ANAP, ADUE…), but overall, this is a fine Monday.