Boy, this one scared me for a while. I started it late last night and got very little, handed it over to Frannie and fell asleep. It doesn't really sound like I was that scared, but I think I probably had bad dreams. I don't remember. In the morning I saw that she had finished maybe half of it, but there was still a ways to go and I really didn't have a handle on it. Luckily, it all worked out, ( I know - "and then a miracle happened," but I can't really explain it, it just got finished), still, this one felt different to me. I'm not sure why.
I liked it a lot, though, now that we're done with it. Answers like POPELEOX (50A: Head of the Catholic Church when Luther's "95 Theses" was posted) (nice clue!) and THEASP (58A: Daddy Warbuck's henchman) (?) look ridiculous. Maybe it's that there were so many multi-word answers. IDECLARE (54A: "Gracious me!"), TEDTALKS (58A: Lecture series with well over a billion views) (one of the few gimmies), NOLOSE, TOOTOO, TAPDANCERS, SHEDTEARS, SQUAREDEAL, EATAWAY, VELVETROPE, BIGGAMES, BLUEJEANS…. and that's not all of them! I like all of those, don't get me wrong, it's just that maybe I wasn't thinking about multi-word answers. But who cares about me, really?
Did you notice that "dungarees" fits in where BLUEJEANS (9D: Alternative to cords) went? I did. Frannie took it out quickly, though, as it really fouled things up. I was confused for longer than I should have been by 20A: Foe of the Vikings (PACKERS). I thought to myself, does 'everyone' fit? KINESCOPE (32D: Part of a TV archive) was a nice word, although I don't fully understand why that would be part of a TV archive… and KAFKAESQUE (32A: Maddeningly surreal)? Lovely.
In all, it was a great challenge, and a lively, interesting grid. Keep 'em coming Wentz!