Strange theme today, focussed on Thanksgiving (?) and things used to tie things up. A turkey, however, doesn't usually come with lace. Or ribbon. For me, the revealer didn't really work.
Also, starting with NCR (1A: Big A.T.M. maker) doesn't really put one in a hopeful mood, and indeed, there were more than a few well-worn answers. But, on the other hand, there were a few things that cheered me up. One was ENSOR (56D: Belgian painter James), made famous (to us, at least) by the song by They Might Be Giants. Now, whenever we hear of him, see one of his paintings in a museum, or even see his name in a crossword, we think of that song and smile. POBOY (57A: Hero of New Orleans), too, was nicely clued. When "Jackson" wouldn't fit, I was stumped. EXPRESS (45A: Local's counterpart) also had me flummoxed for a while.
Looking over the grid as a whole, I notice quite a few high-point Scrabble letters, so that's nice. And I guess I can't really dislike a puzzle with PABSTBLUERIBBON (17A: Brand with the tagline "Established in Milwaukee 1844") running right across top section.
Lastly, and more to the point, this puzzle has a couple pieces of fill that make my next few sentences very easy. ALPINELACE (51A: Deli counter cheese brand) introduces the topic of Frannie and I traveling (later today) to the home of many great Alpine cheeses (none of which is made by Alpine Lace), very close, in fact, to EVIAN. We will be in remote areas where, they say, there is no internet. Only cows with bells and folks blowing alpenhorns and yodeling back and forth across the valleys. And without the intertubes, how are we to review, or even complete (?!) the daily puzzles?
That's where a NEURO (7D: Prefix with surgeon) -logist comes into the picture. We are passing the keys to friend and frequent commenter, Colum Amory, who will keep this train on the tracks for the next week and a half. The blog has been firing on all cylinders recently, and we will miss seeing all the comments, but if we do happen to come across any stray internets, we'll check in.
Happy Puzzling, and we'll see you again soon!