It's all Blindauer all the time this week, and that's not good news for us. Another DNF today thanks to KIEL (40D: German city on the Baltic) crossing ALY (59A: 2012 gold-medal gymnast Raisman). And we are also not really sure why AOKS (38A: Positive signs of life in outer space?) is clued the way it is–what does that mean?
Other than that, though, we generally enjoy Spoonerisms, so we had high hopes. Most of these are so, so forced and weird, and it's a little strange that they sound right but are spelled wrong... oh, I guess they're fine, but too bad it's not yesterday, because I'm pretty sure they'd all look a little better with GEREBOGGLES (68A: Thunderstruck critic's review for actor Richard?) ("beer goggles").
Lots I didn't know today, in addition to the aforementioned - ILOILO (120A: Philippine province with a repetitive name), NELSON (84A: Thriller writer DeMille), RITT (99A: "The Great White Hope" director Martin), and IRV (49A: Hip-hop record mogul Gotti)... never heard the term SPYFI (12D: Ian Fleming genre) before, and I'm not too familiar with 50A: Civil rights leader Roy INNIS. Don't love RASE, ALGA, COINERS, ATLASES (9D: They go around the world) (umm... no they don't), STEROL, TOAT, INOR, and how many times is Will Shortz going to allow constructors to cough up EGESTS?
On the other hand, PHEASANT (19D: Partridge family member) was beautiful, and (Huygen's alert!) LACE (18D: Teddy material) was a pleasant surprise. INSONG (27D: One way to break out) was fun, and EVANESCENT (44D: Ephemeral) is lovely.
I guess on balance, it's still a "thumb slightly down" kind of puzzle. Now, if you'll excuse me, it's been a long week and a long weekend, and I'm just going to sit here on the couch for a while and watch the NINERs (48D: San Francisco gridder) take on the Bears, but don't worry, I'll keep in mind that 116D: "Too much rest is ____": Sir Walter Scott) RUST.