SCHLUBS (1A: Boors) is a very nice entry to today's grid. The rest of the Acrosses in that NW corner are also very nice, and the clash of HERCULES and the HYDRA gets everything off on the right foot.
The battle theme is a good one, we think, and I really like all the matchups. ALI/FOREMAN, ACHILLES/HECTOR, BATMAN/THEPENGUIN, TORTOISE/HARE, KASPAROV/DEEPBLUE, KINGKONG/GODZILLA... they're all classics! I wondered if you needed to choose the winner and put that entry's letter into each "winner's circle," and I bet that would have worked, but we entered them all as rebuses, and that worked, too. But here's the kicker - if you put in all the winners' letters and rearrange them, it spells "CHAMPION." And the kicker to the kicker? If you put in the losers' letters and rearrange them, it spells "DEFEATED." That's very, very nice. I don't really even have to say anything else about this one. So, to quote a cantata that I saw earlier this week, "Ich habe genug."