What a treat, to have Mr. Berry composing Sunday puzzles. This grid abounds with clever clues and fun words. Funnily enough, one of my least favorite of them came at 1A: One raised in church? (ALTAR). It's fine, and I get that the altar is at a higher level than the congregation, it just didn't catch my funny bone, so I give it a B.
The theme became apparent very early on. I actually broke in at 6A with AWL, and then recalled "Inside LLEWYN Davies", so ANGRYMEN was not hard to figure out, and then I knew the trick behind the theme. However, that didn't make it any easier, because it's not a fixed rebus, and the rebus spots are not symmetrically placed, which made for a fun challenge.
None of the other theme answers had as much pizzazz as those. ROCK is an awesome show. ORFIGHT took a long time for me to be sure was correct.
A few of my favorite clues and answers:
- 13A: Hand-made percussion (CLAPS) - not was I was expecting.
- 17D: Square figures (STATUES) - so true and succinct.
- 39A: Changes to the bills? (NOSEJOBS) - a laugh out loud when I figured it out.
- 69A: Italian religious figure (CRISTO) - literally! I was thinking cardinals, popes, etc.
- 89A: Growing businesses (FARMS) - like 17D, a precise and funny clue, without question marks.
- 9D: Adams, Monroe or Grant (ACTRESS) - meaning Amy, Marilyn, and... um, Lee? Not sure about the last one, but I'm bemoaning the lack of the Oxford comma in the clue.
- 58D: Maker of candy wafers (NECCO) - shout out to the New England Candy Company! Making MIT smell sweet for decades!
Didn't love RETEAM, REGNAL, AVIANCA (yet another local airline), or constant crosswordese EWER. Overall, though, a fine Sunday.
P.S. My wife pointed out that I didn't give proper credit for the fact that she was the one who got HOPONPOP and BAPTISTERY in yesterday's puzzle. So I'm setting the record straight.