What a treat. Yesterday, a rebus, today, Patrick Berry. As usual, though, with Mr. Berry, Frannie and I were all over him. This one was started at the doctor's office as we waited for x-rays of Frannie's hand, which, fortunately, were negative. She already has her right arm in a sling. If it turned out that her left hand also had to be bandaged up, well... that would not have been good. But enough about us, let's talk more about this fast, fun, Friday.
Off of that, though, we really get started in earnest: GASMETER (1D: It's read for a bill), ALTEREGO (2D: You again?), ROADRAGE (3D: Fits on a hard drive?), and BUGLERS (4D: Base players) are all very good. ROADRAGE is excellent. In other areas FUNGICIDES (9D: Some crop-dusting chemicals) was gross, but solid, and LENTILSOUP (28D: Food that Esau sold his birthright for) is a good answer excellently clued. We also loved LETATCESTMOI (L'état, c'est moi!) (The State, it's me!) (36A: The Sun King's infamous declaration), which we got without crosses. Also without crosses came WENCES (43A: Señor seen on "The Ed Sullivan Show"). S'aright? S'aright.
Sure, EVERTED (25D: Turned inside out) is a little weird, and APSES is "apse," and plural, but so what, because CLARINETS (38A: Black winds) (tricky!), and STAGNATION (17A: Result of standing too long, maybe), MEDIABIAS (24A: Colorer of papers?), TSUNAMI (37D: Coastal hazard), and others, are all so good.
In real life, this month started out very poorly, but on paper, specifically, the New York Times, and even more specifically, on the little rectangular area that is the crossword puzzle, it's starting out very well.