We here at Horace and Frances and Colum enjoy a good pun as much as, no ... ok, probably more, than most people, but I have to say that as I get on in years, I like thinking about the dentist less and less. Well, I suppose I can't pin it all on the poor dentist, but to blame it more correctly on my aging teeth just leads to further examination of my aging self, and that's no way to start a Wednesday morning!
photo: Bob O'Connor http://boboconnor.net
So anyway, there are four puns today. I'm not really familiar with a BRIDGELOAN, but the other three are fine. I enjoyed BRUSHPILES (45A: The dentist sorted all the bristled instruments into ... ) even with its tortured clue, and the final one YOUKNOWTHEDRILL (58A: When it was time for the filling, the dentist asked for, well, ... ) was the best. Ha! Puns.
I give 1A: Bee ball? (SWARM) an A. Interesting word, humorously clued. Just what I'm always asking for. I get it at the cost of AGRI and RESLIDE (4D: Decline again), but, well, sometimes you have to give a little to get a little, right?
Not a whole heluva lot of sizzling fill, but SPHERE, AGILITY, CRACKUP, and GOKAPUT are fun, and I love the clue for NBA (39A: Org. that prohibits traveling)! It's a foul, get it?! HAahahaha... Furthermore, AIRCREW, RUNWAY, and CHEZ are particularly appropriate today, since Frannie and I just booked a flight last night!
Sure, there's plenty of AARP, OYEZ, ERST, and ABS, but there's also light-hearted cluing (1D: Loose change "collector" (SOFA), 36A: Heads for the bar? (FOAMS), and 19D: Good name for a plaintiff? (SUE) for example), so I rate this a perfectly fine Wednesday.
Or maybe I'm just in a good mood about that trip...