Well, I finished with one error, but it wasn't the one I'd thought I'd finished with. I stared for quite some time at the crossing of SAUK and ATESTS. And stared. What the what? I knew that _TESTS had to be either A-, H-, or N-. And none of them made any sense with S_UK. I played around with whether BUSS was correct. In the end I stuck the A in, and got the message that I had an error.
Which was at the crossing of EDINA and ELEA. I should have known better than to put an A in there. After all these years of crosswording, both of those are hoary enough to be in my wheelhouse, but I missed it anyway. But there are two prime examples of potential Naticks in the same puzzle, which doesn't bode well.
The theme is pretty good, actually. Two word phrases that start with "top", "middle", "bottom", "left", or "right" are placed in the puzzle such that the initial word can be inferred from where the answer is found. Thus, [LEFT]SCHOOL, [MIDDLE]ENGLISH, [TOP]BANANAS. That there are nine pairs of crossing answers is impressive. Since many of the answers are the same number of letters, there was some room for playing around in the creation of the puzzle, but still.
That being said, I kind of thought the answers in the center of the puzzle should have been... well, "central" rather than just "middle" again. Also, [MIDDLE]RANGE is just not a phrase that anyone uses to describe the Mezzo-Soprano. I'm not convinced by [BOTTOM]BRACKET. Otherwise they're all acceptable.
|So much younger than in Trading Places|
On the plus side, 116A: Aisle's head? (SILENTA) got me again. DRASTIC is a great word. 55A: Knightstick? (LANCE) just missed. There was no real misdirection here, because the K in Knight couldn't be left out.
1A: Necklace parts (CLASPS) - C. That plural.
Fave: CHASSE (13D: Gliding step, in ballet). My dance daughter would be so proud of me for getting this.
Least fave: PRICKS (33D: Syringe sensations) - oh, the missed opportunity here. Plus, how many sensations is that syringe giving me?