That's One Way To Put It
Despite an ATTRACTive start at 1 across, solving this puzzle felt like a slog to me. Or should I put it another way and call it an unrewarding struggle? Maybe 83D said it best with with Work, work, work (TOIL). I typed in 148 words, but never really LMAO or AHA'd.
Today's theme answers offer a positive turn of phrase for a variety of misfortunes and bad behavior such as falling down, losing one's job, getting a speeding ticket, lying, tax increases, and death. AWARDFORFASTDRIVING and POSTRETIREMENT were slightly amusing, but the rest did nothing for me. The worst theme answer was CAREERSHIFTOPPORTUNITY. Who says that?
On the up side, I enjoyed the nod to Amsterdam and her CANALS at 48A, along with a bunch of other foreign matter (so to speak) including Andre GIDE, a pair of German words (SEHR and SIE), three from Spanish (ESOS, OLES, CONGA) and two from Italian (ALDENTE and CHEAPOS).
We have a plum from the game of Clue with WEAPON at 22D. I also liked ROAST for Swelter at 116A.
My least favorite answer in today's puzzle was 72A. Cause of insomnia, maybe (DRIP). Well, least favorite except SAC (35D), which goes without saying.
I almost naticked where18D Charlotte ____, Virgin Islands crosses 31A Robert of "The Sopranos". It was my last square, and I correctly entered "L", but it was a guess, or, put another way, a happy accident.