Today's theme takes ordinary phrases containing a preposition and clues them in a way that forces a new interpretation. My favorite was DEADONARRIVAL (64A: Timely entrance?). That's a good one, but the inclusion of non-theme answers that also contain prepositions, like FLIESTO (96A: Reaches by plane), TOSSESTO (110A: Throws at), and STEPOUTOF (76D: Exit), dilutes what is already a rather weak brew.
I don't like to give overly negative reviews, but 1-Across (PFFT) kind of set the scene for this one. Odd constructions like PINCHRAN, BESOTS, ANTIRIOT, AGER, ICERUN, and ENCIPHER, didn't do the grid any favors, and the very unfortunate GOOK (39D: Proceed well enough) should not be in anyone's word list.
On the bright side, I liked the clue for LOOSETEA (58A: It's not in the bag), and I smiled thinking that one of our readers (Hi Mr. Kingdon!) will now have seen ANKA for the second day in a row, and the third time this week.
So my week is now up, and I can now look forward to reading much more entertaining reviews by my colleague, Ms. Page.
Esteemed co-blogger Horace makes some valid points, but this puzzler did LOL on solving "Compositions often chosen for encores?" GOTOPIECES. and "Soundtrack for a brawl?" SETTOMUSIC. Ha!
I also liked SHAKEUP for "Personnel overhaul" (5A), TIP for "Opposite of stiff" (30A), and SALTMINE for "Grueling workplace, so to speak" (73A). Plus, who doesn't like a reference to the Shavian classic, "Man and Superman"?
I did not enjoy NONO (Pitcher's feat, slangily), Nonexpert (LAYMAN), or NOSTRIL (Small breather?). EEKS.
Oh, and Huygens, how about NOONERS?