It could be argued that anyone who solves crossword puzzles, and certainly anyone who reads this blog, is a nerd. And given that, everyone I am reaching now will have enjoyed discovering a hidden nerd in the five theme answers today. My favorites are DINNERDATE (32A: Partner at a table for two) and BANNERDAYS (42A: Times when everything goes perfectly), because those are perfectly normal and they both conjure up pleasant thoughts. DESIGNERDRUG and WEINERDOG conjure up unpleasant things, and SCREENERDVDS seems like it shouldn't really be a thing anymore, what with the streaming and all.
In the central West of the puzzle are two conversational answers that you don't see very often - HIDEME (28D: Plea from a fugitive) and ANDITSGOOD (29D: Announcer's cry after a successful field goal attaempt). (That second one is something the Vikings are wishing they heard a couple more times last night!) The rest of the fill holds little that is scintillating, but I did enjoy seeing HOARDS (10D: Stockpiles), and SEVERE (22D: Extreme). ARGUER, RVERS, GMOS, and TOV were less enjoyable.
Overall, it was a fine Monday. And on a personal note, I'm happy I was able to start the week cleanly.