Hey everybody! Thanksgiving week is upon us, so in the spirit of the season, I will be expressing gratitude daily, strewing appreciativeness left and right, finding more and yet more ways to redundantly recognize aspects of my life to which I am obligated for the contentment I am lucky enough to experience.
Today I give thanks for my family, their health, humor, and support. Here's to you guys, who make every day fun and interesting and funny and loving. Looking forward to having everybody back in the homestead this week!
But on to today's puzzle. The theme is one of taking well-known portmanteaux, those smushed together words, and misinterpreting the two words that created them with wacky results. Thus, "brunch," originally created from breakfast and lunch, is instead clued as 52A: Late-morning mean for a TV family? (BRADYBUNCHBRUNCH). It's a cute idea, but it never reaches the level of guffaw out loud funny. Also, sour grapes alert, I made an error at 31A: Unseasonal wear on a winter vacation? (SKIRESORTSKORT). I had a T at the E, parsing it as "skirt sort skort." Hmmm. It didn't make any sense then, and it would have broken the rules of the theme by including an original portmanteau-d word in the answer.
Anyway, I have to express considerable respect at the construction of the grid. Note how the answers at 52A, 64A, and 71A are each only separated by one row. Note also how there are seven down answers that cross all three of those theme answers. All of those answers are solid. I especially like 32D: Split personality? (EXPARTNER) and 57D: Hightail it, saltily (HAULASS).
Other highlights in the fill include 16D: Formula for slope in math (RISEOVERRUN) and 15D: Can-can dancing? (TWERKING). That last one? Too funny. 67A: Like the number i, mathematically (NONREAL) adds to the math minitheme.
On a final note, I was saddened when I had to change my answer at 112A: See to it (MAKESURE). I originally had MAKEitso. Why, oh universe, why??!