A LACKOFCHARACTER appears in today's three theme answers (THELADYVANISHES, RUNAWAYBRIDE, INVISIBLEMAN). I enjoyed the theme and thought the missing person in each was clearly apparent. I thought another possible theme answer might be "Gone Girl."
A number of excellent entries materialized elsewhere in the grid:
Getting close (WARM)
Scandalous suffix (GATE) - ha!
Silent type (CLAM)
Like some oils and remarks (CRUDE)
Clog or pump (SHOE)
Make a lasting impression (ETCH)
Other fill I found fun included PLUM, JIVE, ANEMONE, PRURIENT, and NAYSAY. I also thought both "Top of an outfit, for short?" (CEO) and "Bussing on a bus, e.g., for short" (PDA) are entertaining clues that spice up otherwise humdrum fill. And was "Vera" anyone else's first thought for "Fictional Charles" (NORA)? Or does that faux pas mean I've seen Auntie Mame once too often. :)
|Scanning tunneling microscope image showing the individual atoms making up this gold (100) surface. The surface atoms deviate from the bulk crystal structure and arrange in columns several atoms wide with pits between them.|
NAIVER belongs to the category of words I would rather not see in a puzzle, but try as they might constructors can't always make fill like this disappear.