Ask and ye shall receive, or so they say. After complaining that yesterday’s Friday themeless was too easy, I got a lovely challenge for a Saturday, thanks to Ms. Weintraub. I went through most of the grid with very little I could call a certainty other than LAOS, SST, and CRIMEA (which I took out). I finally got an actual toehold in the SW corner, what with DNA, NONE, and CEOS.
This grid was filled with tough clues:
43A: Coach (BUS) - such a simple clue, but so open to multiple interpretations.
42A: Form of relief (ALMS) - needed almost all the crosses for this one.
21D: Uncommon notes (TWOS) - referring to paper money here. I didn’t get it until just now.
Also, there is a ton of wonderful long fill. ICANRELATE next to PHONEDITIN, adjacent to HASNTACLUE. I had several incorrect choices at 1D: Things seen that aren’t there (HOLOGRAMS). Both “illusions” and “delusions” fit in there, sadly. Only the first is actually a correct interpretation of the clue. A delusion is an incorrect interpretation of reality, an illusion is an incorrect visual (or other sensory) perception. Thus, paranoia is a delusion, but a hallucination is an illusion, as is vertigo, by the way.
Taking off my neurology hat now.
HITTHESPOT, LOSESSLEEP, TOPLOADER... so much goodness here.
45D: Texting alternative? (OTOH) - nicely done.
16A: Character in “Monster’s, Inc.” (COMMA). Fell for it again. I put in “Sully,” an actual character, but took it out immediately because the Y at the end didn’t look like it would work.
And that’s it from me in 2019! Happy New Year to all, and see you in 2020.