Are the puzzles running on the tougher side so far this week, or is it me? I started by going straight across - probably the mark of a true duffer, but it's what I usually do - and I ended up with very little to show for my efforts. I couldn't guess TAPES for "Some preserved conversations" or PPP for "Very softly in music." Is that for piano, piano, piano? The first answer I did get was ATEST, then nothing again until SERAPHIM and ONO. The row after that netted nothing, so I TAPSON the iPad screen and suddenly ATHENA answer or two, and off I went.
Today's theme is a real peach. The revealer points out that the five starred down clues, each a nice answer in its own right, has a FRUITTOPPING. I enjoyed the notion that FIGHTERJETS have a FIG on top. Somehow PLUM as part of PLUMAGE seems right. I was prepared to dispute PEARLYWHITES because I didn't see the PEAR within the PEARL at first, but then I did. :)
CURLICUES, WHIM, and LOWTIDE are lovely fill, and I think KNOB is a berry funny word.
And how about these apples?
"Minor throat problem" (FROG) -
"Makeshift pencil holder" (EAR) - anyone else try cup first?
"Someone hell-bent on writing?" (DANTE) - ha!
"Things retirees wear?" (PJS) - LOL.
I can't believe I'm so late with the review, but you know what they say, "time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana," and I've got to split.