Hello everyone! Passover begins tonight, and we'll be having a Seder with just the nuclear family. Just a reminder that all plagues pass eventually, and we'll be getting back to some sort of normal before too long.
The theme today follows beautifully from yesterday's gutterball. I, along with most New Englanders, grew up with candlepin bowling, rather than ten-pin. You could put so much more force behind your throws with the smaller balls. It was rather a surprise to try out the bigger ones later on in life, but there is a kind of anticipatory glee watching the slower roll as it approaches the heavier pins. Many times, that glee turned to despair when I was bowling however.
Also, it hurts the thumb and the wrist.
In any case, we've seen many a bowling theme before. Today's was saved by the impressive BOWLINGALLEY right down the center of the grid, crossing all four theme answers, which are each fine answers in their own right.
|OBERON and Puck|
I would like to nod in favor, however, of the clue for SAC (43D: Kind of fly), rather than the less pleasant anatomical definition. Similarly for LUBES. Too soon?
I admit to staring at 9D: Eschewers of military service (AMISH) for a few hot seconds. I was convinced it had to end in -S, which didn't work with 20A: Blind followers (SHEEP). Those are two very nice irregular plural nouns to confound the puzzle-solver's pattern recognition cerebral software. Similarly, but not for long, 21D: Nook, e.g. (EREADER), due to the hidden capital.
No BOOBIRDS here. It's a solid puzzle.