Today's puzzle was really upbeat, which was a lovely thing to have show up on my iPad on a Friday afternoon. NICELYDONE, Mr. Charlson says. Let's DOAJIG! All of these happy items BODEWELL for a fun weekend in and around the house!
I'm going to hazard a guess here: Mr. Charlson wins a prize for the most Zs in a section of a puzzle ever. There are a full seven in the NE corner. If anyone thinks this section FIZZLESOUT, they are greatly mistaken. My favorite clue and answer in that section has to be 21A: Only three-letter word in Scrabble that requires both blank tiles (ZZZ). That's amazing! I loved that I figured it out with only the clue, and that answer broke open the whole section as you can imagine.
Mr. Charlson clearly loves Scrabble, given the two Vs, two Js, a K and an X elsewhere in the puzzle. Sadly we did not find a Q.
46A: It always goes to hell (RIVERSTYX) is an excellent clue.
60A: Study for the bar? (OENOLOGY) saves an otherwise not great answer. Meanwhile, a GINSLING would be a welcome addition to the weekend celebration.
In any case, Mr. Charlson certainly did not PLAYITSAFE. My only complaint (at the risk of sounding like a broken record) is that the puzzle is very sectioned off. The NW and SE corners are little mini-puzzles. Also, I will say, I do not take a GOLDENDELICIOUS. The name is a clear example of false advertising.
These little things aside, an excellent themeless for Friday.