I like the way Mr. Agard laud it all out today by putting forward theme answers that are positive phrases (WERENUMBERONE, SHESALLTHAT, YOURETHETOP, THEYREGRRREAT) - a commodity that's been in short supply in recent days. I'm going to FLOAT the idea that APEX and NTH are bonus theme material. Can I get some AMENS?
I like to try to keep my Monday solves under six minutes (due, in part, to the pressure of blogging alongside solving speedsters Horace and Colum!), but I ended up a bit OVER today for reasons I'll explain below. However, most of the puzzle was smooth as silk. I thought the clue-answer precision - the ne plus ultra of crossword puzzles for this solver - was top drawer. Por ejemplo:
"Place under one's seat, say" (STOW)
"Release, as a new album" (DROP)
"Go in" (ENTER)
"Equestrian's 'Stop!'" (WHOA)
There were just three places where "she reads it, she TYPES it" didn't work today. The first was "Big jerk" - I was thinking verb (e.g., tug) instead of the more entertaining answer from the noun category, ASS. Ha. Also, I didn't quite remember how 'great' was spelled in the Frosted Flakes slogan, so I had to get the four Downs to complete that answer. And last, but not least, I wasn't familiar with either the "1999 rom-com with Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook" (I'm more familiar with the oeuvre of Mr. Prinze, Sr.) or the "Award-winning sports journalist who went from ESPN to The Atlantic" (I'm more familiar with things that aren't sports), so I hesitated briefly - let's say 4-5 seconds, shall we? - before entering the final, congratulations-engendering H.
Other things I liked in this puzzle include RYES - the cat's meow of the whiskey family, IMHO - ABBA, OSLO, and a reminder of the joke, "when is a door not a door?" "When it's AJAR." LOL. Fun fill included LAVA, WAXES, HELIX, and SHOUTITOUT.
On a side note, money must be growing on trees somewhere. This is the third appearance of GELT in four days!
The fact that a little bit of alphabet soup (SCI, LAT, NCIS, TGI, AAA) spilled into the puzzle, is small potatoes in an otherwise A-1 puzzle.