A fun idea today that I've not seen before, and very well executed. In the top half, we have OVERCOMES and HIGHSEAS, in the lower half UNDERGOES and LOWLANDS, and in the middle LEFTOFF and RIGHTON. And it's especially nice that the first three are clued normally ("Gets past, as an obstacle," and "Where pirates roam") and only after the halfway point do we start seeing "Opposite of ..." clues. And the opposites are literal, not figurative. Fun.
Aside from the theme, we have lots of quality material in the Downs: REVEILLES (Wake-up calls played on bugles) was a nice Monday spelling challenge, and speaking of spelling challenges, I still have the urge to use double letters in words like COMBATANT (Warrior) (should that be "warior?"). SHELFLIFE (Twinkies have a long one) provided a laugh, and paired nicely - in a "they're both a food" way - with SOURCREAM (Enchilada topping, maybe).
I ended up FWOEing because I guessed RAm as a zodiac creature. I'm a ram in the U.S. zodiac, but the "Pig follower in the Chinese zodiac" is actually a RAT. Ah well.
Nice to see TOM and SUE in the grid (Hi Sue!). And their father has played many an ETUDE (Practice piano piece).
Overall, a fine start to the week. :)