Well, we could talk all day about the Friday themeless puzzle, and I feel certain I'll get there shortly, but first I have to brag that Hope, Cece, and I got the Queen Bee today on the Spelling Bee. Most of the time we get to Genius and give up, but we just went strong and flew past Genius, and then we looked up and saw we only needed 12 more points.
Right, so anyway...
Today's puzzle is a smooth and strong themeless, that even played a little hard for a Friday. We broke in with BOATER and OPRAH, and chuckled over OTTO Bonn. We puzzled over 14A: Where to try out some gunpowder? (TEATASTING) until Hope told us that gunpowder is a kind of tea. There are some lovely long answers out of this area, including THELORAX and TENNISACES.
30A: Modern source of juice (WIRELESSCHARGER) is an excellent clue and grid-spanning answer. I do enjoy solving with multiple people, because you can get answers like SAMELOVE from your 19 year old daughter. I wouldn't have known that, although the crosses were all fair.
51A: Sith superpower (EVILEMPIRE) threw me for a loop for a second. I assumed they were talking about the powers an individual Darth Vader (say) would have, not the entire population of them.
We finished with correcting aLOE to SLOE, in a reasonable 6:51.
Some other fun C/APs:
31D: It's a challenge (IDAREYOU). I like these clues where the "it" is the answer.
27A: What purple prose and technical jargon have in common (VERBIAGE) - great word.
40D: Bath water unit (LITRE) - REDALERT! It's a hidden capital! Jane Austen would approve.
52D: Miroir image? (MOI) - indeed.