TURNS OF PHRASE
It really seems like this almost had to be a theme, didn't it? Taking a standard "blank of blank" phrase, turning it around, and cluing it wackily. Just the stuff of crossword themes, right? Well, today it is, and there's lots of it! My favorite, and one that works the best, answers "What brass band music has?" (PLENTYOFHORN). Hah! COMMANDOFCHAIN (What a dog walker and a strong-willed pooch might vie for?) and ABSENCEOFLEAVES (Tree feature in winter?) alos work pretty well, but I thought BROTHERSOFBAND (The Bee Gees' Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb?) and MANOFRIGHTS (Boxer lacking a left hook?) sounded a bit forced. So, a little hit or miss.
I enjoyed "Web site?" (ATTIC) at 1-Across. Always nice to start with a laugh. I had never heard of TUBI (Streaming service acquired by Fox in 2020), and was not aware of the neologism ENBIES (Nonbinary people, informally). It's the spoken initials, I now understand.
Nice trivia in BALDEAGLE (Benjamin Franklin famously considered it "a rank coward" with "bad moral character"). And I guess it's trivia about CORNPOPS too (Cereal once advertised by Woody Woodpecker), but does it make any difference that back then they were probably called "Sugar Pops?" If the name changes, and the recipe changes, and the mascot changes, is it still the same cereal?
"Destination for a return flight" (NEST) was cute, and LAGER (Lumberjack's favorite kind of beer?) (think: "logger") was funny, but I've never heard or seen "Galosh" (OVERSHOE) in the singular. See also: SCAD. And on the other side of the coin, we have EUCALYPTI.
Overall, it's a Sunday. Some good, some bad. Frannie takes the reins tomorrow, and I'll see you again in a few weeks. Until then - happy puzzling!