Carl Larson is playing it LOOSE today with all kinds of things. One must put the circled letters from the ENDS of each theme answer to find out what: CHANGE (CHALLENGE) and LIPS (LIQUICAPS) to name just two.
I've always enjoyed the word TOTAL for "Completely wreck." I am less enamored of TOTAL's next door neighbor ABACI. Then, things got better again with PEKOE and EYEROLL. I should probably ANNUL the word-by-word review for everyone's SAKE. 🙄
Although I had no real trouble with the puzzle I did have a Waffle Spot® at 35A: "Fuss in front of a mirror." Without checking the Downs (as I sometimes lazily don't early in the week), the answer could have been PRimp or PREEN, so I typed in the initial PR and left the end loose - so to speak. It AOL came out right in the end.
Clue-wise, I liked "Sings out with a lot of power" (BELTS). Fill-wise, I enjoyed LULU and BUNDT. Also amusing was HANDY right next to ANDIE. But the answer I liked best today was TOLLBOOTH, which reminds me of my favorite book of all time: "The Phantom Tollbooth."
I sometimes wonder what Edgar ALLAN Poe would make of the popularity of his name with today's crossword constructors. Perhaps he would have written enjoyed it enough to write ANODE to puzzles while in REHAB. Too much?
Well, I think that WRAPSUP today's review, dear Readers. ICU tomorrow!