For this non-skier, any slope that goes down at a 45 degree angle is well beyond a BUNNY / SLOPE. But that takes nothing away from this lovely theme.
There are four slanted leporine animals hidden in the grid. This is an example of a time where circled letters are definitely preferable. I'm not terribly excited about having to perform a word search at the end of completing a crossword puzzle. The hidden hares represent a nice spread across areas:
DUST[BUNNY] - metaphorical.
BUGS[BUNNY] - cartoon.
ENERGIZER[BUNNY] - advertising.
EASTER[BUNNY] - mythical (or so we suppose).
It's at this time that I feel the need to report on a note that my daughter wrote when she was nine or so, penned to the Tooth Fairy. She had lost a tooth, but accidentally swallowed it. Unhappy that she was unable to provide proof to the fairy, she wrote to explain that she would like to receive the money anyway. She then wrote: "I do not feel right about this. Thank you for your previous service."
But back to the puzzle. Any time a grid has these diagonal answers, letters become "triple-checked." This means that they are responsible for making sense in three separate words, the across, the down, and the diagonal. The strain this puts on a grid explains things like AHS crossing RUHR; STEROL, ALAI, and AGAME; GELID crossing ODIE.
But if these things make Ms. Carroll EDGE towards saying "sorry!" I say, DONTBE! I'm impressed overall by the way the challenge is overcome. ISRAELIS, TRESSES, ATODDS and the very unusual appearing DAREI are fun entries. Certainly the puzzle played harder than usual for a Tuesday, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.