Over all, I found the solve fairly easy, especially once I clocked the rhyming element of the theme answers. My one false start was entering 'ocher' for "Earthy pigment" but Mia HAMM crossed the field and came to my rescue (UMBER).
More senseless fun with another classic joke among the clues: "What the acorn said when it grew up..." (GEOMETRY) - ha. I was also amused by the C/AP "One of clubs?" (MEMBER). SWERVE, FLORETS, ABUELA, QUOTA, SCOURED, and DAPPER are fun fill.
Over the last couple of weeks, I've been trying to solve additional puzzles on paper in preparation for the ACPT. I've encountered a set of clues - in three different puzzles - all related to habitations with a rounded shape. The answers have been igloo, yurt, and now, TEPEE ("Conical dwelling"). I hope this sparkler makes it all happen for those of our dear Readers who will be in Stamford later this month. Stay tuned to this channel for more GRAPE puzzle advice. I'll be here all week.