There are two things I love to see in puzzles. One is circles...
...and the other is anagrams! Put 'em in my puzzle, and I'm a happy solver.
Today's theme is TOPS, with the five theme answers ending in some variation on those four letters.
17A: Traps off the coast of Maine (lobster pots).
28A: Ball catcher behind a catcher (back stop). Is that a person...or are they talking about the fence? I do like that its B crosses at 28D: Points on a diamond? (bases). Good tie, and clever cluing to boot.
34A: Source of disruption to satellites (sun spot).
42A: Sleeveless shirts (tank tops). I've been wearing them whenever I can get away with it. These hot, humid (for Colorado) days are getting old.
56A: Gotham tabloid (New York Post).
For a Monday puzzle, that's a pretty clever theme, and the rest of the fill ain't too shabby.
1A: Toast to one's health (salud). Nice crosses at 3D: Jerry Lewis telethon time (Labor Day) and 4D: Andrew Carnegie corp. (US Steel).
26A: Part of a TV catchphrase from Howie Mandel (no deal). Other multiple word answers include 32A: Identical to (same as), 47A: Goad (egg on), 42D: Thus far (to date) and 44D: Music genre for Enya (New Age).
My favorite multiple word clue was 13D: "Little" shepherdess of children's verse (Bo Peep). Funny, I never thought of her as a shepherdess before.
I liked 39D: Designer letters (DKNY). According to their website, DKNY is not just about clothes. It's about a lifestyle. For years, I didn't know that it stood for Donna Karan New York. I thought it was a new take on a brand that I knew years ago...Donkenny.
I'm so glad to see Opie back in his rightful place (52A: Mayberry lad). I take personal issues with the idiot clued last week as Opie. See the comment posted by Lee at Diary of a Crossword Fiend. I think his link was on the word rude.
I didn't know 12D: Georges who composed "Romanian Rhapsodies" (Enesco) but was able to get it from crosses. I know Enesco as the maker of Precious Moments, the figurines with the big teardrop-shaped eyes. I also thought it was the name of the stadium in Denver...no, that's Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium. I haven't been there since they rebuilt and renamed it. Apparently, Mile High Stadium wasn't a good enough name.
It made me laugh to see blooper (41D: Knee-slapping goof) in the grid, just because it's such a funny-looking word. Bean pole (36D: Tall, skinny guy) also made me laugh, for personal reasons. I'm 4' 11" now, so you can imagine how short I was in 6th grade...but one girl was calling me names and that was what she came up with. Don't know why I remember this now.
As you can see, I had already started highlighting before I remembered to scan the puzzle. I usually highlight before I blog...so that my random thoughts don't appear to be quite so scattered.
It's Monday...back to the grind for some. Although it's not so bad when you love what you do. And I do...I'm so blessed.