Sunday's puzzle, In the Beginning, by Patrick Berry, features eight theme answers, each an ordinary phrase with IN inserted at the beginning, then cleverly clued.
23A: Dire proof-of-purchase slip (invoice of doom).
28A: What Dr. Frankenstein tried to do? (instill life).
36A: Bored kayaker's movements? (indifferent strokes). This was the first theme answer I got. After that, I put IN at the beginning of each theme answer...made it a teensy bit easier.
56A: Much-needed windfall? (income to the rescue).
74A: Like workers' salaries under a miserly boss? (increase resistant). This was the hardest one for me. More about that in a minute.
91A: Hogwarts? (invocational school).
102A: Sharply focused Warsaw residents? (intent Poles).
112A: Clairvoyants' charges? (intuition fees).
I found this to be an entertaining puzzle. Not overly challenging, but it had enough spicy fill to hold my interest.
The Biggest One, referred to above, resulted from my refusal to let go of the walrus at 58D: "I am the __" (Beatles lyric). Having that carved in stone meant that 74A was increase resistunt. I wasn't sure if the NYT had misspelled resistunt or walras. The worst thing was that all this time I was singing the damn song in my head. "I am the eggman, they are the eggmen, I am the walrus." Duh! (12A: "Well, yeah!"). Once I put in eggman, that whole section began to make sense. Now 61A: Unable to relax could be on edge, which I so wanted it to be.
40D: Some government bonds (T-notes). I had T-bills at first, causing future problems for on edge. By way of clarification...T-notes a/k/a (96A: Nickname preceder) treasury notes.
25A: Annual celebration for a Catholic (name day). I was raised Roman Catholic, and I don't remember ever celebrating it. Maybe there wasn't a Saint Linda...so when would I have celebrated it? According to this, some people celebrate name days instead of birthdays. As if!
82A: Portion of a flight (stair) really threw me. Because I had the AIR in place, I was sure it had something to do with an airline flight. Just what they'd intended.
The ones I really liked...for whatever reason:
3D: Care (give a darn). Just because...and I like multiple word answers.
24D: Three-sided blade (epee). A never-seen-by-me clue for a word that we see all the time.
46D: One who's done stretches? (ex-con). I just love the cleverness of that one. I was thinking yoga, pilates, other fitness things. Sharings its X was 54A: Battle of Hastings participant (Saxon). Couldn't remember that but was able to guess based on the letters I had.
88A: Missouri city (Joplin). Only on a Sunday. Earlier in the week, Scott or Janis would be in the clue.
92D: Book printer's no-no (orphan). I'm sure we won't find any orphans (or widows, the other no-no) in Amy's book. If you haven't ordered your copy, get on the stick. It's chock-full of tips from a master solver.
111A: One who's expected to deliver? (Messiah). I know several women who have recently given (or who will soon give) birth. That's the kind of delivery I was thinking.
79D: Structure finished during Titus' reign (Colosseum). It's such a good-looking word, sitting there in the southeast corner, and it opened things up big time.
The award for the grossest clue of the puzzle goes to 104D: Lice-to-be (nits). How disgusting! It's a good thing I solve in the evening instead of morning. This definitely wouldn't pass the breakfast test, especially if I was eating...never mind.
And for the most progressive clue...66A: Water pipes (bongs). It's a good thing I read a lot in the 70s, or I wouldn't know what they were.
I'd be remiss if I failed to mention 68A: Less ripe (greener) because it reminds me of fellow blogger, Robert, known to most of you as Green Genius, loyal fan (and blogger) of the New York Sun. After a week spent lolling on the beach, he'll be back at his post on Monday.
And I'll be back at mine tomorrow night.