Gotta love it when you have a theme answer that screams out to be developed into a theme. I woulda prefered if said theme answer was the last theme answer in the grid (to give it that "punch line" feel that Merl Reagle does so damned well), but alas it didn't quite work in that spot. No matter, I do like the last entry, FWIW. Hope you enjoy it.
Speaking of enjoying, can I just chime in that Andrew Ries is all kinds of killing it this year? His latest Rows Garden puzzle was a supremely satisfying solve. The puzzle was just crammed with loads of fresh, fun answers wihtout any crap holding it together. Really solid work. You should be signed up to receieve those, if you haven't already. And lookee here he just launched a weekly indie crossword subscription service as well. If those samples he put on the site are any indication ("Head Bands" for sure), we should be in for a treat. So if you have a couple extra puzzle dollars burning a hole in your pocket, consider throwing some Andrew's way, okay? Okay.
Share the puzzle. New one on Monday.