At times theme entries with no challenging letter combos can be tricky. The upper left of this grid is a good example. Somehow I just could not come up with a better 9-Down and no partial at 7-Down.
I like how this puzzle's theme entries look cryptic on the surface but suddenly make sense once you figure out what's going on. That kind of aha moment is my favorite thing as a solver. Zhouqin also chose a lively, in-the-language set of theme entries. One thing that bugs me about many "reverse definition" themes is that the definitions sound unnatural. For example, if Zhouqin had used LOOK QUITE MOPEY instead of PUT ON A LONG FACE for [Pout], that would've been significantly less elegant. Zhouqin is also way too modest about her grid skills—working in bonuses like SERVICE DOG, SELFIE, KD LANG, LAKE COMO, and SKI RUN while keeping the short fill silky smooth is no mean feat. What are your thoughts?