Constructor's CommentsMy background: I spent my career as a systems developer, and my original interest in crosswords was in figuring out how to persuade a computer to fill in grids. I then created puzzles for the shrinking world of Canadian community newspapers for about a dozen years and then took a break. Recently I decided it was time to take a serious run at the American market.
As a puzzle creator (and solver), I have always preferred themeless puzzles. The wide-open grids can provide more elbow room for longer entries, and those entries are not restricted by a theme. Although everyone needs a little glue sometimes in order to hold together a grid, I also find that with a themeless puzzle, I am often able to avoid grid entries from my "tiresome 200" list. You know the ones: ADIT, AREA, ARENA, EKE, ELS, ONO, and so on. That is probably more important to me than it should be.
Thanks to David for helping to get rid of the glue that I did have left in the grid. A set of expert eyes on the job can really improve things.