Since retiring, Lee Ann and I have been flying more often to visit friends and attend events like the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament—to the point that I'm beginning to get acclimated to the fact that hurtling through the air in a heavy metal plane is very safe and not worth wasting much worry over. Even our latest visit to Las Vegas during the midday heat that created a wildly bumpy approach didn't leave me a complete quivering mess. Now, if the OXYGEN MASK had dropped from overhead during the jostling, that probably would have been a different matter!
In last Saturday's post about Mark's EXAM TABLES themeless, I discussed how impressive the grid pattern was. What I didn't mention was that Mark came up with not one but two awesome fills for it! In today's puzzle, my top five favorite entries are PAN AM GAMES, OXYGEN MASK, TUNA STEAKS, PARTY LINE, and the colloquial ANYONE ELSE. I also like how the fill draws on a wide range of knowledge, including sports, music, science, art, and literature. Having so many different kinds of references helps ensure there's something for everyone.