Constructor's CommentsThe idea for this crossword came from two insights: (1) stacking multiple I's vertically gives you a tall I, and (2) I can be interpreted multiple ways—a Roman numeral, the personal pronoun, and, uh, a vertical line. I was lucky to find VERTICAL/STRIPING, which is a nice way to tie the theme entries together. I was also fortunate to think of "Self-centered ego?" to clue 24-Down.
It was nice that I could get all this in a 70-entry grid with some nice nontheme entries. I'm particularly fond of the ESSO/LESS SO/ESPRESSO combination, which was a total coincidence.