Constructor's CommentsI'm not a Harry Potter fan, but I live with three of the them, so, you know, this sort of thing happens. As an aside, some years ago my children assigned each of us to a different Hogwarts house, and I was assigned to Hufflepuff. They insisted that was because I am friendly and loyal, not because I am dumb. Yeah, right. Fooled I am not.
Back to the puzzle, I was pleased to find a good set of themers, and the whole thing came together very nicely and with a surprisingly open grid for a themed puzzle. Sure, no one really wants to see Clifford ODETS standing on a corner, and even though I am an engineer I never write ENGR, but I still felt very good about the grid, especially the good-sized white blocks in the NW and SE. In terms of the fill, I liked the longer entries, with my favorite probably being SCRABBLE (and I was lucky to find a fun clue in "Where an F is worth more than an A"!); I haven't played Scrabble in ages.
More generally, you'll notice that although there is a lot of theme density, most of the themers have fairly easy-to-use letters. CHOKED ON and ISABELLA took care of the triple-crossed downs, and TOBAGO unsnarled the NW and used very friendly letters (TOAO) outside of the crosses, and then it was all good. The whole thing just came out smoothly and easily—sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, I suppose. As always, I hope that solvers enjoy the puzzle.