This week's offering from Frank Longo is a clever creation titled "Moving Tenpins". When the puzzle is complete you discover the ten PINS have moved through the theme answers from the beginning to the end, thus:
PINPONGBALL (Table tennis bouncer)
CHOPINETUDES (Piano pieces nicknamed "Winter Wind" and "Butterfly," e.g.)
SLEEPINGPILL (Sominex or Nytol tablet)
PENNYPINCHER (Miserly sort)
LEGALOPINION (Judge's explanation)
NORFOLKPINES (Conifers widely known as houseplants)
PRETTYINPINK (1986 Molly Ringwald film)
WENTFORASPIN (Joyrode, e.g.)
That's a pretty cool construction trick and if you figure it out early-on (I didn't) it could be a big help in solving the grid because you can just pop the PINs into the appropriate spot in each theme answer and figure things out from there.
The only real trouble I had in the grid was wanting EmbarkING for ENPLANING at 13d, and uar (whatever happened to them?) as the Mideast gp. at 21d, where the PLO had taken over the territory. And I forgot (if I ever knew) that the plural of "frau" is FRAUEN, not FRAUEs - happily I know my pasta, so PENNE saved the day for me.
This was a worthy offering from Mr. Longo. I had fun solving it and discovering the "gimmick", and I hope you did too. Here's a song about "moving tenpins" in a whole different way:
(Fun song that apparently never made it onto the pop charts here in the US - I like it and maybe you will, too.)