Debut! And in a theme area with huge potential; relatively untapped. DROVE inside LAND ROVER, READ inside PENNY DREADFULS — how appropriate! Themes featuring short words embedded inside long phrases is commonplace. But when there's a meaningful connection between the short and the long in which it sits, that's something special.
Four interesting, clever finds. (I wasn't as hot on the SENT / REPRESENTATIVE connection since that felt looser than the others.)
There was also the issue of having to clue things oddly / without consistency. For instance, DROVE a LAND ROVER requires the "a" while RAN ERRANDS does not, and RAN ERRANDS is a fine phrase in itself while DROVE a LAND ROVER would never be a valid crossword entry. But the four finds were strong enough that I looked the other way.
Off-the-charts gridwork for a debut. So smooth. The themer set isn't difficult to work with, but getting to a finished product that only needs some OTRA SYNE stuff while incorporating assets like RATED G, TEAM USA, EMERALDS, EYE LEVEL, HORATIO, etc.?
Color me impressed!
Adam did all the right things: spacing out his themers appropriately, separating them with smartly-placed black squares, being careful about the themer order so that the down answers crossing three themers exhibit friendly letter combinations, etc. These are factors that many experienced constructors still don't get right.
[Something most people lie about?] made no sense at first. Wait … wait … wait for it. Lie about. As in lie? Like lie down? On a BED?
*cue the enjoyable collective groan*
Loved the PHD clue, too. Brian May has a PHD in astrophysics? No wonder he's such a star.
Speaking of stars, I'm looking forward to seeing more of Adam's work. I'm sensing huge potential.