Figuring out "Name that Theme" in one phrase can be deflating. After uncovering STITCH IN TIME, I was 75% sure this would be a sewing theme. HEM AND HAW ironically took away my remaining hemming and hawing.
However, I love being surprised by a great revealer. Even though I knew (roughly) what to expect, COMMON THREAD gave me a big smile: perfect phrase to tie together (sorry) STITCH, HEM, DARN.
I wondered if DARN was inconsistent with the other nouns, but my ignorance in this area is apparent given my kids think socks with just a single (foot)hole are weird. DARN IT ALL? More like darn nothing.
Tough vocab for a Monday puzzle. I've had several newer solvers wonder about entries like EWER, such a constructor-friendly yet newb-confusing word. I'm a big fan of PEPITAs, but cross it with AMIE and then off-the-air DARIA, and that could give an inexperienced solver reasons to do something else.
I often don't like long Across bonuses since they muddy what is theme and what is not, but given the overtness of today's concept, I respected that RESPECTED and THROBBING obfuscated things a bit.
Such a treat to get an accessible wordplay clue on a Monday! I loved thinking about a SALAD getting dressed for lunch. That telltale question mark would sadly give away the game on a Friday puzzle, but for a Monday, it's a perfect alert.
I enjoyed COMMON THREAD, an amusing and spot-on revealer for a sewing theme. Along with a bit of extras in HALCYON and ID THEFT, a fun debut.