Meeting Lisa and working with her on this puzzle was an absolute blast. Many thanks to Will for setting it up.
After a little brainstorming, we were leaning towards a theme involving music or something to do with glasses. (People who were "framed," maybe?) We couldn't resist working Lisa's signature song into the theme, so we checked out a list of #1 songs with one-word titles. (What did constructors do before Wikipedia?) We eventually came up with a fun set that spans decades of popular music. And we guarantee that at least one of these songs will give you an earworm! The best potential theme entry left on the cutting room floor could be clued as [Botching the lyrics to a 1997 #1 Mariah Carey hit?] (11 letters).
We had difficult theme entry lengths to work with, but the grid gods smiled upon us. No ugly clumps of black squares, and a great set of four long downs, the highlight being BOBBLEHEAD.
Working on the clues together was my favorite part of the collaboration. And I ordinarily hate writing the clues. I especially like what Lisa came up with for JODIE at 29-Down. Using the initial capital letter to disguise a surname is a veteran move.
Lisa's a natural. If she ever gets tired of writing songs and touring, she has a bright future as a crossword constructor.