Debuting with a 64-worder, audacious! Giant centers like today's are not for the faint of heart. It's one thing to intersect two stair-stack triplets and an entirely different ballgame when you widen things to a triplet crossing a quintuplet. PEAK TIMES / BEAN PLANT / SWEET DEAL / NARROW GAP / PARTY BOSS is solid work for such complex constraints.
My disdain for all things TOTES ADORBS is well documented, though I've resigned myself over the years to the fact that such cutesy language is part of modern life. Squee.
I like Sam's decision to keep the corners as open as possible. He could have made his life so much easier by chopping LAB WASTE at the W, which would have let him optimize that corner nearly independently of the rest of the puzzle. There's a bit too much repetition in YES YES echoing ONE ONE and HA HA HA, but overall, it's a worthwhile price to get the freshness in LAB WASTE and DAD JOKES.
I get flack from some solvers and editors about trying too hard with my mid-length fill. There's quite a bit of GINS UP EARN IT LINE A SAVE US EAT OUT THE USA NEED ME — feels like a secondary actor trying to upstage the leads. Great material like MOB FRONT wasn't BESTED, thankfully.
I love to see people debut with something different than a standard 70- or 72-word themeless. I'll be curious to see what Sam has on tap next.