This is the first puzzle I've constructed and I'm thrilled to be making my NYT debut. The seed entry for this puzzle was 33-Across CRAZY RICH ASIANS, followed by 1-Across CATFISHES, a shoutout to Henry Joost and Supermarché, who made Catfish. I wanted to clue 41-Across ALL-PROS as "Like Newton and Watt," but WATT was already in the grid and I couldn't figure out how to replace it.
Fill-wise, I'm least happy with WOODMEN, T-NUTS, and T-SLOT, particularly since they sit so close together in the grid. My favorites are the multi-word answers OOPS SORRY, WIN AT LIFE, and SLEEP EASY.
I'm grateful to Erik Agard for inspiring me to start constructing and for being a fantastic mentor. He did warn me about the dicey black square configuration that almost trisects the grid, exactly the feedback I got from the editors. A near deal-breaker — thank you eds. for letting it slide!
I've been a crossword enthusiast for about ten years. Between solving puzzles, I spend my time making jewelry and magnetic objects, teaching yoga, and bothering my dog. I hope to keep the puzzles coming!