Maybe it’s me (I know), but this Sunday LAT puzzle is simply not up to par. First off, the title doesn’t work. The theme is the substitution of F for D --- F instead of D, not “in” it [FIN
Then, some of the theme phrases are clued poorly. Take the first one. A stewardess serving a drink says, “This is not a frill.”
What does that mean? And what is a FOGANDPONYSHOW, an “equine exhibition with poor visibility”
? And what are “Energizing banjos”
? The worst is STAYATHOMEFAD
. Since when has a mother not working become a fad?
To be fair, there were good theme entries and clues: Stick around for sautéing? HANGOUTTOFRY
Pixie dust? FAIRYPRODUCT
Written warning about gangster Gotti? FEARJOHNLETTER
There were three clever entries: Come again?
REVISITHeads of England?
But: Spill preceder
TRIP [the phrase is “trip and fall” so the clue should be “Fall preceder"]Pinochle declaration
MELD [“declaration” has that denotation, but is it ever used? A meld is an action.]
Three grins = Excellent: Loved it; Two grins = Good: Enjoyed it; One grin = Satisfactory: A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Unsatisfying: No fun