While none of the clues was particularly clever or "punny," there were many interesting ones, which taken as a whole made for a good puzzle. Tired clues were replaced with innovative ones; for example:Bench warmers aren't on it
for ATEAM instead of Mr. T's TV show.Vocalized
for ORAL instead of a biological reference.Defendent's answer
for PLEA instead of urgent request.City of State Fair of Texas
for DALLAS instead of a pro team.Out of this world
for ALIEN instead of the movie.
Other entertaining clues:American competitor
DELTAMass of grass
CLUMPBMOC, for one
VIPPump or loafer
SHOESurfing area with no water...
LEERAT [clue and answer are usually reversed]