Hello all! Hope the last two variety cryptics have been fun diversions. No such offering today, just a standard cryptic with a theme and a fresh grid shape. If you want more themed indie cryptics, look no further! On the site of fantastic constructor and good friend Mental Playground, you can find a puzzle I helped clue for another friend's birthday. If you enjoy half-American, half-British puzzles like that one, I'd also recommend you check out MP's collaboration with yet another friend of ours: incredible constructor Steve Mossberg. It has a fantastic theme and some delightfully absurd surfaces - check it out! Cryptic collaborations have been great fun so far in my experience, and if anyone wants to take a crack at constructing or cluing with me, please reach out! I'm always happy to meet new people in the crossword community, and would love to see more people constructing cryptics.
Today's puzzle is called "Major Seventh," and it has a slight theme that should be clear from the central across entries. For pencil and paper solvers, here's the pdf, and for Across Lite fans, here's the puz file!
Finally, here's the solution with entry-by-entry wordplay explanations if you get stuck. Good luck!
As a side note, thanks to all who have emailed with feedback! It has been immensely useful, and I'm grateful to everyone in this community for helping me to make better puzzles - please continue to let me know if and when you find mistakes. I especially need to thank my test-solvers, who have been great at catching my errors - any of the residual ones that find their way into the puzzles here are fully my own fault, and I apologize in advance.