Thanks again to Frannie for bailing me out yesterday! It was a long day of meetings at work, then parties in the evening, then baking cookies for more parties today. It's a tough stretch at work. Just one more week of parties, though, then a week off. Ahhh...
So anyway, today Mr. Stulberg serves up a larger-than-life 16x15 simply chock-full of challenge and reward. I can't help myself but get right to my favorite entry - one of my favorites of the year! - 55A: It has a little bow at one end (MODELSHIP). So great. And speaking of good clues, I feel like I've seen something very similar to 11D: F note? (SEEME) before, but I confidently entered "b flat" and was loath to take it out. Wouldn't that have been something?
The two long Downs - GLACIALDRIFT (7D: Rock moved by ice) and MIRRORSHADES (21D: Reflective pair) were similar in that I immediately tried to enter much longer answers into each of them. "GLACIAL erratic" for the first, and "MIRRORed sunglasses" in the second. Frannie told me she tried to enter "GLACIAL till." We were both thinking more specifically about the rock, instead of more generally about the phenomenon. But it's a perfect kind of clue that can be interpreted in different ways. See also: "41D: Like a good plot" (ARABLE), 40D: Sticky food? (KEBABS) (I put in Kitkat off the initial K), "1A: Not true" (ATANANGLE) (A-), and "17A: One giving you a hand? (DEALER). Others like "31D: One's turn at the Olympics?" (AXEL) and "36D: What may be salted away for a special occasion?" (CUREDHAM) are also good, but they're trying a little too hard, maybe.
I liked the stepped 13-, 14-, and 13-letter answers running through the middle, especially that central SEXANDVIOLENCE (35A: Family-unfriendly fare). Unexpected, but I guess anything goes on the weekend.
The little corners of ATL, TAE, ILE, and PMS are not great, but there's so much that is good in here, I'm willing to accept a little MAL.
So far, so good on The Turn this week. I'm already looking forward to tomorrow's!