Hey, everybody! I'm up early today because I dropped my older daughter at the airport. She's headed off to Wyoming to visit her girlfriend. Turns out you can still travel on airplanes. Remember those? NOLIE: I'm just a bit nervous about her traveling, but she's not going to any hotspots, so hopefully it will all be just fine.
Anyway, after two weeks of fine reviews by Horace and Frannie, you get a week of me. I'll try to keep the level of play up to their usual excellence.
Today, we get a mathematical theme, in a sense. I imagine that should make Huygens approve. The revealer comes at 70A: Mathematical concepts suggested eight time in this puzzle (EXPONENTS). Throughout the puzzle, there are eight pairs of answers which are cross referenced. Each pair is set up so the second answer is up one row and to the right of the first answer, and the two are connected by an understood "to the". Thus, 113A: With 107-Across, bad sort of competition (RACE[TOTHE] / BOTTOM). If you need a visual to understand why this is an exponent:
I'm impressed by the cleanness of the grid. The longest answers today have nothing to do with the theme, and most of them are fun, like ELMSTREET, TOPTENLISTS, and ETHIOPIAN, a cuisine which everybody should try. I also liked THELBOMB and THEFATES.
There are hardly any misdirecting or funny ha-ha clues. It's a nice Mae West quote: "SEX is an emotion in motion." She was the Oscar Wilde of Brooklyn, NY. Bet you didn't know that's where she hailed from!
It is odd to see ELOI and OLEO, two ancient crosswordese, in an otherwise very clean grid. But these are classic ways to make sections hang together, and in a way they're old friends at this point.
Well, that's all he SCRAWLED for today. See you tomorrow!
P.S. A double debut today! Congratulations, Messrs Schneider and Wang!