It's been a fun and short week of reviewing. Specifically, the Turn has been very enjoyable, and today's Saturday themeless lives up to its billing.
Let me tell you a little story about the NW corner, which was the toughest for me for a very specific reason. If I had been a little more flexible, it would have fallen much more quickly. On my first run through, I had no entries at all. I suspected TEM for 4D but didn't put it in. Instead I broke in with KIRI, an easy gimme, and worked through that NE corner quickly.
Eventually, I worked my way back across the middle of the puzzle and approached the NW corner from the bottom up, having gotten EFRON, NFC, and DIN. My first solid answer was 2D: Change of heart on Facebook (UNLIKE).
And then I saw 17A: Luxuriating in the outdoors... and entered aLfresco. Seemed like a pretty good approximation, a great Saturday style answer, and it fit so perfectly.
Too perfectly. Nothing else worked, and so I abandoned the corner to finish the rest of the puzzle. And when I came back, I decided to do that thing you should always do in a puzzle when it's not working: take out the answer you feel most certain about. And then I got CHALET, figured out 1A: Classic makeshift solution (DUCTTAPE - very nice), and realized finally what Mr. House's devilishly clever clue was getting at: GLAMPING. Luxuriating indeed. HAH!
There is much to like in this puzzle. 41A: Unbiased opinion, e.g. (OXYMORON) is lovely cluing. 62A: Click the "X" when vexed, maybe (RAGEQUIT) is fun, as is NERDCRED.
55A: Collection of seeds? (BRACKET) is a fine example of a QMC.
Did you notice that the puzzle is a pangram, that is to say, that every letter of the alphabet is represented in the grid? I used to think creating a pangram was a holy grail for a constructor, but since writing this blog and reading other blogs, I've come to realize that it's usually not worth the effort. But it worked out well today.
I'm guessing that Horace is taking over again tomorrow, but we'll see. Life is unpredictable.