Well, how can you not like a puzzle with this theme? The only drawback was that once I got 1A: With 67-Across, man whose 1930 salary was $80,000 (BABE) (RUTH), the other theme answers were obvious, and 45 free squares on a Wednesday makes for a very easy solve. Well, I hesitated briefly on 38A: Man whose 1930 salary was $75,000 (PRESIDENTHOOVER) when "Herbert Hoover" didn't fit, but it was sorted out soon enough. 17- and 60-Across were immediate.
As for the rest of the fill, I thought it was pretty good. There was a lot of "semi-normal" fill that still might qualify as crosswordese, like ETON (35A: School for James Bond) (I definitely learned this trivia from doing these puzzles), OAHU (33A: Obama's birthplace) (ditto), EGRET (41A: Snowy wader) (didn't learn this from crosswords, but jesus, how often do you see this?), ALES (49A: Newcastle Brown and others) (unusual-ish clue, but still, it's common, and here pluralized, which makes it even more crosswordsy).
Some stuff was nice, though, like STATUTE (27A: It's the law), and ARMADAS (45A: Battlers at sea). I also liked SERENITY (20A: Peace and quiet) and HORRID (52A: Deplorable). And, surprisingly, perhaps, I enjoyed AARGH (25D: "Good grief!"), although I thought the clue was a tad tame for the exclamation.
On balance, I thought this was a fine Wednesday. Fun theme, ok fill.
That's exactly what I was going to start with: Pretty damned easy when you can write in all three fifteens immediately. Really should have been a Tuesday. Agree on ARRGH. I'm actually quite sick of seeing that non-word, and yes, this clue was especially poor. Love the Bambino, of course, but otherwise this one was just fair.ReplyDelete
All twos! Anyway, I had to wait until this morning (Thursday) to do this one because of the NY Times hacking problem. Fairly easy, I thought, though I was hung up on a couple of spots (e.g., had "aCES" instead of "ICES" for 14A Treats, as a sprain) for a little while. Once I looked at 1D, though (much later), I changed that to its proper letter. I'm not too familiar with TONGA, but got that easily enough. I also wouldn't have known TERPS without the crosses, nor do I know what "A.C.C." stands for in that clue. I liked the fact that both ALES and BEER appear in the same puzzle.