Today the revealer helped quite a bit, as we figured that (37A: Platform ... or something that appears four times in this puzzle? (SOAPBOX)) out before we got any of the rebī, and after MOONS[TONE]S (29D: Opalescent gems), we knew what we were looking for. I couldn't get "Budapest" out of my head, though, in the SW, but luckily, Frannie got BAK[LAVA] (65A: Honey-soaked dessert) and BRATIS[LAVA] (42D: Capital on the Danube), so everything worked out just fine.
It seems like it's been a while since we last had a rebus, so that was nice. It was less-than-perfect that two of the answers had gratuitous esses in one direction ("seizes" & "moonstones"), but we'll let that pass. There was a good amount of Scrabble-y letters, with JAMBS (1A: Side pieces) (another gratuitous S!), JIBES (26A: Agrees)("), JINX (26D: Curse), KARAT (49A: 24-____) (tough one), KABOB (49D: Item purchased at many a food cart), OKAPI (34D: Relative of a giraffe), and others.
As always, there's a smattering of EMIR, ANIL, WNW, but not too, too much. Anyway, I like a rebus puzzle, so they have to go pretty far afield to wreck it for me.
Oh, I almost forgot the symmetrical cities of PASADENA (6D: Annual parade locale) (really? Frannie must have gotten this one) and BRUSSELS (38D: European city whose airport is the world's largest chocolate-selling point) (interesting).
All in all, a decent Thursday.
24:22. I got SOAPBOX and MOONS[TONE]S and still couldn't figure out the rebus because I'd never heard of the soap brand "Tone". It wasn't until I got SEI[ZEST]HEDAY that I figured out. Like you I wanted Budapest, and I had no idea what the Seoul soldiers were (ROKS?!). [Ud]oks seemed as likely, but I was pretty sure that Ud is not a soap. Like Frannie I got BAK[LAVA] and that was that. I wanted to spell KARAT with a c, which also hurt that corner. Cece as always was a big help: she got 44A First word, maybe (MAMA), and helped with figuring out MRGREEN. When I was still having difficulties with the rebus, I wanted consort for NETWORK. I like consort better, even if it has nothing to do with the clue. Rebus definitely much more difficult when it's different at each location! Fun puzzle.ReplyDelete
After Googling, I find that ROK stands for Republic of Korea, and the ROKMC is the eponymous branch of the marine corps, thus Seoul soldiers. So I learn something, I guess, that I will likely never have any need to use except in crossword puzzles.ReplyDelete
Well, I guess I've learned that now, too. Thanks.ReplyDelete
Well, Colum, I'd never heard of TONE either, and it took me quite a while to get this puzzle. I actually made such a mess out of my first attempt (on paper, of course), that I needed to scrap it and print out a fresh one, which I filled in six seconds under one hour. (I'm not sure that counts as the time, though, since I worked on the first one for at least two hours before abandoning it. I had the revealer, but didn't figure out the rebus, so it was a complete disaster.) You've all said enough about this puzzle, but I starred one thing, "BRATIS[LAVA]" because I'd never heard of it. I guessed on the "R" (didn't know what it stood for - thanks Colum), so that finished off the puzzle for me.