I kind of like that they allow a mini-theme every once in a while on a Friday. I couldn't see the fish for the oddly filled crosses, but Frannie realized pretty quickly what was going on. Cute. And appropriate, since we're on the shore this week.
Nice start today with the GAGNAM (1A: "____ Style," first video with a billion YouTube views) entry, although what has Psy done for us lately, except annoy with that follow up video? I kind of liked LETINON (38D: Told, as a secret), SUNBELT (41D: Where snowbirds flock), and SEDATED (44D: Under). There were plenty of good long-ish clues, actually. LOOKSEE (62A: Gander) is nice and fresh, and TOPSEED (64A: A wild card is unlikely to beat one) was well-clued.
Some odd, small, stuff - HOS (22A: Sounds from some mall temps) was difficult to figure out, being so far out of season as it is, and NGO (36A: Vietnam's ____ Dinh Diem) is not familiar, but other small stuff was quite nicely done, like CAD (52A: Many a base player) and INRE (48A: Dictator's beginning). RUBE (55A: No sophisticate) now makes us think of The Simpsons ("So many rubes..."), so that's nice, and ALLTHAT (37A: Excellent, in slang) is also good, but, just like a vacationer of a late afternoon, it kind of needs a bag of chips. Speaking of... I've gotta go.
But before I do, I'll say that I enjoyed it. It seems like there have been a slew of good puzzles lately. Maybe it's me, maybe it's them, but whatever it is, I hope I haven't just jinxed it, because Saturday is my favorite day of the week! I'll see you tomorrow.
12:15 - making my way backwards. I've been so incredibly busy with The Addams Family Musical opening this weekend I've not had any time to do the puzzle. This was cute, although an extremely easy entree with 1A got me going with a shot. Some lovely triads of 7-letter answers here. It's also a nice open grid with lots of movement from one section to another. Very pleased.ReplyDelete
AMERICA paired with OILRICH was nice, something many don't consider too often. I got ONTHEWATERFRONT with only two or three crosses (58A Best Picture of 1954 [see 17-Across]). I must admit that I was unfamiliar with 41A Quintet comprising "Ode to the West Wind" (SONNETS), but knew it must refer to something like that. Anyway, a reasonable Friday. They've seemed a little too easy lately, and this one was back up to snuff.