Yet another late-week themed puzzle. This one really could have been a Thursday, I feel. I went through all the Across clues, guessing at one or two, thinking "Either this is going to be impossible, or there's something I'm not seeing." Then, I think at 7D: Kid of poetic work (ODE) it finally hit me, and then it was just a matter of filling things in.
As an exercise in clue-writing, this is a beautiful piece of work. As a Saturday puzzle, it was a bit of a let-down. Frannie didn't even get a chance to see it, which she doesn't like at all.
As a Thursday puzzle, on the other hand, this would have been fun. Lots of Scrabble-y letters, some nice long stuff (MEATFREE (2D: Vegas would love this type of world) sitting beside BACCARAT (3D: Casio game) is a complex juxtaposition), and really quite clean. I don't love TINCTS (55A: Adds a little toe to), but there's not too much else to complain about.
It would get a thumbs up on the genius of the clueing alone (33D: Doe, e.g. (POET)), but the fill is really great in parts - PHALANX (27D: Wig of the old Greek army), ERSATZ (11D: Margarie might be described thus), ASUNDER (23D: I pieces) (one of the weakest clues, perhaps), and more - so I guess I cat really fault it.
Mon amore gets credit for figuring out the theme and did so before we entered anything in the grid. And you're right, from there it was a lot of filling in. We did get bogged down in the NE and SW. The NE was trouble because I can never seem to remember the spelling of TATAMI, which raised some doubts and made the rest harder, like BAPTIZE (I take issue with the Convert clue here), and DISMAL, although I guess that's OK. I also didn't like the clue for SITAR very much at all, although that's more subjective I think. ERSATZ is good. The SW had the silly TINCTS, although I kind of liked QUASI and thought ETTU had a great clue. TRAS? Well, fill.
We didn't know AMBIT, although the crosses were all solid. And ADZE is fun to see.
20:56. I too had the strangest feeling as I went through the clues that something was off. For me it was 28A (Program that asks "Are we aloe?," for short) that gave it away. I initially had "ego" for ICH, which slowed the NW somewhat, and the NE was the last to fall, because I had LENd instead of LENT. I like MEDEA's clue (Dramatically scored sorceress). I was all set to work through my knowledge of opera... 40D was another clue whose added N moved it away from music (SPLITEND). The best clues were the ones with dropped double N's, such as Doe, e.g, and Fly of film (POET and ERROL). Fun, but perhaps you're right, not Saturday worthy.ReplyDelete
OMG, I thought this was a great puzzle...kind of a reverse rebus-y-type-of-thing going on. It took me about 40 minutes to figure out what was wrong, but then I just filled this puppy right in like no one's business. I have a record number of write-overs, but that's fine with me. I always love seeing ADZE in a puzzle (as opposed to adz), and I thought that, not only was the idea great, but the whole execution was genius. I mean, 53D Refusal from a boy lass, 39D Sci-fi character remembered for her large bus...fantastic. QUASI, ERSATZ, AXON...all great. Excellent puzzle, and how often do we get to see the word PUZZLE represented in the puzzle? TRUE dat.