Seemed like a Wednesday. Four WARD clues traveling vertically DOWN the grid. Hmmm…
Enjoyed: ARABLE (4D: Good for planting) (one of the first things in the grid), AMINUS (8D: Nearly perfect), MAESTRO (15A: Toscanini, for one) (Would you ask him to conduct an harmonica band?), OUTERARM (23A: Part of a spiral galaxy farthest from the center) (a bit of a long way to go for this fill, but I'll take it), and DIARIST (36A: Adolf Hitler, e.g., according to a 1983 hoax).
Did not enjoy: ESTO (6D: This, in Tijuana) (enough already with the "this, in a Spanish-speaking place"), RETITLE (37D: Give an alias), RECUE (31A: Feed a line to again), NOTASTE (17A: Kitschy quality) (seems inaccurate), and wanted "a gut" for ARIB (19A: Bust ____ (laugh hard)). Also, 22A: "We Three Kings of Orient Are," e.g. is NOEL? Does NOEL mean "Christmas carol" now? Wait… yes. Yes, it does. Huh.
Trickier clues than usual on COP (13D: Lift), EAT (30D: Not fast), and CANOE (48D: Dugout, for one). Great clue on ESS (41A: What makes a top stop?). Terrible clue on WAWA (40A: H20, to a tot). And while we're talking about clues, I had a strong feeling that I've seen 54A: Something not seen on a nudist, maybe (TANLINE) before, but I still enjoyed it. And 45A: Diner or sleeper (TRAINCAR) made me think of my father, who has ridden some enormous number of miles on AMTRAK. Maybe over 100,000?
I believe the total miles ridden may be closer to 300,000; we'd have to ask. NOTASTE does seem inaccurate, and I've starred it. For Huygens fill I noted TANLINES (mentioned above) and, more of a stretch, 13D Lift (COP), as in "a feel." I know, it's a reach. But while RETITLE is bad, one of its crosses, TWADDLE (50A Rot) was great. Oh, BRASALE crossed with ACTRESSSELA was good, although she's not one of my faves. I also liked the mention of BEAVERSDAD as part of the themed fill as well as the terrible STYRENE (16D Disposable cup material). Does anyone still use that? Is that what is referred to as "styrofoam" when speaking of cups?
15:03. The theme left me flat. Why rain in particular, instead of anything else that moves DOWN WARD? I wanted "pour" for the second half, which fits the clue more precisely. Why "penologist," a terrible word that feels like a mix between a urologist and a proctologist (bleah)? And speaking of which, what is a PATIENTAREA? I've never heard that term used even to refer to a "ward", which is another seriously dated term.ReplyDelete
On the plus side, I liked BRASALE, and I liked the three Ss in the middle of ACTRESSSELA. I agree with Horace about ESTO. An annoying cop-out of an answer, especially since it can be ESTA often. The extreme SW corner is an ugly little area, with TSC, NSC, and GES. Double Bleah.