An fun Wednesday grid from Mr. Quigley. It took me almost until the very end to figure what he meant by the very clever BBQ (63D: Summer event, briefly … or a phonetic hint to 19-, 26-, 47-, and 53-Across) (we also noticed that it rhymes with B.E.Q., by the way). "'B' be 'Q.'" Very nice. My favorite might be QUEENSIZEQED (58A: Royal ending to a mathematical proof?). So absurd. Love it! Frannie's was THEFAQFOUR (28A: Quartet on an help page?).
JUJU (1A: Tribal symbol of luck) was unknown to me (although Frannie dropped it right in), and UVA and JAX were maybe not the greatest, but I'll put up with that, BRRR (5D: "It's f-f-freezing!"), ATNO and the rest for a theme like this. And some of the other fill is quite nice. SHIFTY (23D: Deceitful) is a good one, and EMINEM (46D: Rapper with the autobiography "The Way I Am") and UPDIKE (49D: John who won two Pulitzers for fiction) are strange bedfellows. In a good way.
As I look through it now, and talk it over with Frannie and Huygens, I note that the central South quadrant contains a full measure of obscure crosswordese, but 56D. Dreyfus Affair chronicler (ZOLA) and 58D. Classic Nestle drink (QUIK) balance it out a bit. Sometimes, with a strong theme like this, SOITIS (31D. "You're right about that").
Yes, that south middle, with NONU (60A Lower-class, in Leeds) crossed with ENOS (57D Book of Mormon prophet) did me in, even though we saw Book of Mormon and loved it. Other than that, I enjoyed the puzzle just fine. I thought that Frannie would probably have known 33D Literary giant from Concord, Mass. (ALCOTT) right away; I needed a couple of crosses to get it.
8:47. Didn't love this puzzle, because of that odd start. Sure there are a lot of Scrabble letters there, but the peculiar 3x4 corners left me cold. Not to mention the unpleasant ELOI NONU ENOS section. So, okay, the revealer is cute B "be" Q, and the theme answers are more clever than your usual entries. But then I can't allow the theme to be the cause of such pain in the fill. Meh. (And I like BEQ usually).ReplyDelete