Classic NYT puzzle theme, if you ask me - someone whose been doing the dailies regularly for a couple of years…. ha! Still, it's a classic, right? A word wedged in between two other words. Today's word is "DOPE." Man did I have a rush of weird nostalgic déjà vu when I finally realized that "53A: Robert Redford's 'great' 1975 role" was WALDOPEPPER. I remember that I saw that, and I think I enjoyed it, but that is the limit of my memory where that movie is concerned.
This played a lot harder than yesterday for me, but there was some stuff that I didn't really enjoy. I should know NEVA (13A: St. Petersburg's river), perhaps, but is TEENER (50D: Many a Taylor Swift fan) a thing? Sure, I've heard of "tweener," but "teener?" Isn't it just "teen?" STEEPEN (45D: Make more inclined) seems a little forced, and we get both CREE and OTOE in the grid today.
On the other hand, you gotta love LINUS (14A: "Peanuts" kid with a security blanket), PHASERS (46D: "Star Trek" weapons), and BRUCELEE (21A: "Fist of Fury" star, 1972), right? I enjoyed the clue for TOILETS (10D: Facilities) too. It had me confused for a long while. And speaking of good clues, 27A: Making the rounds? (INORBIT) and 54D: What a big mouth might have (DELTA) were very nice as well.
On balance, I'll give this one a thumbs up.
8:35. I like the theme: it's simple, and it works. We have two [D/OPE] and two [DO/PE] so those balance. I'd never heard AVOCADOPEAR as a term before, but it shows up immediately on Google and Wikipedia, so I'll accept it. I agree with you on STEEPEN (?) and TEENER (?!). I do like UNMEANT, BERNINI (saw a few of those in Italy, particularly liked La Fontana Dei Quattri Fiumi in Piazza Navona), and PHASERS. I have a slight nit to pick with ONEBC which presupposes a Christian bent. I'd prefer one B.C.E.ReplyDelete
OWLISH. On the whole, the addition of that answer makes this puzzle a positive one.
The NEVA/BERNINI cross is where I fell, not knowing either, so I first guessed an "O" and got "Puzzle Completely Filled." When I changed it to my second choice, an "E," obvi, I was congratulated. GRANDOPERA was nice, but AVOCADOPEAR was an unknown phrase to me. TEENER doesn't exist and is poor and WALDOPEPPER is also completely unknown to me. UNCOUTH is a nice word. I also liked ONEBC (7D End of an ancient period), BUYSOUT (44D Takes over the assets of, as a partner) and ROBOT (37D Bomb squad member).
I had to guess at BERNINI/ABOW. I figured with Madonna it was either Take a Bow or Take a Vow and I guessed wrongly.
I had no problem with STEEPEN, but TEENER seems ridiculous.