I'm sure glad they got their "Halloweeny" puzzles out of the way earlier in the week, because that left today for this lovely themeless. Thick, open corners, a wide-channelled middle section, plenty of interesting fill, and very little junk. Let's get right to some of the good stuff.
Got started in a big way with FLAPJACKS
(6A: Diner stack) which seemed almost a gimme on a Saturday morning. From that, FESSEDUP
(6D: Came clean), LAWOMAN
(7D: Classic 1971 album that closes with "Riders on the Storm"), PYREX
(9D: Test tube material), JAM
(10D: Get stuck), ASITWERE
(11D: In a manner of speaking), and CANONS
(12D: Some printers) were also immediately entered, and I thought for a minute or so that I would be approaching Amy Reynaldo-type solving times. Unfortunately for me, I thought that KidsrS (13D: Former chain store for kids) (KBTOYS
) was also a gimme, and that held me up until the very end. What's odd about that is that I actually used to shop at KB Toy & Hobby when I was very young, and I've never been inside a KidsRUs. ...
(54: Deferential respect). This word immediately brings to mind "The Raven," and is therefore quite appropriate for Halloween, no?
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Below that, LOSTATSEA
(56A: Like the explorer Henry Hudson) is a great clue/answer pair, and RAGEQUIT
(32D: Suddenly and angrily stop playing a game, in modern lingo) always gets a chuckle. In that same quadrant, I was very happy that I could conjure up HARIBO
(41D: Candy company that makes gummy bears) (I could see it in my mind's eye with its colored letters on the packaging... is that bad?) which led me to immediately take out "pimpS" at 40A: Gangsta rap characters (THUGS
). I'm glad my guess was wrong. And speaking of being glad, I hope Frannie is happy to hear that it took me quite a while to move from games to relationships when considering 38D: Possible consequence of cheating (DIVORCE
So this is getting long, but I liked this puzzle, and hey, it's my last review for a while! Colum takes over tomorrow. And speaking of Colum, I've kind of abandoned his "1A Assessments," but today's BERET (1A: Soft top) is one of the best of the month, so I'll give it an A. Pourquoi pas?
Finally, I took 31 Across to be a hidden political message. Bravo, Mr. Wentz, bravo.