Today's puzzle is an homage to the NATIONALPARKSERVICE, with several parks represented graphically... or just named... with one feature of one park represented graphically. Well, so the theme is not incredibly tight, but there's a ton of interest nonetheless.
I like the OLDFAITHFUL is represented geysering upward right through YELLOWSTONE. I'm very impressed that the park name sits so neatly above EXPEDITIONS. I also like that Half Dome sits atop YOSEMITE. It's fun seeing the mountains in Denali, and the arch and canyon in Arches and Grand Canyon.
There are a fair number of triple-checked letters. That leads to a similar number of compromises in the fill that are actually handled pretty well. I mean, sure, you have your WBOSON, SANDP; your AAA crossing AAH. I'm not fond of Henry W. SLOCUM (I've heard of him, but then I went through an intense Civil War history phase, and I couldn't recall his name).
Then, you have 59A: Highly rated Bond? (MOORE) - well, I don't particularly agree. I'd rate him third out of five Bond actors (not including Lazenby or Niven). BIONICEYE could have been bionic arm or bionic leg, so that felt a little ad hoc. It's not IMPRECISE, but it is vague.
1A: "It's a pity other cars aren't built this way"cars (SAABS) gets a D for a brand name and a pluralization. My first answer I was completely certain about came at 4D: Luncheonette order, for short (BLT), mainly because it gave me 1A. Funnily enough, after finishing this puzzle, I made BLTs. Mighty tasty too.
WAY too fast! Untimed, but probably under 30 minutes.ReplyDelete
Nothing in this grid slowed me down, although my final entry was the P crossing of NPRNEWS and SANDP, which I didn't parse correctly at first. EROICA gets a slightly different-than-usual clue, and I liked NILLA and its clue. LIPLOCK is great, especially right below GRILLES, sometimes used in reference to teeth, especially ornamented sets. The WBOSON is known to me, and I liked that we ENDIT with TEATS (125A Milk dispensers?), even though it's slightly gross. Decent theme, and I love the inclusion of the nautical AVAST, as well as the example of a REBUS at 54A I C U, e.g.