The blurb tells us that this was a contest puzzle in Lollapuzzoola in a previous year, and had a 15 minute time limit. I suspect opinions will vary on the theme here, in that each theme answer is a one word said twice, but here split into two grid entries, each clued in a different way. Thus ZOOM / ZOOM is clued with the Mazda ad slogan as well as with "quickly". The former works better for me than the latter.
Other theme answers are likewise hit and miss. I accept the Al Pacino movie reference (although I'd never heard of nor seen the film in question), but the P.G. Wodehouse book AUTHOR / AUTHOR is merely a collection of his letters. How many people would be expected to know this? Perhaps I should take this as a goad to my trivia knowledge. I did not know the Aaron Copland ballet, but HEARYE / HEARYE as a "town crier's cry" is straightforward. Similarly, the Louis Prima tune is outside my wheelhouse, but SING / SING as a prison name is common knowledge.
In any case, the duplication of the answers made the puzzle much easier than expected. I do like the addition of CHINATOWN and YOUBETCHA (very nice). The rarely-used (in music, anyway) BSHARP is fine. I smiled at the classic 34D: What generals keep up their sleevies? (ARMIES).
On the other hand, ITNO and ERNO. I can't decide which is worse. Probably the latter.
1A: Computers that are un-PC (MACS) gets a C+. It's an old joke (perhaps it wasn't so tired when the puzzle first ran). It's also the answer I put in first with 100% confidence.
I've walked over that bridge. Fifteen minutes seems a bit long for this puzzle, if only because of the duplication. I didn't love this one, but didn't hate it either. YOUBETCHA reminds me of Alaska, for some reason, however BATTY that may be. MUMBO is fine, and I love the clue for ZIPSUP.
ERNO seems like the kind of thing one might say, but wasn't too satisfying, maybe because it doesn't really stand out from any number of other phrases which might fit.ReplyDelete
I thought the clue for YEAR was pretty cute, even if there is no obvious way to make it a bit harder.
I had BYEbye before BYENOW. Oh, and I'm glad I had a few crosses to know it was ACIDS and not baseS. Needed all the crosses for ASHANTI but fortunately that was doable. And I don't remember seeing ONEARTH very often, although I can think of lots of ways to clue it ("Peace ____"; "where the farmer set down her tools"; "where the astronaut was after the mission").