Sorry about the late, late review today, but it was a tough day at the office and then right out to dinner and a show. The show was a wonderful performance of Gilbert & Sullivan's Patience, but that's not the review you called me here for.
Most of the puzzle went right along for me, but for me, the north west was not ASEASYASPIE. I didn't know that horse racing fans call Churchill Downs MECCA, nor that MOBIL was once named Socony-Vacuum, nor that there's a palmlike tropicla plant called CYCAD. I did manage to guess correctly but I hemmed and hawed for more than just a SEC.
My favorite answer in today's puzzle might be MALLSANTA. IMATALOSS to say why, but there you go. I also enjoy the word VOLUNTOLD, but not the reality - see "tough day at the office" above. In that same neck of the woods,VIVID served as a striking reminder of one of my favorite movies, Auntie Mame. STARE for Vacancy sign? was clever, and probably the best ? clue in the puzzle. PARCH and JOT are also nice. I also thought it was funny that after stiff and shy in yesterdays' puzzle, today we get OWE. Somebody better start making some money.
My SCAPEGOATs for today are One devoted to Mary? (LAMB - weird), Uber app abbr. (AVE - lame), and Bears (HAS - hunh?).
I had better wrap this up if I am going to get it posted before midnight, or WOEISME!