IF THE SPIRIT MOVES YOU
We're big fans of the cocktail here at H&F featuring C. In fact, I had a wonderful dirty martini on Friday night, on my way to having one too many to write the review on time. I am not familiar with a "Pink Lady" or "Tia Maria," but the rest of the circled drinks, I know.
So the big central cross of DRINKSALLAROUND and COCKTAILLOUNGES is fine, but those circled drinks, with their triple-checked squares, led to some less-than-ideal situations. The SW corner, in particular, made me want to reach for a bottle! TITRE (93D: Concentration, to a British chemist), is not IDEAL. And, not being on the whole "Game of Thrones" bandwagon, I have no idea who AIDAN Gillen is. Around the other drinks we find NEBS, APIAN, SENG, RANAS, ALARUM, GOW, ATWT, LEOI, and ERNA. Ah yes, ERNA Berger, the coloratura soprano from the 1940s and 50s. Of course! And before I SEGUE to the better stuff, I'll just call out a few more entries that were not ADVANTAGES - ORLE, BETO, CIV, SRI, IBN, IFAT, NOES.
There were, however, elements of both YINANDYANG, and I did enjoy a lot of the mid-length fill. ROUGHCUT (36D: Partially edited version of a movie), ENTRANCES (38D: Bedazzles) (it's funny, because it also spells "entrances"), DUSTMOPS (55D: Bunny chasers?) (I was glad this had nothing to do with "Playboy"), and NONSTARTER (69D: Awful idea). And in the "interesting trivia" category that I like so much, we have 8D: It's Irish for "We Ourselves" (SINNFEIN). And in the "funny/not funny" category - SEEADOCTOR (99A: What you should do "if symptoms persist.") Hah!
1A: Five Norwegian kings (OLAVS) - D.
Favorite: 37A: Like most things in "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" (WEIRD). I was amused by the clue.
Least: REINK (40A: Make brighter, as a fading tattoo). I was not amused by the clue. Do people actually do that?
So not all bad, certainly, but not terribly smooth either. I particularly disliked the cross of TOSAM and NEDROREM, but I'm guessing others, Colum included, had no trouble with that.
Now it's time for a drink!