Good Lord, it's August. Where did the time go? Oh, that's right. I've spent it along with much of America worrying about what's going to come out of Washington next. Too soon? I'm afraid it's too late.
Wait a second here, this is the New York Times Crossword puzzle blog, not some doom and gloom political blog. Away with fear, away with anger! Let's rejoice in this wonderful little thing we all share each day!
Colum here, back once again in the dog days of summer. I'm starting up another month of blogging. I've very much enjoyed the last two months, reading Frannie's and then Horace's musings.
And we start off on a Tuesday, that peculiar day of puzzles. It's neither a Monday, with its straightforward thematic approach, nor a Wednesday, with its oddball hodgepodge of puzzles. Who can say what characterizes a Tuesday?
ILLBEDARNED! It's a puzzle with cute puns about phrases of astonishment. My favorite was definitely 59A: "Shocking!," to a Thanksgiving guest? (GOODGRAVY). That's fun stuff. Although now that I look at the clues, what the heck is that comma doing inside that quotation mark? Surely it should be "Shocking!", to a Thanksgiving guest? That's the way I'd have written it. Perhaps somebody could put in their two cents about this?
Each corner of the puzzle has a nice little stack of longer answers, which makes up for the lack otherwise of long down answers. I liked HUNKERED the best, but who can resist ITALIANO?
On the other hand, there's a large amount of XER, ADT, EER, etc. Not to mention ORES. Can't stand those pluralized hunks of rock.
My error was a typo, yet again. I knew it was OBEYED / BEEB, but my finger found N instead, and my eyes were off elsewhere. This wouldn't happen on a standard keyboard, but on the iPad it's all too easy for the fingers to miss. Nonetheless, I got the message of failure, and that counts for a FWOE.
1A: Zin alternative (CAB): C+. It's wine, but it's a sort of abbreviation.
Fave: SAG (46A: What some shoulders and pants do). That's a great clue for an otherwise less than stellar bit of crossword glue.
Least fave: ATIE (54A: End in ____). That's an unappealing partial there.