Instead of a trick puzzle, this Thursday we get a gimmick puzzle. All the Across answers are in alphabetical order. I sure hope this is difficult to do, because toward the end we are treated to some things not usually seen in a grid. Well, actually, as I look around, I find unusual entries all over the place, but that ROWR (56D: "Hey there, tiger!") really stands out, doesn't it? Truly, though, I actually enjoyed that one. It's so daring! OVATE (50D: Almost circular), IFI, MEDO, ROLEO, VSO, TIEA, and HEE are less appealing. None terrible, but together they seem a bit much.
I guess I'd like it better if every letter of the alphabet were used to start a word, but then I suppose that list of unappealing words would be much longer. Still, it's an interesting thing for Mr. Eaton-Salners to have done. And it makes me wonder - you know how sometimes we count the squares taken up by theme material? Is it all theme material today? Heh.
What more is there to say?
1A: One who settles argument (ARBITER) - B.
Favorite: EVILDOER (6D: "Nothing is easier than to denounce the ____; nothing is more difficult than to understand him": Dostoyevsky). Just last night I read the "allegory of the cave" from Plato's Republic, and this quote meshes beautifully with the idea that the best people in a society must take it upon themselves to go among the worst and try to help them. It also makes me think of the Tao Te Ching, which includes a line that asks something like "What is a good man, but a bad man's teacher, what is a bad man, but a good man's project?" Is that what we crossword puzzle bloggers are trying to do? To help constructors improve their products? Or are we just here to poke holes in their hard work? The same could be asked of Socrates, I suppose, who poked holes in the self-claimed wisdom of others, while crowds looked on and jeered. ...
Can you tell that I just started a Philosophy class?
Least: ABLUSH (8D: Visibly embarrassed). I am ABLUSH to admit that I put this in with no crosses, which I can only credit to my having done so many crossword puzzles.
OK, that's probably enough from me for today. Thanks for reading!