Wow, is it November already? Months just fly by when you're not doing the daily blog. I have quite the large pair of shoes to step into. Frannie's posts this past month have had me chuckling all along.
Hey, look! ANIMAL / CRACKERS! Who doesn't like those? I mean, I liked them when I was a kid. I don't think I ever loved them. But today we get a puzzle where the term is taken literally. There are four exemplars split by black squares on that NE to SW diagonal, including a GOR / ILLA, a MON / KEY, a ZE / BRA, and my favorite, an ELE / PHANT. According to the picture below, three of the four were true crackers.
|No zebra sadly|
There was little to be annoyed at in the fill. I've never heard of SMAZE, but apparently it's actually simply a mixture of smoke and haze, thus the portmanteau of the clue. In other areas, LSTS is a golden oldie that's really a crutch for constructors. And nobody likes 63A: GPS part: Abbr. (SYS). An abbreviation from an acronym. Oof.
Clues I enjoyed: 21D: You might give him the business (SON). 41A: Houston of Texas (SAM). 47A: Southern side (PONE). Those are all very nice misdirections. I also enjoyed 27A: Japan's national fruit (PERSIMMON). A bit of unknown and interesting trivia is generally welcome round these parts.
I guess cluing PALSY with "____-walsy" is likely preferable to a reference to a nervous disorder. I guess. Maybe I'm biased.
1A: Chaney of horror movies (LON) - C-.