Hmm... I think it a little cruel, perhaps, to run this puzzle during the A.C.P.T., because, for me anyway, it brought up some P.T.S.D. from Patrick Berry's "Puzzle Five" from a couple years ago. My grid that year made Colum's "devastated ruinscape" look nearly complete in comparison! :) But let's try to put that behind us again, shall we?
Welp, I wrote that before doing the last puzzle of the tournament which was, amusingly, also done by Patrick Berry. But what a great finish it was! Such a fun puzzle! All my PTSD is gone!
Now then, let's talk about Mr. Vigeland's puzzle. The directive to "follow the sun" helps us to navigate the theme answers as they take not one, but two 90-degree turns. Consider 56A: Hollywood labor groups. It looks like the answer will just be "actors," but if we follow the word "sun," and then turn to the East again, we see that the real answer is ACTOR/SUN/IONS. Very nice. And one other answer that turns up instead of down is EPLURIBU/SUN/UM (102A: Only words on the front of the Great Seal of the United States). Kind of fun to have that one and ETAT/SUN/IS (98A: Amérique) nearly side-by-side down there.
Mr. Vigeland has accomplished this feat with quite a bit of FINESSE, in my opinion, with just a little bit of KPMG (73A: One of the Big Four accounting firms) (?), UEYS, YEH, and TCM-type glue. And the puzzle is ENHANCED by such things as TMINUSZERO (75D: Moment of liftoff), ASSEENONTV (3D: Print ad come-on), PROMDATES (59D: Some corsage wearers), and the always popular LINEARA (120A: Ancient, undeciphered writing system). He seems to know the way to a linguist's heart. I'd say it's worthy of a MICDROP.
Now, it's back downstairs to watch the talent show and the finals! Should be exciting, as Mr. Feyer has another real challenge on his hands with young Mr. Agard! Another weekend of thrills and excitement in Stamford!
Out of the 140 words in this puzzle, there were four I didn't know - that's almost 3%! Like esteemed commenter, Huygens, I was not familiar with ROUNDER - as word, that is :) I've also never come across a PEDUNCLE before, and frankly, I'm not sure I want to. TANSIES was new to me. And what are MEGATS? And don't say mega t's.
I agree with the fun fill cited by Horace above. I also enjoyed MONAMI (How Hercule Poirot likes to address Hastings), TINHATS (Paranoid sorts, in slang), which calls to mind the excellent Simpson episode "Brother's Little Helper", and everyone's favorite, RYE (Manhattan part ... or a suburb near Manhattan).
As reported in yesterday's special edition, we had a great time in Stamford this weekend. I've come away with some new ACPT-year resolutions. To wit:
- Do more practice puzzles in pencil
- Review all country and state capitals
- Memorize all sports team names, associated mascots, and stadia
- Learn the names of the Big Four accounting firms
- Get into rap music
- Avoid oncoming vehicles at crossings