I'm not quite sure how to describe today's theme. Take the "g" off the gerund and stress the vowel sound of the first word to make it sound like a common expression that is spelled differently. How's that for apt? I wish I could come up with a COINAGE that makes the theme both immediately clear and hilarious, but I can't. Maybe one of our ESTEEMed readers can PITCHIN.
My favorite of the theme-that-will-not-be-pithily-captured-by-me was PLAYINFOLKS. I thought that one worked best on both levels.
The solve went relatively smoothly for me. I did put in 'merino' where ALPACA belongs, and Tow (It can give drivers a lift (TEE)) at first, which slowed down the south west, but not for long.
OLA drew my ATTN in today's puzzle because it is similar to ELLO from Tuesday's puzzle, in that both words are greetings and both have variants with an "H" at the beginning. OSMIC, man (I really wanted to work that into Tuesday's review, but I couldn't.)
Today's ACES (or FGGs (tm)):
- To be remembered for a very long time (EPIC) - apt!
- Skip about (CAPER) - I should definitely caper more often.
- Birds that cronk (GEESE) - how 'bout that word cronk?!? I don't know how long it would have taken me to get the answer if the clue had been "Sound made by geese"
- You might take them to do a good job (PAINS)
- "I meant somebody else" (NOTYOU) - I just like to imagine situations in which this could reasonably be said.
- Nice touch (CARESS) - nice twist.
I was very happy with the clue at 51D. Search simplifier (INDEX) - I love an index - just ask Horace! :) And, having the venerable OED placed very near by it resulted in a small pocket of reference work heaven.
Answers I might "Edit out" (DELE):
CLEANEST for "Most upright" at 11D? It's OK, of course, but not a clue/answer pair I consider apt.
BUCS, OVA, CAL, CSI, SVU, EPA ATTIRE me, but you won't find me complaining about 63A. ESP : Spain :: ___ : Netherlands (NED). :)
Well. I love the theme. My favorite is 53A: Census bureau employee? (BEINCOUNTER) - that is, someone who counts human beings. That's awesome.
I don't love the super-segmentation of the grid, where there are literally six minipuzzles, and they're connected only by a few 3-letter answers and all the theme answers. That's rough going, and definitely contributed to this puzzle being harder than usual.
I was also slowed by putting Pasta in at 4D: Trattoria bowlful (PENNE). When I had no traction there, and then later put PASTA in at 55A: Ronzoni offering, I changed up and finally finished that corner.
I did not like this theme at all. I just can't make the written answers sound the way they should. MOOIN walker? It doesn't sound like "moon" to me. Same with PLAYIN and "plain." Yecch.
On the up side, I liked CUPCAKES, APPLEPIE, and EARLGREY. And nice clue for EDSEL (Bomb developed in the 1950s). Hah!
And yes, I understand that it's clued as "Mooin'" etc., but why?Delete
I thought the theme a bit forced. And to answer Frannie's musing on "cronk," I, for one, would never have gotten that with a reverse clue/answer. I've never heard that word. I've always thought it more of a honk, but now I know. And I, too, tried merino instead of ALPACA. Somewhat disappointing Thursday.