Today's theme takes ordinary phrases containing a preposition and clues them in a way that forces a new interpretation. My favorite was DEADONARRIVAL (64A: Timely entrance?). That's a good one, but the inclusion of non-theme answers that also contain prepositions, like FLIESTO (96A: Reaches by plane), TOSSESTO (110A: Throws at), and STEPOUTOF (76D: Exit), dilutes what is already a rather weak brew.
I don't like to give overly negative reviews, but 1-Across (PFFT) kind of set the scene for this one. Odd constructions like PINCHRAN, BESOTS, ANTIRIOT, AGER, ICERUN, and ENCIPHER, didn't do the grid any favors, and the very unfortunate GOOK (39D: Proceed well enough) should not be in anyone's word list.
On the bright side, I liked the clue for LOOSETEA (58A: It's not in the bag), and I smiled thinking that one of our readers (Hi Mr. Kingdon!) will now have seen ANKA for the second day in a row, and the third time this week.
So my week is now up, and I can now look forward to reading much more entertaining reviews by my colleague, Ms. Page.
Esteemed co-blogger Horace makes some valid points, but this puzzler did LOL on solving "Compositions often chosen for encores?" GOTOPIECES. and "Soundtrack for a brawl?" SETTOMUSIC. Ha!
I also liked SHAKEUP for "Personnel overhaul" (5A), TIP for "Opposite of stiff" (30A), and SALTMINE for "Grueling workplace, so to speak" (73A). Plus, who doesn't like a reference to the Shavian classic, "Man and Superman"?
I did not enjoy NONO (Pitcher's feat, slangily), Nonexpert (LAYMAN), or NOSTRIL (Small breather?). EEKS.
Oh, and Huygens, how about NOONERS?
NOONERS? Sure, but not the way it's clued! I, too, enjoyed a few of the theme answers, and agree with Horace on the best of the bunch. The weakest may be WALKONWATER. Sure, there was some other sub-par stuff in the grid, but it seemed a typical Sunday, if not a bit on the easy side. I don't know of this TERP person at 93A "Fight, fight, fight for Maryland!" singer, familiarly, and I don't know the term TONNEAU, where I wanted "rumble seat." I've heard the phrase NONO before, and I'm OK with BESOTS, too. Nice to see the ELLA/SCAT pairing in there, but yeah, I'm OK with not ever seeing GOOK again. And I agree with Frannie on NOSTRIL (gross).
I agree this is a rather mixed bag, although I tend to agree more with Frannie about the charming absurdity of the theme clues/answers. I also loved GOTOPIECES, but DEADONARRIVAL, STANDINLINE, SETTOMUSIC are all funny. PUTONNOTICE is bizarrely humorous.ReplyDelete
That said, the forced past tenses, plurals, and little-used compound words really drag the puzzle down. Although, as a fan of the sport, I have no trouble with NONO. It's an oft-used term and quite fine, and not overused crosswordese, as best as I know.
And Huygens, TERP is the very commonly used short version of the University of Maryland mascot, the terrapin. I've always grinned about a turtle as a sport mascot, kind of oxymoronic, don't you think? The Temple Owls are up there, too, but at least owls are clever, ruthless hunters.
I am fine with a turtle as a mascot, of course, since it is Beloit's unofficial mascot. And as far as sports go, in perhaps the most celebrated "animal vs. animal" test of speed, the winner is the tortoise. :)Delete