The curse of crosswordese fell on my head with a vengeance today. Somehow I looked at 21A: Bearded beast, and came up with emU. The funny thing is, I had the N in place from IRENE, and was pretty sure about the U in TITUS, but still I took the N out to put a very non-bearded bird in the place of a classically bearded GNU.
Meanwhile, Mr. Gulczynski, wow! Eight theme answers in a 16 x 16 puzzle, and even more remarkably, those theme answers include two Qs, one X, eight Ys, and four Ks. All of the theme answers are strong enough, with NETFLIXQUEUE winning the blue ribbon. Finally, the last words are all homonyms for letters, which taken in order spell out Q-U-I-C-K-L-Y, thus the revealer, THINKQUICKLY.
There are a ton of proper names, which was likely necessitated by the density of theme. But overall the grid is remarkably smooth. I might put up a FUSSES when encountering EAUX, and I might say OOF to entries like ATS, but honestly, I'm not that concerned. I enjoyed the puzzle, and we got some nice bonus with SCULPTOR, referring to Rodin, who certainly made one of the STEAMIER pieces of art in The Kiss.
Thus having gone hither and YON across the grid, I'm done.
Hmm, well super tough for me (for a Tuesday) but I'm never going to do well at the name-heavy ones. I also was trying to find the theme in the first and last letters of each answer, although I will agree that "end" can at least as well mean the last part.ReplyDelete
DEADSEA and ALEPPO made for a nice middle East mini-theme.
I liked the clue for UNQUOTE, but wasn't fond of ANDOR.
Took me a little while to understand this theme after I finished. And yeah... tons of theme material here. No wonder he needed those extra rows!
My only complaint is that CRUSTY wasn't clued with a Simpsons reference. :)
Also - nice Frannie-like review!ReplyDelete
Very tough for a Tuesday, and I thought I was off-and-running with TITHE. I like the symmetrical two worders (YESYOU, BUTWHY) and the symmetrical place names (XANADU/ALEPPO). Really, this was much more interesting than a normal Tuesday, despite some of the items mentioned by Colum, and the fact that CRUSTY, as Horace says, could have been clued differently. I needed all crosses for ANN, LASSE, YOST, HALAS and SUNDEW, but none, of course, for LENNY, KALEL, IRENE, TITUS (I guess I needed the "T" from TITHE for that particular one) or ELLIOT.