Mmmmmm... A lovely Thursday bit of cleverness. This is exactly the sort of thing we love here at Horace and Frances (featuring me).
At first I tried a rebus, using [ead], because I found both MANSPRE[AD] and UNDE[AD]. But then I had difficulty when I got to the NE corner and couldn't figure out how to fit a rebus at the crossing of SAL[AD] and LEERAT. Then it hit me: the [AD] was hidden inside the black squares.
And thus the revealer, ADBLOCK. Very nice. I'm particularly impressed by the dual bit of trickery at [AD]OPTARO[AD]. Well done, Mr. Thackray!
The theme is chock full of up-to-date contemporary chunkiness. C.f. MANSPRE[AD], [AD]ULTING, and [AD]ORKABLE. This clearly shows the concept of a constructor ATONESPEAK.
With a puzzle this nice, I think LESSISMORE. My only quibble is that IDA is not a standard abbreviation for Idaho, but other than that, ADIEU.
I fwoed on SLAy, which I thought a plausible synonym for Roast. And I'm still shocked by KASEM. Who knew!?
[AD]OPTARO[AD] is really nice. But who's ever heard of TSTOPS? My initial fSTOPS made ADULTING hard to see! Also had ADIos briefly, and we generally call them "nerd ropes" so NERDSROPE took much longer than it should have...
But those are my own problems. Overall, I really enjoyed this.
MANSPRE[AD], [AD]ULTING, and [AD]ORKABLE are contemporary without diving too deep into obscure knowledge ([AD]ORKABLE was new to me, but still gettable from the clue and some crosses, as opposed to, say, a name which could easily be KASEM or KASEy or probably a bunch of other things unless you'd heard of the dude or, well, we won't talk too much about information appliances that might be close at hand when solving especially towards the end of the week).ReplyDelete
My first themer was SAL[oh my gosh there should be an AD but where does it go?] and I wasn't easily seeing a rebus or geometry or other way out so I let it slide until I got to the revealer. Which I initially had as [ad]blocker but that caused a whole bunch of problems which did not LETUP until I was able to [AD]DRESS them with ADBLOCK. I too got a kick out of the dual theminess in [AD]OPTARO[AD].
All in all, a TASTY puzzle.