Today's grid is filled with rounds of delicious cheeses evenly distributed within longer words like FREETRADE (FETA), DEADCALM (EDAM), BURLIVES (BRIE), and BILGEPUMP (BLEU), making a real CHEESE SPREAD. My favorite is bilgepump, a spot some might think apt for a moldy old dairy product like blue cheese. Apt!
What, dear readers, do my solve time and Limburger have in common? They both stink. Last week, I almost broke the 5 minute mark, whereas today, in my attempt to speed through the puzzle, erroneous synonyms or close matches regularly BEFELL me. I entered EATat instead of EATON (Use as a dinner table), beCALMed instead of DEADCALM, and 'value' instead of MERIT, to name just three examples, which made it more of a SLOG than it might have been. That is not to say that I didn't enjoy the puzzle, just that it took me longer than it should have. SOBE it.
I loved all three of these conversational clues today:
"Well, obviously" (NODUH)
"Oh, puh-leeze!" (SPAREME)
"Start working" (GETBUSY)
I liked that the longer answers in the north east and south west symmetrical spots were kind of opposites: STOODASIDE and EMBARKEDON. Also, looking over the puzzle for the review, I notice that we have both WED and AWED. What a difference an A makes. :) I thought it was nice that HEX crossed CRONE, but are we allowed to say crone these days?
We don't normally admire a partial, but who can argue with "Slangy ending for 'any'" (HOO)? And the tired old AARP is revitalized with its excellent clue "Grp. making after-work plans?" - ha!