This has been a whirlwind weekend. We hopped down to NYC to celebrate my mother's 80th birthday with the family. We went to a lovely upscale French restaurant, called La Grenouille. It is also known because Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote parts of Le Petit Prince there.
Anyway, I solved the puzzle on my way home while Hope was driving. It's a straightforward concept: add an extra syllable made up of your everyday homely schwa sound into a standard phrase, in order to make a new phrase, which is then clued in a wacky fashion. I enjoyed SENATOROFGRAVITY, which is an absurd nickname. None of the others really tickled my funny bone, however. KINGJAMESBUYABLE is very clever, and I liked RIOTINGONTHEWALL for its topicality and for the transformation of "writing" into the final form.
TURNTHECORONER should have worked better for me, but the joke was already used in The Addams Family musical. "Death is just around the coroner... get it? Coroner?" So... yeah.
OKAYOKAY, it's not in any way a CLUMSY theme, so I really HAVANA cause for complaint.
|Apparently it's a real thing|
20A: Instrument whose name sounds like a rebuke of Obama's dog (OBOE). Wow, what a complicated way to come up with a new clue for an longtime friend.
65A: Flower said to cover the plains of Hades (ASPHODEL). Lovely clue and answer.
17D: Workers who are always retiring? (PITCREW) - excellent.
45D: What "..." may represent (TYPING). So unexpected, and those who don't use smart phones may not understand.
I am actively against 94A: Harmonized (INUNISON). That's the opposite of harmonizing.
Overall it was fine.