A Monday that was more of a challenge than usual, which I think, is Mr. Quigley's special gift. On this day when Santa hitches up his sleigh to travel the world, today's theme entries have the word RIDE bridging each two-word answer, or as the revealer would have it, HITCHINGARIDE. Apt! The theme is beautifully packaged with the hitch going from a 3/1 hookup in HYBRIDENGINES to a 2/2 combo in KALAHARIDESERT and then to a 1/3 connector in GENDERIDENTITY. Ride on, Mr. Quigley!
I had one hot spot, when ERST I laid eyes upon it, where the Kalahari desert crosses Mahershala ALI. What should have been an EASYA gave me a little pause as I am not familiar with Ms/r. Ali.
Other treats included:
"Shovel's creation" (HOLE) - unexpected and funny.
"Words to a josher" (OHYOU) - cute.
"One twixt 12 and 20 (TEEN) - literally.
"Taboo alternative to beef" (HORSEMEAT) - interesting.
"Asthmatic noises" (WHEEZES) - for this under-the-weather solver, too soon.
Although there was only a WEE bit of holiday theme today, 'twas nice to see a nod to Clement C. MOORE on this night before Christmas. And now, having submitted our DESIRES to Santa, we STIBY and wonder what his ETA is. For once, we can relax because batteries *are* included, well, one anyway (AAA).
Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it, and to all a good NITE.