Fun solve! Challenging, but not cripplingly so, and with a good FLOE, like everyone likes! Some clues that entertained me include:
Get in the last word? (EDIT)
Novel opinion? (BOOKREVIEW)
Taking a stab at? (BAYONETING)
Sound barrier? (REEF)
and my favorite, Stole from a drag show? (BOA) - LOL.
There were also two clever clues that had me wondering, then cheering:
Small square (NINE)
Field of flowers (BOTANY) - ha!
A comparison of the these two groups might re-open/continue the robust discussion of QMC versus Non-QMC that is the touchstone of this blog. STARES.
I've never heard of a TEAEGG (Chinese snack with marblelike patterns on the outside), but, as I don't take an egg of any description, I'm not too surprised about that. I was surprised by - in a good way- the answer to "Some couples" (MEN). I was also surprised, or perhaps more accurately, duped by Mr. McCarty's clue at 57A: "Best Play and Best Moment". I smugly entered obieAWARDS only to be forced to remove first the b, then the e, then the i, and finally the o and replace them with S then Y then P then E (ESPYAWARDS). Another sport, or at least game reference that escaped me was the answer FIVE for "Orange ball." Horace tells me the five ball in pool is orange. Side topic: is pool a sport?
Also pleasing, for some reason, that DESERT (Much of Chile) and DESSERTCASE (It takes the cake) cross each other.
[Anagram of DADA] TASSEL of other fun fill (TWOTONECAR, CYPRESS, MOTTLE, BUSHLEAGUE) to the above and you get one FLY Saturday puzzle.
I enjoyed this one, too, and that BOTANY clue is going to make me finally update the "Favorite Clues of 2018" page to be just plain "Favorite clues." BUSHLEAGUE makes me think of "bushwa" from a day or two ago. Was that the true origin of the category - "bushwa league?" :)
Really nice, challenging Saturday.
Very nice. That ____GUE ending had me questioning the whole SE corner, but nothing could be changed. Then BUSHLEAGUE came into focus. I did not understand FIVE until reading the blog post. And BTW IMO pool is not a sport, but rather a game.
Very long solve, but excellent puzzle. Not great wording on the CSCALE clue, IMO, but no real complaints. I take an egg, but have never heard of a TEAEGG. I'm KINDA suspicious of many Chinese offerings, but having looked this up, I guess I'd try it, although I don't see the need for it, really. I'd prefer UDONNOODLEs to the TEAEGG. WHATALOSER is nice, as is TWOTONECAR. I'm caught up on my vacation backlog now.