Seven themers in a 15x15 puzzle? My goodness, what will they come up with next?
I very much enjoyed this theme. Take a standard word that can be split into a two-letter state abbreviation followed by another word, and clue it as if that was the way it was always meant to be. I was momentarily confused by the first such example at 17A: Psychedelic stuff from the Evergreen State? (WASHROOMS) just because the first four letters also start the full state's name. But that's some funny stuff right there. "WA shrooms!"
My other favorites were 51A: Highway divider in the Centennial State? (COMEDIAN) and 64A: Pasta from the Golden State? (CANOODLES). I would have rated NEWAGER higher because of the way the reinterpretation of the phrase "new ager" forces a reparsing, except I don't really like the base phrase to begin with.
|I did some of this before solving today's puzzle|
But seriously, folks, can we simply get rid of ACER? Or at least as defined by tennis? It's simply not a word that anybody ever uses. There still is the Taiwanese tech giant Acer, even though in general I'm against brand names polluting our good fun. I can see how useful it is in constructing, but gah.