Since this is morphing into a travel blog (Wait, what... it isn't?) I'll take the cue from 1-Across, SPA, to say that we just visited one in Lucca a few days ago, where we did not get a mud bath, but where we did enjoy massages, hot tub, Turkish steam bath, sauna, and a cool, mint-scented mist. Too much? Perhaps... if I were to pick just two, I'd go with the sauna and massage. Aaaahhhh...
But where was I? Oh, right... I love this theme. The pattern of the theme entries - some Across and some Down, like I like - is pleasing, and the idea itself is very well executed. It played a tiny bit more slowly than Mondays usually do, because I don't know how to spell PENTATHLON, nor am I very familiar with GORDONJUMP (*Arthur Carlson portrayer on "WKRP in Cincinnati") or CHICKENRUN (*2000 stop-motion animated comedy hit), but it all came out fine in the end.
Other things that were slightly non-Monday-ish were BENIN (Country between Togo and Nigeria), SHONDA (Producer Rhimes who created "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal"), HUTU (Member of the largest Rwandan ethnic group), ASCOT (Noted British racecourse), and maybe even HIHAT (Component of a drum kit).
Loved the clue for ORIGAMI (A folder is needed for this), and the colloquial NOCANDO ("Sorry, pal"), LIT (Extremely fun, as a party), and UPTOP ("Give me five!") keep it fresh.
A good start to the week.
A challenging Monday! And an outstanding puzzle, as expected from Ms. Burnikel. I too loved the clue for ORIGAMI.
I'm with Colum: tough Monday, or at least more difficult than normal. GORDONJUMP is well-known to me, but that didn't help too much with my overall time, obvie. I knew ADULTSWIM and RAMIS, too up there. The NE definitely wasn't the slowdown. I really can't point to any one area; each one just filled more slowly than normal. Those rafts look familiar. Shout out to RACK and TENS.
My time was no slower than usual, but I will grumble a bit about SHONDA and RAMIS/GORDONJUMP. Even if I did manage to guess the missing letter in both. Of course I always grumble about all the celebrities I don't know (which are numerous), so don't mind me.ReplyDelete
Agreed on ORIGAMI and I also liked HIHAT.