Another stair-step stack in the middle today, and I like all four of them:
NOPRESSURE (Request softener)
SECRETCODE (A spy might send a message in one) (too easy)
DEGREEMILL (Unaccredited university, say) (Like Dr. Nick’s “Upstairs University” in The Simpsons)
SIERRACLUB (Green giant)
|I picked up one of these on our recent trip!|
The NW and SE corners, too, are filled with strong staggered Down answers like BONANZA (Treasure trove), NATTER (Flap one’s gums), and the full TORIAMOS (Singer with the 1992 double-platinum album “Little Earthquakes”). And a big shout out to Boston’s EMERSON!
The North was the toughest for me and Frannie today. I tried “egoPROJECT” and she tried “diyPROJECT” for PETPROJECT (Usually nonremunerative undertaking). Frankly, I like hers best of all. (Having done it myself for many years, I first thought of “Self-employment.”) ILENE (“The L Word” creator Chaiken) was an unknown, and WIDTHS (Halves of some measurements) took every cross, and then a few minutes to realize that they meant half of a LxW measurement. Sheesh!
Other missteps for me included erOs for AMOR, ICEaxeS for ICESAWS, eArn for RAZE (Bring down), and COMicS for COMMAS (Characters in “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World). Again they get me with a self-referential clue!