Today's puzzle was a struggle for this solver. If I had to guess, I'd say that M. Lim and I don't share many wheelhouses. On the upside, I CLOVE to, and did eventually prevail. To give you an idea of my initial success, here are the answers I was able to enter on my first pass through the puzzle, across and down:
IMAX, TUCCI, CHIT, CASAS, HARDG, AUDI, and UCONN.
Yup. That's it. I picked up and put down the puzzle several times all morning. I really had to TRI and TIMOR, staring at the clues until the correct answer ARIZ to mind. Often, I was rewarded for my efforts by wonderfully clever clue/answer pairs (more on those below), but there were a few that just didn't line up for me:
HOTSYTOTSY for A-O.K. I'm not sure where the overlap in the Venn diagram of meanings for the clue and answer lies.
Nixes, as a plan (TORPEDOES) - here it's the degree that seems off. Nixes seems more like says no to, while torpedoes seems like a much more aggressive, intentional wrecking.
Polo playing? (TERI), apparently Teri Polo is an actress, which I surmised, but still I thought the clue tried too hard to be clever.
And the two-fer clue at 24A/26A: "Origin of many refugees once in 26-Across, for short." (NAM / GUAM) - the clue was more confusing than illuminating.
|SANDALWOOD, part of the same botanical family as European mistletoe. Timely!|
"Stick in the mud" (MIRE)
"Really fancy" (CRAVE) - this one had me stumped forever, I was stuck on the decorative meaning of fancy. Trixsy!
"Unpublicized date" (TRYST) - ha!
And my favorite clue in the entire puzzle was "He is one" (INERTGAS) - Excellent!
To top it off, we get a reference to an old favorite EMILEZOLA. But can we all agree that its good riddance to "Bygone ad figure" JOECAMEL?