Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and a happy day off for those who don’t! We are having a somewhat reduced celebration here in Albany, as for the first time in years, my two brothers and their respective immediate families are elsewhere. But the spirit is still present, and I am grateful for everybody’s health and happiness.
And in the spirit of giving, Dr. Bruce Haight has crafted a perfect present for the holiday. Or should I say ho-ho-holiday? Well, no, because the good doctor has nicely only chosen words for his theme with HO pronounced with a long O, so the “ho ho ho” continues to sound correct. Thus, 50A: What Santa said when going down a chimney that had a lit fireplace? (HOHOHOLYSMOKES). That one was my favorite.
Perhaps LANDHOHOHO is slightly less clever than the others, if only because the HO is not hidden in a longer word. But still the overall theme is fun, and with five long theme answers, each at the very least cute, and in the case of a couple, chuckle-worthy, I’m more than satisfied. Definitely worthy of the good doctor’s zany sense of humor that we’ve come to know and love over the years.
Not a ton of clever clues today. I liked 27A: It’s an affront (SLAP) and 68A: What you may call it (NOUN). Not to mention the very silly 9D: Place where one might hear “That’s my cue!” (POOLHALL). Hah! And there were a couple of bonus answers in OLDIE, HEN, and ASH.
Overall, it was a lot of fun.