The Turn continues in fine fashion today with a puzzle from one of my favorite constructors, Robyn Weintraub. When I first saw the grid, I thought it bore some resemblance to many grids by another favorite constructor, Patrick Berry. I seem to remember him often using staggered central entries like this.
So let's start there, in the middle. The entries get better as you move down. "Legal pad alternative" is an almost absurdly straightforward clue for a 1980's era answer, WORDPROCESSOR. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it just feels very strange as a featured entry in an otherwise sparkly grid. Almost as though it's playing the same role as EDER or OTOE. Moving on, we have the more interesting PINSTRIPESUIT (Lightly lined apparel). And then we get to the kicker - "Batting equipment?" (FAKEEYELASHES). That made me laugh out loud.
Other clever clues included "B+ or A-" for BLOODTYPE, "Tree toppers" for ANCESTORS, "What's before after, at the end?" (EVER), and "One who might have a brush with fame?" for ARTIST. Lots of fun on a Friday.
I also enjoyed "Fairy tale patriarch" (PAPABEAR), "Use of a cushion or a backboard" (BANKSHOT), "Dramatic device" (ASIDE) (I first tried "irony" here, but NIKON quickly changed it.), and STARPOWER (Celebrity's influence). And we got a classic "double clue" in perfect sequence as you went through the Downs (25D and 26D) "Pine product" (TAR/CONE).
Sure, you get a little skin unpleasantness with PSORIASIS and ACNE, but you also get a nice little RBG tribute, and you will spend the rest of your day chuckling about the FAKEEYELASHES clue and belting out "At the COPA, COPA Cabana...."
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. See you tomorrow.
As always, Ms. Weintraub comes through with a lovely puzzle. NIKON was a gimme, of course, which definitely helped the NW corner go relatively quickly. 1D: Mark (PATSY) took some time though. Also, crossword experience paid off with ASAHI and EDER, two answers that would definitely have been tougher, say, seven years ago.
This was a slow solve for me, but there weren't really any areas that gave me more trouble than any other. PINSTRIPESUIT is my favorite of the middle three long answers. Don't people usually say "false eyelashes?" I guess FAKEEYELASHES is fine. And yes, WORDPROCESSOR is quite quaint. A fine puzzle, though, and fun start to the weekend for me.