Today's offering is Mr. Yoon's second puzzle in the NYT, and I think it bodes well for his future in this area. His debut was three months ago, with a grid that looked very similar to this one, with the 6 black squares sets of steps on each side to create the cascading long answers. We liked the first effort quite a lot, but I think this one is better!
Let's start at the very beginning (a very good place to start). 1A: Move to a later date, say (TIMETRAVEL) is such a great clue and answer. I dropped in "reschedule" and immediately took it out when I saw 10D had to be LES. It still took me some time to finish the rest of that corner. I also love 5D: Fabled beneficiary of a nap (TORTOISE). I thought briefly of Rip Van Winkle, only nobody would feel he was better off for his prolonged snooze.
In the middle, I liked FAIRSFAIR, a lovely bit of colloquialism. I smiled at 23D: One of a pair of interrogators (BADCOP). The whole SW corner is marvelous, with PLACEBOS, FROGPRINCE, and CARRELS, which made me think of where I first met Frannie, and through her, Horace. What a lovely way life has of creating opportunities for like-minded people to get to know one another.
|The last TSAR, also Queen Elizabeth's 4th cousin once removed|
Donna TARTT was a gimme for me, although I never read "The Secret History." I did read "The Goldfinch" and did not love it as much as many other people seem to have. Nor have I seen the movie. 13D: They're on the tip of your tongue (TASTEBUDS) was straightforward because I had many of the crosses in place already.
And let's give a nod and a smile to 55A: One who passes the bar? (TEETOTALER). That's fine cluing.
This is a very smooth grid and solve, and I enjoyed it immensely. What more can you ask for on a Saturday morning?
Enjoy the next two weeks of my infinitely superior co-bloggers, and I'll see you in December!