Good morning to all, this bright November day. I hope you all enjoyed the extra hour of sleep. I did not, because my body is trained apparently to wake up at the same time, and that time is earlier now because of silly daylight savings. We also only had two doorbell rings last night on Halloween, which is frankly more than I expected. We had planned on using a drainpipe to deliver candy to people but when they were all crowded up by the door, it seemed churlish to ask them to stop back. Oh, well.
Anyway, here I am, back again for another week of blogging and forcing you to read my random thoughts. Actually, I recognize I'm hardly forcing anybody to read anything. You can always choose to click away. But you might miss something of brilliance if you do! Just saying.
Today, Mr. Lim gives us a straightforward theme: taking a standard phrase and replacing the W at the beginning of one word with SW, cluing wackily, and hilarity, as they say, ensues. Well, at least chuckling. I didn't get any laugh out loud moments. But I did like SWEPTFORJOY and SWISHLISTS the best. I also appreciated that in three of the answers, the replacing occurred with the last word rather than the first word, which added some unpredictability.
It would have been better if the rest of the puzzle could have avoided SW words. I count three, SWIPE, SWAT, and the eternal and divine SWANLAKE, which I forgive wholeheartedly, because Tchaikovsky. But I recognize that this sort of purity is hardly necessary in a large puzzle like this, and frankly, who am I to complain? It's not like I'm out there creating puzzles for y'all to delight over.
There was plenty to enjoy outside of the theme. I particularly liked PARTHENON, CARLSAGAN, and ISCARIOT. Just for the way it looks in the puzzle. Not for any religious reason, mind you. And EXQUISITE and IRIDESCE are especially lovely. We need more exquisiteness and iridescence in our lives.
I'll also note some fun clues, such as 92A: Up front? (SHORTU) - almost a cryptic crossword style clue there. I also really really liked 21A: Bottom lines? (XAXES). These two joined with TSTRAPS and AONE to make a small set of answers with standalone letters, always challenging.
On the other hand, answers like ORSER (champion in 1987, twenty-three years ago), UMIAK (boy I wanted kayAK), NORITE, and ROWEL were less enjoyable. But let's not get picky. I bet some people found these straightforward, and had more difficulty with other answers I found easy.
Looking forward to the week! Let's hope we all get exactly what we wish for.