The grid today kind of reminded me of a hamburger. Anybody else see that? The top and bottom buns are made up of stacked 12-, 13-, and 14-letter answers, and the middle is a mess of lettuce, pickle, and ... well, ok, it's not a perfect analogy. Anyway, when I see long Across answers like that, I generally try to poke a few virtual toothpicks down into them to soften them up a bit. Today that was easy enough, with CUTEST (Something absolutely adorable, with "the"), LUG (Galoot) (Luckily, I got support for this before reaching 21A's "Galoot" (APE), or else I would have second-guessed LUG), SHROOM (Slangy psychedelic), and HIE (Make tracks, quaintly) all going right in. Thus softened, CALLTHESHOTS (Be in charge ... as a doctor?) became obvious.
Some good clues today:
I'm not so sure about "Word before or after strong" (ARM). Sure, in "strong ARM" it's a word, but it's just a part of a name in ARMstrong, isn't it? No one says, "Boy, that guy is really arm strong." "Man's name that's also a suffix" (IAN) seems a little more accurate.
There were some Saturday-level places (BUSHEY, SARANAC, EASTON), and a touch of URSI and MER, but there were plenty of high-value entries and the cluing was strong. Thumbs up. How'd you like it?
I enjoyed it, and it moved along fairly smoothly. I didn't like the ARM thing for the same reason that you mention, Horace, but other than that I thought the clues were mostly excellent. One thing that is new to me is CORNISHPASTY, which I will probably never try since it contains something called "beef skirt," an item not on my approved food list. I've never seen any of the "Saw" movies, but wrote SAWV right in after looking at the EVE cross. STYRENE sounds like something we should get rid of. 28:26ReplyDelete