Good morning, Puzzlers. Many of you might be here reading this while you wait for the action to start back up at the A.C.P.T. Colum, Frannie, and I are all "attending" this year, and so far it's been a pretty fun substitute. The breakout rooms did not work well at all for us last night (we got booted from Stella Zawitowski's room several times and eventually gave up), but we had fun in the global chat. I very much hope (and fully expect) that next year we will be back in Stamford.
But right now, let's focus on the Sunday NYTX. It's theme was given away by the note explaining that shaded squares were merged vertically in the print version. What this meant is that on a computer you had to write letters in twice, and once the puzzle was complete, the software would stretch them out into long, tall letters for you.
And why were they stretched? Because they are all abbreviations for muscles, and who couldn't use more muscle-stretching? No one, that's who. So let's call it a fine theme.
I thought the long ABSOFREAKINGLUTELY ("Oh, hell yes!") was fun and surprising, and I had never heard the term THIRSTTRAP (Racy selfie posted for likes on social media, in modern lingo), so that was good to learn.
I enjoyed the QMCs "Were running mates?" (ELOPED), "Nice round number?" (PAR), and "Pen pa? (BOAR), and other fine C/AP included "It's 50/50" (ONE) (excellent) and "Do a waving motion by the ocean, say" (HULA).
There were good Classical references - TROY (Ancient home to Priam's Treasure) and ARGO (Vessel protected by Hera), interesting trivia - COEDS (New students at Princeton or Yale in 1969) and POBOY (Sandwich supposedly named after low-income New Orleans workers), and classic tricks that still get me - "One of three characters in 'M*A*S*H'" (ASTERISK). When will I learn?!
Overall, I give it a hearty thumbs up. Now, back to the waiting. I'll see you all at 11:00am! :)