Happy New Year! I wish you all great things 2022! There's no CLEARSKY out my window right now, but I'm not talking about the weather. "A forecast without clouds" is a state of mind, COPY? I don't want to hear any IHATEITHERE or NOMOREFORME. If you start feeling that way, PAUSE, have a cup of TEA, review your PLANBS, then get back up and march in your own personal PRIDEPARADE, leaving all the SEARATS in your WAKE.
So how about that ZXCVBNM line? (Line just before a comma). Hah! That was a gutsy entry, and it made me smile. And "Like diamonds" is RED? That confused me, but I think the reference is to playing cards. And in other tricky clues, I could think of nothing but the country when reading "Jordan is found on one, notably," but it's Michael Jordan. It's his silhouette that's found on a LOGO. Tricky!
The central entries are all good. I think of SWITCHBACKS as "twists and turns," not as being "full of twists and turns," but DEATHVALLEY (Where scenes on Tatooine were filmed for "Star Wars") was interesting trivia. And fortunately, a new bakery in Harvard Square (Tatte) sells MONKEYBREAD, so I recently learned that it's a thing.
Plowing through this good, tough, Saturday was a nice way to start the new year.