Greetings and good morning, dear Readers! My Saturday is off to a fine start, not least because I have successfully completed today's gridpportunity 12 minutes faster than my average time. Huzzah! Also, TGIF - sort of. No work for Frannie today, which is ULTRA nice, although I confess I did experience a brief SPASM when I read the clue, "What's spread on a spreadsheet" (DATA). Also, Wordle in 3 today! All things considered, I am sticking a feather in my cap and calling it MACARONI.
Generally speaking, I thought today's clues varied a FRERE amount in difficulty, from the super-easy-for-this-solver like "1978 hit whose title is spelled out in its chorus" (YMCA) and "Online seller of specialty crafts" (ETSYSHOP) to the trickier "They can have you going the wrong way" (HEADFAKES), not to mention one from my new Achilles heel category: rapper names - LILMO, this time. But the feature of the puzzle I found slowed me down the most was one I associate with my esteemed co-blogger Colum Amory points out: separate sections that function almost like mini puzzles on their own. I'd work my way through one corner, like the southwest, only to find that a TOLLPLAZA was my one only route to the next. Really not much to MOANA about, but a factor in degree of difficulty.
The bottom left corner was the most difficult for me. It contained today's Waffle Spot®, which came at 47D: "Thing: Sp." I thought of COSA right away, but then I thought, "no, that's Italian ... or is it?" It's trouble when all the Romance languages in my head start to MERGE. Also in that corner, for the "Peter Pan competitor" thinking of bus lines rather than peanut butter (JIF) slowed me down. Also, I had zipIT for "'That's enough out of you!'" even though I heard the correct CANIT from my parents often enough in my youth. :)
Several of the shorter C/APs in the puzzle had the trickiest clues, like "Off the mark?" for ERASE, "Much" for FAR, "Drove" for LED, "Fix" for PIN, and "Right on" for APT - apt! There were a couple of clues that amused but didn't fool me including "Something of miner interest" (ORE) and "Gram alternative" (NANA). One that did surprise me was FANTA for "Orange refreshment." Old school. I enjoyed the shout out to DISCGOLF - fun!
It's the end of my review week, so I'll make my "Departure announcement" and leave you in the more erudite and speedy hands of the doctor. BYE!