Apologies for the late blog post today, folks. It was a great Sunday, finishing off the ACPT with a down to the wire final between Tyler Hinman and Dan Feyer, with Tyler winning by under 30 seconds. A great final puzzle had us all astounded by the cleverness of the clues.
I really had a great time meeting up with folks, and meeting new folks, as outlined in our special report from yesterday. Philbo, it was a real pleasure to hang out with you all weekend, and compare notes on the puzzles. I may have beaten you by a tiny amount, but you destroyed puzzle 5!
Meanwhile, today's puzzle is a fine Sunday, where each theme answer fits the pattern of S____ of T____, thus "soft" as in the title. I love SEAOFTRANQUILITY and STARSOFTOMORROW the best. SHROUDOFTURIN running down the middle also crosses the first ever seen entry JESUSLIKE.
The puzzle is nicely chunky with large areas of white. The way Mr. Walden has parceled out the theme answers (eight of them) by having three go downwards allows for more play in the fill.
Some answers I liked coming across included NEOSOUL, RADARTRAP (better here than in real life, am I right?), and GEYSERED.
But of course my favorite answer of all today came at 22A. I just don't quite understand why Mr. Walden didn't clue it with "Author of the classic joke: What part of Canada is warm in the winter? Nunavut!" Created by Ms. CECE Amory at age 12 or so.
There aren't a ton of clever clues today, probably because the challenge was filling in all those white areas. I enjoyed 69A: It's probably over your head (ROOF), and 52D: Many people find it intolerable (LACTOSE). Hah!
I will look past answers like ARRS (tough to do it, but I promise I will!), and enjoy this start to the week.