Thursday, June 2, 2022

Thursday, June 2, 2022, Michael Lieberman

An unusual and trixy theme today: for the theme answers to be understood correctly, one needs to add either 1 Across or 1 Down - and by that they mean the words "across" or "down" rather than the puzzle entries in those locations (BACK and BEST). It is the lack of the hyphen (1 Across, not 1-Across) that tips one off - or, at least, tipped this solver off when puzzling over how to fit UPSIDE[DOWN]CAKE into a 10-square span ("With 1 Down, dessert sometimes made with pineapple.") I enjoyed the symmetry of two "across" theme answers and two "down" answers, all of which were good entries. 

While my solve was not exactly a KNOCK[DOWN]DRAGOUT fight, I definitely struggled with it (solve time: 21:36) even though some of the clues were right in my wheelhouse, like "Dostoyevsky novel, with 'The'" (IDIOT) and "Three-time Emmy winner Cicely" (TYSON). I blame it on getting my second booster shot yesterday. I woke up feeling like a truck hit me - ICANTEVEN. Anyhoo, my neurons may not have been firing on all cylinders, but still I enjoyed the tussle with crafty  and entertaining C/APs like:
"Saw" (ADAGE) - past tense of 'see' much?
"Farm delivery letters" (CSA) - not RFD. Derp.
"Hero feature, often" (MAYO) - I was duped!
"West of Malibu" (KANYE) - I never think of him.
"Accrue in large amounts, with 'in'" (RAKE) - apt!
"Great place to visit near Michigan?" (LAKEHURON) - ha!
"One behind The Times" (EDITOR) - cute.
"Ursa minor?" (CUB) - LOL! 

Interior view of the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France

Although the solve was slow, I didn't have too many false starts. I did, at first, enter 'finnS' for "Some Nordics" because "the other two" didn't fit. I forgot about the DANES. THATSONME. I wasn't super keen on "Made a bank getaway?" (SWAM), which I thought was a bit of a stretch, but I did like "Stretch for the stars?" (LIMO). 

Funny to have RAIL and RIAL right near each other. Also of note, according to the fabulous XWord Info, Billie EILISH makes her NYTX debut today. Horace and I first became aware of Eilish when we were in Utrecht and walked by a line of young humans that seemed to go on forever, all waiting to get tickets to one of her shows, maybe even more people than HANDS[ACROSS]AMERICA. YIKES


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