Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Wednesday, December 14, 2022, Matthew Stock

Guess they can't all be debuts... Nothing against Mr. Stock, but I was enjoying the opportunity to welcome new constructors.

Fortunately, Mr. Stock has come up with a fun way to crosswordify another classic phrase: this time it's dem LUCKYBREAKS, which have been reinterpreted as things we as humans (I think mostly in the Western Hemisphere) have deemed to be lucky, broken up across multiple clues. The first and the fourth are across three words, while the second and third only across two. 

It's done extremely well, I think. I love NUMB / ERSE / VEN[OM], and had to chuckle at [AB]HOR / SESH / OE[UF]. The craziness of those middle answers being broken into two syllables in both cases is impressive. I also love the clue at 57A: French breakfast item that sounds like a response to a gut punch. Hah!

[RET]RAIN / BOW[LCUT] is good because the hidden segments are surprising in their words. The same is true for the first part of [GRI]SHAM / ROCK[IER], but less so for the second. I'm not sure how it could have been done better though, so over all I have to give the theme a big thumbs up.

I look forward to some baked BRIE at New Year's

The fill is pretty well done as well. Of course there's a fair amount of necessary glue to make the whole thing work, but nothing way out there. I enjoyed PANACEAS and CRONUTS, as well as the reference to "Duck AMUCK," one of the all time great meta cartoons.

For clues, 42D: Left base? (THIRD) is a nice piece of misdirection - we're talking baseball, in case it wasn't clear. 19A: Name in price lists? (ELI) moves towards the cryptic crossword style clue. 

Fun Wednesday, taking me a little bit longer than typical 5:23.

- Colum

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