Saturday, May 27, 2023

Saturday, May 27, 2023, Samuel Smalley

Another tough themeless for the last day of my week! These grids with wide open middle sections often pose a challenge for this solver. I typically chip away at the corners until enough of the ends of those answers give me a foothold in the middle.

Today, the NW was not such a foothold initially. I broke in to the grid in a meaningful way with the NE where RAS and RACEBIB confirmed each other. The Y of ALLEY was not enough to give me much help, and while I had BIGNONOS in place, leading to DINED and IONS, I was not able to see much across the middle here.

Off to the SE! ROI alert with 38D: Largest country without an official language, for short (THEUSA). In a related direction, 49A: Sarcastic response to a first-world-problem complaint (POORYOU). Hah! I put in PARTYBOSS, which was enough to guess ____PROOF for 30A: Impossible to get into (TAMPERPROOF), but I couldn't see the start of the answer.

CLEA Duvall

Once again I jumped to the SW. SALUT, ETS, and IPOS were all I had for a while. Things were looking bleak. What could it be at 47A: More than one? I had ____PLE. And I couldn't see it. Some mornings are just not your PEAKTIMES. Well, anyway, I managed ARF and then HAHAHA, and that was enough to finally break things open.

42A: Impediment to picking things up (HERNIA) was good. I really wanted something like "dyslexia" and my neurologist brain refused to let it go for a while. Also, 52A: Some credit opportunities (APTESTS) was not the direction I was thinking of (banks and loans). To be fair, many colleges aren't accepting credit from advanced testing any more anyway.

33A: Squee-inducing (TOTESADORBS) is the best answer in the grid, in my opinion. 32A: Bad things to lose track of? (MODELTRAINS) is not a clue that works for me. I understand that they run on tracks, but it hardly seems like a tragedy if a toy jumps off the table by accident.

20D: Steal (SWEETDEAL) is a good example of a tough clue because of the ambiguity of a single English language word. Meanwhile, 19A: Pop corn? (DADJOKES) is so meta.

Horace takes over tomorrow. See you around the blog, folks!

- Colum

1 comment:

  1. SWEET puzzle -- love TOTES ADORBS and so many other entries and clues. DAD JOKES dropped in almost immediately, but I had PEAK HOURS for 'way too long a time. And gee...I was shocked to learn that TOTO earned more money than, say, the Munchkins! (I looked it up to confirm's true!) Altogether enjoyable, as is your review, Colum. Thanks for the week!