Friday, September 29, 2023

Friday, September 29, 2023, Malaika Handa

After yesterday's SORELOSER post, I am back on a higher note after a SOLID Friday solve. There was much to enjoy and some to puzzle over for this solver. The top left corner had me stumped for a while due to some erroneous answers (like 'myword' and 'areso' at 5 and 6 Down) that made the end of the fun clue, "Illegal product that's still made?" look like it was going to be something with 'rum' in it. I thought the name of the eight-legged horse sounded vaguely Scandinavian, but yet I didn't come up with ODIN right away. And the NBA team originally based in New Jersey was not a slam dunk for this solver. I also had the 'voice' wrong for 16A: I read it as someone telling someone else something was a bad idea, so that was all wrong. I finally figured out that TEA went with both bubble and high, and I had already guessed DOSE ("One pill, perhaps") although I had taken it out a hundred times. With those two to build on, the rest filled in according to PLAN, resulting in a middling Friday time (for this solver) of 24:29. 


C/AP highlights today include:
"Spreads concern?" - I first thought the answer might be OilS - different kind of spread! - but it was ODDS
"Brand of ranch dressing?" (STETSON) - ha!
"Author who wrote 'Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance'" was a gimme for this AUSTEN fan.
"Blunt salespeople" (POTDEALERS) - genius! 
I also enjoyed the very straightforward "Does a better job than at making points" (OUTSCORES) and "Flattering lines" for ODE was nice. 

There was some great long fill here, too, including SUNDAYSCARIES, CODESWITCH (wheelhouse!), and RENTSTRIKE. SCENTEDCANDLE is a nice long entry, too, but if there's one thing I don't take, it's a scented candle. Maybe that's a theme for my debut puzzle: Across answers will be things I like; things I don't like will get a thumbs Down. Stay tuned...


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