Monday, September 11, 2023

Monday, September 11, 2023, Hoang-Kim Vu

Good morning everybody, on a Monday that is the anniversary of a dark day in American history. I can't believe it's been 22 years since that morning. Maya Angelou's poem that is the theme of today's puzzle reminds us of how terribly short this nation has fallen in upholding the ideals that inspired its founding. But we can continue to aspire and strive.

STILLIRISE is beautifully illustrated in several ways. The most salient is the diagonal southwest to northeast line of circled Is, but the other way is as kind of anthropomorphized self-descriptor for 17A (BREADDOUGH), 28D (BALLOONIST), and 57A (UPANDCOMER), three objects that definitely rise. 

Also, did you notice that the grid is devoid of the letter I outside of the circled ones (and the two in the revealer answer)? That makes for an extremely tight theme. Color me impressed!

LOU Rawls

The grid starts with the classic Dad humor NACHO cheese. There's a tiny mini-theme of camera related stuff with SLR and LENSCAP. Mr. ALBERT Einstein, lately portrayed in Oppenheimer to good effect, makes a nice appearance.

18D: Word before tape or after tear (DUCT) is a great example of this kind of clue. I usually find myself stymied by them, because my brain wants so much to make the two words in the clue work together, when it is the exact opposite you need to do. Also, I wanted the noun "tear" to be the verb "tear," which made it impossible to figure out.

Fun Monday grid.

- Colum

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