Friday, December 1, 2023

Friday, December 1 2023, Jem Burch

Hello and happy Friday everyone!  Just finished today's delightfully gristly crossword, with a chunky well-connected grid featuring corners loaded with long answers and a nice triple-stack in the centre.  Not having a theme to dissect, I'll do my usual scattershot analysis.  Got off to the absolute rockiest start, confidently entering TOME at the very beginning for "Hardly a quick read" (nope: it's SAGA).  This temporarily sabotaged the NW corner, of course, including one of my favourites today -"One hoping to catch a break" (SURFER).  

In that same corner, I give a considered thumbs-up to ROCKCLIMB as a verb for 'scrambling or bouldering'.   Moving to the very middle, my physics-brain is amused by the use of QUANTUMLEAP as a "massive step forward, so to speak", as of course the quantum world is the domain of the very very tiny.  Right below that, "They're inclined to help beginners" (BUNNYSLOPES) was cute.  SLOTCANYONS ("Narrow landforms in Zion National Park") was new to me.  Very evocative phrase!

Random notes ... I'd never heard of COE College in Iowa.  The COE I know is Sebastian, a British middle-distance runner and record holder in the late '70s and '80s....NOMA restaurant in Copenhagen is on my bucket list but it may forever remain there as I hear they're closing their doors next year...Cluing SASHAOBAMA as the "youngest White House resident since JFK Jr." was very inventive...

Overall, this puzzle was very Friday-appropriate.  Definitely not ALLTOOEASY, requiring some SMARTS to complete.  THANKSAHEAP, Mr. Burch - and I mean that sincerely!!


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