Friday, January 19, 2024

Friday, January 19, 2024, Jacob McDermott

Well, dear Readers, it's Friday. Themes go by the wayside, clues get more difficult, and, perhaps in a few cases, constructors rub their hands together and have a few EVILLAUGHS. :) I have to admit, I was concerned when my first pass through the Across and Down clues left me with very little to show for it (SAYAH, SNL, POSE). But, the second time through, with a OINKS here and a TSKS there, lo and behold, three quarters of the puzzle was completed. But then I HITASNAG in the northwest, and hit it hard. The combination in that corner of two "quoted phrase" type clues - my Kryptonite! - no information about bladderball (?), and a clue involving a world capital spelled trouble for this solver. I chipped away at the short answers, finally guessing NONO for "Leaving a participle dangling in English class, say" and SOAK for "Saturate" which gave me OKOK ("'Yeah, yeah, I get it'"), all of which led to an AHAMOMENT or two and I could finally say LOOKIEHERE, I completed the puzzle!

Of course, we expect and enjoy a challenging puzzle on a Friday, and this one passes the SMELLTEST. There were some nice QMC clues including "Good speller?" (MAGE), the KINDASORTA pair "Break in?" (STAYCATION) and "Breakout group?" (SECT), and, a very difficult one for me, that I didn't get (two ways) until all the letters filled in from the Across answers: "Galactic scale?" (LIBRA). Ha. And speaking of pairs, there was another fun set in "'Ready!'" (IMSET) and "'Not ready!'" (HOLDONASEC).

Other good entries were INHOTWATER, HOMEATLAST, and THEOREMS, but my favorite fill - literally - is TATERTOTS. Mmmm, tater tots...


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