A strange slog of a puzzle today. Could be the Tuesday blues. One day closer to the end of the short week. But it feels a lot like Monday night. Hooray for scheduled posts!
I pulled out 49A Cheering loudly: AROAR because this word’s absence from the NYT Spelling Bee word list is the subject of repeated complaints of mine.
It won’t be long till I find this in an NYTXW.
The title of this puzzle is Family Holiday, and when I solved the first themed clue, I figured it was about different members of a family. Turns out that it was about a single member of the family. It’s like what I imagine would happen if Denny Doherty, John Phillips, Peter Yarrow, and Paul Stookey got together to form a quartet.
4A With 13-Across, holiday greeting in Havana: FELIZ + NAVI(DAD). I couldn’t think of a cleaner way to merge this into a single clue. Something to note is that José Feliciano, singer known for that song, is Puerto Rican. This clue made me wonder if he’s Cuban. He’s not. Now I know.
28A Seasonal decoration for (54D Target of seasonal decorations: TREE): (POP)CORNSTRING. I had thought that 13D Racist or sexist, say: NOTPC was NOTOK, so this originally was (POP)KORNSTRING. Unfortunately, the WSJ editorial board seems to limit their classification of racism and sexism to political correctness, so shrug emoji. OK, kiddo?
44A Gift packaging need: WRAPPING(PA)PER. To have just two letters from this seems sloppy.
28D Oblong yellow fruit: [(P)APA]W. Talked about a missed opportunity. It was right there. But this is a fruit that normal people call the papaya. I guess others just give up early.
59A Britain’s equivalent of Santa, and a hint to the circled letters: FATHERCHRISTMAS. This is from a country whose Mother’s Day is called Mothering Sunday and is a religious holiday.
If those four guys had gotten together, they would have been Papa and Papa and Peter and Paul, and maybe they’d just agree to The Papas.
Finished this one in 16:46.