I pulled out 14D Amounts from a distillery, maybe: BARRELFULS because I’ve seen whisky by the barrelful when I went to Islay back in 2019. And since then I’ve been interested in the limited edition Laphroiag Cairdeas batches that I hadn’t known existed. I’m excited that I finally was able to order a bottle of the 2021 Cairdeas PX. I can’t wait to try it.
No theme in this one, but it was one of those triple stackers or whatever that had the full width answers in the middle.
I pulled out 53A Jose _ (tequila brand): CUERVO because I was taught in college that good tequila is 100% agave, and Cuervo just says that it’s made with agave, but there’s no disclosure as to how much agave. And if it were 100%, I imagine they wouldn’t hide that.
This puzzle’s theme was probably sponsored by:
18A Doesn’t have fortitude: LACKSHEART. 23A Home of the University of Kentucky: LEXINGTON. 36A Finishes eating ice cream or soup, say: LICKSTHESPOON. 51A Rescuer for when you’ve lost your key: LOCKSMITH. 56A Tiny neighbor of France: LUXEMBOURG.
I pulled out 49A Operation that yields the remainder from dividing two numbers, in math lingo: MOD because it’s not just math lingo but programming lingo. An early, early thing they teach in Python is modulo (mod), and the symbol for it, %. So 7 % 2 (seven mod two) is 1 because its 3 remainder 1, and all we care about is the remainder.
There was no theme for this puzzle.
20A Specs for a modiste: DRESSSIZES. A fashionable milliner or dressmaker. 32A “Wow, that’s wild!”: WHATATRIP. 47A Most times: ORDINARILY.
Friday puzzles used to be so scary! And clues with answers that span the entire grid contributed to that. Now with a streak of 26 days, it’s random Tuesdays that are the real monsters. And sometimes Thursdays. And Sundays.
I pulled out 13A Northernmost land in the Inner Hebrides: ISLEOFSKYE because I got that answer immediately, and I’m proud of that. Now for a story from almost exactly two years ago. I was sitting in the bar area of the Laphroaig distillery on Islay, and there was a random other American there who was on a trip. He told me that he and his wife were going to go to the Isle of Skye next. I said, “Oh! Are you going to go to Talisker?” He asked if he should. I said yeah but that he should ask the bartender for his opinion. So he then told the bartender that he was going to the Isle of Skye. The bartender’s response: “Oh! Are you going to Talisker?” He concluded that he should. I hope he did and had a good time.
And on the topic of things in the UK, 52A Like some headphones: NOISECANCELLING? NOISECANCELING, sure, but NOISECANCELLING? Wrong side of the pond, Will Shortz.
Other clues also had full-grid answers.
17A Cut-and-paste tool for language learners: GOOGLETRANSLATE. 26A What a fitness coach likely leads: ACTIVELIFESTYLE. 41A In-N-Out Burger’s “Animal Style” burgers and fries, e.g.: SECRETMENUITEMS. I had tried ONTHESECRETMENU, which worked with 39D Mostaccioli relative: PENNE and 10D. Ultimately, I corrected it. 10D Out of the ordinary: REALLYSOMETHING. 3D Well overdue: ALONGTIMECOMING.
Argh! I excitedly hit the thing too early, and the finish screen went away! But I finished a Saturday, and it said I’m on a one-day streak, despite it actually being a six-day streak. See, it’s 10pm here in LA, so it’s tomorrow already in New York. For streak purposes, it’s still Saturday in LA, so tomorrow should show a seven-day streak if I solve the Sunday puzzle. I got a more generic image, but at least it shows that it’s a six-day streak.
I pulled out 32A Fragrant rice: BASMATI because it’s pretty much the only rice I buy. Do I sometimes want short grain rice? Maybe. Do I find Basmati rice to be fragrant? Not really. Do I wash Basmati rice three times like it says to? Oh absolutely not. I just know it’s fragrant rice because it says so on the bag.
I was really hoping for a theme in this one, but it doesn’t have one. I had thought that 6A Stick around on July 4?: SPARKLER would be FCRACKER or something fun like that so I’d know that letters were missing. IRE is a word. But no such luck.
Finished this one in 37:43. That’s actually my only Saturday score. I used to do the Saturday crossword with friends Tuesday nights. We just started doing board games in person again after more than a year online for covid safety, but we haven’t done the Saturday crossword together in a while. When we do it together it takes like six minutes. Alone is slower.