I pulled out 64A Nothing to write home about: SOSO because it’s a bad answer for this puzzle. 28D “That seems likely”: IIMAGINESO means that SO and SO don’t just appear twice as answers but intersect. So? Well, SOSOSO. But it gets worse! 16D So: ERGO. These aren’t theme answers. They’re sloppy. How sloppy? SOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSO sloppy.
There were long answers, but there was no theme. That’s SO Friday. Thanks, Will Shortz!
1A Peak climbed in the 2018 Oscar-winning documentary “Free Solo”: ELCAPITAN. 14A Catholic university outside Philadelphia: VILLANOVA. Now I know where Nova is! 17A Cheating sort: ADULTERER. 20A Cozy seating for outdoor reading: PORCHSWING. 31A Last straw on “Family Feud”: THIRDSTRIKE. 42A Southern cocktail made with crème de menthe, crème de cacao and cream: GRASSHOPPER. Also someone who buys French fats? 52A Result of multiple paper cuts?: FINALDRAFT. What must this puzzle have been before? 60A Translation of some loud yawns: INEEDANAP. 63A Not last: COMEANDGO. 65A “Wait, just listen”: HEARMEOUT. 9D Unit for several detectives on “The Wire”: NARCOTICS. I had tried MAJORCRIMES. Didn’t fit. HOMICIDE? Too short. VICE? PROPERTY? MARINEUNIT? EVIDENCE? 12D It’s found around a crime scene: POLICETAPE. I had EVIDENCE? CLUES? FINGERPRINTS? 33D Response to unfair criticism: THATSRICH. Initially I had put THATS(T/R)ASH because I thought it might be one of those puzzles. Nope! Just a SOSOSOSOSO one.
I pulled out 2D Kind of treatment: ROYAL because that was holding me up from getting this pule done many minutes faster. For a long time, I’d had LOCAL in there instead. It made sense, I guess. LOCAL anesthetic, LOCAL bus, LOCAL dessert. But it was ROYAL instead. That let me knock out 17A Revelation: EYEOPENER and 4D Solid: STOUT.
No theme today, which is kind of a shame after some decent ones recently.
44A Spot of coffee?: BREAKROOM was a meh answer. I get the pun, but I don’t particularly like it.
I learned a little bit about geography with 41A Tasmania’s capital: HOBART.
64A Attraction at a water park: LAZYRIVER. I think the slides are far superior to the lazy river. I wouldn’t go to a water park to seek out the lazy river. But maybe I’m spoiled living walking distance from the ocean.
I pulled out 56A Whiz: MAVEN because maven comes from the Hebrew word מבין (meh-VEEN) which means understand. So a maven is someone who understands.
The theme of this puzzle is Friday, I guess.
There’s nothing specifically long, so here’s some other stuff that stood out:
14A Band featured in Disney World’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster: AEROSMITH.
17A Last of the Ptolemys: CLEOPATRA. I didn’t realize that she was part of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt. Good for her!
54A She’s the responsible one in the group, colloquially: MOMFRIEND. I hadn’t heard of this title before. It makes sense, I guess. But also sounds kinda rude?
33D Make an unwanted appearance in a video call: ZOOMBOMB. I pieced this one together because it couldn’t be photobomb. I don’t want to do zoom anymore ever. Please mask up and get vaccinated and then continue to mask up.
23D Holiday hearth feature: YULELOG. Probably my favorite show on December 24. The 2020 Yule Log was way higher def than I remember it being in years past.
This one required plenty of guessing. Sometimes I was right. Sometimes I was wrong. Ultimately, I was right, and that means I get to keep the streak going.
I pulled out 39D Israeli P.M. between Rabin and Netanyahu: PERES. I had been under the long impression that Shimon Peres was only ever president, but I guess he was PM, too!
No theme but long answers:
17A Olympics haul of fame?: GOLDMEDALS. 25A Skill for a good physician: BEDSIDEMANNER. 40A Accept things as they are: GOWITHTHEFLOW. 52A Crawl: SNAILSPACE. 27D “Keep on keepin’ on!”: DONTGIVEUP. 6D People-powered vehicles: PADDLEBOATS. 24D On menus, it’s often by the lobster: MARKETPRICE. 11D Choice made while thinking “ugh”: LESSEREVIL.
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.
When I looked at the grid of this puzzle, I thought I’d never finish it. I showed it to Calah, and she just laughed and laughed. Well, I showed her! I finished the thing. And it’s only 10pm now. This pushes me to a 12-day streak.
I pulled out 41D Trump is named in it: EUCHRE because I was racking my brain to figure out what Donald Trump wasn’t named in. But then I realized it was a card game. You know, rather than a house of cards. AMIRITE?!
I think the theme of this puzzle is long.
1A Bill Bryson book subtitled “Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail”: AWALKINTHEWOODS. 16A Give a scolding: CALLONTHECARPET. I had never heard about calling someone on the carpet before. 17A Show whose logo replaces an “o” with a diamond ring: THEBACHELORETTE. The Bachelor didn’t fit. Bachelor in Paradise didn’t fit. Ninety Day Fiancé did fit, but it was wrong. Calah recommended The Bachelorette both to watch and to put in as an answer. 32A High-risk game: RUSSIANROULETTE. I realize that if you call anything Russian, it makes it sounds super sinister. 51A Products of Under Armour and Nike: ATHLETICAPPAREL. I’d been convinced the answer ended in PANTS. But it was never pants. 55A “Could you give more detail?”: CARETOELABORATE. One of those seems like it would get an answer. The other seems like it could yield a right hook. I’m not going to say which is which, but definitely the passive-aggressive on is care to elaborate. 57A Certain summer attire: SLEEVELESSDRESS.
Finished this one in 56:13. Super slow for me for a Friday.
Five days in a row? Can you even imagine? Well, you do not have to! Also NBD, but this post makes the overall posting streak run to 248 days.
I pulled out 35D Studio with “Chicago” and “Chocolat”: MIRAMAX only because I remember a while ago when people were angry at the LA Times for putting Woody Allen into their crossword puzzle. Then again, I think it may have been a puzzle about or praising Woody Allen. Still, Harvey Weinstein isn’t necessarily the darling of Hollywood. I don’t put it past Will Shortz to encourage putting unfavorables into the NYTXW because he’s a real meanie.
The theme of this puzzle is I don’t really know. Maybe there is no theme.
But there were some long answers.
14A Nirvana, e.g.: INNERPEACE. 17A Computer file arrangement: DATAFORMAT. 30A “Rabbits” in a race: PACESETTERS. 34A Sobriquet for international hip-hop star Pitbull: MRWORLDWIDE. 35A Scorsese film added to the National Film Registry in 1997: MEANSTREETS. 52A They may have lots of steps: STAIRWELLS. 55A News headlines: TOPSTORIES.
None too bad for a Friday puzzle. The timer went on kinda long because I got up from the computer partway through and didn’t realize the timer was still going. Not that it matters, of course. I mean the WSJ Friday puzzle didn’t work on the website at all, so I had to print that one out to do it. You’ll see that post on Sunday because I also figured out the meta puzzle answer super fast.
I pulled out 41A Game that can be played on bicycles or elephants: POLO because it’s crazy to think about all the different types of unusual polo. Harvey Mudd notoriously has a unicycle hockey, which is kinda like polo.
The theme of this puzzle seems to be GET TRUMP OUTTA THERE.
29A Eclipsed everyone else: STOLETHESHOW. Trump has talked about having a rally at the same time as Biden’s inauguration. What a crazy guy. 32A One getting fired up for competition?: STARTERPISTOL. This one is kind of on the nose. 48A Complete loss of self-identity: EGODEATH. Reports are that Trump is all mopey after the second impeachment. I would be, too, but also I wouldn’t have done all those harrible harrible things like you wouldn’t believe. 51A Where one might hear a call for action: MOVIESET. If only Trump had stuck to that instead of using his office as bully pulpit to bring the worst out of people. 52A Metaphorical incentive: CARROT. Completely ineffective against Trump. 12D Honcho: LEADER + 33D Captured, in a way: ONCAMERA. Trump is a leader on camera, but he’s garbage in reality. 36D: Employs as a backup plan, with “to”: RESORTS. Reports are that Jared and Ivanka aren’t allowed to join the country club near their new $30M Indian Creek Island home. Whoops! 37D Blanked on: FORGOT. Person, man, woman, camera, TV.
7D Topic in property law, colloquially: SQUATTERSRIGHTS. That’s what these past few months have been about. Now scram!
Ben Carson is trending this morning as the only member of the cabinet left. This may reflect more on me than on him or the reverse, but I didn’t know he was still in government. Why is he still there? Isn’t he a doctor? It can’t possibly the government pay.
I pulled out 1D Home to the so-called “Silicon Docks,” a European equivalent to Silicon Valley: DUBLIN for two reasons. One is that I learned that Silicon Docks is a thing. Mainly, though, it’s that using quotation marks is not necessary after using so-called. Good job, Will Shortz for editing properly.
The theme of this puzzle is hard? But not too hard.
14A Simply not done: UNHEARDOF. You know, like storming the Capitol. 17A Welcome abroad: BIENVENUE. It’s like welcome aboard but abroad so it’s in another language. I get it. 37A “See, someone understands what I’m saying!”: THISGUYGETSIT.
61A Token reprimand: WRISTSLAP. Like being censured or impeached without conviction. 64A Resolve: DETERMINE. Resolve/determine he’s gotta go.