I pulled out 17A Sympathetic response to dissent: IHEARYOU probably because that’s Sam Ezersky’s refrain every time someone sends a reasonable request to include a word in the Spelling Bee. Like DUDETTE, HORCHATA, ALEE, MOLAL, RAABIDFUN.
Does he ever change? No.
No theme for this Saturday puzzle. Why didn’t Ezersky make a theme?! He should have made a theme.
I pulled out 20A Longtime distributor of James Bond movies: MGM because I had initially put in EON, but that wasn’t working. Calah and I have been watching the series from the start and are on Quantum of Solace now. We’ve seen them go through United Artists and MGM and Columbia. Desmond Llewelyn is sorely missed. But Daniel Craig as James Bond has way more chill than Pierce Brosnan did as James bond.
No theme for this Saturday puzzle, but there are some crazy long answers.
1A Number pattern named after a 17th-century French mathematician: PASCALSTRIANGLE. 16A Teddies and such: INTIMATEAPPAREL. 17A Exhausted beyond belief: TOOTIREDTOTHINK. 52A Do some modeling: SETAGOODEXAMPLE. 55A “Life is short. _” (Jacques Torres quip): EATDESSERTFIRST. 56A Captain’s phrase: STEADYASSHEGOES.
I pulled out 32A Line just before a comma: ZXCVBNM because I didn’t understand what the hell this meant. Then I figured it out. As I was typing it. Because it’s the bottom row of the keyboard. So dumb. I feel like it’s so bad that I should like it, but the thing that bothers me with the clue is it’s a comma, not just comma. I don’t know how else I’d phrase it, but I definitely hate it more than I love it.
Also 45A Coin featuring Lady Liberty and a bald eagle: PEACEDOLLAR. But that’s soooooooooooooo many US coins. No big deal or anything, but I’m a life member of the American Numismatic Association (hooray for never getting a renewal notice!), and I worked in rare coins for a bit. Yeah, the Peace Dollar is a pretty coin, but it replaced the Morgan Dollar, which has Liberty on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse. What I’m saying is that Will Shortz is an idiot. What a reminder to have a the beginning of a new year.
I pulled out 31A Kind of exam with an “Auditing and Attestation” section: CPA because it’s now been almost a decade since I passed the CPA exam, and this clue still makes me shudder. I took the audit exam without ever having been on an audit. When I was in the Becker CPA Review class for the Regulation exam, someone in my class who was working as an auditor boasted to me that he got a 75 (the minimum passing score) on the audit exam. To that point, I hadn’t yet been on an audit but got a 90 (where maximum score is 99) on the exam. Passing is passing, so none of that really matters, but I’m glad I don’t have to study it anymore. Also I realize I never got my cup of coffee from Peter Olinto.
I pulled out 14D 17-Across (Moles are found in it: TAQUERIA) offering: QUESADILLA because quesadilla is frequently cooked in the Raab household. It’s just so good. Also the use of mole to mean the food is a fun thing to do in Codenames. When I get to do this, I am happy.
I pulled out 24A Brilliant display: BLAZE because I had GLAZE in there for a long time, and that made me think that 24D The world’s most-visited city (20+ million travelers annually): BANGKOK was GANGNAM, which I knew couldn’t make sense. Like, it might as well be Itaewon, amirite? I don’t like BLAZE as an answer for that clue.
No theme, but there were some long answers.
16A Operative: UNCERCOVERAGENT. 53A “You can come out now”: THECOASTISCLEAR. Calah and I were in Orange County on a mini-moon, and the coast was pretty clear! We did a ton of walking, so that’s a good thing.
I pulled out 12D Fountain fare: MALTS because Calah and I got an ice cream maker for our wedding, and although we haven’t yet used it, malts will be something we will be able to create once we do. I men malteds are way better than regular mikshakes. The malty flavor elevates milkshakes to a level far beyond.
I don’t think there was a theme to this Saturday puzzle.
I pulled out 43D 2019 Super Bowl loser, for short: LARAM because it’s not easy to win a championship, but it is easy to get on the field of SoFi Stadium for a holiday party if you’re going to a holiday party on that field. Pics to follow, perhaps.
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.