Is this the fastest Tuesday ever for me for a Wall Street Journal crossword puzzle? I don’t know because there are no stats, and I haven’t kept track because they’re pretty much meaningless, but this was a quick one for me.
I pulled out 31D Chain with a Funny Face combo for kids: IHOP because it reminds me of when I proposed to Calah on March 16 of last year, which was the day before the first California COVID shutdown. The ring I got had to be sized because that’s how that works, and the place where we got the ring sized is near an IHOP. We dropped off the ring on March 17, we went for a short walk before picking it up like half an hour later. IHOP advertises that it is open 24 hours a day, but we knew it would be closed. I had never seen a closed IHOP. Did they even have a Sorry! We’re closed! sign? Unlikely, right?
The sign on the locked door read:
TO OUR GUESTS,
IHOP IS TAKING EXTRA PRECAUTIONARY
MEASURES AND THEREFORE WILL ONLY BE
TAKING TO-GO ORDRES AT THIS TIME
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
WE ARE DEEPLY SORRY FOR THE
INCONVENIENCE AND WILL BE READY TO
SERVE YOU AS SOON AS WE CAN
WE WILL BE TAKING WALKUP TO-GOS
AND ALSO VISIT US ON IHOP.COM,
GRUBHUB, DOORDASH, UBER EATS AND
POSTMATES. THANK YOU.
The title of this puzzle is All The Right Angles.
18A Site whose mission is “to help bring creative projects to life”: KICKSTARTER. Not a bad mission.
24A Place to buy staples that isn’t Staples: OFFICEMAX. I think this is a dumb clue. Staples are important parts of things, right? Like how pizza was a staple of my diet before COVID. (My wallet and figure are thankful that I’m cooking food at home instead of getting takeout, but my mouth is sad whenever I see people eating pizza on TV, which is always.) For them to call out Staples specifically is a little on the nose when it comes to the OFFICEMAX answer. Side note: There’s an Office Depot not far away from me that from time to time has no ICE illuminated. So the sign reads “Off De pot,” which can be welcome words in a 1br/1ba.
39A Stereotypically nerdy accessory: POCKETPROTECTOR. Nobody needs one of these in the COVID era. Pens in easy reach wherever you want them to be. T-shirts in the summer. Hoodies in the winter.
51A Utterly: STONECOLD. Could this have been a Steve Austin clue instead? Yes. Was it? Only the biggest missed opportunity.
62A Landmark in the Southwest, and collective description of the beginnings of 18-, 24-, 39- and 51-Across: FOURCORNERS.
CORNER KICK, CORNER OFFICE, CORNER POCKET, CORNERSTONE.
Completed in possibly my personal best for a WSJ Tuesday of 7:08.