For a puzzle all about WOW FACTORs, there wasn’t much exciting going on in this Monday’s. I probably spent the majority of my time making up rhyming sentences with the clues (i.e. “OH GEE, SWEDE SNEE, play REEDS like STEVE ZEE!” Also, it was pretty fun to pretend the W-O-W theme was sarcastic and read all the clues in a Ted voice (see below).
Solving time: 14:52, but only because I misspelled the abbreviation ASSN (5A: One of the a’s in Nascar: Abbr.) Overall, a fairly straightforward solve.
Theme: A lot of W-O-W clues based around WOW FACTOR (36D: Pizazz): WAR OF WORDS (18A: Heated argument), whose clue alternatively could have been “Any Popular Discourse post that mentions politics”; the graceful WALTZ OFF WITH (23A: Take while no one’s looking, say); the awe-inspiring WALKS ON WATER (46A: Exhibits a superhuman ability); and the classic WAY OUT WEST (56A: 1937 Laurel and Hardy romp in the frontier).
Head-scratchers: A little thrown off by the adjective ALGAL (3D: Like some pond growths), mainly because I wanted to pronounce it with a hard ‘g’.
Clue of the day: As a typeface nerd, I cannot count the number of times I’ve had to explain what a SERIF (7D: Feature of a font) is. Thanks, NYT Crossword, for giving me an excuse to make this nifty graphic:
Nota bene: the horizontal line-type things on the serif font.
Runners-up include ASWOON (5D: In a faint) because I love adding an ‘a’ at the beginning of a noun and making it an adjective; REEDS (51D: Clarinets and such) because yay clarinets; and GOAD (29D: Prod) because this is how I remembered it when I learned it as an SAT word:
A goat goaded with a GOAD
Latin of the day: Slim pickings, but I’ll settle with the 32D clue “By Jove!”(I SAY). I feel like this expression should make a comeback.
Stay ON WATCH (9D: Doing sentry duty) for tomorrow!