What’s this, you ask? Someone, anyone has looked away long enough from Pokémon Go to do something? Unbelievable in this MODERN DAY (11D: Characteristic of the present) and age. Coming to you live from an 86th street Pokéstop, it’s the Wednesday crossword!
SWEETIE PIE (30D: Honeybunch)? More like Caterpie.
Solving time: 31:53, average for a Wednesday.
Theme: Phrases that contain acronyms! So MAMMA MIA (52A: Example of bad parenting?) wasn’t referring to the ABBA-scored movie about the girl who doesn’t know who her father is, it’s “Mamma MIA.” Likewise, we have answers like COMMON ERA (17A: Stat shared by many pitchers?), LETER RIP (26A: “Leave that lady’s tomb alone!”?), DISAPPEARING ACT (40A: Exam that’s losing popularity in high schools?), and PICK ME UPS (66A: Cry from an eager applicant for a delivery job?).
“Ooh ooh ooh PICK ME, UPS!!!”
Head-scratchers: Not because of spelling or clue quality, DISAPPEARING ACT is just factually incorrect- the ACT overtook the SAT sometime ago in popularity (See here), and while many colleges are considering becoming test-optional, the ACT doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere for now. Moral of the story, recent high school graduates know a little more than Will Shortz about the college process.
I get that the two anagrams of “D E A N S” were supposed to be clever- SEDAN and ANDES, in 19A and 37A, respectively, but the clues felt like relics from a past iteration of this puzzle, and, in my opinion, didn’t even deserve the question mark denoting its pun status (Order for a “D, E, A, N, S” list?)
NOEL (6D: Rhyme for “Israel,” in a carol) is more of a slant rhyme than an actual one, but maybe I just need to brush up on my caroling knowledge. Finally, I’m not sure what the clue for ATILT (54D: With lance in hand) was supposed to mean, but this is what I pictured:
Clue of the day: STU (39D: Good name for a guy who’s seething?) I was also thinking “Ira” for this. Runners-up include ASICS (53D: SHoe brand that sounds like a letter and a number) and the foreboding OH NO (14A: Words of dawning realization).
No Latin of the day, to which I say Bye Bye Bye, Felicia.
NSYNC (71A: “Bye Bye Bye” boy band) gives us an antonym for SAY HI (44A: Be a greeter)
P.S. If you were wondering about the title of this post, think about today’s theme. Tofu bar… or to FUBAR 🙂