Friday May 27, 2016 — NYTimes Crossword No. 0422
It was one of those days where most of my raw guesses worked out. I started with a mistake, at 6D: YOO (___-hoo), I said “Any.”
I next got 7D: PUN (Many a Weird Al Yankovic title). Then 2D: MARIN (Sausolito’s county), and 11D: SKEIN (Crocheter’s purchase). I missed the tense on 1D: SMITE (Hit, old-style), and said “Smote.” But that was enough to give me 1A: SMARTYPANTS (Too-clever-by-half type), and to correct my opening error at 6D: YOO.
Today’s 1A reminds me of one of Sacramento’s kick-butt 90’s bands, SMARTY, who were one of my favorites. Follow the link for more: http://m.csmonitor.com/1999/1008/p13s1.html
I had more trouble in the South, beginning with 40D: WAIVER (Legal release), I said “Pardon,” and although I soon realized my error, once I resolved 40A: WILES (Trickery), “Waiver” took me quite a bit longer to get, and the wrong letters kept staring me in the face, slowing my efforts in the SE.
I also misanswered it’s neighbor at 49D: LIMP (Definitely not step lively) as “Lazy,” which helped me not a bit. So it took me forever to resolve: 52A: LIVEALITTLE (“Have some fun!”); 56A: EMERCENCIES (What shoulders are often used for); and 58A: SPREADSHEET (It has many cells). This quadrant finally came together for me on the strength of: 38D: SINCERE (Not faking it); and 42D: HOLES (Bad things to find in theories).
I had the most difficulty, though, in the SW, surrounding 37A: ZYDECO (Music style featuring accordions), I said “Tejano,” and this mistake blocked me forever.
Misanswering 29D: BOZO (Doofus) as “Boob” only compounded my problems.
So, with all that difficulty, you might ask me, what on Earth did I find so easy? The following clues, among others, came to me as inspirations, without enough information (in my mind), and normally I would have chosen to wait on such thin evidence, but today decided just to go for it: 44A: PUMA (Moose predator); 44D: PITCH (Singer’s concern); 50D: FINS (Bass parts); 57A: EES (Some MIT degree holders); 51A: AGO (Years ___); 29A: BIRTHDAY (Hallmark occasion); 23D: RODEO (Event with goat tying).
Each of these answers (and others) I had reason to question. And yes, I did make some mistakes today in my aggressive filling of letter-boxes. But overwhelmingly I was rewarded today for my boldness, and thereby completed this Friday crossword puzzle in an admirable 38 minutes.