Finish up your Thanksgiving leftovers and read about the appropriately-themed “GOBBLE GAIT” below. You can subscribe here.
Theme: TOM Turkey does a TURKEY TROT through the theme answers.
- 17A: TOMB RAIDER – Franchise featuring archaeologist Lara Croft
- 23A: CUSTOM ORDER – Purchase with special requests
- 32A: SOCK IT TO ME – “Laugh-In” line
- 44A: ROMA TOMATO – Many an ingredient in a Prego jar
- 53A: GLASS BOTTOM – Feature of some high-end watercraft
- 61A: TURKEY TROT – Dance appropriate for Thanksgiving… and a description of this puzzle’s circled squares
Straightforward theme, with the usual solid execution. Thanksgiving themes are somewhat lost on me, since last Thursday was just… y’know, Thursday here in Canada. But I’m sure I would feel differently if I were American. I liked most of the theme answers, though CUSTOM ORDER and ROMA TOMATO are a little bland.
I finished with an error, as you can see. Three years of Spanish in junior high and a year of Italian in university have left me with no fluency in either language, but a complete inability to remember that AZULE isn’t a word in English. And pitcher ELVIN Santana seemed as likely as ERVIN. Oh well — I don’t think the cross is unfair.
A couple pieces of long fill — TIME SUCKS (3D: YouTube and clickbait sites, notably) and the new-to-me SMART DRUG (37D: Tablet with educational benefit, say). Also enjoyed MALE GAZE (57A: Perspective analyzed in feminist film theory) — you might say I saw it good! (I’ll see myself out.)
Best clues were 44D: “We’re not ___” (teenager’s phrase upon parental embarrassment for RELATED (I’d have gotten smacked if I’d tried that as a teen) and 50D: 2015 Oxford Dictonaries Word of the Year, for one for EMOJI (and oh dear, I just noticed the typo in that clue).
Took me a while to parse 30A: Bloated one’s issue — I could see the answer was GAS, but I was picturing an inflated child (“issue”). That and my unfamiliarity with BEANO (15A: 30-Across remedy) made that pair play hard for me. And I still don’t understand DID (59A: Executed, front and back). Oh I get it, it’s a palindrome. Okay, cute.
Other than those spots, I spotted the theme fast and filled in all the themers quickly, so the puzzle played pretty easier than I expected. Those theme answers are packed tight, incidentally, which makes the clean fill more of a triumph than usual.