solve it here! the “it” in the previous sentence is chris king’s latest puzzle, “themeless thirteen.”
hi y’all. it is currently 12:23 am on leap day as i am writing this. i’m about to solve chris’s puzzle and then show you the grid and say some stuff about it. ok hold on
well, i’m back. that was a mixed bag.
i plunked in MR. BLUE SKY immediately at 1-across, but then found myself floundering for a bit in that northwest corner of the grid. i knew [Bump on a log] was either KNOT or… that other KN word that i can never remember. i was holding out hope for KNOT, but KNOT it was not.
bounced around for a bit and then got MOMS, which gave me the rest of that corner. then i went NE into SE before finishing up with the SW corner and the middle. KANYE WEST, clued as one of his recent tweets, was also a gimme.
i didn’t get mr. happy pencil at first for a couple reasons: one, i had EMIR instead of AMIR and couldn’t think of what E?BURY park there was in NJ; two, i had the apparently made-up word DAMED as the answer to [Like some elderly BAFTA Award winners], which probably should have just been [Some elderly BAFTA Award winners], since the real answer was DAMES.
there’s so much (pop) culture in this puzzle! most of it i knew, though i needed several crossing answers to fill in BULL DURHAM and JON LOVITZ. enjoyed seeing the aforementioned mr. WEST and FULLER HOUSE, as both are pretty hot right now. LAS MENINAS was completely new to me. here it is:
also enjoyed seeing I’M ALL OVER IT, ROLE MODEL, BAUHAUS, and FREE RANGE. not as pleasant were plural RNAS, plural-and-foreign ARTES, and i’m-sure-he-was-a-cool-guy-but-i’m-not-up-on-my-danish-designers ARNE jacobsen.
in the clue department, liked [Event where king cake is king] for MARDI GRAS, [Turkish delight, especially if you found it on the street] for LIRA, and [Only single-word Magic 8 Ball response] for YES. (YES is one of the hardest words for me to clue – see also: ONE – so i appreciated this fresh take.)
overall: a pretty smooth and fun challenge. a few too many KNARs for me to feel super enthused about it, but not so many that i’ll be asking for a refund.
thanks to mr. king for the puzzle! chriswords is one of the publications i look forward to the most every week. oh, and his “x-word files” interview series is my favorite thing – you can check out the latest installment here.
it is now 1:03 am on leap day and i am going to go sleep, i hope. be good.