It’s been a while… let’s see if I remember how to do this. Spoilers ahead for TABLE SPOONERISMS. You can subscribe here.
Constructor: Andrew J. Ries
- COLD GHOST – 17A: Specter with an aloof attitude?
- LYON KNIGHT – 11D: Caballero from a city on the Rhone?
- HOPPER KEDS – 29D: Brand of shoes for a kangaroo?
- LYNN TIZZY – 63A: Fit of nerves experienced by singer Loretta?
I don’t quite understand the title, because there’s no obvious link between the base phrases — GOLD COAST, NEON LIGHT, COPPERHEADS and TIN LIZZIE. Maybe there’s a meta layer I’m missing…? (EDIT: D’oh! Thanks to Evan for pointing out that all four themers begin with elements from the periodic table.)
I’m not a fan of puns, but I do like Spoonerisms, and it’s been a while since I’ve done a puzzle involving them. These are a good assortment. I’d say COLD GHOST is my favourite, although that’s probably because I needed most of the crosses to remember LYON, KEDS and Loretta LYNN. Geography, American brand names and country music are three of my weakest areas.
This is a fairly slangy puzzle, with YO, DUDE! (4D: “Hey, man!”), SURE, SURE (38D: Facetious agreement) and I DON’T PLAY (35D: “No B.S.”). I like that last one a lot, although I wish it were clued more interestingly. Never heard of the TOPP’S NOW series of baseball cards, but since I know the base brand it’s perfectly inferable.
On the negative side, METH MOUTH (8D: Dental issue for some addicts) is really nasty, and frankly I’d probably have left it out. Aside from that, we have some crosswordese in OLEO, AME and TPKE (ugh), along with a few other smatterings here and there… probably more than there should be in a 78-worder with short themers, to be honest. I’d object to ON HER (44A: “___ Majesty’s Secret Service”) as a partial, but I really like the movie, so it gets a pass from me.
I can live with TRIB (33D: Chi-Town daily) but WAPO (53D: D.C. paper, casually) is a bit much, especially next to O-LAN (54D: “The Good Earth” heroine). Am I the only one who had never heard of this 1931 novel? Apparently it won a Pulitzer. Those two crossing ALEUT (61A: Alaskan native) gave me a little trouble… otherwise, pretty smooth solve.
Liked the clues for PADRE (65A: Giant foe?) and ROGET (45D: He may offer hints for tips?). Not sure about the clue for WIFE (32D: Name-changer, often), as I feel like most of the women I know who are getting married these days keep their surnames. Definitely don’t like the crossing of EX OUT (19A: Cross off) with TAX ASSET. A neutral 8-letter entry and a bad answer are a steep price to pay for an X… the J in FAJITA crossing EJECT is worked in much more smoothly.
Overall, this is a decent puzzle with a few rough spots in the fill (especially METH MOUTH).