By: David Phillips
Difficulty (0-10): 5
The northwest corner of the puzzle got me off to a rocky start. 1A – PEACESIGN ✌️ did not come easily to me. For 15A, I was fairly sure that the clue was referring to the Spider automobile. However, I had brain freeze and could not remember the name of the manufacturer. It took a few letters from the down clues to lead me to ALFAROMEO. Alfa Romeo Spiders were last made in 1993 and while they were popular when I was in high school, it’s been a while since I saw or even thought of one. So, cut me a break.
The northeast corner was only slightly less difficult. The key was solving the 10A/10D intersection. For 10D, I went through a slew of three letter names in my head before finally settling on JIM as “an appropriate name for a personal trainer“…embarrassing because that’s a prominent name in my family. I knew from the 20A clue that 10A was a country. How many 5-letter countries start with the letter J? So, JAPAN it was.
I had never heard of HAWKMAN, so for 35A I had entered HAWKEYE instead, To be honest, I had never heard of hawkeye either, except for the character on MAS*H or the University of Iowa sports teams. Turns out that Hawkeye is also a superhero, except that he exists in the Marvel universe as opposed to the D.C. one. That error kept me from completing the southwest corner of the puzzle for a while. 32D – LATE and 38D – NERO helped me to eventually correct that error.
34A gave me fits for a while too. “Unembellished type” led me to think that they were looking for a type of person as opposed to a typeface. I could kick myself for taking so long to figure out SANSSERIF.
Relative to the other sectors, the southeast portion of the puzzle was a breeze. EARDOCTOR, SPEEEDREAD, AND PETSOUNDS, came easily. Making it easier to get MIXTAPE and FERRET (which helped be finally solver SANSSERIF).
The Thing I Learned
Finally, this puzzle gave me the opportunity to I learn what a pogonologist is. You’re welcome.