I wasn't going to post today, partly because I'm lazy and partly because I wanted to leave my William Shortz exposé at the top of the blog a little longer. There's no reason why that man who, up until my post twenty-four hours ago we all revered, should be given a free ride any longer. I knew I had to write a new post, though, when I saw the name of one of my favorite constructors pop up. And yes, the Friday pangram by Peter A. Collins (answers) is splendid!
Mr. Collins (mini-bio) is a mathematician and that's one reason I like him. My undergraduate degree is in Physics so his success convinces me without any other evidence whatsoever that someone like me might be able to successfully construct a puzzle one day. When I saw "Simplest, in math and logic" I knew he would clue that absolutely accurately. It would have nothing to do with prime factoring (just math) or modus ponens (logic only.) It had to apply to both. Well, to a first order approximation they're both... Wait a sec... That's it! FIRST ORDER.
Crossword creators get paid (not well, but they're simple souls so it's enough) to screw with your brain. "Hit the big time" was clued without a question mark and I was feeling quite smug that I knew it must be MAKE IT. It wasn't. The verb hit can be present or past tense. I held onto that K way too long before MADE IT made it into my consciousness. "Choice for intercontinental travel" has got to be, what, First Class? Nope. Intercontinental is the key word. It's the choice of conveyance: OCEAN LINER.
"When doubled, what a rat does" is, of course, NAMES. What a great clue. From south Louisiana comes the "zydeco instrument" that I only got through cross clues. When SQUEEZE BOX finally dissolved into view it made me smile. So many clues made me grin that I won't list them all but "Sealing fans?" is POLAR BEARS? That shows a very twisted sense of humor. I love it. Even better was the final Across clue. "Doll that was once a going thing." What else? BETSY WETSY.
I've already given away more answers than I would like but I could go on and on. That's a good sign. Bravo.