Teen Week continues with the Wednesday, September 10 puzzle by Lucas Gaviotis Whitestone (answers.) The notepad says he's an 18-year-old student at Carnegie Mellon and his debut puzzle uses circles to explore the "inner" meaning of his four theme answers.
Today's surprise debut answer word is COWBELL. "It may be heard in a herd." "Menaces to hobbits" is a colorful clue for ORCS. IVOR Novello wrote Keep the Home Fires Burning. It was a big hit in 1915.
I'm not sure "standard degrees for scientists" works for CENTIGRADE SCALE. Surely scientists would far more often use the modern Celsius rather than the long-deprecated Centigrade. Perhaps "standard degrees for junior high science teachers approaching retirement" was too long.
"Come to PAPA" is such a common phrase. I wonder whence it arose.
This puzzle reminds me of a very memorable crossword from Tuesday April 25, 2006 by Kevan Choset. Try it here and you'll see why. I’m serious. Try it.
Since the political season is heating up, I think it's time to bring in a legendary foreign actor to explain what America is all about. Lights, Camera, Emote!