It's so much fun when the Celeb Constructor series puts out a theme related to that celeb! Today, Harry Smith, a journalist, gives us a kooky news team, anchored by an [Anchor man?] — POPEYE THE SAILOR. (Think about that tattoo he sports.)
It took me half a minute to grok how a MARINE BIOLOGIST was a [Sound technician?]. I'll give you a little time to think about it … *
ALLEN GINSBERG is pretty good [Beat reporter?] — he's of the Beat Generation. As to being a reporter, though … hmm. But one definition of "report" is "to give a spoken or written account of something that one has observed." Contrary to my first impression, that describes GINSBERG surprisingly well.
And the best for last, the [Executive producer?]. WHARTON is one of the most famous b-schools, i.e., a place that produces execs! Great way to cap it off.
C.C. is such a PRO. Look how expertly she uses mirror symmetry to her advantage today. It's such a great option when your themers are unpairable but all odd-numbered in length. She spaces the four themers to the max, giving room to breathe, and uses her black squares to separate them wisely.
The only tiny section that needed some crossword glue was the south, not a surprise considering it has to work with two themers. A bit of SYN and ANO … but look at what bonuses she and Harry were able to work in. HAT TIPS and OH HENRY are delightful. A hat tip to both of you for fitting those in with such minor prices to pay!
A lot of construction is iterating little sections over and over until the balance is right. This grid came out so smooth, while even incorporating some bonuses in ROAD CLOSED, IM NOT READY. Not a ton of extras, but with HAT TIPS and OH HENRY, it was enough to keep me happy.
So smooth and engaging a solve. If all the themers had been as spot-on and funny as WHARTON, it would have been the POW! for me.
(*Think about Puget Sound. As in, the place I live. D'oh!)