- Update: I learned from Rex's blog that this grid is an extra-big 16x16, so that makes the whole timing issue higgledy-piggledy.
This puzzle by Damon Gulczynski had me questioning a lot of fill. The theme was pretty clever: a series of phrases, each one adding ANOTHER DIMENSION ("what a sci-fi portal might lead to"): THAT'S NOT THE POINT, PICKUP LINE, SNAKES ON A PLANE, and I NEED SPACE. Zero, one, two, and three dimensional, respectively.
Fun! But that fill.
For "no longer mint" I has *AS-IS for a stupidly long time. It is the more prosaic USED, which really threw me off. Similarly, instead of LOG ON, I had *LOG IN. For "Shakespeare, informally" I had *BARD but it's WILL (not the too-formal *BILL).
"Old Renault" is LECAR. Wiki: "It was described as a "French Rabbit" that "is low on style, but high on personality and practicality."
I can't believe the Chaplin on "Game of Thrones" is OONA. I think of OONA Chaplin as someone who was active in the 1950s. But this is his granddaughter. I think I was thinking of his wife Oona O'Neill.
For "narrow inlet" I had *AIT, which as I knew full well is a small island. It's RIA, which I don't know even half-full well.
I eat a lot of sushi, including eel, and am even familiar with unagi, but UNADON is not in my wheelhouse. It looks pretty good though.
For "intro to Chinese?" I had *SINO-. Instead it's the so last-century and rather un-PC term INDO.
I hate the answer PAREE for "'gay' capital." I had *PARIS, which messed me up.
I learned SOU in French class when I was a sophomore in high school thirty-hundred years ago, but I'm surprised to see it in a Tuesday puzzle. Likewise LOESS.
Whew. I hope this blog post CLEARS everything up.