Today, Carl Worth has us take a good look at our keyboards by uniting four phrases that start with the names of computer keys: SHIFT GEARS, "ENTER SANDMAN," CONTROL FREAK, and ESCAPE ROOM. The hint is "Florida island" KEY WEST, as in, the name of the KEY is in the WEST (left) part of the clue. What a clever type of theme! Ha, type.
The first answer to this puzzle is AJAR, clued prosaically today as "slightly open." The same word appeared just yesterday with the far more esoteric clue "'when it's ______' (answer to an old riddle)." Seems like these should have been reversed.
You might POKE a turtle that's withdrawn into its shell? What the hell?
For "rod's mate" I put *CONE because I was thinking of eyes, possibly because of yesterday's eye-related theme. This one is REEL.
Did you know AZALEAS are relatives of rhododendrons? Me neither. Also, they're poisonous.
I know Frank ZAPPA, but I don't know "Watermelon in Easter Hay." The full title is "Playing a Guitar Solo With This Band is Like Trying To Grow a Watermelon in Easter Hay;" it's the penultimate song on the 1979 concept album Joe's Garage. I'm astounded to read that:
"In their review of the album, Down Beat magazine criticized the song, but subsequent reviewers have championed the song as Zappa's masterpiece, calling it the 'crowning achievement of the album' and 'one of the most gorgeous pieces of music ever produced'... After Zappa died, "Watermelon in Easter Hay' became known as one of his signature songs, and his son, Dweezil Zappa, later referred to it as "the best solo Zappa ever played.'"I guess I'm out of touch!
"Product of Yale or Medeco" is LOCK; Medeco is a maker of locks and "security solutions."
For "trendy snack food ____ chips" I put *KALE but it's TARO.
"Capital of the world's largest island country" is JAKARTA. Apparently Australia is not considered an island country, despite being an island and a country, and Indonesia is considered an island country, despite being a country spread out over several islands (it shares Borneo with Malaysia, and only part of it is on Java). I call foul!
ORONO is a town in Maine, home to the University of Maine.
This was a fun puzzle! I was ABEL to get through it mighty quickly.