Home Puzzles Bottle of rum go-with / FRI 8-26-22 / Zoom name background impact / Old telecom inits. / A heavy one might need a lighter / Joey who does not put on pants / Fruit-bearing shrub recognized botanically as Prunus spinosa

Bottle of rum go-with / FRI 8-26-22 / Zoom name background impact / Old telecom inits. / A heavy one might need a lighter / Joey who does not put on pants / Fruit-bearing shrub recognized botanically as Prunus spinosa

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Bottle of rum go-with / FRI 8-26-22 / Zoom name background impact / Old telecom inits. / A heavy one might need a lighter / Joey who does not put on pants / Fruit-bearing shrub recognized botanically as Prunus spinosa

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Constructor: Robert Logan

Relative issue: Easy

THEME: EVEN ODDS (64A: A 50/50 likelihood … or an outline of the lengths of this puzzle’s Across and Down solutions respectively) — Acrosses have even variety of letters in them, Downs have odd

Theme solutions:

Word of the Day: Aidy BRYANT (9A: Aidy of “Saturday Night Live”) —

Aidan Mackenzy Bryant (born May 7, 1987) is an American actress and comic. She was a solid member on the late-night selection collection Saturday Night Live (2012–2022), starting in season 38, and leaving on the finish of season 47. For her work on the collection, she has been nominated for 3 Primetime Emmy Awards, together with two nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Her different work features a voice position within the animated collection Danger & Eggs (2017) and a starring position within the sitcom Shrill (2019–2021); for the latter, she additionally served as author and government producer and was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. (wikipedia)

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I bought dangerous, eerie vibe off of this one proper from the beginning. The grid has a bizarre look—boxy and plain, like a generic “crossword grid,” with no solutions over 10 letters lengthy, so it seemed prefer it was gonna have dangerous “stream” and few if any actual marquee solutions. So my intestine was telling me one thing was up, after which I dove in and that intestine feeling solely bought stronger. I completed the NW nook and there was nothing shiny or sparkly about it, nothing that appeared purpose-built—why would you stack 8s in a themeless? What good may come of that? The greatest you are gonna get is “OK.” And the worst you are gonna get is … properly ADP (5D: Big inits in payroll companies). That reply alone was like a large purple alert. It’s a horrible little bit of fill, the sort you’d solely trot out when you wanted it to carry collectively an *superb* nook … and that NW nook is just not superb. I saved going, in fact, and located that the fill wasn’t dangerous a lot as blah. Then I bought a bit nervous a theme was growing when “YOU BETCHA” crossed “YES, INDEEDY.” This fear solely intensified after I hit “OKEY DOKEY” … Am I actually enduring this bone-dry grid simply so I can have a “folksy phrases of settlement” theme? Because that may be dangerous. But then “HARD TO TELL” interrupted the obvious theme sample, and I used to be again to simply an inexplicably bland puzzle. But then, on the finish, explicability. Tragic explicability. A real revealer, one which brings sudden and, on this case, actually horrid illumination. A Bizarro revealer with an upside-down “AHA” (which is “AHA” spelled backward … see, you may’t even inform it is Evil. It appears identical to the Good “AHA”! Scary!). The jolting, abrupt ending to all this Uncanny-Valley Friday nonsense was the revelation that the puzzle did, in actual fact, have a theme. Not “folksy phrases of settlement.” No, that theme truly appears affordable now. No, our theme is a very invisible, no-enjoyment-added letter-count theme. The Acrosses have even letter counts and the Downs have odd. This would’ve been disappointing on a *Wednesday* (which is about the place the issue stage was); on a Friday, it is legal. 

I like themes on Friday (or Saturday) even lower than I like themelesses on Sunday, however a minimum of a themed Friday (or Saturday) has an opportunity with me. The theme simply needs to be stellar. You took away my favourite puzzle of the week from me (the themeless Friday), so OK, change it with one thing higher then. But this … is not higher. It’s so removed from higher that it has left “higher”‘s gravitational pull fully and floated off to turn into mainly house junk. There was some incidental fill that I might’ve favored in a greater conceived puzzle that wasn’t intruding on my Friday themeless pleasure. I truly like “A WORD…” and “YES, YOU!” They’re terse but colourful. Colorful is difficult to do in brief fill. But on a Friday I shouldn’t be telling you that my favourite fill was 5 or 6 letters lengthy. Why make a less-than-mediocre themeless simply so you can also make the EVEN ODDS joke!? Which does not even actually work on a literal stage—as a “description of the lengths of this puzzle’s Across” solutions, EVEN is (adjectivally) appropriate. As a “description of the lengths of this puzzle’s […] Down solutions,” ODDS is non-adjectival, and thus not likely a “description” in any respect. Ill-conceived and intensely ill-slotted on a Friday, this puzzle. Baffling, actually. But individuals will possible be so targeted on their private greatest Friday instances (YES, YOU) that they will not care a lot that the puzzle was, at greatest, a shrug. To which I say, nice. Take your enjoyment the place you will get it!

See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. Happy to see the fantastic Aidy BRYANT within the puzzle, however shocked we did not up seeing her as AIDY first. Seems like a doubtlessly helpful four-letter reply. If y’all needed to make AIDY the subsequent ENYA, I might not be mad.

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