Wednesday, August 17, 2022
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Buff, after which some / SAT 8-13-2022 / Pieces of some pies / How {couples} elope / Leave a small tip / Cameron of Hollywood


Constructor: John Westwig

Relative issue: Easy (13:10, extra of a typical Friday time for me)


THEME: THEME — none

Word of the Day: ZAXBY’S (Southern fast-food chain with “Zalads” and “Zappetizers”) —

Zaxby’s is an American chain of quick informal eating places providing rooster wings, rooster fingers, sandwiches, and salads. The chain operates primarily within the Southern United States and has greater than 900 places. Most Zaxby’s eating places are owned by franchisees, however 123 places are owned by Zaxby firm.[1]

• • •

Hello hi there, it is Rafa right here once more filling in for Rex on one other themeless puzzle — a Saturday this time! As a constructor, solver, and usually somewhat-active member of the Online Crossword Community, I typically wrestle with speaking publicly about puzzles. All my puzzle takes are (clearly) knowledgeable by my very own very particular biases and opinions and experiences which can or might not replicate different folks’s tastes. So I used to be SECRETLY hoping that I might both completely love or completely hate this puzzle, which might make the write-up simpler, however as an alternative it was a journey with valleys and peaks and … plains? Ok, this metaphor did not work. Let’s get into it.

First, some zings. (Yes, I’m adopting Malaika’s “zings” and “dings” verbiage, in an act of cross-guest-blogger solidarity.) I’m all the time a fan of conversational entries in my themeless puzzles, so issues like GIMME A SEC, I’M AFRAID SO, OH GEEZ, and even HMM, I SEE (considerably arbitrary? Maybe! But I nonetheless appreciated it!) have been highlights. I additionally loved WIIMOTE and DECAF TEA, however most likely my favourite entry was APTONYM. I dropped it in with none crosses, which made me really feel cool and sensible (95% of the explanation I resolve crosswords) — it is all the time enjoyable to insta-get a lesser-known time period in a puzzle.
I imagine it is a “Zalad”

The brief stuff was principally tremendous strong (perhaps EXT is a ding). The center was a bit proper-heavy — JIM, JOON, DIAZ, IOLANI, SOMA, PAIGE, EREBUS however all principally (we’ll get into my bother spot quickly) crossed pretty, I assumed. My controversial crossword take of the day is that I fairly benefit from the title wordplay clues that do not reference a selected particular person! (e.g. the clue [Good name for a librarian?] for PAIGE.) Many level out that they like referencing precise folks, particularly for predominantly-female names since girls are already underrepresented in puzzles. I perceive/respect (and even agree with?) this, however I nonetheless like these clues!

I’ll or might not have by accident flung this throughout the room many instances again within the day

The solely actual bother for me was that I had AVERAGE joe as an alternative of AVERAGE GUY (a barely extra in-the-language expression, I daresay?) and that triggered a *lot* of bother as a result of OH jEEZ works simply in addition to OH GEEZ (it is my most well-liked spelling, I daresay?) and I used to be hopeless on the volcano and the Yiddish. So spent a strong couple of minutes considering of each attainable which means of “pit” (there are numerous!) till I used to be capable of get myself out of that mess.

Iolani Palace appears fairly

In normal the clues have been enjoyable and tough, with a lot of wordplay. Maybe even an excessive amount of wordplay? Some of it felt a bit tortured ([Where spring might be just around the corner?] for SPA and [What runs about a meter?] for TAXICAB, e.g.) however there have been additionally some bangers ([Leaves totally drained of energy?] for DECAF TEA and [Buff, and then some] for MEGAFAN). The clue for ANTI-UNION, [Like those who refuse to be organized], felt a bit off to me, too. I really feel prefer it’s normally the bosses that retaliate towards the employees for organizing, not the employees themselves who’re towards it! …. did capitalism write this clue?

Last ding-ish remark is that a number of the lengthy and mid-length stuff felt like they may have been a bit of extra enjoyable! Things like SECRETLY and MEATHEADS (it is a little bit of a downer for a protracted slot, perhaps?), I LOVE LA (perhaps individuals who have been alive in 1983 loved this, however I used to be -12 years outdated in 1983), AGAINST, ARIDITY, ACTED ON, and so on. All effective entries, however I might have cherished a tad extra zing!

Bullets:

  • AP GERMAN [H.S. class with ein Lehrer] — This could be very particular to me, however I’m not a fan of AP___ kind entries. A preferred wordlist that many constructors use to make puzzles lists these entries with the best attainable rating, so I really feel like they’re overrepresented in puzzles.
  • EL CHEAPO [Stingy sort] — I’ve by no means heard or seen this expression exterior of crosswords — I ponder if it is a regional or generational factor, or if I’ve simply been residing underneath a rock.
  • PATTY [Ground round] — I used to be gonna say I used to be a bit iffy on a PATTY being a “spherical” however Google lists “a round piece of a selected substance” as a definition for “spherical” so … what do I do know?
  • PBS [“Antiques Roadshow” airer] — I really do not suppose I’ve ever been capable of plop one among these 3-letter networks in instantly
  • SOMA [“Brave New World” drug] — SoMa can be a neighborhood in San Francisco, the place I reside.

Signed, Rafa

[Follow Rafa on Twitter]



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