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Fruit used to make slivovitz / TUE 12-20-22 / Banned substances in sports activities for brief / Creed Christian avowal / Stringed instrument that rhymes with one other stringed instrument / Behind-the-arc photographs informally

Constructor: Peter Koetters

Relative issue: Medium-Challenging?? (perhaps a bit on the tougher facet due to the initially difficult theme…)

THEME: “___between the ___” — theme solutions observe this sample, however are represented within the grid “Literally,” i.e. by the spatial association of the phrases, with the primary phrase positioned “between” two singular variations of the final phrase:

Theme solutions:

  • 17A: Gets neglected, actually (CRACK FALLS CRACK) (i.e. “falls between the cracks”)
  • 24A: Gets into mattress, actually (SHEET SLIPS SHEET) (i.e. “slips between the sheets”)
  • 45A: Makes out of the blue conscious of one thing, actually (EYE HITS RIGHT EYE) (i.e. “hits proper between the eyes”)
  • 58A: Finding hidden which means, actually (LINE READING LINE) (i.e. “studying between the traces”)

Word of the Day: slivovitz (51D: Fruit used to make slivovitz => PLUM) —

Slivovitz is a fruit spirit (or fruit brandy) made out of damson plums, also known as plum spirit (or plum brandy). Slivovitz is produced in CentralEastern and Southern Europe, each commercially and privately. Primary producers embrace Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. In the Balkans, slivovitz is taken into account a type of rakia. In Central Europe it’s thought of a type of pálinka (Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine—pálenka, or Greece, Romania and Italy-pălincă), and just like Romanian țuică, equivalent to the distilled spirits class. UNESCO put it in a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists in 2022 on request of the county of geographic origin Serbia. (wikipedia)

• • •

There’s a easy class to the *idea* right here, however the execution of the idea ended up breaking down because the puzzle went alongside (i.e. as you descended the grid). The first two solutions work completely, and work completely collectively—identical third particular person singular verb tense, identical opening clue phrase (“Gets…”). Great. The third themer retains the verb tense however now there are two phrases getting sandwiched “between” the tip phrases as an alternative of 1, and gone is the opening “Gets…” (changed by “Makes…”) however OK, wobbly, however not deadly. And then comes the final one, and I suppose probably the most charitable studying of the final one is that it’s some type of meta-answer, referring to what you, the solver, must do (very metaphorically) as a way to make sense of the theme as an entire … so perhaps it is nearly a type of revealer (????), however what it seems like is only a clunky outlier, with a gift participle (“READING”) the place the third particular person singular verb must be. So the opening clue phrases go: Gets, Gets, Makes … Finding?! I do know folks’s brains all work in a different way, however my mind is questioning how the puzzlemakers do not hear (or care about) the “clunk clunk” there. This puzzle may be very reliant on the theme, as there’s not a lot else of curiosity within the grid, so for me it was a little bit of a miss. A good suggestion not very effectively realized. 

NICENE does not strike me as a really Tuesday phrase (4D: ___ Creed (Christian avowal)). I say this as somebody who knew it, but additionally misspelled it (NICEAN) (!?). I kind of winced as I wrote that one in, as I did once I needed to guess the letter in GO_ARTS (5D: Amusement park racers). And once more once I needed to guess the letter in OLA_ (11D: Father of Norway’s King Harald). Brendan FRASER all the time looks like his identify must be spelled FRASIER (just like the Crane). I’m barely stunned they only left the clue [Actor Brendan] and did not even offer you a film to work off of / take into consideration. He might be going to win an Oscar within the coming months for his efficiency in “The Whale.” He’s undoubtedly going to get nominated. I have never seen it but, however buzz is buzz and there’s a lot of buzz. Whale buzz. FRASER buzz. Yesterday I contemplated the seeming non-difference between CHAR and SEAR, and immediately I’ve an identical query about OVATE v. OVOID (62A: Like the form of an eggplant). They each appear to imply (roughly) “egg-shaped.” I believe we must always ditch one in every of them on account of redundancy. You all can resolve which one goes. 

I name b.s. on SAY AAH as a result of when you open up (!) the “ah” past two letters, you are in free-for-all territory. Why cease at two “A”s? Further, why two “A”s and never two “H”s!? It’s insanity. Maadness I say. Outside the theme, the puzzle wasn’t very HAIRY, aside from HAIRY, which took me a number of goes to get (25D: Difficult to kind out, informally). SCHEMERS was additionally kinda exhausting, as I did not know which type of “plot” I used to be coping with (35D: Plot builders). I loved remembering EDDIE Rabbitt (26D: Country singer/songwriter Rabbitt), as I like a wet night time, however frankly the nights right here in Dunedin have been a bit too wet for my tastes. I imply, it is paradise in any other case, so I am unable to really complain, however yeah, lotta rain since I landed down right here a couple of week in the past. I used to be promised summer time! Or at the least late spring! But the excessive has barely made it above 60 since I’ve been right here, on the hottest. But once more, as I say, my climate consternation pales beside my total awe at how lush, verdant, habitable, and bird-dense this place is. Dunedin is one in every of my favourite locations on earth, and never simply because my spouse and several other cool NZ bands are from right here. You ought to go. See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. NRA is unwelcome regardless of the clue; additionally P.E.D.S stands for “performance-enhancing medication.”

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

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