Thursday, September 14, 2023
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Constructor: Chase Dittrich and Jeff Chen

Relative problem: Medium (i.e. common for a Monday)

THEME: “PIECE OF / MY HEART” (38A: With 41-Across, basic love track urged by the ends to 18-, 24-, 50- and 60-Across) — theme solutions are phrases that finish with phrases that may discuss with literal “items” of 1’s “coronary heart”:

Theme solutions:

  • ECHO CHAMBER (18A: Environment that reinforces one’s biases)
  • TRAFFIC ARTERY (24A: Major thoroughfare)
  • IN THE SAME VEIN (50A: “Similarly…”)
  • SAFETY VALVE (60A: Precautionary machine in a pneumatic machine)


Word of the Day: FADE (40D: Haircut frequent within the Marine Corps) —

The “fade” coiffure is a well-liked brief haircut for males—it truly made Google’s “Year in Search” trending knowledge record for 2020—and it is generally additionally known as “navy reg.” It merely implies that your hair tapers from the underside to the highest and it may be as near the pores and skin as you want. // The time period “fade” originated in Black-owned barber outlets and has grow to be the favored time period for an aggressively tight taper in males’s hair. Hair on the sides and again is minimize as shut as doable with clippers and “fades,” or tapers, up into virtually any size on high. (byrdie.com)

• • •

I’ve some questions on this one. Like, why does the revealer not say who sang the track? I assume that is the Janis Joplin track, except there are a number of “basic love songs” with this title, so … why not say so? I do not suppose it makes the clue any simpler. If something, it simply makes issues extra particular and clearer. It’s weird to withhold the identify, is what I’m saying. Also, are these “items” of “coronary heart” actually “heart-y” sufficient? I imply, the chambers have names that everyone knows, so “chamber” appears awfully broad / obscure, and as for “veins” and “arteries,” certain you will discover them within the coronary heart, however you will discover them in each different a part of your physique too, so … ??? I suppose I’ll offer you “chamber” and “valve,” however “vein” and “artery” appear fairly weak, as heart-specific solutions go. And the phrase TRAFFIC ARTERY simply feels clunky and off to me. I see that it’s a time period that exists, however on a technical stage the way more in style time period is “arterial street” (simply google “arterial street” after which “TRAFFIC ARTERY,” in citation marks, and you will see what I imply), and from a standard utilization stand level, we simply discuss with main thoroughfares being “arteries” — it is a metaphor that does not actually need the “site visitors” in entrance of it as a result of context alone goes to provide you adequate data. It’s not like you are going to discuss a street being a “main artery” and somebody’s going to ask “you imply … for the passage of blood?” No, I do not imply that, your query is ridiculous. Found this theme actually conceptually clunky. Arrhythmic, even. 

TRAFFIC ARTERY was the one reply that slowed me down in any respect in the present day, although the VALVE a part of SAFETY VALVE took some crosses as a result of I discovered the “pneumatic machine” a part of the clue distractingly particular. “SAFETY … ???? … oh, it is simply VALVE? Oh, okay.” I used to be greatly surprised a little bit bit by the clue on FADE, primarily as a result of I consider that as a Black haircut, not a navy haircut, however I’ve since realized that the minimize is typically known as “navy reg,” so OK, there you go. Still, the time period “originated in Black-owned barbershops” (see Word of the Day, above), and the “hi-top FADE” specifically was made broadly well-known by hip-hop and R&B songs and cultural icons of my youth (late ’80s, early ’90s). The haircut I affiliate with marines is the CREW minimize. But once more, the clue is correct sufficient. The solely different temporary bother spot was IMOVIE, which I forgot existed, regardless of its being put in by myself rattling laptop, the one I’m writing on proper now (49D: Video enhancing program from Apple). Sigh. Oh, and I had a little bit bother with SPLIT (33A: Skedaddle), largely as a result of I had the -IT and although it was going to be a two-word phrase ending in “IT,” like … I dunno, BEAT IT (too lengthy) or LAM IT (is {that a} factor?) or one thing like that. OK, that is all, see you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]



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