Thursday, September 21, 2023
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Constructor: Anne Marie Crinnion and Eric Bornstein

Relative problem: Very Easy

THEME: DROP DOWN MENU (46A: Options on the high of a pc window … as seen 3 times on this puzzle?) — three acquainted solutions “drop down” for his or her final 4 letters, and people letters spell out various kinds of “menu” (FILE, EDIT, VIEW) that stay on the high of your laptop display screen, in your working system or net browser or no matter, see:

Theme solutions:

  • HIGH PROFILE (20A: Attracting a lot publicity)
  • SCHOLARLY REVIEW (27A: Commentary on a scientific article)
  • STORE CREDIT (56A: Alternative to a refund, typically)

Word of the Day: OCELOTS (37A: Cats with the distinctive potential to show their ankle joints round) —

The ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) is a medium-sized noticed wild cat that reaches 40–50 cm (15.7–19.7 in) on the shoulders and weighs between 8 and 15.5 kg (17.6 and 34.2 lb). It was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758. Two subspecies are acknowledged. It is native to the southwestern United StatesMexicoCentral and South America, and to the Caribbeanislands of Trinidad and Margarita. It prefers areas near water sources with dense vegetation cowl and excessive prey availability.

Typically lively throughout twilight and at evening, the ocelot tends to be solitary and territorial. It is environment friendly at climbing, leaping and swimming. It preys on small terrestrial mammals, similar to armadillosopossums, and lagomorphs. Both sexes change into sexually mature at round two years of age and might breed all year long; peak mating season varies geographically. After a gestation interval of two to 3 months the feminine offers start to a litter of 1 to 3 kittens. They stick with their mom for as much as two years, after which they go away to determine their very own house ranges.

The ocelot is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, and is threatened by habitat destructionsearching, and visitors accidents. Populations are reducing in lots of components of its vary. The affiliation of the ocelot with people dates again to the Aztec and Incancivilizations; it has often been stored as a pet. (wikipedia)

• • •

It’s received the structural weirdness of a Thursday, however the problem degree of a Tuesday. That is the principle factor I’ve to say about this puzzle. It felt like “Thursday for rookies.” The fill is fundamental, easy, virtually completely devoid of well-liked tradition or correct nouns of any type—seems like there’s extra animals than individuals on this grid (not essentially a foul factor). There is totally nothing to journey you up, and there is actually nothing in the best way of your discovering the gimmick, both. I imply, your reply runs out of room, and there is actually just one approach for it to go. The unclued Down segments are mainly neon arrows confirming that “The Rest Of Your Across Answers Go Here.” The placement of the revealer is super-weird (place 3 out of 4?). It’s neither on the high, the place an precise DROP DOWN MENU lives, nor on the backside, the place a typical revealer lives. But for the needs of the actual approach this theme was executed, it simply *suits* finest the place it’s. That’s superb. This is a superbly first rate theme concept, however I’d’ve favored it a lot better on a Wednesday. I would like one thing a lot thornier and extra shocking, extra *concerned*, on a Thursday. The hardest a part of the puzzle for me was the SW, the place VETOPOWER dropped in simply, however neither PARK IT nor DRYING wished to drop, and in order that nook took some fussing round with earlier than I might get it going. I feel DART GUN got here to the rescue (67A: Nerf product that is perhaps used to hassle a sibling). So it was the hardest nook, however might solely be credibly known as “robust” if it had been, say, Tuesday. Just no chunk to this one immediately.

My foremost revelations in fixing this had been bizarre and personally idiosyncratic. Like, apparently I am unable to spell CHISEL (18D: Icebreaker?). I wished the phrase, I had the primary few letters, however someway … CHISLE? CHISTLE? Honestly, once I received the -EL I assumed “effectively that is apparent,” however, effectively, nothing else that sounds that approach ends that approach in English, actually, so … it is bizarre. BRISTLE … that is received extra “S” sound in it. Usually that “Z” sound means “Z”s, as in FIZZLE. So CHISEL simply seems to be bizarre to me, man. Also I assumed ERE was a preposition. And it’s. But it is also a conjunction. Schoolhouse Rock didn’t inform me about ERE. The lyrics to “Conjunction Junction” aren’t “And, But, and ERE / Get you fairly far.” I really feel betrayed. Apparently ERE (like “Before”) could be each preposition and conjunction. “Before” is a preposition when it is used to imply “prematurely of a selected time” (e.g. “earlier than breakfast”) or “in entrance of one thing / somebody,” and a conjunction if it means “prematurely of the time when” (e.g. “earlier than they received married) or “rather than.” Prepositions take objects, conjunctions join clauses or phrases. And OCELOTS have freaky toes, apparently.

INES and GREENE might’ve been clued as individuals’s names however … weren’t. The clue on GREENE was so bizarre that I refused to write down in GREENE regardless that it was the one reply that I wished and appeared to make sense. The citation marks round “colourful” within the clue inform you “not an precise coloration, perhaps appears like a coloration?” Famous individuals have the final identify GREENE, however we get bizarre obscure county trivia. I do not get it, however … it is totally different, I’ll give it that. Maybe the concept is that alongside GARR, GREENE wanted to be one thing apart from a selected individual’s identify, for worry of identify overkill. But two just isn’t overkill. They’re not even intersecting, and the crosses are easy. Oh, there’s LON on the opposite aspect of GREENE, did not see him tucked down there. For this puzzle, that is a veritable identify avalanche. OK, counties it’s. Don’t suppose I’ve seen CTO earlier than. Not keen on the insane proliferation of enterprise abbrs. alongside the strains of CEO (CFO, COO, CIO). I’m not even positive how the CTO’s job is totally different from the CIO’s. Also, I ought to stress, I do not actually care (this is the reply if that is someway of curiosity to you). The intersecting CHI and CHI (from CHISEL) straight on high of the intersecting HIGH (from HIGH PROFILE) and HIGH (from THIGH) is … effectively, plenty of repeated and overlapping letter strings. Wow, exact same part, you additionally get OOH on OOH (from POOH). MIC on MIC as effectively! (although neither of these MICs is standalone, so you are not apt to note). Repeated 3 and 4-letter strings are superb once they aren’t close to one another. When they’re on high of one another, that will get noticeable. And when a number of units of repeated letter strings are completely piled on high of one another in a single little part, it is attainable it is best to polish that part just a little extra. Looking ahead to extra of a problem tomorrow. See you then.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. it is a good query (I blew by way of the clue with out correctly studying it)

[23A: N.L. Central team, on scoreboards]

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