Friday, September 9, 2022
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Iconic phrase in previous Dick and Jane tales / FRI 9-9-22 / Spanish monarch starting in 2014 / Out of nothing in creation myths / Ironic-sounding plot system in Total Recall / The sacred illness to historical Greeks



Constructor: Brandon Koppy

Relative issue: Easy-Medium, perhaps

THEME: TETRIS (59D: Best-selling online game celebrated on this grid) — the black-square chunks are formed just like the falling blocks in TETRIS; that vertical four-block chunk is (I assume) alleged to be falling straight into the four-block area occupied by the -TRIS in TETRIS. There are a bunch of punny themers right here and there:

Theme solutions:

  • BLOCKBUSTER (7D: Hugely profitable movie … or an apt description of a 59-Down participant) (as a result of “blocks” are “busted” while you full rows in TETRIS)
  • DISAPPEARING ACT (11D: Trick of being all of the sudden nowhere to be discovered … or an apt description of victory for a 59-Down) (as a result of blocks “disappear” while you full rows in TETRIS)
  • DROP ME A LINE (22D: “Don’t be a stranger” … or an apt request from a 59-Down participant?) (as a result of among the “dropping” blocks are formed like strains? No, I believe the thought is {that a} “line” of blocks will get “dropped” from the display screen while you full a row in TETRIS)

Word of the Day: TETRIS (59D) —

Tetris (Russian: Тетрис) is a multimedia franchise originating from a puzzle online game created by Soviet software program engineer Alexey Pajitnov in 1984. Video video games with Tetris’ core mechanics have been revealed by a number of firms for a number of platforms, most prominently throughout a dispute over the appropriation of the rights within the late Eighties. After a big interval of publication by Nintendo, the rights reverted to Pajitnov in 1996, who co-founded the Tetris Company with Henk Rogers to handle licensing. The franchise has since expanded into movie, tv, books, and music singles.

In Tetris, gamers full strains by shifting in a different way formed items (tetrominoes), which descend onto the taking part in area. The accomplished strains disappear and grant the participant factors, and the participant can proceed to fill the vacated areas. The sport ends when the uncleared strains attain the highest of the taking part in area. The longer the participant can delay this end result, the upper their rating can be. In multiplayer video games, gamers should last more than their opponents; in sure variations, gamers can inflict penalties on opponents by finishing a big variety of strains. Some variations add variations on the principles, similar to three-dimensional shows or a system for reserving items.

Built on easy guidelines and requiring intelligence and ability, Tetris established itself as one of many nice early video video games. By December 2011, it had bought 202 million copies – roughly 70 million bodily models and 132 million paid cell sport downloads – making it one of many best-selling online game franchises of all time. The Game Boy model is one of many best-selling video games of all time, with greater than 35 million copies bought. Tetris is on the market on over 65 platforms, setting a Guinness world report for essentially the most ported online game. Tetris is rooted inside fashionable tradition and its reputation extends past the sphere of video video games; imagery from the sport has influenced structure, music and cosplay. The sport has additionally been the topic of assorted analysis research which have analyzed its theoretical complexity and have proven its impact on the human mind following a session, specifically the Tetris impact.

• • •
[DIG DUG]

Oh that is certain to be a crowd-pleaser with a sure crowd. Really want I have been a part of that crowd. I can acknowledge the creativity on this one, for certain, however I by no means performed TETRIS so it does not hit me on that degree, and although I’m very aware of the essential idea of the sport, the visuals felt a bit off, significantly that four-square gap. I see now that the four-square black chunk is “dropping” from above, so it is such as you’ve bought it lined up for profitable “busting” of all of the “blocks” on the underside 4 rows, however see, I’m filling a grid—I’m placing issues into the white squares, in order that space does not strike me as (in the end) empty area. I imply, it is empty, however *I* fill it, so it is exhausting to think about the black-square chunks as falling by area when the grid is accomplished. I assumed the opening on the backside of the grid was one thing that *I* fill (and I do), however it actually saved me from imagining it as an empty area into which *one thing else* is falling. Further, visually, black & white completely does not work for TETRIS. Just have a look at the display screen image above (below “Word of the Day”). Those blocks are co-lor-ful! And the *background* is black. So what sort of “participant” was being referred to within the theme clues, and even the very concept that this was a online game in any respect, was not clear to me. I believed “participant” was referring to an “actor” at first (largely due to the “movie” clue on the primary themer and the phrase ACT within the second). Once I appeared on the revealer and noticed it was a online game that I used to be alleged to be seeing, my honest-to-god first thought, the sport I truly wrote within the six-letter area, was DIG DUG. I imply … I bought a gap there on the backside of the grid, and little dug-out antfarm-like pathways … it made sense to me. But again to TETRIS—I do not see how the -TRIS a part of TETRIS is pretty “crossed.” I imply, “everybody” is aware of TETRIS, I assume, so when you get the “TE-” you ought to be good, however … for the reason that visuals aren’t precisely spot-on, and since in all probability *not* “everyone” is aware of TETRIS, it actually looks as if there ought to’ve been one other approach to get the -TRIS. But you get a visually attention-grabbing grid, full with purposefully asymmetrical grid and a few good longer solutions, so there’s pleasure available right here. I simply … miss my themeless Friday. It’s one of the best day of the week they usually preserve f***ing with it for no good purpose. Run this on Thursday! It’s a valiant try at rendering the online game in xword-grid kind. Didn’t work for me, however I do hope lots of you loved it. I like the ambition, for certain.

No thought about FELIPE—that was in all probability the toughest a part of the grid for me. That and TUA (not listening to American soccer in any respect). They’re each effective names and did not trigger any actual hassle. Oh, ROGUE STATES (good reply) was additionally exhausting as a result of they determined to place this imprecise “?” clue on it (23D: Bad lands?). Evoking South Dakota (the place “The Badlands” are) to clue ROGUE STATES … attention-grabbing. Apt? You resolve. [Picture of health?] is a wierd “?” clue as a result of it implies you are undecided, undecided if it is excellent news or dangerous, and anyway it is too imprecise, in that there isn’t any purpose this precise clue could not be used for XRAY or MRI or actually any imaging of the physique. Not SONOGRAM-specific sufficient, this clue. Enjoyed the clue on SNOG (47A: French, maybe, in England). Thought the puzzle was making an attempt a little bit too exhausting to drive the gaming difficulty with clues on RIG (42A: Computer custom-built for enjoying video games, in slang) and LAP (35D: Unit in Mario Kart video games). Your whole theme is a online game. It’s potential to simply … let or not it’s. Maybe transfer the cluing round to *completely different* locations quite than simply getting extra insular. Just a thought. 

I had HAUL for HEAP (20D: Load). Not precisely certain why, however that is the place the “H” led my mind. No different errors to talk of. See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. yesterday’s theme duplicated the theme of a puzzle the NYT ran again in ’05. That puzzle took the “corners” a part of FOUR CORNERS extra actually, however in any other case, similar similar.
It’s the sort of theme that constructors can simply give you independently of each other, which is clearly what occurred; and it *has* been 17 years for the reason that first FOUR CORNERS puzzle ran, so from most solvers’ perspective, the truth that it is mainly a thematic rerun shouldn’t be going to matter. Still, contemplating what number of submissions the NYTXW will get as of late, and what number of unique ideas *I do know* are being routinely rejected, it appears further bizarre that they’d’ve accepted a puzzle they’d mainly already run. It’s not prefer it was from a earlier editor’s period. And it isn’t like there aren’t databases to run FOUR CORNERS by (takes two seconds). I do not suppose anybody did something incorrect. But I do suppose editors in all probability should not duplicate themes that they themselves ran. Seems a bit lazy / negligent.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]



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