Tuesday, September 12, 2023
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Constructor: John Hawksley

Relative problem: Medium-Challenging

THEME: It’s all Greek (or Latin) to me… — obscure phrases with acquainted suffixes are clued each as what they imply and what they do NOT imply … the NOT half is what helps you determine the spelling of the phrase:

Theme solutions:

  • TYPOMANIA (17A: Obsession with being revealed … NOT a flurry of transcription errors)
  • ARCTOPHILE (24A: Lover of teddy bears … NOT a devotee of polar areas)
  • PANTOPHOBIA (35A: Fear of all the things … NOT a concern of trousers)
  • MANDUCATES (50A: Chews … NOT elaborates condescendingly to a feminine)
  • METROLOGY (59A: Science of measurement … NOT the examine of city areas)

Word of the Day: DIANE Rehm (41A: Journalist/podcaster Rehm) —

Diane Rehm (; born Diane Aed; September 21, 1936) is an American journalist and the host of Diane Rehm: On My Mind podcast, produced at WAMU, which is licensed to American University in Washington, D.C.. She additionally hosts a month-to-month ebook membership sequence, Diane Rehm Book Club, at WAMU. Rehm is the previous American public radio discuss present host of The Diane Rehm Show, which was distributed nationally and internationally by National Public Radio. The present was produced at WAMU.

Rehm had introduced her plans to retire from internet hosting the present after the 2016 elections. The ultimate program was recorded and distributed on December 23, 2016. Rehm introduced she was going to host a weekly podcast, which she started doing in January 2017.

Rehm is the co-producer, narrator, and interviewer of When My Time Comes, distributed by PBS stations throughout the nation. Her ebook by the identical identify was revealed in 2020 by Knopf. The Washington Post describes Rehm as a number one voice within the proper to die debate. (wikipedia)

• • •

Did not assume a lot of the theme at first, however someway warmed to it because the puzzle went on—that’s pretty uncommon. Usually the arc of feeling runs within the different path: a puzzle strikes me as cute or attention-grabbing after which simply wears skinny by the tip. My first thought was “so it is simply obscure phrases that seem like they imply one thing totally different than what they imply?” And sure, that’s it. But there’s one thing I ended up liking about the concept giving me *mistaken* info is definitely *serving to* me remedy the puzzle. There’s an odd consistency to it, or close to consistency: their opening elements all look deceptively acquainted (i.e. they give the impression of being most like very acquainted issues … that don’t have anything to do with the precise that means of the phrase); all of them have very acquainted suffixes, which assist us piece all the things collectively (I assumed these had been all suffixes of Greek origin, however the -DUCATES a part of MANDUCATES is from the Latin … however I feel the familiarity, not the etymology, is the vital factor); and, perhaps most significantly, their obvious (i.e. NOT) meanings are nearly all entertainingly foolish, with the silliest of all of them, PANTOPHOBIA, sitting useless heart, in delight of place, the place it belongs. Even although I warmed to the thought as I went on, I feel the themers are just a little weaker on the underside—neither MANDUCATES nor METROLOGY has the crystal clear NOT that means that the primary three themers have. MANDUCATES appears extra prefer it means “educates a person” than “educates (a girl) *like* a person. I get that the clue is attempting to make an analogy from “mansplaining,” however that feels a bit pressured. As for METROLOGY … that is the one one in every of these 5 solutions the place I would even have guessed the right that means. It positively appears prefer it may imply “the examine of city areas,” however it simply would not have the “what the hell!?” wackiness or misleading high quality that the others do. Still, conceptually this works, and piecing collectively the odd phrases ended up being oddly fulfilling.

The puzzle performed just a little gradual to me, largely due to the bizarre theme phrases. The piecing collectively simply took a while. ARCTOPHILE took probably the most time, as I spotted, early and with alarm, that regardless of having seen Timothée CHALAMET in a number of motion pictures and realizing his identify very effectively, I someway knew how you can spell his (uncommon) *first* identify however had uncared for to register what all of the vowels had been on this *final* identify (5D: Timothée of “Beautiful Boy” and “Dune”). This is to say I assumed perhaps CHALOMET … which, now that I take a look at it, appears inconceivable, however that is the place I used to be at. And then I had COS at 22D: Sin : y-axis :: ___ : x-axis however began to doubt it when it actually appeared just like the clue needed me to assume “Arctic,” i.e. ARCTI-, i.e. “I” not “O.” So now I’m doubting my Eleventh-grade trigonometry reminiscence and issues are attending to be a little bit of a large number. Eventually the “O” turned simple, however that reply gave me minor suits, and the NE nook normally wasn’t serving to me alongside. Utter clean on SPADAY. Needed each cross. Do individuals nonetheless say “Staycation”? Or SPADAY? When I see [Staycation option] I feel “… sofa?” The worst factor about that nook, although, was in fact E-BILL, which is so unhealthy I actually laughed out loud. Actual LOL. Just the worst E-answer I’ve ever seen (please, constructors, do not use EANSWER, that was not a suggestion). 

Mistakes? Well, I wrote in MASTICATES at first for that fourth themer as a result of it is a phrase meaning “Chews” (what number of phrases for “Chews” do we want!?). No different out-and-out errors, however I struggled with SITSKI (1D: Para alpine sport tools). I feel if “Para” had been connected to “alpine” in a roundabout way I may need figured it out sooner, however I didn’t get the incapacity angle from stand-alone “Para” someway. If I’m buying, I consider a “discover” as an merchandise that I’m buying, not the tag *on* that merchandise, so the clue on  SALE TAG was powerful for me as we speak (45A: Fun discover for a cut price hunter). That’s it for struggles. None of the struggles amounted to a lot; they only put me just a little on the gradual facet. I feel the fill on this one stays largely clear and largely attention-grabbing, even outdoors the themers. Strong Downs in all of the corners. You’ve bought crosswordese right here and there (you realize, RESOD, ENIAC, and so forth.), however there’s not a lot, and anyway it is simply functioning as glue, holding ample good things in place. There’s one thing old-fashioned-seeming about this theme, and even the general fill, however it’s a pleasant form of old school. I’m into it. See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. One massive gripe that I neglected, re: the MANDUCATES clue: “to a feminine”!?!?! “… elaborates condescending to a feminine“!?!?! Unless you are elaborating condescendingly to your pet or a farm animal, that ought to actually be “lady.” Maybe there was some concept of not wanting the clue to include any type of “MAN” (even “wo-MAN”) since “MAN” was a part of the (pretend) cluing idea, however … calling ladies “females,” oof, no matter form of feminist intent this clue was purported to have actually backfired there.

P.P.S. I’m now taking a look at CHALOMET and considering it appears *affordable* so I do not assume my uncertainty about spelling his identify was so unreasonable in any case.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]



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