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King Arthur’s slayer / SAT 8-20-22 / Moving movie? / Locale for a pin / Enemy group in Marvel Comics / Default avatar on Twitter as soon as / Alternative to a finger poke / Van Duyn Nineteen Nineties U.S. poet laureate / Bug-eyed toon with a giant purple tongue

Constructor: Hemant Mehta

Relative problem: Medium-Challenging

THEME: GOD YES! — a Biblical journey by simply kidding it is themeless

Word of the Day: MONA Van Duyn, Nineteen Nineties U.S. poet laureate (4D) —

Mona Jane Van Duyn (May 9, 1921 – December 2, 2004) was an American poet. She was appointed United States Poet Laureate in 1992. […] Van Duyn received each main U.S. prize for poetry, together with the National Book Award(1971) for To See, To Take, the Bollingen Prize (1971), the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize(1989), and the Pulitzer Prize (1991) for Near Changes. She was the U.S. Poet Laureate between 1992 and 1993. Despite her accolades, her profession fluctuated between reward and obscurity. Her views of love and marriage ranged from the scathing to the optimistic. In “What I Want to Say”, she wrote of affection:

It is absolutely the narrowing of potentialities
and everybody, all the way down to the final man
dreads it

But in “Late Loving”, she wrote:

Love is discovering the acquainted expensive

To See, To Take (1970) was a group of poems that gathered collectively three earlier books and a few uncollected work and received the National Book Award for Poetry. In 1981 she grew to become a fellow within the Academy of American Poets after which, in 1985, one of many twelve Chancellors who serve for all times. Collected poems, If It Be Not I (1992) included 4 volumes that had appeared since her first collected poems. It was printed concurrently with a brand new assortment of poetry, Firefall. (wikipedia)

• • •

I laughed out loud at “GOD YES!” (49A: “Oh, hallelujah!”). Why? Because at the moment’s constructor is thought professionally as “The Friendly Atheist” (wikipedia web page, weblog, podcast). There was additionally one thing humorous (in a good-natured manner) about THE MAGI and the RED SEA discovering their manner into this puzzle. Speaking of God, this puzzle felt just like the Wrath of God up entrance, as a mixture of brutal cluing (17A: Moving movie?), impossible-for-me correct nouns (the poet, primarily), and my very own stupidity / forgetfulness led to some actual stuckness. And I had UMS / UPSHOT fairly rapidly!; I simply could not make the crosses work off of UPSHOT, together with ODIE, which come on what the hell, how did I overlook Crosswordese’s favourite canine (sorry ASTA and FALA)!? Even later, once I “received” him, I wrote in OPIE at first! Forgot what “Louche” meant; I knew it was unhealthy, however forgot how unhealthy (SORDID). I did keep in mind ODIE’s fellow comics web page resident Cathy, so “ACK!” went in, however the very first thing I put in with confidence … sigh … was AD MAN (7D: Pro pitcher => AD REP). The worst little bit of crosswordese within the grid, one of many worst kealoas* there may be, and I step Right In It. That incorrect MAN was the true supply of my slowness, because it made the already powerful SHRINK WRAP nearly inconceivable, *and* it poisoned what was already a fairly toxic stack of three-letter solutions (BED, CAP, and by proximity, MAT). Further ADMAN precipitated me to jot down in CAB for 20A: Truck half, and let me inform you I used to be fairly glad with ADMAN / CAB. Ugh, I additionally thought HYDRA was COBRA (19A: Enemy group in Marvel Comics). Bah! That NW simply knocked me round badly.  MALALA finally ended up serving to lots, however nonetheless, popping out of the NW I used to be caught. The a method out, the lengthy Down, was a “?” clue, after all, and I simply could not put it collectively from LOWB-

I ended up having to rebuild just about from the bottom up; that’s, from manner down on the very backside of the grid, with a solution I knew properly: Juan SOTO (48A: M.L.B. star Juan). He just lately turned down a 15-year, $440 million greenback contract with the Nationals. He’s now a Padre, and he’s anticipated to ink a contract value northward of half a billion {dollars}. Why? He’s among the best hitters, by his very younger age (23), within the historical past of the game. He additionally helped me regain my FOOTING on this puzzle. Went from him and PSST and IDID to DONATED TO and really rapidly the SW nook was finished—that nook and the NE nook and admittedly all of the corners had been rather more forgiving than that NW nook was for me. The one actual problem left was the center, the place I used to be lastly capable of tease out LOW BATTERY (such a very good clue!) (6D: Plight of the 1%?), and, with a lot wrestle and quizzical grimacing, FORCED SMILE (30A: Expression in an uncomfortable scenario) (completely diabolical use of “expression” there—I actually needed a spoken phrase). You know a puzzle is nice when it smacks you round and but finally makes you smile (in an unforced manner). So I received FORCED SMILE, thought “sure, I UNDERSTAND,” after which fortunately rode SISTER CITY all the way down to a straightforward puzzle exit. Was the puzzle a satisfying Saturday expertise? GOD YES!

More notables:

  • 17A: Moving movie? (SHRINK WRAP) — one of many hardest “?” clues I’ve ever seen. It’s additionally borderline by way of legibility. I suppose that … when the wrap (which is a form of “movie”) is occurring, it’s shrinking and thus “shifting.” I actually was taking a look at SHRINK-M-P at one level and considering “what the hell is a SHRINKY MAP!?” [someone in comments suggests that you use SHRINK WRAP as packing material when “moving” to keep things from shifting around; I only know it as the material sometimes covering commercial products, though I guess even then the wrap probably does act as a stabilizing agent during transport]
  • 25A: ___ Foundation (nonprofit with a historical past going again to 1984) (TED) — by no means heard of TED stuff till someday within the ’00s, I believe, so this was a shock.
  • 26A: Locale for a pin (MAT) — had M-T, thought, “properly, that is MAT … however how does that make sense? You go away a *key* below the MAT, perhaps, however a *pin”?? … ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, pin. Like wrestling. Now I UNDERSTAND!”
  • 23D: People born on the 4th of July, e.g. (CANCERS) — I don’t know what any of the summer time indicators are. Everyone I knew and cherished rising up was autumn winter and early spring, so after ARIES and earlier than LIBRA, I’m Zodiacally illiterate. This is all to say that at the moment I came upon that GEMINIS and CANCERS have the identical variety of letters.
  • 26D: King Arthur’s slayer (MORDRED) — essentially the most up-my-alley clue in the entire thing. Chivalry’s MR. HYDE (2D: Literary character who “alone within the ranks of mankind, was pure evil”). An agent of absolute destruction. Love him.

See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

*kealoa = brief, widespread reply which you can’t simply fill in rapidly as a result of two or extra solutions are viable, Even With One or More Letters In Place. From the basic [Mauna ___] KEA/LOA conundrum. See additionally, e.g. [Heaps] ATON/ALOT, [“Git!”] “SHOO”/”SCAT,” and so on.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]



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