Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Constructor: Pao Roy

Relative issue: Easy-Medium

THEME: DOT THE I’S (56A: Pay consideration to particulars … or a touch to filling in seven of this puzzle’s squares) — a “DOT” rebus by which the “DOT” sq. all the time seems above the letter “I”; within the Acrosses, the letters “DOT” are a part of the solutions, however within the Downs, the “DOT” is simply speculated to symbolize an precise dot (i.e. “.”):

Theme solutions:

  • [DOT][DOT][DOT] (10A: And so on)
  • PALE BLUE [DOT] (20A: Iconic Voyager 1 {photograph} taken 3.7 billion miles from Earth)
  • POLKA [DOT] DRESSES (26A: They’re noticed on Lucille Ball and Minnie Mouse)
  • CONNECTS THE [DOT]S (43A: Begins to see a sample)
  • [DOT] COM CRASH (Turn-of-the-century monetary disaster)

Word of the Day: PANGAEA (9D: Landmass as soon as surrounded by the superocean Panthalassa) —

Pangaea or Pangea() was a supercontinent that existed through the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras. It assembled from the sooner continental items of GondwanaEuramerica and Siberia through the Carboniferous roughly 335 million years in the past, and commenced to interrupt aside about 200 million years in the past, on the finish of the Triassic and starting of the Jurassic. In distinction to the current Earth and its distribution of continental mass, Pangaea was centred on the equator and surrounded by the superocean Panthalassa and the Paleo-Tethys and subsequent Tethys Oceans. Pangaea is the newest supercontinent to have existed and the primary to be reconstructed by geologists. (wikipedia)

• • •

Hello as soon as once more from Thanksgiving Vacation. My mother is busy within the kitchen roasting pecans for the pie and attempting determine the recipe for cranberry sauce, and because the kitchen is mainly adjoining to my writing house, I can see I’m going to have some issue retaining myself centered on the puzzle. I simply heard my mother say to her longtime companion, “I must maintain my thoughts centered on what I’m doing,” and, effectively, sure, identical. I’ll do my greatest. And but I maintain listening to him making “ideas” to my mother about tips on how to cook dinner issues, did he simply meet her!? (reader, he didn’t). I imply, you possibly can speak to my mother about something, she may be very open-minded, however the very last thing you wanna do is supply unsolicited recommendation over her shoulder as she’s cooking. Vermouth within the cranberries!? This is not any time for improvisation! The girl is aware of what she is doing and is Not about to take ideas from the peanut gallery. Now mother is making enjoyable of the “licensed biodynamic” label on the cranberry packaging, good for her. OK, sorry, I do know, puzzle, puzzle, OK, right here we go … puzzle! Nope, her companion is now singing “Alice’s Restaurant,” so I’m gonna need to pause for a bit till that subsides. . . OK, right here we go. . . now!

The theme was very straightforward to uncover, and as quickly as I uncovered it, I believed “Oh I’ve positively seen this theme earlier than. And just lately too.” Turns out I used to be each proper and never fairly proper. The DOT THE I’S theme we bought earlier this yr (Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022) was not i-dentical to this one, but it surely was shut. In that one, the letter “I” turned fully right into a “DOT” (so “dotting the i’s” meant actually turning i’s into “DOT”s). Here, in fact, the “DOT”s seem above the i’s, which makes extra sense on a literal stage, however was not almost so attention-grabbing because the weirder, extra sophisticated February model. What each puzzles have in frequent, admirably, is that the theme applies to actually each “I” within the puzzle, not simply the “I”s that seem in specifically designated theme solutions. But on this one, “DOT” all the time seems because the phrase “dot,” whereas within the February one, the letters “DOT” had been largely buried inside longer solutions (like YOU DO THE MATH and TORPEDO TUBE). Today’s puzzle simply gave you phrases with the phrase “DOT” in them. Less attention-grabbing, although DOT COM CRASH is fairly snazzy, and DOT DOT DOT is a pleasant thematic flourish (even in case you would by no means really do the “I” in IRA (all the time a capital) (10D: Nest egg choice, for brief). Overall, this puzzle was wonderful, but it surely felt like a pale (blue dot) model of the very very related puzzle that got here out earlier this yr.

Speaking of déjà vu, did we not simply have this clue for LOLA (14A: Actress Kirke of “Mozart within the Jungle”)?? (we did); and HSBC in precisely the identical grid place!? (we did). I believed we had PALE BLUE DOT very just lately as effectively, however that was really effectively over a yr in the past now. My favourite factor about in the present day’s puzzle was both WEIRD AL, or seeing the phrase HORNY (13A: Aroused, informally) simply sooner or later after I used the phrase “HORNY” in my dialogue of RANDY. I additionally like that PALE BLUE DOT very almost T-bones PANGAEA. Those two have a pleasant whole-wide-world type of synergy. I additionally like seeing that it nonetheless stays subsequent to unattainable for clue writers to put off the cutesy “?” clues for ELOPE (64A: Not get reception?). Some issues by no means change. Like mother’s Thanksgiving dinner. Never adjustments. Always good. I must go put together (i.e. sleep / quick). Enjoy your day, no matter you eat.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 
P.S. CSNY stands for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (52D: Folk-rock quartet whose title derives from its members’ final initials)

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