Thursday, November 17, 2022
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Lowest a part of a glacier / THU 11-17-22 / Flax cloth / Anxiety about not being included in fashionable lingo / Body elements which are rested on the optometrist’s / Mount that impressed the track Funiculi Funicula / French-developed type of cooking in a exactly temperature-controlled water tub / Serving which may have a strong coronary heart of straightforward tulip design


Constructor: Hoang-Kim Vu and Jessica Zetzman

Relative issue: Medium

THEME: “LEAVE ME / OUT OF IT” (45D: With 42-Down, “I do not need something to do with this!” … or a touch to the solutions to the starred clues) — it’s a must to ignore all of the “ME”s within the grid with the intention to make sense of the solutions by which they seem; that’s, “ME” has been added to numerous phrases, creating phantom (unclued) phrases—in the event you “go away ME out of it” … now all of your clues make sense:

Theme solutions:

  • LINEMEN (4D: *Flax cloth)
  • REMEDIAL (20A: *Call once more, on a rotary cellphone)
  • MEAD (24A: *Promo)
  • MELEE (18: *Spike ___)
  • LO MEIN (26A: *Cut of pork)
  • MENORAH (37A: *Grammy-winning Jones)
  • EMENDS (22A: *They could also be cut up or bitter)
  • FOMENTS (10D: *Courier and Papyrus for 2)
  • DEEMED (48A: *Important closing doc)
  • “I’M HOME!” (51A: *Lead-in to texter’s perspective)
  • NAMES (59A: *#5 on Billboard’s Best Rappers of All Time record)
  • MERV (64A: *One parked at a park, briefly)

Word of the Day: SERRA da Estrela (25D: ___ da Estrela (Portuguese mountain vary)) —

Serra da Estrela (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈsɛʁɐ ðɐ (ɨ)ʃˈtɾelɐ]) is the best mountain vary in Continental Portugal. Together with the Serra da Lousã it’s the westernmost constituent vary of the Sistema Centraland in addition one of many highest within the system. It contains mainland Portugal‘s highest level at 1,993 metres (6,539 toes) above imply sea stage (though the summit of Mount Pico within the Portuguese Azores islands is larger). This level isn’t a particular mountain summit, however relatively the best level in a plateau, being referred to as Torre (“Tower” in English). Torre is an uncommon summit in that it’s accessible by a paved highway. The peak has a topographic prominence of 1,204 m (3,950 ft) and its father or mother peak is Pico Almanzor, in Spain. […] The Cão da Serra da Estrela (Estrela Mountain Dog) is a breed of livestock guardian canine that takes its title from this area.  

Queijo Serra da Estrela (Serra da Estrela cheese) is a gentle cheese from the area of Serra da Estrela. The recipe is greater than 2000 years previous. It is comprised of cardoon thistle, uncooked sheep’s milk and salt. The cheese is gentle and gooey. The cheese turns into more durable and chewier as time goes by. (wikipedia)

• • •

One of these puzzles the place I used to be tempted to go down and discover the revealer early, simply so I might get the gimmick faster and transfer issues alongside. Actually, I *did* go down to search out the revealer, however I simply regarded on the clue, noticed it was lengthy and complex and two-part, and simply went again to hacking away on the grid up prime. Puzzles with unclued solutions are all the time (effectively, usually) a bear of a problem. You kinda sorta anticipate the clues to play truthful, and for the solutions to match the clues. The solutions do, in fact, match the clues … ultimately … as soon as you determine the entire “ditch ME” angle. But getting began with none pointers—tough. I knew one thing very gimmicky was afoot fairly early, because the NW nook was tremendous straightforward after which … nothing. Thankfully, the celebrities on the related clues let me know that the solutions I could not get have been powerful *for a motive*. A really powerful model of this puzzle would not have bothered to star the clues. I believe I’d’ve revered that model extra, nevertheless it undoubtedly would’ve taken me longer. As for the theme, effectively, there’s a whole lot of it. I’d put this within the class of More Constructionally Impressive than Fun To Solve, although it wasn’t a drag, by any means, and there was one thing … authentic and interesting in regards to the explicit problem of seeing across the ME’s. Mostly including ME’s would not actually add any enjoyment—it simply modifications the phrase—however there was one huge exception: “I’M HOME!” I truly laughed at that one. That is a few very artistic, fully transformative ME-adding. You’ve actually gotta break up the “actual” reply (IMHO) and repunctuate it and switch the letters into precise phrases and the whole lot. Just Add “ME” and watch your overfamiliar texting initialism take thrilling new type! I additionally kinda favored the conversion (!) of NORAH Jones.

There are not any uninvolved (i.e. non-thematic) ME’s on this grid, which is good. Gives the puzzle a pleasant consistency. A stray “ME” can be distracting. And this is among the few instances you are ever going to see clues for two-letter phrases—as a result of they seem within the grid as ordinary-looking four-letter phrases (MEAD, MERV). So that is one other attention-grabbing characteristic of this puzzle. Don’t care a lot for the gotta-read-it-backwards high quality of the revealer, so I’m presently simply studying it the common manner, L to R, in Yoda-voice: “OUT OF IT, LEAVE ME!

Almost the entire issue on this puzzle was in uncovering / discovering the theme. I do not know after I figured it out. Hang on, I took a screenshot shortly thereafter, let’s take a look:

I will need to have seen that REDIAL was “hidden” or concerned ultimately in 20A: *Call once more, on a rotary cellphone (REMEDIAL), after which seen that ME’s have been additionally concerned within the NE a part of the grid as effectively, although after I took this screenshot, I hadn’t labored all of it out completely (you’ll be able to see I’ve AMENDS as a substitute of EMENDS in there—most likely only a hasty first stab). Once the theme dropped, the issue dropped as effectively. There have been a couple of issues I did not know, however they did not maintain me up a lot. Never heard of that Portuguese mountain vary, or of LOLA Kirke (50A: Actress Kirke of “Mozart within the Jungle”). LOLA had me barely nervous for a bit, since four-letter ladies’s names can go All Kinds of Ways, and she or he seems in a thickly thematic space *and* crosses one other reply I used to be having hassle seeing (48D: Put out = DOUSED). But all of it got here steadily collectively. I simply circled that part till the letters have been simple, after which completed up within the SE, the place … look, I do know I’ve complained up to now about duplicate clues (the place usually certainly one of them feels pressured) and cross-references (which might awkwardly ship you throughout hell and gone simply to search out the second a part of your reply), so this may increasingly sound bizarre, however I can not imagine that the clue on ENVY did not get the identical therapy because the clue on EMMY (67A: Award that appears like two letters of the alphabet). I imply, they cross one another. They each sound like two letters of the alphabet. That’s a paired cluing alternative made in heaven. But as a substitute of [Sin that sounds like two letters of the alphabet], ENVY simply will get the dullish [Member of a noted septet]. I can not imagine the puzzle has me out right here advocating for cutesy clue twinning, however instances are unusual, what can I say? See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]



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