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Metal subsequent to tungsten on the periodic desk / WED 12-21-22 / Country with second-most Portuguese audio system / Large-scale company union / Manhattan on an envelope / Ideal for audiophiles briefly


Constructor: Nancy Stark and Will Nediger

Relative issue: Easy-Medium

THEME: “WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?” (63A: “Why are you making such a fuss?” … or a touch to 17-, 36- and 43-Across) — theme solutions are all completely different sorts of “huge offers”:

Theme solutions:

  • FIFTY PERCENT OFF (17A: Sign in a clearance part)
  • MEGAMERGER (36A: Large-scale company union)
  • ROYAL FLUSH (Dream hand for a poker participant)

Word of the Day: AGNI (30D: Hindu fireplace god) —

Agni (Sanskritअग्निromanizedAgniSanskrit pronunciation: [ˈɐgnɪ]) is a Sanskrit phrase that means fireplace and connotes the Vedic fireplace deity of Hinduism. He can be the guardian deity of the southeast route and is often present in southeast corners of Hindu temples. In the classical cosmology of the Indian religions, Agni as fireplace is without doubt one of the 5 inert impermanent components (pañcabhūtá) together with house (ākāśa), water (ap), air (vāyu) and earth (pṛthvī), the 5 combining to type the empirically perceived materials existence (Prakṛti).

In Vedic literature, Agni is a significant and oft-invoked god together with Indra and Soma. Agni is taken into account the mouth of the gods and goddesses and the medium that conveys choices to them in a homa (votive ritual). (wikipedia)

• • •

Hmm. OK, so … hmm. The theme works in a really common sense. The first two themers, nevertheless, really feel arbitrary: very and considerably, respectively. It’s not inaccurate to say that both one is a “huge deal,” although, so my principal downside with these first two is actually with the second, which is that it’s uninteresting. And “mega” is simply standing in for “huge,” so … an enormous merger is an enormous deal, sure, that’s true. FIFTY PERCENT OFF has a snap to it, the place MEGAMERGER is only a miserable sludge of a phrase. But OK, technically each solutions are apt. But ROYAL FLUSH kinda goes off the rail. Do you name a very good hand a “huge deal”? I get that “huge” is (now) getting used metaphorically, and {that a} ROYAL FLUSH is “huge” in that it’s the finest hand you possibly can maintain, however the factor is “huge deal” is an ideal description of themers 1 and a couple of, however an iffy considered one of 3. The revealer is the most effective a part of the puzzle, as a solution in its personal proper. It could be welcome in any puzzle at any time. And as a revealer, it has some sass, it is intelligent. Thank god they did not simply hand us BIG DEAL, that might’ve been uninteresting. Still, even with the great revealer, the theme as an entire feels workmanlike. Functional, however not thrilling. 

I do not actually perceive a few of the fill selections at this time. Specifically, above all, RHENIUM? That looks as if considered one of your extra obscure components. If I’ve heard of it, I’ve barely heard of it. I believe it is affordable to count on solvers to know *so much* of the weather of the periodic desk. But some deep cuts … really feel determined. And aren’t so enjoyable to come across. At least the final time this reply appeared, the clue informed us it was named after a German river. Today: “subsequent to tungsten”??? What the hell? How is that supposed to assist? It’s Wednesday. The remainder of your fill is extensively accessible and acquainted, and then you definately simply drop RHENIUM in? With *that* clue? As I say, I do not perceive these selections. RHENIUM was jarring. AGNI was additionally jarring, as I nonetheless see it as ye olden fill that means “lambs” (Lat.). 

Just as I’m wondering how deep into the periodic desk is truthful sport, so I’m wondering concerning the Hindu pantheon, although AGNI is fairly main (per the “Word of the Day” description, above), so that you (I) cannot actually complain. But HUFFISH? Hoo boy, I can complain there. What … is that? Is it like the traditional phrase “HUFFY?” I requested my spouse if she’d heard of “HUFFY”: “Kind of … I’ve heard of ‘in a huff’…” “OK, properly have you ever heard of HUFFISH?” “[long pause] … no.” Again, not a alternative I perceive. And as a result of FWORDS was additionally unhealthy (what, are we simply doing any letter of the alphabet+WORDS now!?!?!) I shortly rewrote the entire rattling grid (properly, the east facet, anyway). Just to fulfill myself. I managed to select up each HASHISH and ARSE, which pleases me, if nobody else.

[dang, looks like I duplicated ERA … ah well, just make it EPA, it’s fine…]
[oh no, NEEDY dupes NO NEED … this is why you have proofreaders!!! I could
fix it, but I’m not getting paid to fix it, so I’m not gonna.]
[OK, I’m gonna …]
[Why has no one used PGUP before!?! It’s a perfectly cromulent abbr.!!]
[If I had more time, I’d open up the constructing software and go after RHENIUM!]
I had O–T at 49A: Expel and was mad when the reply was OMIT as a result of that’s not correct cluing. Thankfully, the reply was not, actually, OMIT, however OUST, a way more correct reply. The solely benefit of FWORDS (plural!?!?) is that it crosses SALTY, and if any language qualifies as SALTY, it is the F-word. The actual F-word. Not “fie” or “fiddlesticks.” I favored FOIST ON, for causes even I do not fairly perceive. There’s simply one thing … I dunno, oddly energetic about it. Maybe I similar to the clue (44D: Shove down the throat of). I like that the puzzle went for BAFTA / BODE over the extra apparent however dated alternative, NAFTA / NODE. Remember NAFTA? Remember Ross Perot? I largely attempt to not. Gotta wrap issues up, as spouse can be again quickly with dosa and samosa and possibly another -osa I forgot. See you tomorrow (assuming I can get the wifi hotspot on my telephone to work within the nowheresville no-wifi place we’re headed to tomorrow).

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]



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