Brandon Koppy’s New York Times puzzle – Sophia’s write-up
Theme: Things heard on the WORLD CUP.
- 17a [South African horn that produces only one note] – VUVUZELA
- 28a [Repetitive cry of encouragement] – OLE OLE OLE OLE OLE
- 48a [Reeeeeeeeally long celebratory cry] – GOOOOOOOOOOOOAL
- 64a [International event where 17-, 28- and 48-Across can be heard] – WORLD CUP
This is a foolish theme, and I imply that in the easiest way attainable. Anytime I get to enter lengthy strings of the identical letter/s, I’m pleased (this NYT puzzle involves thoughts because the final time I entered a bunch of O’s). Even although VUVUZELA is arguably essentially the most “normal” theme reply, as soon as I figured it out I used to be instantly considering “World Cup” since I, like many individuals, solely realized about them by their World Cup reputation. The “sound” theme is a pleasant hyperlink, because the theme solutions themselves are very totally different from one another. I’d like to listen to what the NYT thinks the spelled-out sound of a vuvuzela appears to be like like.
I’m a soccer fan, however I don’t suppose that you must be one to understand the puzzle – it pays homage to a serious world occasion happening proper now, nevertheless it’s not stuffed with ESOTERIC soccer gamers or phrases. I additionally respect that the puzzle incorporates no references to the nation/authorities through which the Cup is held this yr or the group that places it on, each of which have rightly been criticized for circumstances surrounding this World Cup (extra info right here written by of us a lot smarter than I’m). The puzzle retains the main focus squarely on the sport itself.
There are solely 4 theme solutions and two of them are fairly quick, so there’s a number of area for different thrilling solutions. And there are many them, way over typical on a Monday! THE DEETS, RUN WILD, EYE CONTACT, GOOD ONE, HAN SOLO, EPIC WIN are all highlights. At the identical time, although, there are just a few solutions which can be tougher than typical. The SW nook is especially tough with OATERS and NEALON (aspect word: if anybody else solely is aware of Kevin Nealon from the 2009 traditional Aliens within the Attic, congratulations you’re my new favourite particular person). I’ve additionally by no means heard the phrase SMAZE, and crossing it with LLANO may journey individuals up. I’m additionally undecided getting the X into the puzzle is value XFL, and I’ve watched a number of XFL video games on TV. It felt slightly pressured, particularly in a nook with a *ton* of different fill choices.
I’m excited to spend the subsequent few weeks watching soccer, notably the Seattle Sounders taking part in for the US Men’s group! Go Cristian, Jordan, and DeAndre!!
Daniel & Morgan Bodily’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Zero Waste”—Jim P’s assessment
Theme: IN THE DUMPS (59a, [Sad, or, environmentally speaking, where those starred answers’ starts don’t wind up]). The starred solutions are acquainted(ish) phrases whose first phrases are additionally recyclable gadgets.
- 17a. [*Kind of dolphin] BOTTLENOSE.
- 24a. [*Cylindrical channel marker] CAN BUOY.
- 28a. [*Poor musicians have them] TIN EARS.
- 38a. [*Musical group with homemade instruments] JUG BAND.
- 49a. [*Marine, informally] JARHEAD.
- 51a. [*Chart showing distribution via rectangles] BOX PLOT.
Hmm. A few these phrases I’d by no means heard of (CAN BUOY and BOX PLOT), however I suppose that’s my very own failing. I’ve an issue with tin being on right here, as a result of most of us don’t encounter a lot tin in our each day dwelling that might trigger us to recycle it. There might be some tin in “tin cans” (however not a lot), and apart from we have already got cans on this checklist, and that’s ample. And I’m undecided what is supposed precisely by “jug,” as a result of its recyclability would rely upon its composition (both glass, earthenware, or plastic).
If it have been me (and I understand it’s not), I’d stick to BOTTLENOSE up high, transfer JARHEAD to the center, scrap the “tin” and “jug” entries, after which discover new phrases for “can” and “box.” CAN YOU NOT? and BOX TURTLE would appear to do the trick. The consequence (in my view) could be a extra streamlined theme with extra commonly-known entries, making it extra apt for a Monday.
Speaking of tough-for-Monday entries, within the fill we discover LEU, EDDA, and LEHAR. And I’m actually giving “bust A RIB” the side-eye; I’ve heard “bust a gut” way more. But there are many glowing entries to compensate: BID FAREWELL, “A DEAL’S A DEAL,” NEW RECRUITS, PTEROSAUR, a pissed off “IN A MOMENT!,” (I attempted IN A SECOND then IN A MINUTE first), POP GUNS, UP TO BAT, “MY BAD,”, and JENGA. MODERN LINGO feels a bit inexperienced paintish (I needed MODERN SLANG), however total, that’s a stunning set of lengthy fill.
Clue of word: 4d. [No longer on deck, say]. UP TO BAT. This one perplexed me for very long time. Thinking it was in regards to the deck of a ship, I couldn’t determine why it began with UP. Good clue (although perhaps too robust for a Monday?).
Not a nasty puzzle, and I loved the recycling idea, however I feel the theme tries to do an excessive amount of. It could be more practical with a pair fewer entries in addition to phrases which can be extra acquainted to Monday solvers. The lengthy fill could be very good. 3.25 stars.
And this seems to be a debut for considered one of our constructors, so congrats on that, Morgan!