Wednesday, September 13, 2023
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Constructor: Wendy L. Brandes

Relative problem: Medium

THEME: CUTTING THE CARDS (7D: Part of a blackjack vendor’s ritual … or what this reply is doing vis-à-vis the solutions to the starred clues) — 7-Down actually “cuts” (by) 5 forms of “playing cards” (that’s, phrases that may precede the phrase “card”)

Theme solutions:

  • 17A: *1971 movie about coming of age in a small, one-cinema Texas city, with “The” (“LAST PICTURE SHOW”)
  • 22A: *Eloquence mentioned to be acquired by kissing the Blarney Stone (GIFT OF GAB)
  • 33A: *Exams that worth evaluation and understanding greater than rote memorization (OPEN-NOTE TESTS)
  • 43A: *Van Morrison tune aptly featured in “An American Werewolf in London” (“MOONDANCE“)
  • 50A: *Owning, as an achievement (TAKING CREDIT FOR)

Word of the Day: LUCIAN (19A: One-named satirist of historical Greece) —

Lucian of Samosata (c. 125 – after 180) was a Hellenized Syrian satiristrhetorician and pamphleteer who’s finest recognized for his attribute tongue-in-cheek type, with which he steadily ridiculed superstition, non secular practices, and perception within the paranormal. Although his native language was most likely Syriac, all of his extant works are written completely in historical Greek (principally within the Attic Greek dialect standard throughout the Second Sophistic interval). (wikipedia)

• • •

Hey all. I’m on (Thanksgiving / birthday week) trip, so in an effort to spend most time with my household (whom I really like), I’m gonna be microblogging for the subsequent few days. Is {that a} time period, “microblogging?” I really feel like I’ve heard it. And now I’m doing it. Speaking of “Is {that a} time period?”: POLLER. Is POLLER a time period? Well, comic story: I took a ballot. Because I’m fixing out of my component (i.e. at my mother’s home, i.e. not in my workplace), I simply determined to resolve wherever I might get area, which meant the eating room desk, which is lower than shouting distance from the lounge, which was the place all my household was sitting. So I hit POLLER early (third reply I received), and I inaudibly groaned and sank in my chair, after which I requested my household, “Hey, what do you name [One sampling public opinion]!?” And my sister goes “… POLLSTER?” on the similar time that my spouse additionally goes “POLLSTER” after which I say “thanks!” after which my spouse appears at me in horror and asks “omg did they attempt to foist POLLER on you!?” Yes. Yes they did. Therefore, due to this dramatic polling incident, I can say, with confidence, with the unbiased backing of at the very least two different moderately clever individuals, that POLLER is a rubbish non-word. 

I additionally requested the room, “Hey, for [Part of a blackjack dealer’s ritual], how would you fill within the clean on the next phrase: ‘CUTTING THE ___'”? I received three “DECKs.” So once more I say, with confidence, that at present’s puzzle isn’t [dramatically removes sunglasses] dealing pretty! These mots usually are not the mots justes. And the fill normally was just a little subpar, just a little xwordesey, just a little exhausting to take (EIRE ETNA ÊTES and so on and so on). This is all too unhealthy, because the theme is kinda cute. And after all it must be “CARDS,” not “DECK,” or all the premise would not work. So that is high-quality, really. Just not a phrase I’d use for blackjack. Maybe clue it as a part of a card trick? I dunno. Anyway, the theme works nice. I do not actually know what a PICTURE CARD is … however I assume it is one thing, so … thumbs as much as the theme.

[You can see that the wikipedia entry is for “Cut (cards)” but when I add 
“blackjack” to the search terms, predictive texts wants “deck”]

OK, this running a blog isn’t micro- sufficient for my (and probably your) tastes, so let’s transfer rapidly to … 

Five Bullet Points:

  • 19A: One-named satirist of historical Greece (LUCIAN) — this appears a particularly non-Tuesday identify. I barely know this man, and I’ve spent a great deal of time round classical literature. This reply and XIANG (30A: Chinese dialect spoken primarily in Hunan province) actually upped the extent of problem at present, although each solutions had been straightforward sufficient to get from crosses, and the remainder of the puzzle was no more durable than a traditional Tuesday.
  • 29A: Lustful, informally (RANDY) — I can not cease laughing at “informally.” Is “Lustful” formal? When you are black-tie attractive: Lustful. When you are casual-Friday attractive: RANDY.
  • 14A: Words of sudden recognition (“OH, IT’S YOU“) — we interrupt this broadcast for a really mandatory and related taking part in of “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)”:

  • 49A: Careless or carefree (BLITHE) — a wonderfully cheap phrase, however I struggled to give you it. Since the 2 clue phrases appear miles other than one another, I could not seize maintain of a phrase that appeared to suit.
  • 11D: Gritty residue in a chimenea (ASH) — whoa, I’m solely noticing simply now that the clue doesn’t say “chimney”! I’ve by no means, ever heard of this time period! chimenea , additionally spelled chiminea (from Spanishchimenea which derive from French cheminée, “chimney”), is a freestanding front-loading hearth or oven with a bulbous physique and often a vertical smoke vent or chimney.” (wikipedia). I did not know these had a reputation! I’m simply glad I noticed it in a clue earlier than I received run over by it as a solution! 

OK, that is all, see you tomorrow.

[Longmont, CO: The morning view from mom’s dining room window]

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]



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