Constructor: Brandon Koppy
Relative problem: Easy(ish); SW appeared to be a bit tougher, however nothing too tough, and footholds abound that can assist you get into all elements of the grid
Word of the Day: YOUNG MC (Co-writer of Tone Loc’s “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina”) —
Marvin Young (born May 10, 1967), higher identified by his stage identify Young M.C., is a British-born American rapper, singer and actor. He is greatest identified for his 1989 hit “Bust a Move”. His debut album Stone Cold Rhymin’ discovered worldwide acclaim; nevertheless, subsequent albums haven’t reached the identical degree of success. Young has additionally appeared in movie in performing roles and cameo appearances and has appeared in a number of tv packages.
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Plenty of the lengthy fill did not fairly vibe with me—I do know FLOAT TANKs extra as “sensory deprivation tanks”, the L in RETINAL SCANNER feels bizarre to have, DANCE TUNE feels fairly inexperienced painty in a “does anybody truly say that” approach, and stuff like TISSUE SAMPLE, CANNIBAL, and all of the sevens (save YOUNG MC) are far more impartial than an asset to me. Nothing god-awful within the brief fill, however nonetheless extra DAG DSL OYS GTOS ITIS OHSO ROUE MYOB MYMAN and so on. stuff than I care to see in a a puzzle like this. And nearly two thirds of the entries are 5 letters or much less, in order that, plus the relative lack of fine lengthy solutions that landed for me, meant I did not actually get pleasure from fixing this.
One of the few issues I did get pleasure from was STARING CONTEST, each as a result of it is the most effective reply on this puzzle but in addition as a result of the clue was one among my favourite. At first, it brings to thoughts pictures of sore losers crying, and would not actually slender down what the sport may very well be. Then, I used to be satisfied that this was a misdirect, and “tears” was speculated to rhyme with “bears”, not “beers”, and so I used to be attempting to consider video games that concerned ripping. Didn’t assist that the quinceañera clues had me considering of piñatas. Finally noticed (heh) STARING CONTEST, and had a pleasant aha second about why there’d be tears. Makes excellent sense in hindsight, gives a journey earlier than fixing, and I want extra clues had been like that.
On the opposite hand, did not actually just like the clue for MUST-READS [30D: Novel purchases that everyone’s talking about?]. Just would not really feel proper in a approach I am unable to fairly put my finger on; like, even permitting for some hyperbole, “everybody” is certainly approach too excessive, particularly since that is very a lot a subjective factor—a must-read for who? De gustibus, and so on. and so on.; one reader may get misplaced in Sylvia Plath, one other may inform Sylvia Plath to get misplaced. Don’t get me unsuitable: I’m all for studying; I simply do not suppose this clue fairly works as is. And actually, my first thought on studying this clue was that the reply would contain audiobooks ultimately, and if AUDIOBOOKS had truly match within the grid, I’d’ve plunked that down so quick.
“sing for the second”, from “the EMINEM present” (10D); warning for some language, however usually it is one among my favorites from the album
In different information, at present going by way of a little bit of a COLD SPELL [11D: Follower of an arctic blast] right here; as I write this, it is at present eight beneath with wind chills right down to -35 (and at this level, it makes little or no distinction as as to whether you utilize Fahrenheit or Celsius). Fun climate when you’re inside, perhaps not a lot when you’re out operating, and tbh, the onerous half about that is getting by way of all of the snow, between the individuals who have not cleared their sidewalks off and the wind blowing all of the snow again onto the sidewalks that have been cleared. (I’ve already cleared mine twice, as soon as whereas it was nonetheless snowing (a Sisyphean job if there ever was one), as soon as after, and I can see that it wants a 3rd clearing already.)
- OLAF [4D: Character in “Frozen” who…] — stopped studying the clue there, as a result of I do not significantly look after this franchise (and having to sit down by way of 21 minutes of “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” earlier than attending to see “Coco” counts, imo, as a Geneva Convention violation) but in addition as a result of principally all of the necessary “Frozen” characters have 4 letter names, so you actually simply anticipate crosses to let you know which of Anna Elsa Hans Olaf Sven it’s.
- IRIS [52D: Good name for…] — stopped studying the clue there, as a result of I do not significantly look after this type of cluing angle and discover it lazy and hackneyed; when you’re gonna clue it as a reputation, then clue it as an precise individual / character with that identify. (In normal, one among my largest complaints about Will Shortz / the NYT is that they appear to exit of their approach to clue names as something however an individual with that identify, and this appears very true for feminine names.)
- TESSIE [43D: “Technicolor ___”, nickname for Lucille Ball] — positive, pure YEKIOYD trivia, and I’m undecided the way you get “Tessie” from “Lucille” (additionally, the comma is not a part of the nickname and due to this fact does not belong contained in the quote marks, and I will die on this hill)
- ASTERISKS [58A: Things not good to have next to one’s records] — cf. the dishonest cheaters at 5D
- TAR [37D: Pine ___ (baseball player’s grip enhancer)] — We would even have accepted [2022 film starring Cate Blanchett]
Yours in puzzling, Christopher Adams, Court Jester of CrossWorld