Brad Wiegmann’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Arms Akimbo”—Jim P’s evaluate
Jim P right here sitting in for pannonica who’s touring this weekend.
Whew! This was chewy however good! Theme solutions are acquainted phrases that conceal some form of weapon inside. Those weapons “drop” (flip downward) and turn into their very own Down entries whereas the principle theme reply finishes within the Across path. The revealer is at 69a DROP YOUR WEAPONS [Instruction for solving six clues in this puzzle].
- 1a. [Place where up is down and good is bad] BIZ(ARRO W)ORLD. This was extremely exhausting to discern since I didn’t anticipate a theme reply at 1a, and since I had TOY at 1d [Transformer, e.g.]. It took me a very long time to get out of this nook, however my reward as soon as I did was that I grokked the theme.
- 12a. [Those with a no-return policy] T(AX E)VADERS.
- 33a. [Pie-making tools] APPL(E PEE)LERS.
- 90a. [Emergency care facility] TRAU(MA CE)NTER.
- 102a. [Confess error] EAT ONE‘(S WORD)S.
- 108a. [George W. Bush’s first press secretary] A(RI FLE)ISCHER. This one was somewhat harder to see because the I on the prime of 110d appears to be like just like the I in ARI. It’s not.
Not having any indication for the place the theme solutions are made it tougher, however that’s applicable for a Saturday. I loved sussing this out and discovering all of the items. I particularly like that each one the weapons are their very own solutions and never elements of different Down entries. Expertly designed and executed!
Despite the intricate theme, there’s nonetheless loads of enjoyable lengthy fill. POLICE DRAMA is nice and will get a theme-adjacent clue [TV genre in which 69-Across might be said]. Other goodies embrace MEL BLANC, MOBILE AD, “OH, IT’S ON!,” OVERHEAR, NEXT BEST, MONSTER. ETERNITIES, VHS TAPE, OIL PAINTS, MINI BAGELS, ERIC THE RED, SENATE SEAT, “NICE IDEA,” and GO FORWARD. Plenty to love right here!
And a pair head scratchers: PIELS [Beer with 1950s spots featuring Bert and Harry]. This appears to be like to be a regional beer. I wanted each single crossing. Also, not very enthusiastic about ZEALOTRIES taking on a lot house. I can’t imaging anybody ever utilizing that phrase.
Clues of be aware:
- 49a. [Under-the-bed dweller]. MONSTER. Yikes! Can we get a “perhaps” right here, please?
- 64a. [Medium rare nowadays?]. VHS TAPE. Tough one. I used to be considering of clairvoyants the entire time.
- 76a. [Sauron symbol]. EYE. And since there are a few of you who’ve come to despise fashionable geek tradition clues (LOTR, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones), I’ll throw in an image so that you’ll keep in mind it for subsequent time.
- 112a. [Push on]. GO FORWARD. We additionally would have accepted [Line before “Move ahead” in Devo’s “Whip It”]
- 122a. [Name shared by two of the stars of “Only Murders in the Building”]. MARTIN. Steve and Short.
- 19d. [Boom Technology’s planned Overture, e.g.: Abbr.]. SST. Ugh. I used to be actually hoping the crossword world was carried out with this entry. Now it’s getting new life.
- 33d. [2022 Disney+ “Star Wars” series]. ANDOR. Oh, heh heh. Star Wars. I gotta say this present is enjoyable and sensible. It’s the perfect of Star Wars with wonderful, well-developed characters.
- 43d. [Food wrappers?]. BOAS. The snakes that wrap round their snacks.
- 68d. [Performance-enhancing supplement?]. ENCORE. Excellent clue.
- 92d. [Cook’s spice]. MACE. I’m nonetheless making an attempt to determine if “Cook” is a generic chef or Captain Cook. A cursory on-line search didn’t reveal a hyperlink between the explorer and the spice, although.
Excellent puzzle. 4.5 stars.