Thursday, December 22, 2022
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Those who devour it change into immortal, in keeping with fantasy / THU 12-22-2022 / Methuselah’s previous man / English king referred to as “the Great” / What smoke popping out of the ears might sign in a cartoon / Name derived from the Greek for “messenger”

Constructor: David Steinberg

Relative problem: Easy, I believe? Solved on paper, didn’t actually have a look at the theme clues as a result of they have been lengthy and I did not really feel like studying them, but it surely’s fairly straightforward to note that all of them begin with CARs coming in from the perimeters of the grid, and the crossings there are fairly truthful, so you do not really want to the clues to unravel, but it surely was a wonderful aha second post-solve once I may truly be arsed to learn them and work out the theme

THEME: ROUNDABOUT ROUTE — 4 entries are clued as if they’re vehicles getting into roundabouts, with three complete clues: one for turning proper, one for persevering with straight, and one for turning left; in all circumstances the vehicles enter from the sting of the grid (and turns are oriented w/r/t that), and all turns lead to legitimate entries each with and with out the CAR (in some circumstances with the second half being backwards relative to the course of the CAR phrase)

Word of the Day: TED (31D: California congressman ___ Lieu) —

Ted W. Lieu is an American politician and Air Force Reserve Command colonel who has represented California’s thirty third congressional district within the U.S. House of Representatives since 2015. The district consists of a lot of western and west Valley Los Angeles, in addition to Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Bel Air, Calabasas, Agoura Hills, the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Beach Cities.

A member of the Democratic Party, Lieu is one in every of 18 members of Congress who’re naturalized U.S. residents. He represented the twenty eighth district within the California State Senate from 2011 to 2014, after being elected to fill the seat of deceased Senator Jenny Oropeza. From 2005 to 2010 he was a California State Assemblyman, representing the 53rd district, after being elected to fill the seat of deceased Assemblyman Mike Gordon.

Lieu actively served within the United States Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps from 1995 to 1999 and since 2000 has served within the Air Force Reserve Command together with his present rank of colonel upon his promotion in 2015. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi appointed Lieu Assistant whip of the a hundred and fifteenth Congress in 2017.

• • •

It’s me, hello, I’m the issue, it is me. Christopher Adams right here filling in for Rex whereas he might or might not be in wi-fi purgatory***; fingers crossed that this publish does not interrupt his trip like, uh, the final one did.

**Rex says, through wi-fi non-purgatory: “Dear Nora, your pals Mellie & Hilary (and I) wish to want you a really joyful twenty first birthday 🥳 🎉 🎂 I’m so glad you benefit from the weblog, and I hope this weblog birthday greeting from weirdo me (presently someplace in central Otago, NZ) is as significant as your pals think about. Have a beautiful day!”

Very glad that Rex is just not in wi-fi purgatory, very glad to have the ability to relay (and second) the joyful birthday greetings, and really glad to have this chance to apologize for components of final Thursday’s assessment, and particularly the profanity and advert hominem stuff; that is 100% on me, and I ought to know higher, however on the identical time I used to be very a lot not in a temper to have interaction or spend time with a puzzle that (Roger Ebert voice) I hated, hated, hated, and ended up venting a bit an excessive amount of; once more, my sincerest, deepest apologies for that.

(I might additionally wish to not take up an excessive amount of time on that and get to immediately’s puzzle, as a result of the longer this intro goes, the extra this turns into a recipe web site the place it’s important to undergo 5 thousand or so phrases of household historical past earlier than discovering a fifty phrase recipe that is not as distinctive or as attention-grabbing because the meals blogger thinks it’s. ANYWAY, once more, there’s a variety of nice puzzles on the market, and I attempt to not resolve ones that I do not get pleasure from. Which is to not say that I hate all NYT puzzles; I simply typically do not resolve the NYT except it is by a constructor I do know and luxuriate in (which is immediately’s puzzle!), or if I hear from trusted mates that it is a good puzzle; current puzzles I preferred included Sid’s themeless from the tenth and Ryan’s Sunday themeless on the 18th.)

On to this puzzle! TL;DR I preferred it! So much! (More beneath the theme rationalization!)

Theme solutions:

  • 26A: First exit: Milk containers · Second exit: Rebounded, in billiard · Third exit: Wheeled (away) [CARTONS / CAROMED / CARTED, w/ CAR going into SNOT, DEMO, TED as appropriate]
  • 54A: First exit: Salad bar bowlful · Second exit: French watchmaker · Third exit: Thanksgiving function [CARROTS / CARTIER / CARVER, using ROTS, TIER, REV]
  • 5D: First exit: Floor covers · Second exit: Addition indicators · Third exit: Checking the IDs of [CARPETS / CARETS / CARDING, using STEP, ETS, DING]
  • 66D: First exit: Writer Lewis · Second exit: Santana of Santana · Third exit: Dead meat [CARROLL / CARLOS / CARRION, using ROLL, SOL, and NOIR]

It’s not terribly troublesome to search out phrases that change into different phrases once you take away some letters; it isn’t terribly troublesome, both, to search out phrases that change into different phrases once they’re spelled backwards. And there’s some flexibility right here: since all of them begin with CAR, the ending components can go wherever the place they’re in the appropriate course (e.g. STEP may go at 19A, the place it’s, or 61A, however not at 20A). But: having 4 of them intersecting the (grid-spanning) revealer in symmetric spots, whereas accounting for all the above? Now that is some good building (and, maybe, a little bit of luck; you may’t transfer the black squares that operate as roundabouts round an excessive amount of, however on the identical time, once you’re as proficient and skilled as David is, generally you make your individual luck). (I’ll quibble just a little bit and say that I might’ve preferred the NW and SE roundabouts to be visually set aside and never contact different black squares, even diagonally, however that is maybe asking a bit too a lot right here.)

replace: David says in his XWI notes that getting the revealer to “run by the 4 thematic preparations would possibly simply prime the listing of fortunate moments in my crossword building profession”, however I nonetheless assume that there is nonetheless a good bit of talent concerned. I additionally would not be disenchanted if this was a Wednesday, like he thought this could be as a result of he clued all of the roundabout exits [which, again, were normal words] relatively than leaving them unclued, however like David, I’m very joyful to see this revealed interval, and particularly on a Thursday (and doubly so on a day I weblog!).

Anyway, enjoyable theme! So much higher than final week! Heck, even when I did not like this, I nonetheless would’ve preferred it greater than final week, as a result of it is at the least making an attempt to do one thing enjoyable and ingenious. (To be truthful, I most likely would’ve disliked final week’s theme much less if it have been, say, on a Tuesday as a substitute of a Thursday, however nonetheless…) And exterior of that, there’s some legit enjoyable clues: the picture of [What smoke coming out of the ears may signal in a cartoon] (ANGER), the “TIL attention-grabbing truth” of [Name derived from the Greek for “messenger”] (ANGELINA), the “difficult however truthful” clue for CARETS (see beneath), plus enjoyable fill like SANTA HAT, FROSH, AMBROSIA, and many others.

c’mon, what else may the video be?

ROUNDABOUT (ARC)TANGENT: As a driver, I like roundabouts. As a pedestrian and (particularly) a runner, not as a lot of a fan; I’ve observed that at most intersections right here in Iowa City the place they’ve changed cease indicators / lights with roundabouts lately, it is loads tougher to cross the road as a result of vehicles simply do not decelerate. At least with cease indicators and lights, (nicely, at the least hope) that vehicles will cease, and to some extent you may proceed safely by the intersection with out actually stopping. But with roundabouts, vehicles do not even cease, not to mention decelerate, and the considered them even excited about searching for pedestrians is a pipe dream. ROUNDABOUT (ARC)TANGENT OVER.

Anyway, good puzzle! It’s one I might’ve solved anyway, as a result of I typically like David’s puzzles (and know that if it is a Thursday, it is most likely actually artistic), and I’m glad it is also on a day I’m running a blog. More enjoyable that method.


  • CARETS [5D: Addition signs] — As a math individual, my first thought right here was that this was a mistake; carets are often used for exponentiation. Realized, after a bit, that that is referring to copyediting / proofreading, the place carets are used to sign additions to the textual content
  • THE [71A: French beverage] — Sure, I suppose; not a fan of this angle, and it isn’t such as you’re avoiding dupes with clues right here (as a result of there’s fairly a number of cases of “the” within the clues elsewhere). Would’ve preferred this extra if it’d’ve leaned into that and clued it as [The most common word in the English language, or in the clue for this answer], or if the following clue ([Chinwags], for CHATS) had continued the development with [French pets] or one thing
  • ROSIE [66A: Funny O’Donnell] — [citation needed] (at the least, not lately, and it isn’t such as you’re hurting for different clue angles right here)
  • TRIO [52A: Hip-hop’s Salt-N-Pepa, contrary to what their name suggest] — on the one hand, sure, DJ Spinderella was completely an important member of that group of their heyday; however, iirc, she hasn’t been a part of the group for a number of years now, and so it technically is not a trio proper now? FWIW, I just like the cluing angle, and assume it really works, however would possibly’ve been higher to select a distinct act (Tony Orlando and Dawn, anyone?)
  • ETS [23D: “We come in peace” speakers, in brief] — no no no no no no no no; the one legitimate cluing angles right here, imo, are the lawful good and possibly the lawful impartial ones on this chart
  • LATIN I [50D: Course in which you might learn “cave canem” — One of the few answers I had to erase, in that I knew the answer in that area was longer than five letters, and so I jumped straight to AP LATI..and whoops, that doesn’t fit. Meh on the I, but it’s fair, I suppose. [“Cave canem” is “beware of dog”, btw.]
  • TAR [35A: Dinosaur bone preserver] — We would even have accepted [2022 film starring Cate Blanchett]

Yours in puzzling, Christopher Adams, Court Jester of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]



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