Peter Gordon’s Fireball Crossword, “Oink!” – Jenni’s write-up
This isn’t my favourite Fireball. It wasn’t tough, the theme is so easy that I’m wondering if I’m lacking one thing (though I don’t suppose so) and there are some clunkers within the fill.
As you would possibly guess from the title, all of the theme solutions should do with pig merchandise.
- 19a [It’s no more than 2 for anyone who’s been in a movie with John Lithgow (since he was in “Footloose”] is BACON NUMBER. Kevin Bacon, in case you’re questioning. Did we actually want the trace about “Footloose”?
- 24a [2016 animated film in which Kirsten Wiig voiced a hot dog bun named Brenda] is SAUSAGE PARTY. At this level I assumed the theme could be “pig products in the movies” which might have been considerably extra attention-grabbing than what we ended up with.
- 37a [Comedian with the 1969 autobiography “Here Come the Judge!”] is PIGMEAT MARKHAM. I keep in mind the schtick from “Laugh-In.” I’m not linking to it as a result of it seems to be like a minstrel present leftover to me and certainly that was apparently the place Markham began. I notice he has a double-pork title and I assume that was irresistible however truthfully it’s 2022. If your theme is determined by a minstrel present reference, it’s time to discover a new theme.
- 53a [Legislator who gets a lot of money for local projects, informally] is a PORK BARRELER. Oh, come on. Sure, PORK BARREL is a factor. PORK BARRELER isn’t.
- 60a [In an inept way] is HAM–HANDEDLY. Would it’s impolite to say “like the way this puzzle was constructed?” Probably.
This seems to be like a group of random issues that should do with pork merchandise. Am I lacking one thing? If not, then it’s not a lot enjoyable as a theme and it’s even much less so with the. tinge of racism within the heart of the grid. And no, I’m not being “oversensitive” or “woke” or no matter different snide factor you wish to name it. I’m talking up as a White lady as a result of I consider crosswords must be enjoyable for everybody and since racism is improper. It’s not difficult. I’d say the identical factor even when this have been a world-class puzzle; the truth that it’s mediocre makes it much more egregious. I’m fairly positive that Peter didn’t sit down and say “hey, how can I make a racist puzzle today? Oh, I know!” I belief that it was inadvertent. Doesn’t change the affect.
A couple of different issues:
- BIENNIUM? Really?
- If you don’t know TOMIE dePaola’s books, you’re lacking out. Find your self a small youngster and skim to them.
- I did take pleasure in YAK and NATTERS each clued as idle discuss.
- My mom gave us KNORR rooster soup once we have been sick. I liked it. Something about these little bits of noodle…
- As lengthy as I’ve already pissed off the “I want to be a bigot and claim it’s about free speech” crowd, let’s speak about Pepé LE PEW. Yes, I do know he’s a cartoon character and a skunk at that. He’s nonetheless a vile stalking sexual harasser. If he’s going to point out up in a puzzle, I’d want to see him precisely recognized, not blithely referred to as a [Noted cat chaser of cartoons].
What I didn’t know earlier than I did this puzzle: that Andie McDowell’s character in “Groundhog Day” is known as RITA.
Rich Proulx’s Wall Street Journal crossword, “Hole in One”—Jim P’s assessment
Theme: The letter O replaces varied toroidal objects in acquainted phrases. The revealer is TORI SPELLING (51a, [Author of a bestselling 2008 autobiography, and a hint to some pictographs in this puzzle])
- 20a. [It may be engraved with two sets of initials and a date] GOLD WEDDING O (ring).
- 30a. [Seasonal door decoration] CHRISTMAS O (wreath).
- 37a. [One may be changed on a shoulder] FLAT O (tire).
- 43a. [It has a chance of sprinkles in the morning] CHOCOLATE O (donut).
It took a pair completely different aha moments to determine what was happening right here, and I wasn’t positive I used to be on board at first. But in the long run, I just like the end result. There are some nits I can decide (just like the phrase GOLD is extraneous within the first entry and there are additional Os right here and there), however the theme prompted me to suppose otherwise when assessing every reply in a method I don’t recall seeing earlier than. And not less than the important thing Os are all on the ends of their respective phrases, in order that helped with consistency.
I by no means had any curiosity in following TORI SPELLING and had no thought she had written a #1 bestselling autobiography, however she does have a quite serendipitous title. Kudos to our constructor for developing with a technique to make use of it in a puzzle.
MACARONI ART and AS SLY AS A FOX are very good anchors within the NW/SE corners. Also good: CADILLAC, NEED A NAP, and CAT TOY. Did not know racer ARIE Ludyendyk; I’m stunned we don’t see him extra typically. Also, can’t say I’m an enormous fan of spelling out Morse code letters as in DIT DAH.
Clues of notice:
- 6a. [“Blue wave” winners, for short]. DEMS. Interesting clue on condition that we’ve solely been listening to a couple of pink wave (or lack thereof) this election cycle.
- 28a. [“___ idiot!”]. I’M AN. This entry is often clued with respect to the supermodel, however I don’t thoughts this partial since I hear it lots (often as a result of I’ve stated it).
- The clue [River past Cairo] does double responsibility for 61a OHIO and 54d NILE. Just ensure you pronounce Cairo accurately.