Monday, November 14, 2022
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Warp drive energy supply on Star Trek / MON 11-14-22 / Many a TikTok consumer informally / Italian mojito garnish / Sidekick of Mario and Luigi / What picky mothers select in accordance with advertisements / Playback possibility briefly

Constructor: Taylor Johnson

Relative issue: Medium (i.e. regular Monday)

THEME: PIZZA PARTY (62A: Social occasion hinted at by the ends of 18-, 28- and 48-Across) — theme solutions finish in CRUST, SAUCE, and CHEESE, respectively:

Theme solutions:

  • UPPER CRUST (18A: High-society, metaphorically)
  • WEAK SAUCE (28A: Something unimpressive, slangily)
  • “SAY CHEESE!” (48A: “Smi-i-i-i-le!”)

Word of the Day: Joan JETT (39A: Rock’s Joan ___ & the Blackhearts) —

Joan Jett (born Joan Marie Larkin, September 22, 1958) is an American singer, guitarist, file producer, and actress. Jett is greatest recognized for her work because the frontwoman of her band Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, and for earlier founding and performing with the Runaways, which recorded and launched the hit music “Cherry Bomb“. With The Blackhearts, Jett is understood for her rendition of the music “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” which was number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks in 1982. Jett’s different notable songs embody “Bad Reputation“, “Light of Day“, “I Hate Myself for Loving You” and her covers of “Crimson and Clover“, “Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)” and “Dirty Deeds“. […] Joan Jett & the Blackhearts had been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (wikipedia)

• • •

This felt a little bit WEAK SAUCE, a little bit skinny … crust, a little bit weak TEA. Let’s stick to the “skinny crust” metaphor for now … really, no, scrap that, skinny crust will be scrumptious. The theme appeared skinny. Just three solutions. And not all of them actually hid / repurposed the pizza elements adequately. UPPER CRUST did an ideal job (that “crust” has nothing to do with pizza), however WEAK SAUCE is a little bit … weaker, in that sauce is sauce is sauce, and ditto the “cheese” in “SAY CHEESE!” I believe BIG CHEESE or one thing extra clearly metaphorical like that may’ve been higher. But even when the theme solutions had been good, the puzzle stays pretty skinny—only a three-part, last-words-type puzzle. From a structural perspective, the grid feels very poorly constructed, in that TIME BOMBS and DON’T LEAVE are precisely so long as the theme solutions they abut, in order that they actually actually appear to be / really feel like / wanna be theme solutions … however aren’t. Major distraction. Makes the theme look denser than it’s. I really thought DON’T LEAVE was a theme reply for a bit … however then I spotted I used to be pondering LEAF, as in BASIL leaf. Which leads me to the following drawback: am I supposed to purchase BASIL as some sort of bonus theme reply? It does sit lifeless middle, and also you do discover BASIL on pizzas every so often. So let’s simply say that I formally reject BASIL as theme-related. I additionally reject that an “Italian mojito” (!?!?!) is a factor (41A: Italian mojito). That is, I’m certain it is a factor to somebody, someplace, however what a very ridiculous option to clue BASIL. Mojitos are Cuban. Conceptually and execution-wise, this one feels a little bit of a multitude, which appears very unusual for a puzzle with a theme that’s actually very easy and fundamental. I do not even actually get the “PARTY” angle. Is it a “PARTY” simply since you’ve “invited” three elements into the grid?

As for the fill, it is superb, if you happen to take pleasure in taking pictures SLO-MO TAE BO in your GOPRO. I child, it is superb. Except for WHAP, what’s that? This is like when the puzzle tried to persuade me that OWLS say WHOO! Remember that? Of course you do, it was two days in the past. I spell BLECH with two “C”s (a minimum of), in order that was bizarre (37D: “Disgusting!”). GEN Z’ER, ugh, no (47D: Many a TikTok consumer, informally). XERs have the “-ER” however ZER!? Oof, would not work. The wikipedia web page for “Generation Z” begins, “Generation Z, colloquially often called zoomers…” So there you go. That is what they’re referred to as, if they’re referred to as something. GENZER is only a determined try and debut a brand new time period [checks database …] Yep, it is a debut. Not certain what else to say right here. I wished CLAROS for 26D: Some high quality cigars. I knew that some fancy cigars got here from Cuba, however I used to be in search of a cigar sort, not a cigar homeland, is the issue. I discovered “claro” from crosswords. A “claro” is a “light-colored normally gentle cigar” ( That’s your cigar lesson for the day. 

A STROBE mild figured prominently in a (stunning) film I simply noticed within the theater as we speak referred to as “Aftersun” (d. Charlotte Wells, 2022). The STROBE seems to be a part of some sort of dance get together however that “get together” appears additionally possibly to be the afterlife or else some level of emotional connection between the daddy and daughter within the story. You ought to see the film and clarify all of it to me. I understood all of the non-STROBE components completely, and as I say: stunning.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 
P.S. who says “Attitude verify!”??? So bizarre … (14A: “Watch you ___!” (“Attitude verify!”) (TONE))

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]



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