Home Puzzles Where Gandalf declares “You shall not go!” / WED 8-24-22 / 1997 horror movie with the tagline When you’ll be able to’t breathe, you’ll be able to’t scream

Where Gandalf declares “You shall not go!” / WED 8-24-22 / 1997 horror movie with the tagline When you’ll be able to’t breathe, you’ll be able to’t scream

Where Gandalf declares “You shall not go!” / WED 8-24-22 / 1997 horror movie with the tagline When you’ll be able to’t breathe, you’ll be able to’t scream


Constructor: Colin Ernst

Relative issue: Easy-Medium (Easier up high, Mediumer down under)

THEME: REAL ESTATE AGENT (56A: Source of the euphemisms discovered within the clues for 17-, 23- and 48-Across) — clues are actual property “euphemisms” for the next residences:

Theme solutions:

  • STUDIO APARTMENT (17A: “It’s super-cozy, and a breeze to wash!”)
  • FIVE FLOOR WALK-UP (23A: “You can cancel that health club membership!”)
  • MAJOR FIXER-UPPER (48A: “The area has countless potentialities!”)

Word of the Day: MORIA (48D: Where Gandalf declares “You shall not go!”) —

In the fictional world of J. R. R. TolkienMoria, additionally named Khazad-dûm, is an historical subterranean advanced in Middle-earth, comprising an unlimited labyrinthine community of tunnels, chambers, mines and halls below the Misty Mountains, with doorways on each the western and the jap sides of the mountain vary. Moria is launched in Tolkien’s novel The Hobbit, and is a serious scene of motion in The Lord of the Rings.

In a lot of Middle-earth’s fictional historical past, Moria was the best metropolis of the Dwarves. The metropolis’s wealth was based on its mines, which produced mithril, a fictional steel of nice magnificence and energy, appropriate for armour. The Dwarves dug too deep, grasping for mithril, and disturbed a demon of nice energy: a Balrog, which destroyed their kingdom. By the tip of the Third Age, Moria had lengthy been deserted by the Dwarves, and was a spot of evil reputation. It was darkish, in harmful disrepair, and in its labyrinths lurked Orcs and the Balrog. (wikipedia)

• • •

Maybe that is speculated to be of explicit enchantment to New Yorkers? It principally missed me. Only one in all these potential residences sounds prefer it requires a “euphemism” (the final one). The first two simply appear to be locations one would possibly dwell in a metropolis. Maybe some individuals would discover them undesirable, I dunno, however presumably you’d have some concept of the form of residence you have been taking a look at earlier than you checked out it. And about MAJOR FIXER-UPPER … a couple of issues. First, the MAJOR half felt slightly wobbly. The expression that got here to thoughts for me was “it is a REAL FIXER-UPPER.” I wanted a number of crosses to get MAJOR (and a kind of crosses was MORIA (!?) … that is partly why the underside of this puzzle was extra “Medium” than the “Easy” high). Second, MAJOR FIXER-UPPER looks as if one thing you’d say a couple of home, or one thing you personal, not (like the opposite two themers) an residence or one thing you’d lease. So it’s kind of odd-man-out. Third, MAJOR FIXER-UPPER *is* the euphemism right here. The different residence sorts are simply … residence sorts. This one screams “euphemism.” So the puzzle is telling me the *clue* is the euphemism, however the *reply* is definitely far more euphemismy. Which brings me to possibly the off-est seeming factor in regards to the theme: I normally (at all times?) consider “euphemisms” as particular phrases or phrases, not complete sentences, in order that was bizarre. Here’s the reason of “euphemisms” from Merriam-Webster, and you’ll see that full sentences will not be actually a part of the dialogue:

Euphemisms can take totally different kinds, however all of them contain substituting a phrase or phrase thought of to be much less offensive than one other. The substituted phrase would possibly, for instance, be considered as a much less coarse alternative, as when dang or darn is used as an alternative of rattling or damned. Or it’d exchange a phrase considered as insulting to a spiritual determine, akin to the varied euphemisms for God (gadgadzooksgosh) or Jesus (geejeepersjeez). A euphemism may additionally encompass an oblique softening phrase that’s substituted for the simple naming of one thing unpalatable. Thus, we hear of individuals being “let go” reasonably than “fired”; civilians killed in struggle described as “collateral damage”; or somebody who has died having “kicked the bucket,” “passed away, “given up the ghost,” or “joined one’s ancestors.” (emph. mine)

There’s a kernel of an fascinating concept behind this theme, however I believed the execution right here was a bit tough.

The longer Downs add some life to the grid, with the pair within the SE being the true brilliant spot of the day, fill-wise (SCOOP NECK subsequent to SHAKE ON IT). Sadly, that pairing additionally leads to the gunkiest a part of the grid, fill-wise: that tiny part within the far SE—CIVKTSTVS. Actually, TVS is OK, nevertheless it provides to the horrid pile-up of abbrs. there. The clues for CIV (62A: ___ engr.) and KTS (65A: Gold stds.) are themselves onerous to have a look at, with [___ engr.] being about as ugly a clue as I can think about. Elsewhere, the quick fill is best however not by a lot. ASSAM is fascinating as a result of it is an actual sufficient place however my mind flags it instantly as crosswordese as a result of, effectively, it was once in every single place. One of these geographical phrases you’d study very early on, in case you did not realize it already, since you may depend on seeing it commonly. Its reputation peaked in 1973—9 appearances within the NYTXW that 12 months. But that is its first look this 12 months, so … particularly because it’s an precise point-to-able area, I am unable to actually name it “crosswordese” anymore. Like, if ASTA confirmed up within the puzzle tomorrow … is he crossworese anymore? Ten ASTAs the primary full 12 months I wrote this weblog (2007), however only one final 12 months (2021). If the crosswordese unwears out its welcome, is it even crosswordese any extra? I understand I’ve wandered into some thorny existential territory right here, however … give it some thought. 

ASSAM apart, there gave the impression to be lots of stale quick phrases. AHS CLIO EDAM ACER AFTS IOTAS ELL ERM PAH (ERM-PAH!—the sound of the hesitant tuba! ERM-PAH lerm-pah derpity der, I’ve acquired some ugly quick phrases for you!). I do not know what to say about MORIA. I’ve learn “The Hobbit” and seen all these boring LOTR motion pictures and by some means MORIA hasn’t caught. Never even appeared within the grid till 2014, however this makes 4 appearances now. We have already got one fictional place down on this nook (AVONLEA), I’m undecided we actually want one other. I loved seeing AUGHT once more (25D: Zero), clued as a becoming retort to everybody who doubted its “Zero” which means final Thursday. While this puzzle performed easyish general, there was one crossing that felt like a fastball aimed toward my head. I couldn’t course of the citation marks in 47A: “Practical” factor (JOKE). I used to be searching for some colloquial phrase, some … saying … or an precise quote or something which may justify these citation marks. No concept. [It might be practical] would’ve tracked, however this clue did not. Cross that with the “?” clue  at 47D: Form of attachment? and you have got me in a little bit of a pickle, esp. since there are contexts the place you do certainly “connect” issues with “pegs.” Me: “What form of bizarre little bit of {hardware} am I coping with right here? T-NUT, L-BAR … what letter goes earlier than a PEG!?” But the “attachment” in query is simply an electronic mail attachment, and a JPEG is only a run-of-the-mill digital picture. I by no means acquired really caught there, however I did should work each phrases all the way down to the final letter (the “J”) earlier than understanding both of them.

See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]



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