Constructor: Enrique Henestroza Anguiano
Relative issue: Simple
THEME: EYE-OPENERS (67A: Enlightening experiences … or what 18-, 26-, 41- and 54-Throughout have, phonetically talking) — 4 theme solutions all “open” with a homophone of “eye”:
- “AYE, CAPTAIN!” (18A: Affirmative at sea)
- “I, CLAUDIUS” (26A: Hit BBC collection of 1976)
- AI WEIWEI (41A: Award-winning Chinese language artist/activist)
- “AY, CARAMBA!” (54A: Bart catchphrase on “The Simpsons”)
Phrase of the Day: AI WEIWEI (41A) —
Ai Weiwei (Chinese language: 艾未未; pinyin: Ài Wèiwèi, English pronunciation: (assist·information); born 28 August 1957) is a Chinese language modern artist, documentarian, and activist. Ai grew up within the far northwest of China, the place he lived beneath harsh situations because of his father’s exile. As an activist, he has been overtly essential of the Chinese language Authorities’s stance on democracy and human rights. He investigated authorities corruption and cover-ups, particularly the Sichuan faculties corruption scandal following the collapse of “tofu-dreg faculties” within the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. In 2011, Ai Weiwei was arrested at Beijing Capital Worldwide Airport on 3 April, for “financial crimes”. He was detained for 81 days with out cost. Ai Weiwei emerged as an important instigator in Chinese language cultural improvement, an architect of Chinese language modernism, and one of many nation’s most vocal political commentators.
Ai Weiwei encapsulates political conviction and his private poetry in his many sculptures, pictures, and public works. In doing this, he makes use of Chinese language artwork varieties to show Chinese language political and social points.
After being allowed to go away China in 2015, he has lived in Berlin, Germany, in Cambridge, UK, together with his household, and, since 2021 in Portugal. (wikipedia)
• • •
Nicely, that is a greater revealer than what I used to be anticipating, which was “FOUR EYES!” With “EYE OPENERS” you get each a revealer *and* a fifth themer (i.e. it describes the situations of the theme *and* satisfies these situations, “opening,” because it does, with “EYE”). Whereas with “FOUR EYES!” you’d get a impolite expression in addition to a fifth … eye, rendering the revealer itself nonsensical. Annnnyway, hello. How are you? This puzzle began tough for me, because the fill appeared (because it has typically appeared currently) considerably clunky. ILIAC, which for me accomplished the INTL ISIT NOLA SOAMI ILIAC cranny up high, was the reply that really made me cease and take an image.
There simply wasn’t a factor within the NW to be all in favour of (AREPAs and DOLMA are tasty, however not fascinating sufficient on their very own to carry up an entire nook). Would not assist that the primary themer can be essentially the most boring / crosswordesey of the bunch (ay ay ay, it is AYE once more!). Even after I dropped down and received the entire NW nook (together with ACADEMIA and the respectable ENERGY USE), there simply did not appear a lot to be all in favour of. And the primary themer wasn’t too promising. And I do not know that the fill actually ever received off the bottom. EREADER ESME ADIEU GOTTI DEE IOTAS ALTOS CARTA OSTER YEESH OARED … I am in search of any half that appeared significantly clear or any (non-theme) reply that appeared significantly entertaining, and ORNERY is the one factor that really made me smile—I like the countrified quaintness of that time period. AREPA ARENA AMANA, NONA NOLA—the fill is not horrific, by any means, however it simply … will get by.
The theme, nevertheless, ended up being strong, and the themers that adopted “AYE, CAPTAIN!” had been all much more energetic and welcome. I used to be so joyful to see AI WEIWEI, a crossworthy determine whose crossworthiness I used to be pushing for ten years in the past. I truly misremembered debuting his title within the NYTXW—he will need to have simply been in an early draft of one in all my puzzles. I searched and located the file of me asking my extra skilled crossword mates (in 2012) if AI WEIWEI was OK as a puzzle reply:
Regardless of AI WEIWEI’s worldwide fame at that time, it was not a on condition that the NYTXW would deem him well-known sufficient to seem in a puzzle. In the identical Fb dialog pictured above, a veteran constructor revealed that Shortz “as soon as singled out HU JINTAO as an obscure entry in one in all my puzzles. You understand, the president of China.” Anyway, AI WEIWEI ended up debuting within the NYTXW in 2014. I can not keep in mind if I used him in a puzzle for an additional outlet or not. The purpose is, he looks like a good friend to me, and I used to be joyful to see him (he is additionally the rationale this puzzle is 16 (as a substitute of the same old 15) broad—to ensure that a solution with an even-numbered letter rely to take a seat useless middle, the grid must be a fair variety of columns broad). He was one of the best reply in an excellent set of themers, and, as I mentioned up entrance, the revealer actually was a winner. Good to finish on a excessive notice (though I apparently technically *actually* ended on TERROR!)
- 10D: Nice writing paper (VELLUM) — that is information to me. I wrote in VELOUR (!), which was semi-obviously improper, however it match. I train pre-modern literature and in that context VELLUM is certainly one thing you write on, however it’s the specifically handled animal pores and skin that varieties the pages of manuscripts (pre-printing press). “Nice writing paper,” it is not.
- 24A: 12 elements of a dodecagon (ANGLES) / 33A: 12 elements of a dodecagon (EDGES) — my mind did not totally course of these clues: I received the solutions simply sufficient, however as I used to be writing them in, I used to be imagining *dodecahedrons*, particularly a 12-sided die equivalent to one would possibly use in “D&D.” This jogged my memory of some graffiti I noticed lately which perhaps was speculated to be commemorating some couple’s love for each other, however it actually appears to be like like a gaming slogan:
- 14D: Dispatches (SENDS) — had the “S”s, needed SLAYS!
Take pleasure in the remainder of your Tuesday. See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
Oh properly. He was proper about IS DONE, at any charge.