Constructor: Adam Wagner
Relative problem: Medium
THEME: “Going Off on a Tangent” — the 5 theme solutions are BENT OUT / OF SHAPE (85D: With 86-Down, very upset … just like the solutions to 5 of this puzzle’s clues?). That’s: the themers have two parts: the clued factor actually goes off on a tangent (i.e. zags diagonally up and to the fitting on the finish); the unclued factor continues straight (like a standard Throughout reply) *and* spells out a form (CIRCLE, HEART, TRIANGLE, STAR, SQUARE). So the bent (clued) reply actually will get BENT OUT / OF SHAPE (i.e. seems to emerge from a phrase that can also be a form (“form” phrases are in purple beneath):
- INNER CITY (22A: City space usually with the tallest buildings) / INNER CIRCLE
- OPEN HEARING (38A: Public courtroom continuing) / OPEN HEART
- RIGHT TRACK (61A: What you are on while you’re making progress) / RIGHT TRIANGLE
- SUPERSTORM (83A: Main concern for a meteorologist) / SUPERSTAR
- LEMON SQUEEZER (101A: Sure juicing want) / LEMON SQUARE
Phrase of the Day: KEENAN Allen (43D: Star N.F.L. large receiver Allen) —
Keenan Alexander Allen (born April 27, 1992) is an American soccer large receiver for the Los Angeles Chargers of the Nationwide Soccer League (NFL). He performed school soccer at California earlier than leaving after his junior yr. He was drafted by the Chargers within the third spherical of the 2013 NFL Draft. Allen received a number of rookie honors after setting Chargers’ information for receptions and receiving yards by a rookie. In 2017, he was named the NFL Comeback Participant of the 12 months. [ed: He’s also a 5x Pro Bowler] (wikiepdia)
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Possibly there’s some form of letdown that I am having right here on the tail finish of Thanksgiving trip / birthday week, as a result of wow I discovered this one very, very tedious. There are particular person solutions right here and there, like WHIZBANG and perhaps BONG HIT, that supply some entertaining moments alongside the way in which, however for probably the most half this was a slog. The theme was so depressingly void of curiosity, so impossibly one-note. So … these Throughout solutions go (per the title) “off on a tangent”—that’s, they kick as much as the NE, on a diagonal, at their tail ends. However … why? To what finish? These “tangents” are simply … nothing. They’re random letters. The letters don’t spell something. They don’t relate to at least one one other. They’re fully random and arbitrary letters, so far as I can see (-TY! -ING! -ACK!). If these tangent-going letters do something … something in any respect, I apologize for being unable to see it. So there’s this inherent pointlessness. Or seeming pointlessness. Then there’s the unclued solutions that simply preserve heading Throughout; that’s, solely the “off on a tangent” reply is clued—the common only-horizontal reply is simply … a believable reply. With no clue. None. Zero. That is enjoyable how? I suppose the revealer is meant to inform us how—the entire “bent” solutions (the clued solutions) come up out of a phrase that can also be a “form”—that’s, the clued solutions are bent (acquired it) “out of (a) form” (i.e. the bend offers you one reply, however the persevering with (unclued!) Throughout reply turns right into a form (CIRCLE, HEART (!?!), TRIANGLE, STAR (!?!?!), SQUARE ). This idea was completely invisible to me till properly after I would began this write-up. I assumed BENT OUT / OF SHAPE was simply one other (redundant) approach of expressing that the clued themers went “off on a tangent.” The presence of precise shapes within the (unclued) straight-Throughout solutions … simply did not register. Most likely as a result of, as I’ve mentioned, many time, parenthetically and unparenthetically, these straight-Throughout themers are Un Clued! So how *can* they make an influence!?!? When you instantly grasped the “off form” bit, you’re a extra perspicacious solver than I’m. Otherwise you’re simply much less stuffed with cocktail / chocolate cake.
That nook with the revealer … woof. Robust, exactly due to the revealer (a two-part cross-reference in a tightly enclosed area). If you do not know the revealer (and the way might you with out appreciable assist from crosses), it is tough to get traction. PAVED ROAD was approach too generically (and boringly) clued (104A: Residential development undertaking). Then I wished EATS for SUPS (!?!) (109A: Has a meal) (nothing in that clue fairly will get on the quaintness of SUPS). And if the Bruins aren’t UCLA, shrug, no concept (I *have* heard of the BOSton Bruins, simply … much less so). However the problem of the nook is actually inappropriate—the purpose is, this theme (at the very least the “form” angle) is a tree falling in a forest with nobody to listen to it. After which while you do hear it, it sounds principally like a tragic trombone.
DANK memes? Whaaaaat yr is it? I have not heard that expression in what looks like a decade, however might be simply 5 years or so. However 5 years might as properly be *two* a long time in Web Time. Woof. AGAPE and AGHAST are usually not solely each within the grid, however virtually on high of one another. And ugh x 100 to the very idea of “do not yuck my yum,” which is for delicate infants who cannot bear the truth that some folks don’t love what they like. Develop up. And cease speaking child speak. Additionally, extra importantly, YUCKED, up to now tense, is about as ugly a factor as I’ve ever seen in a grid. Simply nonsense. The worst factor concerning the fill, although, was the EWAN / VAN crossing. Why on this planet would you cross names at a vowel like that, when neither of the names is family, and one of many names (VAN) might Simply have been clued in a non-name approach!? That sq. just about needed to be an “A” since is the one identify you’ll be able to plausibly make out of EW-N, and I can kinda image VAN Jones, now that I consider it (I LOATHE 24-hr information and stopped watching it fully after the 2016 election). However it’s an terrible editorial resolution to clue VAN as a reputation there, esp. in case your EWAN is of the non-McGregor selection.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld