Constructor: Juliet Corless
Relative problem: Medium
Phrase of the Day: DPT (11A: Childhood vaccine combo) —
diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (merriam-webster.com)
• • •
This can be a very old school sort of grid, one you used to see lots again within the day when 15 stacks had been a sort of Friday/Saturday fad. Now, this grid is very uncommon, in that has been rotated 90 levels from its traditional place, so the 15 stacks are operating Down, not Throughout, however in any other case, yow will discover grids that similar to this (stack up high, stack down under) all around the first and early second a long time of this century. Earlier than the development software program growth, getting these stacks to work out was an actual feat, however the outcomes had been usually iffy, and will end in a great deal of ugliness within the quick crosses. These days, with assistance from computer systems, pulling off stacks like this is not as exhausting, and the outcomes are usually much less clunky. Which is to say, I used to dread seeing these stack-based puzzles, again within the day, however now I simply really feel impartial. Perhaps they’re going to work, perhaps they will not. These stacks are remarkably clear, on each side, and although the quick fill is certainly unpretty in locations (EME SES DPT CIR), it principally holds up fairly effectively. The issue for me was the curiosity was Fully in these stacks, and since all of the fascinating solutions are, effectively, stacked, there isn’t a actual movement within the grid. The center is much clunkier and fewer fascinating than the edges, and it’s a must to sort of hack your approach by means of it—no fantastic solutions opening up new vistas for you, and the longer solutions that await you might be issues like FERRITE and BERI BERI (mmm, illnesses) and REDEPLOY. So primarily the center portion of the grid is simply filler between the far more scrumptious edges. The puzzle finally ends up a sort of reverse sandwich, the place the bread is the spotlight and the bread contents are simply … there. Taking on area. High quality, however not significantly tasty, and positively not the first motive you are consuming the sandwich (with apologies to scrumptious sandwich bread).
I began in on the quick stuff (per traditional) and was much less initially profitable than I’d’ve appreciated. Obtained ARE and CEY and (on the opposite aspect) RAE, however thought the [Childhood vaccine combo] was MMR, as a result of, effectively, that *is* a [Childhood vaccine combo] (measles mumps rubella). DPT is bizarre as a result of it seems to be prefer it’s simply quick for “diphtheria” (DPT = first three consonants, in the event you misspell it, as I usually do, “diptheria”), however then the “P” and “T” find yourself standing for different issues. Regardless, neither “vaccine combo” is what you’d name “nice fill,” and never having these preliminary letters for the lengthy Downs held me up. Similar on the opposite aspect, the place I didn’t initially get JFK, although I most likely ought to have (1A: “We select to go to the moon” speaker, for brief). Finally I modified SIFT to SKIM (21D: Undergo calmly), received “OK, OK!” off that “Okay” (24A: “I already stated I’d!”), and the west aspect of the puzzle opened up from there:
Had KEYNOTE SPEAKERS earlier than KEYNOTE SPEECHES (3D: Convention highlights) … exhausting to clarify why KEYNOTE SPEAKERS is a a lot, a lot better reply, however it’s. The draw is the speaker, usually an enormous title. Sure, that speaker provides a speech. However someway “highlights” advised the *draw*, i.e. the particular person, not the speech. That stated, KEYNOTE SPEECHES is ok. JACK OF ALL TRADES is nice, and FREAKING AWESOME, effectively, as an precise spoken time period, I hate it, as I hate FREAKIN’ as a euphemism, however as fill, it is authentic and recent. The stack on the opposite aspect of the grid is the stronger one, with all of the 15s coming in vivid and powerful.
- 19A: Usher’s providing (ARM) — I wished RAP, despite the fact that he is extra R&B crooner than rapper
- 40D: Hole (DALE) — paused right here, considering “is it VALE?” What Is The Distinction!? Not a lot. Each valleys. Simply learn, in a def. of DALE: “synonym of the phrase valley” and thought “Ooh, the place is that this ‘phrase valley’ of which you converse, I want to go to!”
- 47A: “Shut up!” (“CAN IT!”) — had the “C” and wrote in “CUT IT!” Was most likely considering “CUT IT OUT!” however who is aware of?
- 51D: Resting spot for some buns (NAPE) — it is “Resting” that is troublesome right here. Actually angles these “buns” breadward. I used to be like “why would you relaxation baked items within the NAVE?”
- 34A: Truffle searching choice (GODIVA) — As with “Resting” within the NAPE clue, “searching” is doing aggressive, sweaty work right here. Just a little toooo determined to misdirect you. Clearly “truffle searching” usually suggests the pursuit of scarce and scrumptious mushrooms. Pigs do that, or assist in it, I feel. However for this clue, the truffle you should consider is chocolate, and the model (“choice”) is GODIVA.
- 63A: One backward musician? (ENO) — god assist me, I approve this clue; made me genuinely smile (ENO = the phrase “one” … spelled “backward”)
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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