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Like old style railroad crossing indicators / MON 12-26-22 / Landslide of moist sediment / Princess who says into the rubbish chute flyboy / 97.5% of a penny / Bitter a part of an orange /

Constructor: Kurt Weller

Relative problem: No Concept (did it Downs-Solely to flee potential boredom)

THEME: CLOCKWORK (59A: Epitome of precision … or an outline of 20-, 34- and 43-Throughout?) — acquainted phrases that additionally sound like verb phrases associated to “working” on a “clock”:

Theme solutions:

  • MAKE A FACE (20A: Stick your tongue out, say)
  • SWITCH GEARS (34A: Transfer onto a brand new subject of dialog, metaphorically)
  • CHANGE HANDS (43A: Go to a distinct proprietor, as a enterprise)

Phrase of the Day: “The Wall” (3D: Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” for one => ROCK OPERA) —

The Wall is the eleventh studio album by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd, launched on 30 November 1979 by Harvest/EMI and Columbia/CBS Data. It’s a rock opera that explores Pink, a jaded rock star whose eventual self-imposed isolation from society kinds a figurative wall. The album was a business success, topping the US charts for 15 weeks and reaching quantity three within the UK. It initially obtained blended evaluations from critics, lots of whom discovered it overblown and pretentious, however later obtained accolades as one of many best albums of all time and one of many band’s most interesting works. […] The Wall is without doubt one of the best-known idea albums. With over 30 million copies bought, it’s the second best-selling album within the band’s catalogue (behind The Darkish Aspect of the Moon), the most effective promoting double-album of all time, and one of many best-selling albums of all time total. A number of the outtakes from the recording classes have been used on the group’s subsequent album, The Remaining Reduce (1983). In 2000, it was voted quantity 30 in Colin Larkin‘s All Time High 1000 Albums. In 2003, 2012, and 2020, it was included in Rolling Stones lists of the best albums of all time. From 2010 to 2013, Waters staged a new Wall dwell tour that turned the highest-grossing tour by a solo musician. (wikipedia)

• • •

This appeared like a fairly remedial theme at first—elements of a watch, massive whoop. However then I learn the revealer clue a little bit extra intently and realized that the theme solutions did not simply have watch elements as their closing phrases, they appeared to particular issues one would possibly do whereas “working” on a “clock”—somebody engaged in such CLOCKWORK would possibly MAKE A (clock) FACE or SWITCH (clock) GEARS or CHANGE (clock) HANDS. This offers the theme a little bit one thing additional. Not that it made it any extra fascinating to resolve, however conceptually, not less than, it is acquired the form of next-level ambition and class that you simply’d hope to seek out day by day in your NYTXW themed puzzles. I can not actually communicate to what it was like to resolve usually, as I solved it very abnormally—by wanting solely on the Down clues. Downs-only fixing places you into an entire different world, one the place you keep away from the assistance—and the pitfalls—that Throughout clues usually present. So you’ll be able to go very very quick, but additionally, you may get very, very caught. I did a little bit of each as we speak. The toughest factor was most likely (to my thoughts) the iffiest factor within the grid: MUDFLOW. Uh, what? What’s … that? Is it … mud … that flows? I used to be not conscious that that was a phenomenon noteworthy sufficient to be its personal reply. I’ve rattling certain heard of MUDSLIDES, however simply MUDFLOWs? Mmm, no. And since I could not get ZINC (7D: 97.5% of a penny) I used to be attempting to make the primary themer into MAKE A …. DATE? One thing like that. Actually not a fan of the MUDFLOW.

The opposite major Downs-only situation I had was ANTITOXIN (36D: Venom neutralizer, e.g.). My mind was like “ANTIVENOM!” and I used to be like “look, mind, ‘venom’ is within the clue, it may possibly’t be ANTIVENOM” after which mind was like “ah nicely, cannot show you how to, gonna take into consideration Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ now” and I mentioned “oh come on, mind” but it surely plugged its ears and began shout-singing: “We Do not Want No / ANTIVENOM!” So infantile, typically, mind is. Most likely the funniest a part of Downs-only fixing was getting PENI- (!) over EREC- (!!) there within the SW nook and considering “nicely, I’ve gotta have an error there … I hope I’ve an error there … as a result of … OK, what is going on!?” I could not consider something that would full PENI- and in addition be allowable in mainstream crosswords. Crosses have been main me to PENIN however all I might assume was “nicely, that is not a phrase.” Then I believed “oof, it might be an terrible partial.” And then I believed, oh, it is only a verb phrase … OK, then.” Remarkably arduous, from a Downs-only standpoint, was 30D: Bitter a part of an orange (PITH). You assume, “what number of four-letter solutions can there be?” Properly three, not less than, I can inform you from expertise. I had PEEL at first (again once I needed CHANGE HANDS to be CHANGE LANES). Then I believed, “nicely, if it is not that, then possibly … RIND?” Perhaps, but additionally possibly not. Sigh. Your mind actually has to work in bizarre methods to suss out these Down-only dilemmas (or trilemmas). 

I’ve by no means actually heard anybody say “CLOCKWORK” except they mentioned “like” first, or occurred to be discussing a really well-known Kubrick movie. However that is alright. It is a phrase, you’ll be able to’t dispute that. Total, the expertise was entertaining, although I feel many of the leisure got here from the self-imposed Downs-only restriction, somewhat than from something inherent within the theme or fill. Placing collectively these lengthy Throughout themers with completely no clues was an journey: MAKE A DATE! CHANGE LANES! CLONE WARS! (earlier than CLOCKWORK, LOL). SWITCH GEARS was the one themer that actually needed to remain put. 

I am leaving Dunedin tomorrow and shall be in transit for a number of days, so after your common month-to-month Clare Tuesday tomorrow, you will have Mali one of many days and I feel Eli the opposite two. Then I am again for good on Saturday. I am going to fill you in a bit on my NZ adventures then. Here is an image of me as we speak on the seaside, the place it was sunny and 75 levels and ice cream vans had lengthy strains and a seal stored attempting to play with all of the surfers who have been on the market floating, ready for waves. Then the seal tried to play with individuals simply strolling on the seaside and that was rather less enjoyable, a little bit extra scary. However everybody gave Mr. Frolic Seal numerous room and he headed again to sea. Good instances. 

Oh after which a seagull acquired on my automotive and mentioned ‘hey’; barely menacing, however principally simply … shut. 

Oh, and since [A rainbow may be seen as a good one] is within the puzzle as we speak (OMEN!), here is an unimaginable full rainbow I noticed strolling house from Christmas lunch at my mother-in-law’s yesterday:

OK, sufficient pics. Goodbye this week.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]



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