Tuesday, June 6, 2023
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Singing rodent of cartoondom / WED 1-18-23 / Acronymic title for a legendary athlete / Plaza resident in fiction / 1983 hit tune that begins Domo arigato / Drugstore chain recognized for its lengthy receipts / Feminist assn since 1966

Constructor: Lindsay McBride

Relative problem: Medium-Difficult

THEME: “Good truck…” — really, PICK-UP LINE (59A: “Come right here usually?,” e.g. … or a touch to 17-, 30-, 35- and 43-Throughout); all of the solutions are “traces” (i.e. issues one may say) concerning selecting somebody / one thing up:

Theme solutions:

  • “IT’S MY TREAT” (17A: 59-Throughout from somebody who’s paying?)
  • “ANSWER THE PHONE!” (30A: 59-Throughout from an anxious caller?)
  • “CLEAN YOUR ROOM!” (35A: 59-Throughout from a annoyed guardian?)
  • “DO YOU NEED A RIDE?” (43A: 59-Throughout from a carpooler?)

Phrase of the Day: THE G.O.A.T. (23A: Acronymic title for a legendary athlete) —

Not many individuals can declare to be the G.O.A.T., however those that can are the Best Of All Time of their discipline. Most frequently, the acronym G.O.A.T. praises distinctive athletes but additionally musicians and different public figures.

On social media, it’s frequent to see the goat 🐐 emoji in punning relation to the acronym. (dictionary.com)

• • •

That is a kind of puzzles the place the themer clues are principally begging you to go down and begin on the backside, with the revealer, so that is what I did. Fixing a bunch of longer solutions utterly by means of crosses, with no concept why they’re what they’re, is not notably enjoyable, so I went down and labored my approach to PICK-UP LINE, after which the themers I acquired after that weren’t simply befuddling unclued (or … preclued) phrases. The revealer payoff wasn’t dramatic, but it surely labored properly sufficient. Take a well-known phrase (PICK-UP LINE) and reorient it in a bunch of various methods–a line about selecting up the tab, a line about selecting up the cellphone, and so on. It is textbook stuff, actually. Not thrilling, a bit bit corny, however easy and neatly executed, and no cornier than most pun-driven themes. Not one of the theme phrases really feel pressured (the best way they generally can whenever you’re attempting to make them come out as a symmetrical set). In brief, the theme is simply wonderful. The puzzle performed more durable than regular (for me) partly due to the theme (i.e. the clues are all cross-referenced, so that you needed to piece them along with a part of the clue lacking), and partly due to trivia, particularly names, particularly two names I did not know, particularly two names I did not know that come from The Precise Identical Subject—two Olympic athletes. Names are a wonderful and essential a part of puzzles, however … it is all the time good when the clues trouble to broaden the vary of these names. Two names from a really slim space … not nice modifying. I am simply getting hammered recently by LEE clues. Did not know LEE Shubert the opposite day, did not know Suni LEE right now. I am pretty positive I’ve really seen ELAINE Thompson-Herah within the puzzle earlier than. I’ve a obscure reminiscence of creating her my Phrase of the Day. However that did not assist right now. So … theme, names, after which lots of “could possibly be a bunch of issues”-type clues made this one sluggish(er) going for me. However not tough. Simply sluggish.

Received EBB/ELIOT rapidly, proper off the bat, and thought I used to be going to begin flying, however then LEE acquired concerned and wow BE SEEN was not my good friend (3D: Seem in public). Wanted each cross. Had BESEEM sooner or later and thought “properly that is … quaint.” Clue on MAGS was a tricky one (esp. since I solely ever see the abbr. MAGS in crosswords) (18D: They’ve points, in short). My college students TURN IN assignments on a regular basis, and more and more they do that electronically, which can be why I went with TURN IN and never HAND IN. We even have software program known as “Turnitin”—it is semi-evil surveillance software program that identifies all of the components of a scholar’s paper which are taken from different sources. It is a approach to catch plagiarizers (the plagiarism arms race, do not get me began … I didn’t get into this discipline so I could possibly be a cop; at this level, I simply go over correct quotation strategies, clarify the zero tolerance dishonest coverage, after which flip the policing over to the machines. I additionally craft bizarre assignments that make plagiarism a close to impossibility, although with the brand new AI, who the **** is aware of…). So I tripped over HAND IN, then tripped over “UM, NO” (had “UH, NO”). Then actually tripped over I.T. PRO (had I.T. GUY … which made it appear like I used to be going to get GIPSY (!?!!?) at 22D: Sure itinerant musician (PIPER), which had me going “oh … no no no do not be that.” And it wasn’t!).  

The one reply I actually hated right now was NO SPIN—that was the slogan of a ONETIME right-wing speak present host, so … barf. Really, I believe technically it was the title of a phase (perhaps?) on his present: the “NO SPIN Zone.” Or perhaps that is simply what he known as his present (I am not bothering to look it up). The very declare “NO SPIN!” reeks of fraud, like … it is the factor you’ll declare when you have been really the spinniest spinner who ever spun. “NO SPIN!” “Oh, shut up, spinner.” NO SPIN was additionally simply arduous to parse, and arduous + repugnant is just about the worst combo you’ll be able to encounter as a solver. That FROND clue is fairly terrible, however in that semi-charming approach that dangerous puns are terrible, so preserve the FROND clue, ditch NO SPIN fully, I say. I had LOYALIST earlier than LOYAL (house) FAN (36D: Die-hard follower), so there was one more approach that my progress was measurably impeded. We acquired the uncommon ONO/ENO Each day Double right now. Which means you have to drink! (it is time for ONO/ENO, the world’s slowest consuming sport!). I like (love!) that ALI comes instantly after THE GOAT within the Acrosses, since one of many first instances I ever encountered the G.O.A.T. acronym was in a Taschen bookstore the place they’d an enormous e book on show, all about Muhammad ALI. Its title: GOAT! I believed, “what a bizarre factor to name him.” Now I get it.

See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]



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