Constructor: Christina Iverson and Scott Hogan
Relative issue: Medium
THEME: “Movin’ On Up” — “ON” on the finish of 1 acquainted phrase is “moved” “up” and connected to the tip of one other acquainted phrase instantly above it—the “ON”-ing and de-“ON”-ing create wacky phrases, that are clued wackily (i.e. “?”-style)
- ‘TIS THE SEAS– (74D: Response to “Why artwork thou queasy?”) / FRUIT BATON (3D: Banana wielded by a maestro in a pinch?)
- STORE COUP– (83D: Retail takeover scheme?) / WARM-UP TOON (6D: Animated quick earlier than a Pixar film?)
- BOXING LESS– (76D: What Amazon retirees get pleasure from most?) / TRASH CANON (9D: Give a scathing evaluate of a significant digicam model?)
- HEART SURGE– (78D: Results of love at first sight?) / TACO BARON (13D: Mexican road meals mogul?)
- WELCOME WAG– (79D: What a canine greets its returning household with?) / MAIN DRAGON (16D: Smaug, in “The Hobbit”?)
Phrase of the Day: John CALE (20A: Rocker John whose surname appears like a leafy vegetable) —
John Davies Cale OBE (born 9 March 1942) is a Welsh musician, composer, singer, songwriter and report producer who was a founding member of the American rock band the Velvet Underground. Over his six-decade profession, Cale has labored in varied types throughout rock, drone, classical, avant-garde and digital music.
He studied music at Goldsmiths School, College of London, earlier than relocating in 1963 to New York Metropolis‘s downtown music scene, the place he carried out as a part of the Theatre of Everlasting Music and fashioned the Velvet Underground. Since leaving the band in 1968, Cale has launched 16 solo studio albums, together with the extensively acclaimed Paris 1919 (1973) and Music for a New Society (1982). Cale has additionally acquired a fame as an adventurous report producer, engaged on the debut albums of a number of modern artists, together with the Stooges and Patti Smith. (wikipedia)
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One thing in regards to the verticality of this theme was mildly disorienting. The opposite disorienting factor was that not solely did the lengthy Down themers have “?” clues, however the very first lengthy Throughout had a “?” clue as properly, that means that every one three of the primary lengthy solutions I encountered had “?” clues, so I had no concept what the theme was doing or which approach it was going. That’s, STUD FARMS (23A: The place some steady relationships kind?) actually seemed prefer it was a theme reply, in some way, so … yeah, disorienting, as I stated. In some way the primary themer that I really bought in full was “TIS THE SEAS!”; I had picked up the “ON” on the finish of FRUIT BATON, however didn’t but know that was the reply. Once I noticed the “ON” and recalled that the title of the puzzle was “Movin’ On Up,” I instantly went all the way down to the longish reply slightly below the “ON” and, noticing it too was a “?” clue, figured the “ON” had been moved “up” … so this decrease themer can be missing the “ON” (the place the higher themer had gained it). I didn’t anticipate that actually each themer would have the “ON” both taken from or added to its tail finish, however that is what ended up taking place, making it very simple to only put “ON”s into all of the higher themers whereas additionally imagining them lacking from the decrease ones. Fixing it felt fairly programmatic. Among the wackiness landed—I preferred “‘TIS THE SEAS” and WELCOME WAG and the concept of a TACO BARON (whom I needed to be a TAPA (?) BARON at first). However there wasn’t sufficient cleverness or hilarity right here to maintain a Sunday-length remedy. That is all the time the problem of Sunday—one thing that may, theoretically, enjoyment of a 15×15 turns into form of a drag when carried out over a whole 21×21. And the fill wasn’t making any pals as we speak both, so after Saturday’s grueling however fastidiously crafted masterpiece, this felt far more standard, and was one thing of a let-down.
There are a lotta “Why?”s on this grid. Like, why are there two “UP”s within the grid, particularly in a puzzle the place “UP” is within the title and related to the entire idea? One of many “UP”s is even in a themer (WARM-UP TOON) (the opposite is in ACTS UP). Why is not there a second query mark within the clue for “‘TIS THE SEAS!” (74D: Response to “Why artwork thou queasy?”)—you want one “?” for the traditional interrogative, however you want one other to cue the thematic wackiness. All the opposite themers get wacky “?”s on the finish, that one wants one as properly. Extra whys. Why would you needlessly add but extra Harry Potter content material (RITA) to a puzzle that already has a essentially Pottery reply (SNAPE)?! There are one million (give or take) methods to clue RITA, so why are you leaning into the Rowlingverse, precisely? (95A: Journalist Skeeter within the Harry Potter books). Yuck. Why is there an “ON” in a Down reply that does *not* transfer “up”? (15D: Defunct firm of accounting fraud fame => ENRON). And lastly (I feel), why is there a (horrible) singular SCAD (114D: Great amount) when you possibly can’ve simply made it a SCAM? Possibly SCAM or TEEM is already within the grid someplace and I am simply not seeing it, however oof, singular SCAD, simply say ‘no,’ esp. when it is easy to say ‘no.’ Oh, yet another why—why is the clue on MILAN [Where 122-Across can be found] when 122-Throughout is merely SCALA. It’s super-awkward to inform me to have a look at a solution after which not have the reply itself be sufficient—the reply is only a partial. You might want to learn the clue *and* the reply to make the MILAN clue make sense. Ungainly. Do not do that. Not price it.
No important errors to talk of as we speak. I had Smaug as a REAL DRAGON at first. Balked at DAGNABIT as a result of I assumed it had two “B”s. Balked at BROUHAHA as a result of I assumed it had two “O”s. Wasn’t certain if it was BRIER or BRIAR. Had MAD earlier than WAY (94D: Very, colloquially). Took (seemingly) endlessly for me to determine why STU was proper for 66A: Artless nickname? (take the “artwork” out of “Stuart” and also you get STU). I kinda want the clue on NIGHT had began with [When repeated…] (99A: “Candy goals!” => “NIGHT!”). That is all I bought in the way in which of commentary as we speak.
Hey, I must remind you that one other installment of the Boswords Crossword Event is headed your approach later this month. Or, in the event you’re native, possibly you are headed its approach (it is in individual *and* on-line this time) (in-person at The Roxbury Latin Faculty in West Roxbury, MA). Anyway, here is the data from tourney organizer John Lieb:
Registration is now open for the Boswords 2022 Summer season Event, which will probably be held on Sunday, July 24. This occasion will probably be each In-Individual and On-line. Solvers can compete individually or in pairs. To register, to see the constructor roster, and for extra particulars, go to www.boswords.org, the place previous event puzzles are additionally obtainable for buy.
Take care. See you tomorrow (or subsequent week, in the event you’re a kind of Sundays-only of us)
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld