Tuesday, May 2, 2023
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Peruvian cocktail / THU 7-7-22 / Opening in a magic act / Professional who calls the shot / Very good-looking as a beau / Many a Prepare dinner Islander / River on which Greek deities swore their oaths / Northern terminus of I-79

Constructor: Philip Wolfe

Relative issue: Straightforward

THEME: Brace your self! — phrases with DOUBLE, TWICE, and TWO in them (respectively), are represented within the grid by a doubling of an adjoining phrase within the reply. Thus:

Theme solutions:

  • “YOU ONLY LIVE LIVE” (for “You Solely Dwell Twice”)
  • BLIND BLIND STUDY (for “double-blind examine”)
  • GOODY SHOES SHOES (for “goody two-shoes”)

Phrase of the Day: PISCO (34D: Peruvian cocktail => PISCO SOUR) —

Pisco is a colorless or yellowish-to-amber coloured brandy produced in winemaking areas of Chile and Peru. Made by distilling fermented grape juice right into a high-proof spirit, it was developed by Sixteenth-century Spanish settlers as a substitute for orujo, a pomace brandy that was being imported from Spain. It had some great benefits of being produced from ample domestically grown fruit and decreasing the amount of alcoholic drinks transported to distant places.

• • •

In contrast to some current Thursdays, this one felt fairly listless. It was simple, tended towards crosswordese within the fill, and had a intelligent however pretty fundamental theme that did not fairly attain to Thursday ranges of trickery and toughness. ABRA at 1-Throughout is a really, very dangerous signal. I believe we had the total ABRACADABRA the opposite day, and I keep in mind considering to myself, “ah, the total incantation, that is good; normally we’re simply subjected to that terrible and utterly alleged incantation *half*, ABRA” … and right here we’re. Proper from the highest. ABRACADABRA is one phrase. Full cease. Finish of story. Why, within the twenty first century, are we persevering with to permit ABRA to face by itself. Additionally, why (why) would you lead with it, or ever use it in any respect except you had been phenomenally determined. And perhaps when you’re that determined, it’s best to redo the nook. Taking a look at that nook and seeing BROT (!??!!?), I might say, yeah, you want to redo that nook, actually and really. And it is not like the remainder of the grid disabused me of my sense that ABRA was an omen of fill to return. INURE STET ERATO TALI ASP NEER ELS ERIE, all of the hits. The brief fill is so weak (bland, actually) that it was truly stunning to me when the lengthy Downs turned out to be as robust as they had been. PISCO SOUR is a daring, daring transfer, particularly contemplating the NYTXW has by no means even had PISCO by itself within the grid earlier than. I do not assume I’ve had a PISCO SOUR, however I do get pleasure from cocktails and examine them typically, so I had the benefit of getting heard of it. Pretty reply, imho. FRIVOLOUS and DOOFUSES are additionally a-OK in my guide. However an excessive amount of of this grid is laden with repeaters

As for the theme, here is the principle drawback: approach too simple and extra “huh, OK” than “wow.” It is good that the themers all got here out to grid-spanning size—provides the puzzle a sure structural class—however when you get one among them, you will get the others instantly. The puzzle provides up every little thing without delay. It took me a very long time to lastly make sense of the primary themer, however I spent that “very long time” simply filling in the entire prime of the grid, so the primary themer did not play robust a lot as mysterious. Anyway, I did not get that second LIVE, and thus the theme gimmick, till proper right here:

However after that, I used to be capable of go immediately to this:

Sport over. Principally. Straightforward as pie. Too simple for a Thursday theme. The one chew on this grid got here from the PISCO SOUR. Add this to the listing of the various methods through which cocktails have made me completely happy.

I made some errors! They had been inconsequential! However I’ll rehearse them right here! I do know Dante’s Inferno approach approach too effectively to even consider ABYSS as a solution for 1D: Hell, to Dante, LOL. I imply … true sufficient, I suppose, however I actually wished the Italian phrase for “hell” there … which, it seems, funnily sufficient, is “Inferno.” I had the AB- and nonetheless no thought. Did I point out I educate Inferno yearly, typically twice a 12 months? Sorry, SOMETIMES SOMETIMES A YEAR. It is true. Transferring on. Had the same old E/I trouble at 15A: Accustom (INURE). Wrote in CONS for OFFS (10A: Does successful on), which is a bizarre alternative, looking back. I by no means actually know what period or planet the NYTXW’s “slanginess” goes to be from, or whether or not it is going to be correct or awkward and tin-eared, so the clue simply gave the impression of some form of slang for operating a rip-off. However OFFS is healthier, sure. Had DRESSY earlier than DREAMY (40D: Very good-looking, as a beau) and UPSHOT earlier than UPTAKE (60A: Comprehension). I do consider that is it for screw-ups and struggles. I hope you benefit from the the rest of your Thursday, or no matter future day you occur to be studying this on. See you tomorrow. 
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]



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