Constructor: Kyle Dolan
Relative problem: Medium-Difficult
Phrase of the Day: BITON (50D: Canine that is a cross of two French-named breeds) —
The Biton is a hybrid designer canine created in the USA. Bred as a household companion from crossing a Bichon Frise with a Coton de Tulear, the Biton retains the small measurement and cute fluffy or lengthy and curly coat of its dad and mom. (wagwalking.com)
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Discovered this one fairly boring and dreary. It is constructed like a Saturday puzzle, with 4 thick, distinct, comparatively remoted corners that it’s a must to work your means by way of methodically, and which you could very very simply get caught in if something goes flawed. Briefly—not nice movement. Additional, when. you determined to mainly make it a four-corner puzzle, you do not get fascinating solutions a lot as acceptable solutions. You are not gonna object to many of the longer fill, however you are not going to be stunned or delighted by it a lot both. I do not perceive what solutions on this puzzle have been imagined to be seed entries, i.e. the fill you actually suppose is new and contemporary and enjoyable and fascinating. You get a bunch of 9s, however since they’re stacked, the perfect you possibly can hope for is “clear,” not “eye-popping.” It’s extremely robust to make stacked longer solutions come out clear, so except you seed a type of corners with an actual winner and construct on prime of it, what you are more than likely to get, greatest case state of affairs, is usually what you get right here—the corners maintain up, and that is it. You get a “Q” right here and and “X” there, but in addition a bunch of just-OK stuff like ART EDITOR and REDTIDES and IRON RULE and OUTRACED. Nothing flawed with these, simply … nothing memorable, both. PAPER WASP, which is free of the restrictions that include long-answer stacking, is well essentially the most fascinating factor within the grid, however even that’s fascinating solely within the sense of being uncommon (I did not know such a factor existed) (32D: Insect with a fragile nest). It is a curiosity, not a shocking flip of phrase or a well-recognized expression or a well-known title you’ve got by no means seen in a grid or some as-yet ungridded trendy phenomenon. PAPER WASP received a “huh, cool title” out of me … which is nice, but it surely’s essentially the most that any of the solutions on this puzzle received out of me—not less than by way of constructive psychological commentary. This felt like a strong, workmanlike, Twentieth-century Saturday puzzle. Very competent, not a ton of enjoyable.
I actually do not get deciding that your most “authentic” little bit of fill goes to be brief fill, and right now I’m significantly taking a look at QUBIT (7D: Portmanteau unit of computing data). No concept what that’s. Looks as if just a little smug nod to techy people. I am guessing it is pronounced like “cubit,” and that it is a “portmanteau” of, uh, Q*BERT and OBIT. Oh, dang, it is really “quantum” + “bit”—means much less fascinating. Anyway, let’s simply say that this reply has made its one look for this decade. See you within the ’30s, QUBIT! One other factor I do not get is making an attempt to disguise your weak fill (BITON) underneath the title of a “designer canine” (the very phrase makes me queasy) (50D: Canine that is a cross of two French-named breeds). It will be one factor if the 2 breeds concerned within the title (portmanteau! once more!) have been well-known, however I used to be sitting there going, “OK, it is a bichon frise and … and … huh … I received nothing … oh, crap, is DRUB proper? Is it DRUM / MITON!?!? A Maltese and a … python? What within the hell?” In the event you have been aware of the canine breed Coton de Tulear (the -TON a part of this dog-engineering experiment), then congratulations. I simply needed to belief DRUB (49A: Defeat soundly) and pray that BITON was … one thing. Not a fantastic place to place the solver in. (And hey, if I am the one solver that is out of the BITON fandom loop, then I take all of it again and apologize for my ignorance)
- AREA MAP (40A: A part of a typical enterprise search consequence on Google) — ugh. This reply just about embodies how scintillating I discovered this grid (by no means). I had SITEMAP and one level. So dreary to have the reply you’ll want to get into one of many corners be this bland / obscure. Thank god for GODSPEED down there (that reply appears positively electrical in comparison with many of the remainder of the grid)
- TOGAED (28D: Like historical Roman senators) — a type of forced-adjectival solutions that you just simply have to simply accept. I imply, am I presently SHIRTED (effectively, am I?) (I’m). However I am glad to permit a couple of of those Crossword Specials within the service of a beautiful grid. Simply want this grid had been extra great.
- EVA / DUARTE (38A: With 45-Down, pre-marriage title of a Forties-’50s first girl) — first, congrats on utilizing “pre-marriage” as a substitute of the gendered, creepily virginity-focused “maiden”; second, wow, studying quite a bit about Bess Truman* right now.
- MIR (34A: “Es tut ___ leid” (“I am sorry,” in German)) — except it refers to an area station, your MIR clue is gonna be misplaced on me.
- MAGIC ACT (34D: Difficult factor to tug off?) — had the “G,” however that was much less assist than you’d think about. I first tried EGG-something (pondering that it was “difficult” within the “trick-or-treat” sense, and possibly youngsters have been egging somebody’s home), after which I attempted GAG-something (pondering of, I do not know, a joke, I assume, though these aren’t technically “difficult,” are they?)
- DOTE / TOTE — I simply discover that these solutions are symmetrical and so they rhyme and for some motive I believe that is cute. Get your self a DOTE TOTE! Full of all of the books and candies and different gadgets the one that you love enjoys! That is the notice I select to finish on. Good day.