Suffix with hater / THU 10-27-16 / Monster film hit of 1984 / Advice between buy sell / Sister publication of 16 Magazine / Some gold rush remnants / Suriname colonizer

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Constructor: Milo Beckman

Relative difficulty: Not sure ... Easy-Medium? (forgot to watch clock)

THEME: GHOST ___ — themers are phrases/words that start with "GHOST," but instead of "GHOST" being written in the grid, it is imagined as an adjective and then represented literally (i.e. everything following "GHOST" is not there). Downs only work with "ghosted" answer. But if you put the word in, the Downs are still real answers (just ... unclued)

Theme answers:
  • 22A: Like many celebrity memoirs ([ghost] WRITTEN) boo
  • 24A: Some gold rush remnants ([ghost] TOWNS) boo
  • 51A: Campfire entertainment ([ghost] STORIES]) boo!
  • 53A: Monster film hit of 1984 (["ghost]BUSTERS") 
Word of the Day: HaterADE (33D: Suffix with hater) —


Blend of hate or hater and Gatorade (a brand of sports drink)


haterade ‎(uncountable)
  1. (slang, often capitalized) Hatred, as a metaphorical beverage. (wiktionary)
• • •

This was interesting, but didn't really feel like a "crossword," in that the theme answers were not "crossed" at any point. You have to infer the ghostiness by the fact of blanks. There are no Downs to help, is what I'm saying. I guess the fact of blanks is functioning like the additional (i.e. "cross") information you'd get from a Down ... somehow? Also, with ghosts visible, Downs still make sense, but ... the puzzle can't really incorporate this fact in any interesting way, as those Nu-Downs remain unclued. You just have to ... notice that they are also words. In fact, they are almost always More word-like than the Downs that are clued. REGINAL, ugh. THR!? RNDS!? Oy. Good thing "GHOSTBUSTERS" was obvious from its clue (53A: Monster film hit of 1984). I was like "Oh, BUSTERS gets 'ghosted,' OK." Then I got the other "GHOST ___" answers, though GHOST TOWNS took me a few beats (24A: Some gold rush remnants). TOWN-as-"remnant" = pretty hard stretch.

Fill is pretty bad in lots of places, esp near middle, wow, oh wow, ouch. Almost every 3 in there is actively hurtful. Not sure why that had to be. I did like how fresh and current the puzzle felt. The constructor is quite young, so ... that probably has something to do with it. There's nothing in here an older person couldn't / wouldn't have put in his / her puzzle, but the up-to-date cluing and (especially) lack (mostly) of tired arcana was nice. This was creative. I enjoyed it. It was somewhat troubling in places but, I mean, it's HAUNTED, so ... maybe that's OK.

  • 37A: "Now I ain't sayin' ___ a gold digger" (Kanye West lyric) (SHE) — this made me literally LOL. Long way to go for SHE. "SHE" is also in the subsequent line of this song, but that line would never make it into a crossword clue. For ... reasons. Check the rhyme.
  • 58D: Early fifth-century year (CDI) — Ugh, the RRN (random Roman numeral). NOT COOL, man. NOT COOL.
  • 1A: Blu-ray ancestor (VCR) — "ancestor" made me laugh, but that was when I thought the answer was DVD. VCR still funny. Just not as.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

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JFK landers until 2003 / WED 10-26-16 / Inner Hebrides isle / Certain pool sites for short / Not dress overmodestly

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Constructor: Scott Yut

Relative difficulty: Easy (ridic-easy)

THEME: SHOW SOME LEG (55A: Not dress overmodestly ... or what 18-, 25- and 43-Across each do?) — leg parts hidden in theme answers (broken across two-word phrases):

Theme answers:
  • BANK LENDING (18A: Source of start-up cash perhaps)
  • TROPICAL FRUIT (25A: Guava or papaya)
  • RIDGEMONT HIGH (43A: "Fast Times" school)
Word of the Day: "Fast Times at RIDGEMONT HIGH"
Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a 1982 American coming-of-age teen comedy film written by Cameron Crowe, adapted from his 1981 book of the same name. Crowe went undercover at Clairemont High School in San Diego, and wrote about his experiences. // The film was directed by Amy Heckerling (in her feature film directorial debut) and chronicles a school year in the lives of sophomores Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Mark Ratner (Brian Backer), and their respective older friends Linda Barrett (Phoebe Cates) and Mike Damone (Robert Romanus), both of whom believe themselves wiser in the ways of romance than their younger counterparts. The ensemble cast of characters form two subplots with Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn), a junior, carefree stoned surfer, facing off against uptight history teacher Mr. Hand (Ray Walston), and Stacy's brother, Brad (Judge Reinhold), a senior who works at a series of entry-level jobs in order to pay off his car, and who is pondering easing out of his relationship with his girlfriend, until she herself dumps him. // In addition to Penn, Reinhold, Cates and Leigh, the film marks early appearances by several actors who later became stars, including Nicolas Cage (then billing himself as Nicolas Coppola), Forest Whitaker, Eric Stoltz, and Anthony Edwards. Among the actors listed, Penn, Cage, and Whitaker would later on in their careers win the Academy Award for Best Actor, with Penn winning twice. // In 2005, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
• • •

The theme answers actually HIDE SOME LEG, so there's a little conceptual problem there. But let's interpret "show" somewhat more broadly—I think the revealer is interesting and the theme is fine. BANK LENDING is a painfully dull answer; also, the clue seems to want BANK LOAN(S)—the "source" is a loan, not a lending. But it's tolerable, and the other themers are solid. RIDGEMONT HIGH is my favorite, for generational reasons (i.e. I was an adolescent when that came out and I watched it over and over and over and was just listening to Jackson Browne's "Somebody's Baby" on SiriusFM's "80s on 8" and thinking "man, I should watch 'Fast Times...' again..."). Jennifer Jason Leigh should be in more movies! This is my takeaway from this puzzle. Unforeseen.

Fill is not good. Out of the box. The old box. The box in the rec room that smells faintly of mildew, the one that's got all the old toys and board games in it. Except not as fun. MRE ASA NIL stack! IT'S SO AMNIO ENERO SST etc. And the fill quality is especially troublesome given that it took four cheater squares* to get it to even *this* level of tolerable. Even the long stuff is kinda struggling to get by. AMERICA'S is a partial. PSEUDO is a prefix. Somehow multiple YMCAS *and* multiple LIBIDOS are rolling around together. NAN is never ever ever [Indian bread]. NAAN is [Indian bread]. NAN is a Talese. You shouldn't cross I'Ms like that (5D, 15A). FINAGLE is always a good word. This puzzle was Monday-easy—a full minute faster than yesterday's. Total misplacement. Why? BEATS ME.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

*'cheater squares' are black squares that don't increase word count, so-called because they are a cheap / easy way of making the puzzle easier to fill. Today's cheaters are the black squares directly above 28D, below 26D, above 41D, and below 19D

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