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Famed deco designer / SUN 3-5-23 / Aggressive setting in Fortnite / Landmark on the entrance to Narnia / Bankman-Fried fallen crypto mogul

Constructor: John-Clark Levin

Relative issue: Easyish

THEME: “As Heard Across the Dinner Desk” — theme solutions include circled letters which can be MEAT SUBSTITUTES (102A: Vegetarian choices … or what the shaded letters on this puzzle are, phonetically); that’s, they’re letter strings that sound similar to meats (of their respective solutions) regardless of not being spelled as such:

Theme solutions:

  • GO TO A RESTAURANT (22A: Dine out) (goat)
  • DUCT TAPE (35A: Help in some makeshift repairs) (duck)
  • PORE CLEANSER (38A: Blackhead remover) (pork)
  • BEFORE PICTURE (62A: A part of many a weight-loss advert) (beef)
  • BAKE IN THE SUN (85A: Lie out on a scorching day) (bacon)
  • LAMP POST (89A: Landmark on the entrance to Narnia) (lamb)

Phrase of the Day: CSU (10D: Fort Collins sch.) —

Colorado State College (Colorado State or CSU) is a public land-grant analysis college in Fort Collins, Colorado. It’s the flagship college of the Colorado State College System. Colorado State College is labeled amongst “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very excessive analysis exercise”. It was based in 1870 as Colorado Agricultural School and in 1935 was renamed the Colorado State School of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. In 1957, the Colorado Common Meeting permitted its present identify, Colorado State College. […] The Colorado State Rams compete within the NCAA Division I Mountain West convention. Swimmer and six-time Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken is one among CSU’s most notable athletes. The college renamed West Drive, which stretches alongside the west aspect of the Administration Constructing on the south finish of CSU’s Oval, Amy Van Dyken Manner. (wikipedia)

• • •

Actually want I had higher information right here, however this was fairly brutal. Not brutal as in onerous–it was principally a breeze—however brutal as in painful to unravel, for a lot of causes. The essential theme idea … I do not assume it actually works. They don’t seem to be MEAT SUBSTITUTES in any significant sense of the time period. The “shaded letters” aren’t substituting for something. Should you’d spelled it PORKLEANSER, then positive, “meat” is serving as a “substitute” for the precise letters, however as is, what you have bought are solutions which can be spelled completely appropriately. The truth that the circled letters are kinda pronounced like varied meats would not make these letters “substitutes” for something. So on a literal stage, the theme would not appear to work that effectively. Additionally, simply circling the “LAM” in a solution would not appear to be … something. What number of billions of phrases may you could have used there? So your themers are both arbitrary and completely non-special solutions, like LAMP POST, or, on the opposite finish of the spectrum, they’re tortured solutions, like GO TO A RESTAURANT. I imply … wow. Wow. I … I imply, I invented the goofy phrase EAT A SANDWICH to explain a sure number of ridiculous “[verb] A [noun]” phrases you generally see in crosswords, however I by no means ever imagined I would seen a solution that was truly *goofier* than EAT A SANDWICH. I am gonna must rename the idea now. No, I am not going to, however GO TO A RESTAURANT is hall-of-fame ridiculous. After which to have the gall, the gumption, the nerve to additionally put GETSANA in the identical grid?! Superb. Amazingly grotesque, however superb nonetheless. Add to all this the puzzle’s weird, perverse dedication to gratuitously inserting a number of the very worst human beings into the grid (BRET Stephens!?!? SAM Bankman-Fried!?!? Whyyyyyyyy? What are you doing? Who’s that for?), and you have … effectively, I do not know what, however nothing I’d care to re-experience, that is for positive.

GO TO A RESTAURANT omg sorry I am nonetheless laughing / dying inside over this reply. LOL, HOW DARE YOU certainly. I feel I blacked out after that, by some means finishing the puzzle with out retaining a lot reminiscence of any of it. The lengthy Downs on the edges are sort of attention-grabbing. That is a pleasant little function. Or … it is the nicest function of the puzzle, that is for positive. PANCAKE (as clued) and SLAMMER have some good power. However the grid as an entire is relatively bland, and the construction of the grid, woof, it is so horribly segmented. So many black squares, and people NE and SW corners are *ridiculously* reduce off from the areas simply beneath them. In case you are within the NE nook, you can not transfer down the grid with out going All The Manner Over, previous the puzzle median, to AIRDROP at 41D: Apple wi-fi file switch. Clearly the identical holds true in reverse for the SE nook (gotta go allllll the way in which over to DECADES to maneuver up). It feels actually clunkily put collectively. I am sorry I haven’t got extra to say, or not less than extra to say that is optimistic. I simply assume this one missed the mark on each stage—on the stage of idea, execution, and general fill. As for issue, there wasn’t a lot. I feel the toughest half for me was the DOUR DYED LOAF EUROS half. Plenty of clues there I did not perceive. Had IDLE for LOAF (43D: Do nothing) and SOUR for DOUR (51A: In poor health-humored) and had no thought what to make of the clue on EUROS (44D: Paris bar tender?) (“tender” right here is “cash”—so, the cash you’d use at a Paris bar = EUROS). In order that was a troublesome patch, however that is the one one, I feel. I actually hope you discovered extra to admire than I did. 

Something want explaining? A COT is [Where you might go down in the ranks?] as a result of “go down” = “sleep” and “ranks” = “different troopers.” That is all for me on this one. See you subsequent time.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]



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