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Image of poison on a warning label / WED 1-25-23 / Individuals who establish as feminine, in an alternate spelling / App with tales informally / Composer of the piano piece performed within the Tom and Jerry quick The Cat Concerto

Constructor: Nancy Serrano-Wu

Relative problem: Medium

THEME: [Sports bar purchases?] — sports activities phrases that finish with phrases that may additionally imply “drinks one can order at a bar“:

Theme solutions:

  • FANTASY DRAFTS (56A: Sports activities bar purchases?)
  • PENALTY SHOTS (56A: Sports activities bar purchases?)
  • STAR PITCHERS (56A: Sports activities bar purchases?)
  • TRIPLE DOUBLES (56A: Sports activities bar purchases?)

Phrase of the Day: Tang DYNASTY (9D: Tang, for one) —

The Tang dynasty (, [tʰǎŋ]Chinese language唐朝), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that dominated from 618 to 907 AD, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dynasty and adopted by the 5 Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms interval. Historians typically regard the Tang as a excessive level in Chinese language civilization, and a golden age of cosmopolitan tradition. Tang territory, acquired via the army campaigns of its early rulers, rivaled that of the Han dynasty. […] Chinese language tradition flourished and additional matured in the course of the Tang period. It’s historically thought-about the best age for Chinese language poetry. Two of China’s most well-known poets, Li Bai and Du Fu, belonged to this age, contributing with poets equivalent to Wang Weito the monumental Three Hundred Tang Poems. Many well-known painters equivalent to Han GanZhang Xuan, and Zhou Fang had been energetic, whereas Chinese language courtroom music flourished with devices equivalent to the favored pipa. Tang students compiled a wealthy number of historic literature, in addition to encyclopedias and geographical works. Notable improvements included the event of woodblock printingBuddhism turned a significant affect in Chinese language tradition, with native Chinese language sects gaining prominence. Nonetheless, within the 840s, Emperor Wuzong enacted insurance policies to suppress Buddhism, which subsequently declined in affect. (wikipedia)

• • •


This can be a stable theme thought. It is a good catch—noticing that sports activities terminology has a preponderance of drink-related phrases (or phrases that *look* like drink-related phrases: “homographs,” I suppose they’re referred to as—spelled the identical, which means one thing else). Yoking all of the clues collectively by way of the identical clue is a pleasant contact, and toughens the puzzle up just a little bit. “Oh, had been you hoping for a special, extra particular clue this time? Sorry, have one other go.” I believe the theme is just good for about three solutions right here, although. DOUBLES looks like a stretch, in that after all one may order a “double” at a bar, however that is simply … extra. It is not likely quite a lot of drink, or perhaps a beverage unit. It is two … of no matter. Most frequently two SHOTS, which already seems within the grid. Different drinks could be DOUBLES (“… and make mine a double”), however this nonetheless feels prefer it’s in a special class from the others. Or else it is reduplicative, which makes it seem to be it is dishonest, kinda. However I suppose within the strictest sense, it nonetheless matches the class: at a bar, you may order a draft, you may order a shot, you may order a pitcher, and you may order a double. It is simply that with the primary three, in the event you say them, folks will no less than know what number of beverage you are speaking about, whereas in the event you simply order “a double,” folks will simply marvel if you realize what you are doing. Kinda like in “Licorice Pizza” when Alana orders a martini on the Rive Gauche and the waiter asks “Vodka or gin?” and he or she says, confidently, “vodka-gin.” The waiter then tactfully tries to get on the reply one other manner. “Would you want an olive or a lime with it?” To which she replies, “Sure.” 

I had BEER PITCHERS at first as a result of, as generally usually occurs after I get the theme … I then forget the theme. I turned the phrase over in my head, “BEER PITCHERS … I suppose that sounds proper … “pitchers of beer, BEER PITCHERS … you’d simply order a pitcher … BEER PITCHERS sounds just a little bizarre, weirdly redundant.” That is as a result of BEER PITCHERS was incorrect, on no account consistent with the (already established) theme of the dang puzzle. In order that was the toughest themer for me to provide you with. The toughest one for me to *perceive* was TRIPLE DOUBLES as a result of my thoughts completely and utterly blanked on what these had been. Once more, my mind didn’t trouble to remind me “psst, suppose *sports activities*,” so all it may consider was hamburgers. Seems my mind was excited about the “Double-Double” at In-N-Out (because it usually, nostalgically, does—I miss you, Southern California). Anyway, a “triple-double” is a basketball feat wherein a participant hits double digits in three completely different statistical classes in a single recreation: factors, rebounds, and assists. I believe perhaps … perhaps you may swap out a special stat for that final one, like blocks or steals, or one thing, however classically (sometimes), it is factors / rebounds / assists (and sure, I am now studying that “blocks” or “steals” can rely as effectively … however in follow most TRIPLE DOUBLES are factors / rebounds / assists). 

The fill on this one was simply OK. No actual excessive factors (besides perhaps CAT’S MEOW—I like the truth that it received a special animal idiom for its clue: 11D: Bee’s knees). MR. YUK is a tough yuck, as I do not consider in that that … man? … has a reputation (53D: Image of poison on a warning label). The one individuals who have ever tried to foist that “man’s” “identify” on me should not folks, they’re crosswords. Even the spelling on YUK is yuck. I believe I by no means discovered this “image”—perhaps I am too previous. I am taking a look at it now and it’s Not At All acquainted to me. 

I grew up with cranium & crossbones because the poison image. So perhaps I simply … missed the MR. YUK period (which I suppose we’re nonetheless dwelling in?). Nonetheless, I’ve actually by no means seen the identify outdoors crosswords. I additionally have not seen WOMYN because the early ’90s, once I guess the concept was to take the “males” half out of “girls” (6D: Individuals who establish as feminine, in an alternate spelling). The time period now reads as quaint and bygone (it has been criticized as trans-exclusive when used to check with trans girls, as has the rather more clearly trans-exclusive “WOMBAN”). There are nonetheless a *lot* of alternate spellings on the market. Search for “WOMXN” to come back to a grid close to you … effectively, perhaps not quickly, however … perhaps! (it has a sure prominence inside intersectional feminism). As for WOMYN, I suppose in the event you get your self in a setting up state of affairs the place you have received “Y” within the fourth place of a five-letter phrase, your choices slender significantly. Oh effectively. Many of the non-thematic stuff was straightforward at this time, aside from that DYNASTY clue, which is wickedly ambiguous and extremely misdirective. Wanted the entire entrance finish of that reply earlier than I had any clue what was happening. Is “tang” a taste high quality? No. Is “Tang” a powdered beverage as soon as purportedly drunk by astronauts? No. DYNASTY! I would’ve in all probability clued this by way of the ’80s nighttime cleaning soap opera starring Joan Collins, however that’s (very a lot) simply me. Actually appreciated the clue at this time, and it added some wanted … to illustrate “chunk” and never “tang” … to the grid. That is all. See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]



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