Tuesday, September 26, 2023
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Neighborhood spot for affordable booze / MON 1-23-23 / African mammal that is immune to snake venom / Digicam setting for novice photographers / Alessandro who invented the electrical battery / Egyptian counterpart of Hades and Pluto / So-called grasp gland of the endocrine system / Jellied fish in some British pies

Constructor: Adrian Johnson

Relative issue: ??? Medium ??? (I did it Downs-only, and it undoubtedly put up a struggle)

THEME: “DON’T BLOW IT!” (51A: Recommendation to a musician with a 23-, 26- or 43-Throughout) — theme solutions finish with a phrase (or phrase half) that can also be a woodwind instrument (the theme solutions themselves, although—not devices, which is why, presumably, you should not blow them):

Theme solutions:

  • TAPE RECORDER (23A: Gadget with Rewind and Quick Ahead capabilities)
  • SHOEHORN (26A: Assist for squeezing into a decent piece of footwear)
  • CHAMPAGNE FLUTE (43A: Glass incessantly used for toasting the New Yr)

Phrase of the Day: PITUITARY (32D: So-called “grasp gland” of the endocrine system) —

In vertebrate anatomy, the pituitary gland, or hypophysis, is an endocrine gland, concerning the measurement of a chickpea and weighing, on common, 0.5 grams (0.018 oz) in people. It’s a protrusion off the underside of the hypothalamus on the base of the mind. The hypophysis rests upon the hypophyseal fossa of the sphenoid bone within the heart of the center cranial fossa and is surrounded by a small bony cavity (sella turcica) coated by a dural fold (diaphragma sellae).

The anterior pituitary (or adenohypophysis) is a lobe of the gland that regulates a number of physiological processes together with stress, development, copy, and lactation. The intermediate lobe synthesizes and secretes melanocyte-stimulating hormone. The posterior pituitary (or neurohypophysis) is a lobe of the gland that’s functionally linked to the hypothalamus by the median eminence by way of a small tube known as the pituitary stalk (additionally known as the infundibular stalk or the infundibulum).

Hormones secreted from the pituitary gland assist to manage developmentblood stress, vitality administration, all capabilities of the intercourse organsthyroid glands and metabolism in addition to some features of being pregnantchildbirthbreastfeedingwater/salt focus on the kidneys, temperature regulation and ache aid. (wikipedia)

• • •

The truth that this grid had so many longer Down solutions made it more difficult than normal from a Downs-only perspective (and Downs-only is how I seem like fixing Monday puzzles now, for higher or worse). The grid form is definitely probably the most interesting options of the puzzle. I actually just like the mirror symmetry, and the audaciously-stacked theme solutions on the upper-middle of the grid. It is a slender grid (simply 14 immediately), so your time may properly have been quicker than normal, however I do not suppose the puzzle is any simpler than a median Monday, and it is definitely bought extra … grit? allure? funkiness? One thing. It is bought extra one thing than your typical Monday. The revealer is energetic as a standalone reply, and it provides the theme an amazing second-level dimension—not only a puzzle the place theme solutions finish with woodwinds, however one which provides a layer of semi-hilarious preposterousness (conjuring the picture of somebody, presumably somebody who has drunk an excessive amount of champagne, making an attempt to make music by blowing right into a CHAMPAGNE FLUTE or TAPE RECORDER or (funniest of all, for some cause) SHOEHORN. What’s extra, the fill is far more energetic and fascinating than a Monday puzzle’s fill has any proper to be. I seen this fairly a bit since my consideration was targeted completely on the Downs, which is the place the entire non-theme showiness was positioned. There are eight (8!) solutions of seven or extra letters, all of them are stable, and some of them (“OH GOD NO!,” LOCAL DIVE, and “I’M FOR IT!”) are outright winners—solutions that might enliven any puzzle. Plus there’s just about no dreck to journey or groan over. A extremely nifty Monday puzzle, I’ve to say.

The Downs-only route was … an journey. The primary impact of the grid’s having so many longer solutions was that they added significantly to my first-time-through whiff rely. On my first go by means of the grid, I feel I managed to place collectively LOCAL DIVE (29D: Neighborhood spot for affordable booze) and ALGIERS (42D: Capital of Africa’s largest nation) and that is about it. Undecided why I blanked on PITUITARY, however I did. And as for Each Single Longer Reply up prime: nothing. Simply blanks. However this is the humorous factor about Downs-only fixing—the seemingly not possible turns into doable as inferrable Throughout solutions present extra data for as-yet-ungotten Down solutions, and finally all your “No Concepts” flip into fairly simple will get. Missed on ECLIPSE the primary time, however EAV- was clearly EAVE which gave me the preliminary “E” in ECLIPSE, which was principally all I wanted. I used to be in a position to put the primary two themers collectively from crosses, which made the beforehand invisible MONGOOSE all of the sudden seen (8D: African mammal that is immune to snake venom). Similar factor occurred with CAMEROON and “OH GOD NO!” (I had the “OH-” however no concept till the primary two themers helped me out). If Monday puzzles simply really feel “too simple” more often than not, I actually suggest the Downs-only strategy. It toughens the puzzle up and makes your mind work in one other dimension—forcing you to place collectively Acrosses from nothing however a smattering of letters you choose up from the Downs. In some way, on Mondays at the very least, all of it finally ends up working. You do, sometimes, have to return while you’re achieved and search out the theme, however that always occurs when fixing the usual approach, so who cares? Give it a shot. 

The tide turned for me immediately after I modified ATA (at 36D: Sports activities org. for Nadal and Djokovic) to ATP. The American Tennis Affiliation is actual. In reality, it’s (I simply discovered) the “oldest African-American sports activities group within the U.S.” (!?!). The ATP is the “Affiliation of Tennis Professions,” the governing physique of the lads’s skilled tennis. Altering that last “A” to a “P” made CHAMPAGNE FLUTE all of the sudden gettable, and eventually extra Downs and Acrosses began to fall. A number of absolute misses earlier than CHAMPAGNE FLUTE fell into place, however after that, I picked up momentum rapidly. Nothing actually to complain about immediately, apart from the semi-absurd *plural* OLES two days in a row now. It is humorous that OLES follows POLE as a result of now I wish to pronounce it “po-LAY!” Anyway, I used to be simply comfortable that I used to be in a position to end this one Downs-only with no CHEATS, particularly given my slightly inauspicious begin up prime. Nevertheless you solved, I hope you loved it. See you tomorrow.  
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]



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