Writer Osnos of New Yorker / THU 5-28-15 / Technology inside Kindles / Savoriness in Japanese / Palo Alto-based car company / Duke's ride / Star Wars whistler
Thursday, May 28, 2015
Constructor: Jeff Chen
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
- CELLO SUITES (16A: Hits hard + famed spokescow = some Bach compositions)
- RAIL PASS (20A: Rends + word of regret = commuter's purchase)
- CIA SPIES (22A: Cloak + Egyptian deity = some spooks)
- BLUETITS (48A: Rear + floral rings = colorful birds)
- FREE MEAL (50A: Relief org. + stagger = soup kitchen offering)
• • •
CIA SPIES) or highly arbitrary (BLUE TITS). Needs another level of … something … to be good. The theme is both the easiest and least interesting part of the puzzle. Honestly, the theme is like one of those one-star (difficulty) Games magazines puzzles, shoe-horned into a grid. Diverting little bits of wordplay, but not worth building a whole Thursday puzzle around. The theme is dense, but because it does not take much thought to figure out, and because it's not funny or otherwise engaging, our attention turns more to the fill, which sputters. What's worse, it sputters *and* it's made tougher than usual (to make up for the easy themers), so you have to work harder, but the results are the results, and they include ATTA ETTA CUEIN AYS NSC UAE ARTOO … the justly reviled two-H version of AHH … and the horrid-masquerading-as-hip E-INK (28A: Technology inside Kindles). There were some entertaining bits, and it certainly had enough bite for a Thursday, but no cleverness, no humor, no real cohesion, so not much to be gladdened by. Plus (side note) how does no one, from the constructor to the editor(s) to the proofreaders, pick up the REAR dupe (it's the answer to 42A *and* the clue for half of 48A)?!
Here's where I figured out the basic gag:
Here are some things that I thought might need explaining:
- 5D: Good name for an R.V. inhabitant? (STU) — STU = the letter string between "R" and "V" … so STU "inhabits" an "R.V." question mark? Get it!? Yeah, you get it.
- 17D: No longer available, as a book: Abbr. (OOP) — this stands for "Out of Print." How could you not know this, you illiterate jerk? A gimme for all the members of the CLERISY, no doubt.
- 39A: Jumper line (HEM) — I know "jumper" as a sweater (Brit.) (also NZ), but here it's a collarless, sleeveless dress typically worn over a blouse.
- 24D: Writer Osnos or the New Yorker (EVAN) — like you, I have no idea who this is. And I subscribe. :(
P.S. two days til this!:
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